Funmilola Fagbamila

ABOUT

"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, actress and scholar. 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.

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. 

 

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 activist scholarship". In 2017, Prof. Fagbamila was awarded the inaugural Artist-in-Residence position at UCLA Luskin. 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 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

QUOTES

"Be clear about what you desire and what you require, what you accommodate and what you will not tolerate. But be flexible enough to offer the people in your life the time to evolve. This is grace." -Funmilola Fagbamila

"Sometimes I come across people who almost feel guilty for their joy; smiling amidst the tragedies of the world. As if it is irresponsible to be well amidst the fire. To be sunshine in the midst of chaos seems selfish. But it is not. It is the most mandatory most necessary most urgent most transformatively powerful thing we could do. It is to stay well amidst the agenda to ruin you. To be joyful and aware at the same damn time." -Funmilola Fagbamila

"You are not what you attract. You are what you accommodate. There are some nuances, but all in all, I believe this remains true. A hard truth for many. You will attract all types of things. They won't all be a reflection of you. What you create room for, this a tremendous reflection. Keep evolving, family." -Funmilola Fagbamila