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Miriam Makeba

Turn up the music! To wrap up our African gals research Leah talks about Miriam Makeba, the singer known as “Mama Africa.” Banned from her home of South Africa for over 30 years she brought African music all over the world. We also learn that cueing drunk people is hard, we’ve kept things from Bonnie, and Katie hasn’t seen Black Panther. Say it with me now, WAKANDA FOREVER!!

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Show Notes & Extras

  • This month’s gal pals are Dr. Leah Leach, Bonnie Fillenwarth, Katie Harris and Edan. Bonnie has already talked about Wangari Maathai, Edan has already talked about Queen Nzinga and Katie talked about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Leah looks for approval of names
  • Gals miss their cue!
  • Get-to-know-you question – What tech do you think Wakanda (Wakanda Forever!!) has already invented but it is being hidden behind the city dome?

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  • Leah did a roar
  • The things we keep from Bonnie
  • Leah’s 1 Cool African Gal is singer Miriam Makeba
  • Went to prison as an infant!
  • Pre-Apartheid
  • Start of her singing career
  • Miriam was featured in the Documentary Come Back, Africa by Lionel Rogosin

  • Miriam was banned from South Africa
  • “I don’t sing political songs, I sing the truth” Miriam Makeba
  • First South African to win a Grammy. Won for her album with Harry Belafonte
  • Married to Hugh Masekela for a few years but life-long friends and performers together
  • Got political – testified at the United Nations

  • Miriam released 30 original albums plus many compilations
  • Paul Simon African Concert 1987 with Miriam. There’s the concert itself available on DVD as well as the behind-the-scenes documentary Under African Skies (trailer)
  • The biggest hit of Miriam was Pata Pata – an adorable song!

  • Miriam singing to her last day. She died just after performing in Italy.
  • Documentary Mama Africa: Miriam Makeba is currently on Amazon Prime

  • White Savior/white privilege conversation of Paul Simon
  • Instead of being introduced to the world by what she couldn’t do (banned from South Africa) she chose to introduce herself by what she could be (Mama Africa).
  • That wraps up African Gals month. We hope you continue to learn more about the many African women throughout history.

Podcast Cool Thing Squares (3)


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What if you could only share 1 cool thing about a topic? Would it be about ancient history? Would it be breaking news? Would it be safe for work? A group of gals gathers to present to you one cool thing on topics like painting, gaming, movies, music and more.

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