"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 internationally touring stage play “The Intersection” has been met with critical acclaim by thinkers and artists such as Angela Davis and Erykah Badu.
This production explores the complexities of Black political identity and is a story about how humans navigate nuance. It premiered to sold-out houses at both the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles (as the featured theatrical production) and the Skirball Cultural Center. The Intersection has staged in venues and universities across the U.S., England, France, the Netherlands and Brazil.
As an international public speaker, Funmilola has delivered keynote addresses, lectures and performances at universities across the U.S. and Europe. Some of the venues include UCLA School of Law, Oxford University, Dartmouth, Stanford and Harvard. As a founding member of the Black Lives Matter movement and national network, Funmilola contributed to the organization's inception in 2013 and served as the Arts and Culture director for the LA chapter for years following.
Currently serving as professor of Pan African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles, Fagbamila joined the faculty in Fall 2016 immediately following the completion of her graduate studies at UCLA. In 2015, Funmilola was honored by the United States Congress and the Black Community, Clergy and Labor Alliance for her commendable scholarship. In 2017, Prof. Fagbamila was awarded the inaugural Artist-in-Residence position at UCLA Luskin's Institute on Inequality and Democracy. And in 2018, Amplify Africa and the US Congress honored Funmilola once more with an award for "excellence in the field of education".
Funmilola’s hurriedly-penned viral poem “Black Girl Fly” has been viewed online more than 4 million times and in 2021 the TNT network reached out to collaborate with Funmilola on a national feature for the piece. Her writing, creative productions and social commentary have been featured in publications such as the Guardian, BBC, NPR, NOW THIS news, Blavity, FOXtv and Netlflix.
In 2017 Cal State LA hosted a public dialogue between Funmilola and the Ooni of Ife, traditional ruler / king of the largest Black diasporic kingdom in the world, Yoruba kingdom Ile-Ife. In 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, to contribute to the discussion on France’s plan to address the country’s colonial history with African nations. This came to fruition after the president, Emmanuel Macron, had viewed Funmilola’s social commentary in the popular French publication, Le Monde. Recently, Fagbamila was commissioned to write a speech on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther. King Jr -- which was presented by Dr. King's only granddaughter, Yolanda King.
Pronunciation: Foo-mee-loh-luh Fog-buh-mee-luh