Re-blog: Happy Kwanzaa 2013: The Genetics of an American Cook by Michael Twitty, illustrations by Miyuki Baker


Kwanzaa is a annual cultural celebration innovated by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966. (Who will be speaking in Baltimore at the Reginald F.Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture at noon on the 28th!) For almost fifty years this weeklong commemoration has been an enduring part of the African American story. Kwanzaa has taken on a life of its own and has contours defined by the global and local stories of African people around the world. I am grateful for the generation that decided to resist oppression through reclamation of knowledge. Without that generation this site has no context.

I invited an artist I met at Swarthmore College (I did a successful scholar residency there in October), Miyuki Baker, to do some more artwork after I saw her “zine” stylepiece about my visit there. We put together this graphic in honor of the first day of Kwanzaa to…

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About Miyuki Baker

Miyuki is a resident of the place where circles overlap. As a queer, nomadic, multi-racial/lingual female mixed-media artist activist and healer, she uses common or discarded objects, personal anecdotes, public spaces and performance to make accessible art that brings non-mainstream identities and ideas into maximum visibility. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 2012, she traveled for 14 months as a Watson Fellow to fifteen countries documenting the intersections of art and activism in queer/trans communities in blog posts and self-published magazines while making performance art. The eight magazines Miyuki created on this trip ( and their strong media following exemplify her illustration/graphic design, storytelling and people skills. Her work has been featured in several magazines such as Hyphen, Broken Pencil and Knik, blogs and radio shows, well-known for their interactive and eye-catching mixed media approach to activism that utilizes both online media and on-site performance and workshops. This fall she will begin the PhD program at UC Berkeley in Performance Studies. You can follow her travels at and email her at

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