"This 22nd annual World Report summarizes human rights conditions in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide in 2011. It reflects extensive investigative work that Human Rights Watch staff has undertaken during the year, often in close partnership with domestic human rights activists.
The introductory essay examines the Arab Spring, which has created an extraordinary opportunity for change. The global community has a responsibility to help the longsuppressed people of the region seize control of their destiny from often-brutal authoritarian rulers. Standing firmly with people as they demand their legitimate rights is the best way to stop the bloodshed, while principled insistence on respect for rights is the best way to help these popular movements avoid intolerance, lawlessness, and summary revenge once in power.”

Download the 2012 World Report here:

"This 22nd annual World Report summarizes human rights conditions in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide in 2011. It reflects extensive investigative work that Human Rights Watch staff has undertaken during the year, often in close partnership with domestic human rights activists.

The introductory essay examines the Arab Spring, which has created an extraordinary opportunity for change. The global community has a responsibility to help the longsuppressed people of the region seize control of their destiny from often-brutal authoritarian rulers. Standing firmly with people as they demand their legitimate rights is the best way to stop the bloodshed, while principled insistence on respect for rights is the best way to help these popular movements avoid intolerance, lawlessness, and summary revenge once in power.”

Download the 2012 World Report here:

Check out a video compilation documenting my trip to Turkey in November 2011.

While perusing myworldmusicfriends.com, I came across a web post for an artist known as Bhi Bhiman—a “Sri Lankan Folk Soul Singer,” inspired by the likes of Stevie Wonder and Bob Dylan. Intrigued by this unique description, I dug a bit deeper, only to be blown away by his performance of an original song called “It’s Cold Out Here.”

His voice? Amazing! The lyrics? Poignant!

You all will just have to see for yourselves. Press play.

Negro: A Docu-Series About Latino Identity (Pt. 1)

I’ve always been intrigued by the African diaspora—the historic movement of Africans and their descendants to places throughout the world.

Of particular interest to me is the cultural identity of darker-skinned Latin Americans—many of whom struggle to overcome an inevitable duality and make themselves visible in the U.S.—where they are often assumed to be African-American at first glance.

I’ve traveled to 6 Latin American countries and consider myself quite blessed to have seen it all—blonde hair, green eyes, sun-kissed bronze and beautiful, deep brown skin tones. However, media and pop culture portrayals often fail to depict this diversity of appearances, leaving some completely baffled upon hearing Black folks express themselves their native Spanish language.

This informative documentary explores Latino identity through the lens of Afro-Latinos, who discuss their strengths and challenges in a comical, as well as insightful manner. The video is an excellent educational tool, helping to bring to the forefront an issue which is largely misunderstood by strangers to Latin American culture.

 For an even greater treat, check out this clip, which features interviews from Afro-Latino celebs such as Gina Torres, Christina Milian, and Laz Alonso

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a song called “Balance” by Sara Tavares - a Portuguese/Cape Verdian singer with a beautiful voice—and presence to match.

I suddenly have the urge to dance barefoot in my living room.

If you’re feelin’ this, you’d likely enjoy some of Sara Tavares’ other hits:

"Na Ri Na" by Lura, a Portuguese singer with roots in Cape Verde.

Such beautiful people, settings, and cultural expressions are captured in this video. Calgon, please take me away to Cape Verde!

More music from Lura:

One person whose music and honesty I’ll truly miss. 

Pictured above are Bob Marley and The Jackson 5 during a visit to Jamaica in 1975.
If you’re into vintage photography and awesome people, you’ll love abduzeedo.com's blog post entitled Awesome People Hanging Out Together. I recently stumbled upon this gem and was immediately intrigued. Some examples of ‘awesome people’ featured hanging out together are:
The Beatles and Muhammad Ali
Michael Jackson and Mr. T
Madonna, Sting, and 2pac
Mother Theresa and Princess Diana
Marilyn Monroe and Sammy Davis Jr.
Abduzeedo credits AwesomePeopleHangingOutTogether.tumblr.com, the site which originally inspired his post.
See the awesomeness for yourself!

