Oumou Sangare is considered the greatest contemporary women singer to arise in Mali, West Africa. Here she sings a tribute to women and what makes a great woman a great mother. This song can be found on her album, Ki Sira. The intrument is a Dos Ogoni, sometimes called a Kamala Goni, a five stringed instrument which is the precursor to the banjo. Many of us grew up in the era ( pre 1970’s) where black was not considered beautiful and the more your white blood showed the better off you were. Black men conked their hair. The sale of bleaching creams prevailed. Black women endured, Four hundred Years Without a Comb, and the torture of having the hair pressed and permed to remove those nappy locks. Hum….
I have been to Mali . There, like many parts of Africa, women are still considered chattel. But at the end of the day, even the men acknowledge, sometimes begrudingly, that, “… even the King is born of a woman!”
Look at the strength and love of life in the faces of our West African sisters. I see my face reflected in their smiles and triumphs; their sorrows and grief. Like us and our mothers, they endure, not just to survive but, to live. History begins with the living. Celebrate black women while we are living! enjoy!