Cyril is a well of knowledge with a passion for African diaspora culture, and he kindly hosted me for a few days Lyon. I scratched the surface of his wonderful library – always a source of inspiration. I'm looking forward to his forthcoming book, Voices of the Diaspora.
There are also many beautiful Afro-French ppl, most notably the gorgeous diva of Trio Aliado who we heard at the Opera terrace. This lady almost made me cry with her beauty, her powerful stage presence. I was moved to tears with empathy for a younger me... otherworldly, head-turning and for all I knew, utterly unique. Of course even a very a big Afro is not unique, but in snow-white Ireland it had been.
Even now, with my natural salt-and-pepper Afro, my look is still unique – living in majority white countries, I haven't seen women with the same hair and the courage to wear it fully natural. With the self-hatred that colonialism instilled in our people, as well as racism, misogyny and ageism – it does take courage to just be yourself. Cyril's British partner Gertrude has Ugandan heritage. We watched YouTube videos and worked on our hair skills together. I want to learn how to cornrow braid my hair.
The image below should open a gallery of photos I took in the city of Lyon, and a few of the gems from Cyril's library for future reading!