For my Fela Kuti’s Legacy project I travelled to Los Angeles to photograph Sandra Smith, aka Sandra Izsadore. Sandra was an active member of the Black Panthers and played an important role in the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Fela’s political ideas changed radically while living with Sandra during the early 1970’s in Los Angeles. She talked about her experiences growing up in the US and gave him the autobiography of Malcolm X. “I talked about my ancestral background. I was trying to let him know that we too are African. We might be a watered-down version but African all the same” (excerpt out book: Fela, this Bitch of a Life).

Thank you Sandra, for opening your heart and becoming my new American family!

Photo shoot Sandra Izsadore, the mother of Afrobeat | Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles