Black Boy Fairy Tales: A Homegoing Meets Ghost Story

Mtali Banda presents several pieces from his upcoming album, “Black Boy Fairy Tales,” a musical memoir that bridges time, space, and generational trauma. What began as a retelling of Mtali’s homegoing back to Malawi, extended to telling his life story and how that connected to his father’s story of fleeing Malawi during the dictatorship of Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda. Black Boy Fairy Tales tells a Black Diasporic story that connects a father, son, and country. Theorizing traumatic memory as ghosts, Banda demonstrates how national events and turmoil can impact families, while also transcending space and time. He challenges how we choose to remember—and oftentimes conveniently choose to forget—the historical events that have impacted our lives. By using ghosts to further our understanding of history, Mtali Banda attempts to bridge not only the historical, political, and personal, but also the spiritual in order to bring a fuller analysis to discourses that occur around political unrests throughout history. Black Boy Fairy Tales tells several stories, but really only one: and that is a story about healing.

  • Mtali Banda

    Mtali William Banda is a musician, composer, scholar and educator. He currently resides in Brooklyn, NY; but he has roots all over the country having grown up between Wisconsin, Atlanta, and Boston. A PhD Candidate in the W.E.B Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Mtali’s work uses performance and autoethnography in order to explore Black history in the Global African Diaspora. His use of musical composition and personal narrative help to bridge Black experiences throughout the diaspora, with an emphasis on Malawian history, and how that connects to his own experiences as a Malawian American raised in Black America. In 2017, Mtali Banda released his first album, “Rites of Passage.” He is currently back in the studio, finishing two different projects which he intends to share later this year.


47th Annual Conference


The views expressed in this recording are those of the presenter and do not necessarily represent the views of the Association for Bahá’í Studies, nor the authoritative explications of Bahá’í writings.