Bill T Jones’ “Fela!,” the musical interpretation of the life of the Afrobeat king, is up for 11 Tony Awards–the most of any show this year–including Best Musical.  I haven’t seen any of the other shows up for contention, but I can attest to the brilliance of the show. From Jones’ direction, to the acting of the leads Sahr Ngauajah and Lilias White, the set, the music and the dancers, and the  Well done. (I won’t get drawn into debates again about the show’s premise or omissions, whether ridiculous charges of minstrelsy or revisionism about Fela’s backward sexual politics.)

Well done.

Watch the announcements on The Tony Awards website just to hear actor Jeff Daniels–announcing the nominees–mangling the show’s title: “Feel-laa.”

Further Reading

Take it to the house

On this month’s AIAC Radio, Boima celebrates all things basketball, looking at its historical relationships with music and race, then focusing on Africa’s biggest names in the sport.

El maestro siempre

Maky Madiba Sylla is a militant filmmaker excavating iconic Africans whose legacies he believes need to be known widely—like the singer Laba Sosseh.

Madiba and Mali

There is a remarkable connection between Mali and South Africa, dating back to the liberation struggle, and actively encouraged by the author’s work.

A devil’s deal

Rwanda’s proposed refugee deal with Britain is another strike against President Paul Kagame’s claim that he is an authentic and fearless pan-Africanist who advocates for the less fortunate.

Red and Black

Yunxiang Gao’s new book takes a fresh look at connected lives of African American and Chinese leftist activists, artists and intellectuals after World War II.

The Dar es Salaam years

In the early 1970s, Walter Rodney, expelled from Jamaica, took a post in Tanzania. In Leo Zeilig’s new book, he captures those exciting, but also difficult years and how it formed Rodney.

Rushing to boycott

The cultural boycott of Russia turns to the flawed precedent of apartheid South Africa for inspiration, while ignoring the much more carefully considered boycott of official Israeli culture by the BDS Movement.

The party question

Marcel Paret’s book, “Fragmented Militancy: Precarious Resistance in South Africa after Racial Inclusion,” tries to make sense of politics in South African urban informal settlements.

The missing pieces

Between melancholy, terror, and disillusion, Petit Pays is a groundbreaking and eye-opening take on one of the darkest pages of African history, one that is often misunderstood in the West.