Friday, August 1, 2008

Nigguh Moment!

I have been enjoying watching the Boondocks with their highly irreverent worldview . A recent episode defined the Nigga Moment! I don't have the official definition here, but like many things in our post-modernist African-American pop-culture the term can be fluid in definition. I wuz lookin' at Brotha' Obama on MSNBC befoe I left to come heah. He was addressing a town hall meeting in St. Petersburgh, Florida. Barack of course was on-point he is hard to beat in large gatherings.


His crowd was very enthusiastic, he was leading them, he had them in the palm of his hand. There were three brotha's who stood up with a banner that read "Obama what about the Black Man?" Or something approximating that. They began to heckle Barack. The mostly white crowd shouted them down with chants of YES WE CAN! Mr. Obama addressed the young men directly and asked them "not to be rude" He also asked them to "sit down"and told them "we will address your questions" The young men had really no alternative but to relent.

They also had the banner the were holding up snatched from them. This was an interesting scenario. A mostly white audience, shouting down a group of black hecklers, so they can continue their praise and worship service for an African-American with a Kenyan father and a white American mother who is a serious contender for the Presidency of the United States! Dayum! I wish Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King were here to see this.

Does this qualify as a Nicca Moment?! I don't really think that this would qualify as a Niggah Moment! The young men have the right to free speech protection in the constitution of the United States of America. They are free to express their opinion, they are free to heckle . Bad Manners are not against the law. So what in the world does heckling Barack Hussein Obama (I am using his full name cause it just sounds so damn cool) and Nigga Moments have to do with the price of a pork shoulder sandwich in East Cleveland? Nothing......The Nigger Moments could come if those young men get to the microphone. We all know how it goes. Very public, very embarrassing.I am hoping this will not be the case

The Negro Speaks Of Rivers by Langston Hughes

The Negro Speaks Of Rivers by Langston Hughes

I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy
bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

I've known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.


My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

Today

I have a new writer/editor well, actually two new writer/editors. One is official. The other is not she is still mulling it over. I do believe she will be on board soon. The new guy is a very experienced journalist from a large mid-western city.



He is also a Michigan State Trojan. The other new writer is an Ohio State Buckeye......This should be real fun around football season. Michigan and Ohio almost went to war in the 19th century, however both side were too drunk to go through with it.



I am, however above all of it, as my pedigree shall not concern itself with such trivial, petty, juvenile(GO BUCKEYES!) pastimes as collegiate athletics. The latest post is from Butch the "Do Me Philosophy". Look forward to more from Butch. Butch I want to thank you!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

'Do You...Do Me' Philosophy Takes Ignorant Turn

Lately, in my travels around the city I constantly overhear this refrain in stray conversations...girl I told so and so do you cause I'm sho gonna do me....or dog I'm just gonna do me....condition or circumstance be damned. No matter how jacked up they may be, they still gonna proclaim I'm gonna do me.

I think some of these sistas and brothas need to re-evaluate and really proclaim they are going to "Do Something Else." This reminds me of the forever popular "Keepin It Real" refrain that seems to have shackled the positive mentality and progress of many African Americans for the past 10 or 15 years now. As that great urban observer and humorist Chris Rock once said...Keepin It Real...Real Ignorant.

Well its first cousin expression Do You...Cause I'm Going to Do Me...is keeping the ignorance alive and well. Don't get me wrong, there is something to be said for being your own person and not following the crowd in a positive way - instead of being like Mike, blazing your own trail...that's cool.

But don't do me if that means, everyone else is going to school or pursuing a career, I'll just hang out and chill. Or if everyone has pulled up there pants, or hidden their thong lines and tried to dress in a more mature and neutral way, I'm going to Do Me by continuing to sag with my dingy, skid-mark boxers showing or squeeze my fat ass into some hip-hugger jeans with the top of my leopard-skin thong showing and my gut hanging out. While others adopt a calmer demeanor in public less dropping MF-bombs and N-bombs every third word and constantly splitting verbs and nouns, I'm going to continue to Do Me and never ever conjugate the verb to be and be blissfully ignorant, loud and wrong.

