Season 2, Episode 9: Black Voices for Black Lives

In this episode, edna bonhomme speaks to four Black diasporic women and asks them about the current wave of Black Lives Matter protests and how they are shedding light on the racial strife happening in the United States and globally.

In Episode 9, edna bonhomme is in conversation with Melody Makeda Ledwon, Ekene Okobi, Kate Cheka, and Nyambura and starts in Berlin as an estimated 15,000 protesters gathered at Alexanderplatz to protest against anti-Black violence, systemic racism, and police brutality in Germany in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests and current uprisings throughout the US.

Black Lives Matter demo, Alexanderplatz, Berlin

This episode also includes excerpts by James Baldwin, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Dr. Gaye Theresa Johnson. Please find complete biographies, links, a bibliography, and show notes below.

A special thanks to Melody Makeda Ledwon, Ekene Okobi, Kate Cheka, and Nyambura.

EKENE OKOBI

Educator/writer/performer whose practice is primarily in the domain of applied theater and social justice, and rooted in data driven narrative that takes many forms. Has staged and performed at the following venues: The British Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York Theatre Workshop, and Playwrights Horizons (NYC). 

Has reported or produced news stories for US-based shows PRI’s The World, Marketplace Radio, and WAMU, the Washington, DC National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate. Has produced, designed, and developed educational programming for the New York University (NYU) Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, New York Theatre Workshop, and University of the Arts, London (UAL). Has performed and devised extensively with NYC (USA)-based Forum Project Performance Troupe, which used Theater of the Oppressed (TO) techniques to devise interactive scenes inspired by the cast’s own personal stories and subsequent research. Co-devised The Birds and The Bees (Unabridged), a multimedia performance with creative collaborators at Honest Accomplice Theater from data culled from surveys and qualitative interviews on sexuality with more than 200 women. The Birds and the Bees enjoyed sold out runs in New York City, and also toured regional universities.

KATE CHEKA

Kate Cheka is a (usually) Berlin-based graduate in MA Global Studies at the Humboldt University. Her thesis entitled “The Threat of European, Enlightenment Thinking in (Post)colonial Spaces” was inspired by her time at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. It deals in the exportation the hyper-rationality of European thinking to the Global South. Presenting the voices of feminist, decolonial, and marginalised theorists, it argues that the solutions to our present crises already exist but are often overlooked by Western hegemony. She is also a regular on the Berlin English-language comedy scene and hosts a podcast Love in the Time Of on THF Radio Berlin.

Cheka, Kate. “White Women and the Weaponisation of Victimhood.” DADDY Magazine (June 2020).

Listen to Episode 7 of Love in the Time Of Corona, in which Kate Cheka interviewed edna bonhomme and also Vanessa Júpiter and Daddypuss Rex. Released May 18,2020.

Listen to also Season 1, Episode 9: Beyond Survival: The (Post)colonial Comedian, in which Kate Cheka and edna bonhomme discuss the anti-colonial dimensions of laughter. Released January 22, 2020.

NYAMBURA

Coming from a background of cultural activism in Kenya, Nyambura relocated to Berlin for her MA studies in Cultural Diplomacy. Her research on the racial injustices of the American Criminal Justice system was the onset of her social justice activism in Berlin. She currently invests her energy and time in anti-oppression projects with EYFA, Globale Film Festival Berlin, and in photography.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Baldwin, James. “An Open Letter to My Sister, Miss Angela Davis, November 19, 1970. Published in: The New York Review of Books (January 7, 1970).

Hamer, Fannie Lou. Excerpt from Of Black America, episode 5, “The Heritage of Slavery,” interviewed by George Foster, CBS News documentary series, aired August 13, 1968, m.youtube.com/watch?v=Nhu_uxRR2og.

Johnson, Gaye Theresa. Excerpt from “The Fire This Time: Race at Boiling Point,” A conversation with Angela Y. Davis, Herman Gray, Gaye Theresa Johnson, Robin D. G. Kelley, and Josh Kun that took place on June 5, 2020 and was hosted by University of California Humanities Research Institute.

PODCAST CREDITS

Interview, editing, and production by edna bonhomme
Photo by edna bonhomme
Music: Freesounds.org (Creative Commons)