Archive - October 19, 2011

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A Writer Writes: Happy Birthday, Nigeria

A Writer Writes: Happy Birthday, Nigeria

Happy Birthday, Nigeria by Bob Criso (Nigeria 1966–67; Somalia 1967–68) THE FLOATS ROLL DOWN SECOND AVENUE from 54th to 44th Street on a dazzling fall Saturday afternoon in New York City. Women draped in a kaleidoscope of African prints and men in ceremonial robes fit for kings are dancing and waving the green and white stripes of the Nigerian flag, their smiles as wide as the Atlantic. The infectious rhythms of West African hip-hop blast from gigantic speakers on the back of the trucks igniting the crowd on the sidewalks to dance along. A flock of supporters surround each float like buzzing bees, dancing, spinning, unable to contain their enthusiasm. Miss Nigeria, resplendent in a regal white gown and sparkling tiara, passes in a chauffeured shiny red convertible, surrounded by a court of attendants in flowing white dresses, like bridesmaids in a royal wedding. On the sidewalks the crowds are . . .

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