Beyond the Braid

This article appeared in the April 2017 issues of Avenue Edmonton. T‌here they were: The bubbly models in the Pantene commercials flipped their hair in slow motion while they smiled into the camera, the obligatory comb glided seamlessly through their tresses like fingers through water. And there I was: A scrawny child wincing in a hard plastic…

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A Tribe Called Red

This article appeared in Vue Weekly the week of Nov 23, 2016 It’s the Friday after the US federal election—Remembrance Day—and Ian “DJ NDN” Campeau of A Tribe Called Red is at home with his family in Ottawa. Along with friends Tim “2oolman” Hill, and Bear Witness, the guys are a week away from starting a cross Canada…

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Massawa Cafe

This article appeared in Vue Weekly the week of Oct. 12, 2016 When Tewelde “Jimmy” Nemariam opened Massawa Café & Bistro in downtown Edmonton on Canada Day 2015, he hoped for the best, but he also knew he had a lot working against him. A declining economy and little marketing meant for a slow start. He knew his dream…

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Our Mercury

This article appeared in Vue Weekly the week of Oct. 6, 2016 All photos by me. When Up + Downtown Music Festival’s artistic director, Brent Oliver, contacted Our Mercury about doing another show, it was the last thing on any of their minds. It’s been almost 10 years since the band parted ways, and just as much time since…

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Tim Okamura

An edited version of this article was the cover story in Vue Weekly the week of Sept 29, 2016 Brooklyn’s iconic Gleason’s Gym has been home to many underdogs since it opened almost 80 years ago. It’s where a young Muhammed Ali – then Cassius Clay – trained for his iconic upset against Sonny Liston in 1964, and…

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Karimah

This article originally appeared in Afropunk in March 2016.   It’s been just over 10 years since Ashanti Marshall started playing shows in halls and cafes in and around her hometown of Edmonton, Alberta. At 18 she co-founded the rock band, Noisy Colours, and began to find her bearings in the otherwise very male dominated – and…

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Brown, Black, and Fierce

This article originally appeared in Afropunk on November 6, 2015. There’s a sore spot for many IPOC (Indigenous, People of Colour) in Canada. While outsiders have long looked at the country as being an inclusive and welcoming nation – a reputation that was unraveled by the fear-mongering that overshadowed the last Federal election – there has…

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Ethiopia Skate

The images that most people outside of Africa have of it are of its tragedies. When one happens, it eclipses the continent and leads to rehashed, cookie-cutter solutions, while grouping it all as an “African problem”. For many, the picture they have of Ethiopia in particular is that of Birhan Woldu, the malnourished child that…

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