"Funmilola's work is timely, brilliant and necessary"
- Dr. Angela Davis
"This sista is powerful."
- Dr. Cornel West
Funmilola Fagbamila is a Nigerian American playwright, performance artist and professor. Her current project, entitled "The Intersection: Woke Black Folk", is a stage play on the complexities of Black political identity and a story about how humans navigate difference. This project has been met with critical acclaim by thinkers and artists such as Angela Davis and Erykah Badu. It premiered to a sold-out house at the Pan African Film and Arts Festival in Los Angeles as the featured theatrical production in March 2018, and once again staged to a sold-out house at the Skirball Cultural Center in LA in 2019. Having recently completed an international tour of The Intersection (in venues across England, France, the Netherlands and Brazil), the production has been green lit for a full run in London for Fall 2020.
Funmilola currently serves as a professor of Pan African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles. As one of the original organizers of the Black Lives Matter Movement, Funmilola contributed to the organization’s inception in 2013 and served as the Arts and Culture director for years following.
In 2015, Funmilola was honored by the United States Congress and the Black Community, Clergy and Labor Alliance for her commendable activist scholarship and service. In 2017, Prof. Fagbamila was awarded the Inaugural Activist-in-Residence position at the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin. And in 2018, Amplify Africa and the US Congress honored Funmilola once more with the “African Excellence” award in the field of education.
Funmilola’s viral poem “Black Girl Fly” has been viewed online more than 3 million times and in 2018 her work as a playwright and scholar was featured in a Netflix original documentary. Funmilola’s writing, political analyses and social commentary have been featured in publications such as the Guardian, BBC, NPR, NOW THIS news, Blavity, FOXtv, Netflix, LeMonde (France) and O'Globo (Brazil). In November 2017, Cal State LA hosted a public dialogue between Funmilola and the Ooni of Ife, traditional ruler of the Yoruba kingdom Ile-Ife. In September 2018, Funmilola and Nigerian presidential candidate Omoyele Sowore participated in a public dialogue on the state of affairs in Nigeria and the African diaspora. And in 2020 Funmilola traveled to Paris at the request of the president of France, in order to offer her consultation in France’s plan to address the country’s colonial history with African nations. This came to fruition after the president had viewed Funmilola’s social commentary and political analysis in the popular French publication, Le Monde.
Funmilola has delivered keynote addresses and performances at universities across the U.S. and Europe. Some of the venues include UCLA School of Law, Oxford University, Stanford and USC. Her production, The Intersection: Woke Black Folk will stage virtually for the 2020-2021 academic year.