NEW AFROBLUSH Podcast- Episode 01 – Transcending Race

 “It comes down to who is defining this race term of ‘transcending race?’…and if it’s about approachablity about being ‘Black but not too Black it ends up being a limited construction of what a Black person should be like…” Julian Obubo

Like many, I’ve been captivated by the recent programming on OJ Simpson and my interest was about his conviction but more so what he represented to many and mass media. OJ Simpson transcended race in a way that only few Black people in history have managed to, but is that something he should be proud of?

Transcending race is complicated topic that’s entangled in both systematic racism and the ability to overcome oppression. From the house negro, to OJ Simpson and arguably Beyonce, the ability to transcend race is an aspiration for some and a living nightmare for others. In this first episode for my new broadcast series we discuss the idea of transcending race, what it means for the Pan-African diaspora and whether this is a progressive or reductive aspiration.

LISTEN TO EPISODE 1: Transcending Race 

On the show, I’m joined with my co-host Tina Tama, a long-standing friend and natural enthusiast of behavioural psychology, Julian Obubo and Nanda Poleon, both of whom are super smart and charismatic and have passion for Black race relations, in addition to Carine Kazadi from The Africa Centre.

EP. 01 – Transcending Race – Listen & Subscribe on Soundcloud/iTunes

It’s a BIG topic, I know!

I’m acutely aware that transcending race is a HUGE topic and although we over run by almost an hour and even still, it’s not near enough time to really unearth this topic, so please bare in mind that we weren’t able to delve into some topics (OJ Simpson, Emmett Til) in more detail, but I can only hope it sparks more conversation, and we’re all reachable on Twitter/Instagram if you would like to talk about it further!

Please have a listen to this episode now available on Soundcloud and soon to be available on iTunes and let me know your thoughts on transcending race and where you stand – have you transcended race and do you want to, and how does this vary for those in the diaspora outside London, England?

AFROBLUSH X The Africa Centre – The perfect marriage

Many thanks to The Africa Centre for supporting this amazing podcast series and being the official host of The AFROBLUSH Podcast series. The Africa Centre, located in its newly developed building in Southwark, London is an independent charity developed to create greater awareness among British and other European people about developments in Africa and its diaspora. Like this blog, The Africa Centre is devoted to celebrating and debating topics impacting Africans in Africa and beyond so there was no better marriage to collaborate on this venture!

Tina, Me (Louisa), Nanda, Julian

I can’t wait for you to hear the views on this topic and your thoughts. Big up to my amazing Videographer and Editor Charbel Bou Antoun and superb Sound Engineer Frédéric Anicet. The AFROBLUSH podcast is a fortnightly podcast series and the next episode will be available on the 1st of May on ‘Dowry in the modern day’ – stay tuned!

QUICK SNIPPETS – Episode 01: Transcending Race

As it’s a rather long episode I’ve compiled some moments from this discussion to give you a flavour of the full episode. All snippets and the full episode can also be found on listened to on the AFROBLUSH Youtube Channel, so please get involved, like, comment and share!

  • 1. Julian Obubo talking about Transcending Race and the construction of what a Black person should be like…

  • 2. Louisa Kiwana (Creator of AFROBLUSH) talking about being an AFROPEAN and the complexity of belonging to two cultures 

  • 3. Nanda Poleon talking about Transcending Race and how to not see someone’s race is to not see them at all

  • 4. Carine Kazadi talking about transcending race and how London gives Black communities the latitude to express themselves, compared to many other European countries…

  • 5. We all discuss transcending race, adjusting yourself to the workplace and what it really means to be be ‘unapologetically Black’…

  • 6. Tina Tama and Nanda Poleon talk about transcending race, structural racism and how to avoid falling into the OJ Simpson trap!…

  • 7. Julian Obubo talks about transcending race and how the onus isn’t only on Black people to engage in topics about Black issues, but Nanda Poleon asks, how groups that benefit from racism should be expected to cooperate?

  • 8. Carine Kazadi talks about transcending race and climbing the social economic ladder and how many don’t make the necessary effort to make radical change…



1 Comment

  1. Interesting discussions, I guess for me the key thing that came to mind as I listened was the use of race and blackness not in a cultural sense as in referring to African culture, which actually non-black people consume liberally (take jazz for instance or Creole cuisine) but rather in a political sense. Politics often works by using ideology to create power centres that various people can then exploit to meet their own ends. Racial classification and it’s use as an instrument of power (e.g. in justifying the distribution of wealth and rights or access to justice and opportunity) is in my view a political construct. It is created as such and usually the political system then sustains it by use of fear, feat or violence, fear of competition, etc. Racial stereotypes then play a major role in sustaining these classifications and making many of us systematically and inadvertently racist. For the record, I believe many black people are racist towards fellow black people, because we consume the same media reinforces stereotypes. So in my view, while African culture should be preserved and allowed to evolve as it so wishes, blackness or race as a political instrument needs to be transcended. In my view the best way to do this is to find ways for people across the race barrier to meet and through their interactions debunk the myths and stereotypes.

What do you think?