Now before you think I'm coming down too hard on the young people, the older folks who know better are just as guilty, if not more in many instances. Instead of saying do you cause I'm gonna do me, they might as well say I don't care about you, I just care about me. It's a selfish attitude that we don't need today. So please, just don't do it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

On the bright side

Hello family! I am on the library computer! I hope all is well! One of the great things about being unemployed is the amount of time you have.....nothing but TIME! I have been making the effort to make as productive use of the precious commodity (time) as possible. I have been reading! Yes reading! I decided to share my reading list with you. These are the titles of the books I have completed as well as the ones I am in the process of completing.



  • boogaloo- the quintessence of american popular music by Arthur Kempton

  • Motown-Music,Money,Sex and Power by Gerald Posner

  • Sellout-by Randall Kennedy

  • SuperCapitalism-by Robert Reich

  • Authentically Black-by John McWhorter

  • Learned Optimism-by Dr. Martin Seligman

  • The End of Work-by Jeremy Rifkin

  • Black Rednecks White Liberals-by Thomas Sowell

  • Winning The Race-by John McWhorter

  • A Love Supreme-by Ashley Kahn

I have expanded my horizons, I have stretched my mind, I am enriched by the experience. I am also troubled that I have read about ten books since the beginning of July. This means I certainly need to get out more often. I am also now enrolled in school. I will be going back in August, I will be looking forward to this. I am on a library computer so somehow I don't feel as relaxed to really write what I want and the way I want. I would however like for any one who may have read any of the titles I have mentioned to send me your comments/opinions regarding any of these books. 'Till next time.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

NubianBlues: I hate to lose!

My computer is messed up. I have no money for a new one. This is the losing season. It seems once the job goes. The cosmic vacum goes to work on the rest of your life. Money, stuff, friends, esteem, psychological well-being, snacks, nights out, balance, sleep, peace, the regard of your family and friends,debit/credit card purchases, new clothes. Hell what is the point!?

I had a friend(maybe ex friend) lecture ME!? on her "testicular fortitude" as well as the pride her family raised her with. I had not asked this woman for money.....just some understanding. Family this is not a good look for me. I can remember when other people I knew went through a situation like this. WE just sort of forgot about them. WE just wanted to erase them from our memory. WE began to act as if they ceased to exist .

I am now one of the dearly departed. I have been embalmed, funeralized, eulogized, and finally buried. I had a homegoin' goin' on and did not want to admit it. I know why this happenend, not because all my peeples is bad. It is because they are afraid for themselves. It could happen to them and they just don't want to witness something that might go down with them.

I am now entering the ranks of the hardcore unemployed and my computer, my source for information, my source for stimulation, my source for the JOB search is JACKED UP! WTF!? I am using the computer in the library.......so this is what it feels like to have a losing season. The technical difficulty has kept me from posting. I have all kinds a stuff I wanted to put out. This is the losing season. The vacum of the cosmos is doin' it's work.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Viva Salvador!


Henri Salvador came to my attention in the Quincy Jones autobiography, he was mentioned as one of the artists he wrote arrangements for on the French label Barclay during the time he spent in Europe 1959-1960. In the book there was a photo of Salvador he appeared to be a light-skinned Nubian, he had the features but the photo was a black and white. I was intrigued by the photo and what those collaborations may have produced since the music that Q creates stirs the soul no matter the language or genre.

In the very same year I had the opportunity to see a documentary called In The Pocket on PBS. In this excellent representation of the lives of Mr. Jones, various musicians tell the story of an arrangement by Neal Hefti. Neal presented his arrangement to The great Count Basie it was uptempo and very much in the contemporary style of the day a "nice chart" as Clarke Terry the trumpet legend and all around beautiful cat remembered (who was also at the rehearsal as he was a part of the heart pumpin' swingin' machine Count Basie commanded).