Pictured above are Bob Marley and The Jackson 5 during a visit to Jamaica in 1975.

If you’re into vintage photography and awesome people, you’ll love abduzeedo.com's blog post entitled Awesome People Hanging Out Together. I recently stumbled upon this gem and was immediately intrigued. Some examples of ‘awesome people’ featured hanging out together are:

  • The Beatles and Muhammad Ali
  • Michael Jackson and Mr. T
  • Madonna, Sting, and 2pac
  • Mother Theresa and Princess Diana
  • Marilyn Monroe and Sammy Davis Jr.

Abduzeedo credits AwesomePeopleHangingOutTogether.tumblr.com, the site which originally inspired his post.

See the awesomeness for yourself!

Who doesn’t love Shabba Ranks?

40 plays

Manu Chao stands out as one of my favorite global artists. His musical style is difficult to define, as it draws from a number of genres and cultural influences. Paris-born with Spanish roots, Manu Chao sings in a number of languages, including (but not limited to) French, Spanish, Portuguese, and English, often code-switching in the same song.

Throughout the most recent decades, he has garnered considerable success in Europe and Latin America, though he has yet to receive the same degree of recognition outside of these regions.

As he is an amazing, eclectic, and talented artist, I hope this will soon change.

Check out more of his music:

Five years from now, you’re the same person, except for the people you’ve met and the books you’ve read.

In memory of Cesária Évora, Grammy-winning Cape Verdian singer, who recently passed away at age 70. 

Here she is singing one of her most popular songs, “Sodade.”

I am in love with Nomadic Massive—a multilingual, multicultural, Montréal-based musical group bringing global hip hop to the masses.

Argentina, France, Haiti, Canada, Chile, Algeria, Grenada, and Barbados. These are some of the countries represented in this diverse conglomerate of skilled artists, who—in addition to singing and rapping—work to support social justice and humanitarian efforts.

Their ability to weave together their respective cultures and languages to produce a unique global sound is impressive. I’d urge you to get acquainted with their music on Myspace and to check out the following videos:

Here is one incredibly cute and confident toddler.

Khaliyl, a 2 year old from the UK, shows us that you’re never too young to make your voice be heard. 

Take a look at Khaliyl’s showcase of rap skills. “Goo goo gaa gaa” never sounded so good.

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) estimates that 22.5 million of the 33 million people infected with HIV reside in sub-Sarahan Africa. Furthermore, they estimate that, within South Africa, 10 percent, or 4 million people, are infected—making it the country with the highest number of infected individuals worldwide. With such alarming statistics, global institutions, national governments, and civil society must unite in an effort to continuously raise awareness of the epidemic and provide support to those affected by it.

Thus, I’m eager to share with you a creative display of support emerging from within South Africa.

The Sinikithemba Choir is a gospel group whose members are all HIV positive men and women.

“Sinikithemba,” which roughly translates to “give us hope” in Zulu, originally began as a support group at McCord Hospital in Durban, where 70 percent of medical admissions are HIV-related.  The choir came into existence, as many of its members—largely influenced by the region’s rich choral traditions—sang when working. 

The group is a safe haven for those likely be ostracized by friends and relatives if their infection status is publicly disclosed. It is also a source of income for its members, who in addition to singing, sew and create Zulu bead work. 50 percent of the proceeds from such endeavors go to the person who created the work, while the remaining half is used to support a common fund, which pays for the healthcare of ill group members.

The message of The Sinikithemba Choir resonates with people all around the world. In spite of the obstacles they face, a few courageous individuals have inspired us and demonstrated the value of a positive outlook in attempting to eliminate the stigma of HIV/AIDS.


Learn more about The Sinikithemba Choir and the work of UNAIDS