David speaks with JJ Bola, a published poet and author. Continuing from last week, their conversation touches on the impacts of stereotypes on black masculinity, the consequences of colonialism on cultural pride within ethnic communities.
This is the second episode of a 2-part series!
JJ Bola is a Congo-borne accomplished poet and author, having released 3 poetry collections (Elevate, Daughter of the Sun, and WORD) and 2 novels (No Place to Call Home, Mask Off) in the last 5 years. His latest novel, The Selfless Act of Breathing (2021), tackling themes such as mental health, police brutality, and the power of love, is out later this year!
Connect with JJ Bola:
The burden of successful black stereotypes, and the consequences of sexualisationThe self-fulfilling prophecy of stereotypesLoss of cultural heritage and history (and the consequent replacement of taught racial history)Consequences of colonialism on history and heritageThe recent realisation of cultural identity, and appreciation of cultural differencesImpacts of colonialism on other ethnic communities
“it's a real conversation that we need to have amongst ourselves. But places like Twitter seems to be the only platform for it. And there's just not enough nuance like it's about popular voices, it's about retweets, it's about, you know hashtags.”
“I think the most powerful thing that we can do, I say like, as black people, is connect with our ancestral lineage, connect with our history is never by culture. That's the pathway to liberation that effort, like everything else, has been tried and tested, you know, and I think that the further that we get along, we can talk about, you know representation in, in, in society, but as long as the society remains white supremacist materialistic which is like. It's not going to liberate us, but the more we are traditionally tied to our ancestral values.”
“you're gonna learn about this culture you're going to embrace it in a very different way. And I think that's something I would love to see more within our community as well, maybe not just even from Africa, but I guess Pan African as well I'm looking around the diaspora and we can embrace each other. I'm looking at how we can find that collective identity.”
David Elikwu FRSA is a serial entrepreneur, operator and strategist who traded corporate law for tech. He now helps startups to scale. David previously founded Baba’s Flight Club and is currently building Democratic Republic, a sustainable coffee and wine company. David writes weekly about learning more and living better in The Knowledge newsletter, and speaks regularly on The Knowledge podcast, Travel n Turn up podcast, and The Knowledge: Office Hours.
Twitter: @Delikwu / @DemRepWorldWebsite: davidelikwu.com, demrepworld.comNewsletter: theknowledge.substack.comPodcast: gopod.me/theknowledge, travelandturnup.com
Welcome to The Knowledge, hosted by David Elikwu. David is on a journey of learning more and living better, and sharing everything he discovers along the way. As a writer, tinkerer, and serial entrepreneur, David unpacks wisdom from elite performers and everyday people, highlighting everything you need to know to navigate the world around you.
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