After receiving my Bachelor’s degree in the summer of 2016, I was blessed with the opportunity to go to Kampala, Uganda and work with Silas Balabyekkubo and his organization, The Bavubuka Foundation. During my time in Uganda, I was able to assist with the establishment of the first hip-hop farm and farmer’s market in Uganda, and, just as importantly, I met and became great friends with many wonderful people. However, as soon as we began to make progress on the farm, it was time for me to head back to the States and to working with my own community.
As a result, I felt as if my work in Uganda was incomplete, but I also knew that I had a responsibility to help better my own home. So I decided to gather my friends from both sides of the Atlantic, and we came up with a plan to continue working together in a way that will better both our local and global communities. And just like that, the Black Diaspora Project was born.
The Black Diaspora Project is a collaboration between two groups of friends–one in the Midwestern United States and the other in Kampala and Jinja, Uganda. It is an attempt to forge reconnection between millennial members of the African diaspora, and it is a space where we are able to express our unique worldviews and forward our vision of a more just, equitable world.
Ram Kigozi and Justin Danzy in Jinja, Uganda. Photo credit: Silas Balabyekkubo
The hip-hop farmer’s market at Flavour’s Cafe, Jinja, Uganda. Photo credit: Gilbert Daniels
At Nilotika Cultural Ensemble. Photo credit: Silas Balabyekkubo
The blog is a communal space shared by our team of thinkers and artists, where they are free to create and share content that promotes our vision of a more informed, empowered, and collaborative diasporic community. The blog will house news articles, thinkpieces, feature articles, interviews, poetry, video series, photography, etc. The mission of the blog is to create within it our own world that embodies the values we deem necessary to create the more perfect world we envision.
The second component of the Project is an online store. To have true equity, there must be economic equity and the opportunity to sustain oneself, so we view the online store as essential to our mission of creating a sustainable world where all members of the diaspora have access to global marketplaces where they can earn fair prices for the products they produce. The online store will feature handmade products created by our team of designers, who are committed to making elegant, timeless products that celebrate and educate about their respective cultures. All of our designers are also committed to their respective communities and empowering those around them to find the solutions to our world’s problems.
Thank you for tuning in.
-Justin Danzy, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Meet Our Team
Aineomugisha “Spyda” Wanzu
Charity Priscilla Namiyonga
Ssonko Brian Kassim
Benu Xanamara Ma’at