Mr. Terry recalled The Count listened intently to the band run through it. The Groovemaker said "it was nice". Quincy Jones picks up the story. Count Basie said "let's try it here"and he began to play the arrangement on the piano in a very slow groove and the chart took on a whole new life! Q spoke with amazement about how dramatically the tune opened up because of the change in tempo. Quincy described the new colors within the harmonic structure that were not heard when the tune was played at the original faster pace. Q said "that was when I realized everything is about timing"!


Lil' Darlin' ended up being another hit for The Count! In the same documentary Q was rehearsing a big band at Montreaux and Henri Salvador was the featured vocalist on the song Lil' Darlin' The first thing I noticed about Henri was his wide warm smile and that legendary booming laughter. He was beauty! His soul. His gift. His elegance.I recently saw a video online with Henri and the two supa bad French sistas Les Nubians. I don't posses the words to describe the beauty of this slice of love. I have the video below the Henri Salvador story. Enjoy!

Biography

Salvador was born in Cayenne, French Guiana. His father, Clovis, and his mother, Antonine Paterne, daughter of a native Indian from the Caribbean, were both from Guadeloupe, FranceHe had a brother, André, and a sister, Alice. He played many years in the Ray Ventura (dead on 29 March 1979) et Ses Collégiens where he used to sing, dance and even play comedy on stage, and made some appearances in great movies such as "Nous irons à Monte-Carlo (1950) " or "Nous irons à Paris" (Jean Boyer's film of 1949 with the Peters Sisters) or "Mademoiselle s'amuse" (1948). He is known to have recorded the first French rock and roll songs in1956 written by Boris Vian and Michel Legrand Rock'n Roll Mops, Rock hoquet, Va t'faire cuire un oeuf, man and Dis-moi qu'tu m'aimes rock under the artist name of Henry Cording, (a play on words with Recording).


Despite this historical aspect, he never ceased to claim that he disliked Rock and Roll and even refused to talk about this subject later on. In the 1960s, Salvador was the host of several popular television variety shows on French TV. In 1964 he scored a hit with Zorro est arrivé, which was inspired by The Coasters' U.S. hit Along Came Jones. He is also famous for his rich, catchy laugh, which is a theme in many of his humorous songs. In 1969, Henri Salvador recorded a variation of Mah Nà Mah Nà titled Mais non, mais non (But No, But No or Of Course Not, Of Course Not), with lyrics he had written in French to Piero Umiliani's music.


Henri Salvador and his song Dans mon île (1957) was an influence on Antônio Carlos Jobim in formulating the Brazilian Bossa Nova style [1]. Caetano Veloso, a famous Brazilian composer and singer, made Henri Salvador famous to Brazilian audiences with the song Reconvexo, in which he says "quem não sentiu o swing de Henri Salvador?" ("who hasn't felt the swing of Henri Salvador?"). At age 70, Salvador was the voice-over of the crab Sebastian in the 1989 French dubbing of Disney's The Little Mermaid. Recordings of Embrasse La (Kiss the Girl) can be found on Youtube. Salvador discovered singers Keren Ann and Art Mengo. He died of a ruptured aneurysm at his home in the early hours of February 13, 2008. He was 90 years of age.

Legacy

Henri 's music continues to be popular today among French communities in Canada. In 2000, Virgin Records released a CD featuring popular hits like Jazz Mediterrannee which continues to receive regular air play. In 2002 his album Chambre Avec Vue sold over two million copies. In 2005, Henri Salvador was awarded the Brazilian Order of Cultural Merit, which he received from the acclaimed singer and Minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil, in the presence of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for his influence on Brazilian culture, particularly on bossa nova, to whose invention he contributed.



He was also a commander of the French Légion d'honneur and of the National Order of Merit. In 2007 he released "Reverence" on V2 Records which features Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso. He then went on to perform the track La Vie C'est La Vie from the album Reverence on the BBC program Later … With Jools Holland, which aired on May 4, 2007.




