Goapele | Black Jewish Princess


Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 03:14 AM EDT, 13 September 2009


Goapele's personal life as excerpted from a PopMatters article by Mark Anthony Neal, mirrors my own experiences as the daughter of a radical; but in reverse.  Whereas, Goapele's South African father came to the States where he met and married her Jewish American mother;  my father was born in the States, but expatriated to Africa.

My father currently lives in Southern Africa, but has lived on the Continent for 37 years. For the last few years he has made his home in Harare, Zimbabwe on a large farm confiscated by President Robert Mugabe's administration during the 2001 land reform program, which was subsequently ruled legal.

"According to Goapele Mohlabane (she is the daughter of exiled South African activist Douglas Mohlabane), the decision to go the indie route was the result of wanting to "get the music out the way I see fit, without having to compromise my values, my image or any of my lyrics". (SF Weekly, 20 November 2002)

"Goapele's spirit is indicative of a woman, who at the age of 10 formed a pre-teen support group for the Bay Area Black Woman Health Project, was the child of a activist-minded bi-racial couple, and was born and bred in a region of the country known for its political and cultural mavericks. Goapele is just the latest in a long line of San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area figures who pushed against the margins dating back to Sly Stone and the Black Panther Party

in the late 1960s and represented most recently in folk like Davey D, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Michael Franti and the legendary hip-hop collective known as Hieroglyphics." (PopMatters, 4 June 2003).

To read more about Goapele and other Jews of Color, please check out my post, "She Did Convert (Don't They All?)"

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