Raise Your Spirit Higher

Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Heads Up.

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They’ve been heard on everything from Paul Simon’s Graceland to TV candy commercials,
but Ladysmith Black Mambazo fare best singing for themselves. Led by Joseph Shabalala,
this 10-man South African ensemble specializes in radiant and soothing a cappella harmonies.
Though they sing mostly in Zulu, with English interludes, there’s no mistaking Ladysmith’s upbeat
mission, whether celebrating racial harmony in “Black Is Beautiful” or promoting seatbelt usage
in “Fak’ Ibhande.” While the exuberant call-and-response dynamics recall American gospel, Shabalala’s
tunes never lose their local flavor, down to a jovial invitation to invest in Africa (“Selingelethu
Sonke”). During apartheid, Ladysmith embodied patient, unbending resistance; today,
they’re the sound of pure joy.

 

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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