The importance of archiving

There is a fine line between hoarding and collecting


I am a collector of stuff. Seemingly random things that mean something to me, from the aesthetic to the emotional. Figurines, comic books, T-shirts, records/vinyl, whisky, coffee table books, cognac and lots and lots of books and papers. And, frequently, I will come across something new and add it to the list of future of collections. When I was on radio, I did some shows on archiving and its importance, particularly from an African perspective.


One of the biggest challenges with collecting is Where Do I Put My Stuff: Saving Graphic Design Ephemera.


If I had the money, I would have probably gone nuts with the recent hip hop auction by Sotheby’s but there is more to the auction than meets the eye. Did the $2 Million Hip-Hop Auction At Sotheby’s Do The Culture Justice?


I remember my father giving me a clipping of an African diplomat in the Russian Court during the 1700s as a lesson in how Africans have been written out of history. Stories of people like George Bridgewater, The Black Violinist Who Inspired Beethoven.


I was recently put onto the Business Wars podcast. I started off with episodes on Netflix vs Blockbuster and later HBO. Fascinating to get a peek behind the curtain of business battling for our attention and our wallets.


In a previous newsletter, I shared a blog post by Nnedi Okorafor titled Africanfuturism Defined which explored the distinction between Afrofuturism and Africanfuturism. Afrofuturism, in many ways, seems to view things from an African-American/Black Diaspora lens whereas Africanfuturism is from an African point of view. While I revel in Afrofuturism and believe in its power to empower, there have been aspects that are uncomfortable for me, in ways that I have struggled to articulate. Beyond African Royalty by Takondwa Semphere on Africa Is A Country goes a long way in articulating some of that discomfort. But it needs to be read with some open-mindedness, especially from fans of Beyonce. The blurb reads: “Beyoncé, 'The Lion King,' 'Coming to America,' and the complicated politics of African representation in Black American cultural production.”


A chrysanthemum flower in a vase next to a sudoku book and glasses.

The world is grieving. The loss of life over the last six months is overwhelming. How does the individual navigate personal loss when so many of us are dealing with loss collectively. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Notes on Grief is both heartbreaking and a beautiful tribute to her father.


michael k williams

The Grace and Ferocity of Michael Kenneth Williams is a wonderful portrait of a man and an actor who continues to live and work on his terms. (Photograph by Ackime Snow)

That’s it for this week. Last week was a helluva week hence the missed newsletter. My apologies for that. I hope this one makes up for it. Have yourselves a great week.