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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Anonymous

What do Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Isaac Hayes and Stanley Clarke have in common? They are all Scientologists. Scientology is a belief system started by L.Ron Hubbard. He is the author of a book entitled Dianetics. This "church" has been very controversial to say the least, there have been charges of manipulation, mind control and just plain old flim-flamming. Ex-members have told stories about being taken advantage of financially. Several accusations have been made against this organization by the family members of Scientology followers. The basic complaint is the "church" bleeds the follower dry financially and discards them when the money is gone. The information below is from Wikipedia.


Origin


Hubbard established Scientology's doctrines during a period from 1952 until his death in January 1986, establishing the basic principles in the 1950s and 1960s. It was originally secular, Hubbard stating in 1952 that "Scientology would be a study of knowledge."[5] The following year he began to characterize Scientology's beliefs and practices as a religion, and by 1960 he was defining Scientology as "a religion by its basic tenets, practice, historical background and by the definition of the word 'religion' itself."[6] In 1969 he wrote that "It is fundamentally an applied religious philosophy."[7] Hubbard recorded his doctrine in archived writings, audio tapes and films.[8][9][10]



The Church of Scientology defines scientology as "the study of truth."[11] The word itself is a pairing of the Latin word scientia ("knowledge," "skill"), which comes from the verb scire ("to know"), and the Greek λογος lógos ("reason" or "inward thought" or "logic" or "an account of").
Although today associated almost exclusively with Hubbard, the word "scientology" predates his usage by several decades. An early use of the word was as a neologism in an 1871 book by the American anarchist Stephen Pearl Andrews presenting "the newly discovered Science of the Universe".[12] Philologist Allen Upward used the word "scientology" in his 1901 book The New Word as a synonym for "pseudoscience,"[13] and this is sometimes cited as the first coining of the word.[2]


In 1934, the Argentine-German writer Anastasius Nordenholz published a book using the word positively: Scientologie, Wissenschaft von der Beschaffenheit und der Tauglichkeit des Wissens ("Scientologie, Science of the Constitution and Usefulness of Knowledge").[14] Nordenholz's book is a study of consciousness, and its usage of the word is not greatly different from Hubbard's definition, "knowing how to know"[15] (from epistemology). Whether Hubbard was aware of these earlier uses is unknown.
The term "Scientology" and related terms are trademarks held by the Religious Technology Center which grants the mother church of the Scientology religion, the Church of Scientology International (CSI), the right to use the trademarks and to license their use to all other Scientology churches and entities. Other organizations that promote the use of related techniques, developed by or based on the works of L. Ron Hubbard, are the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises and the Association for Better Living and Education.[16][17]


Beliefs


Scientology's beliefs and related techniques comprise 18 basic books,[32] and 3,000 recorded lectures.[33] There is no single Scientology book that is the equivalent of the Bible or the Qur'an, but the study of Scientology is achieved through the chronological study of its basic books and lectures.[34]
Scientology describes itself as "the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, others and all of life,"[35] and "encompasses all aspects of life from the point of view of the spirit" — including "auditing"[36] and training in morals, ethics, detoxification, education and management.[37]
Prime among Scientology's beliefs is "that man is a spiritual being whose existence spans more than one life and who is endowed with abilities well beyond those which he normally considers he possesses."[38] Scientology believes man to be basically good, that his experiences have led him into evil, that he errs because he seeks to solve his problems by considering only his own point of view, and that man can improve to the degree he preserves his spiritual integrity and remains honest and decent.[39]


According to the Church, the ultimate goal is: "a civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights."[40]
The Church of Scientology declares that the goal of Scientology is to achieve "certainty of one’s spiritual existence and [of] one’s relationship to the Supreme Being,"[41] and says that Scientology's tenets are not a matter of faith but of testable practice: "That which is true for you is what you have observed to be true."[42]
The exact nature of all of existence is said to be stated in Hubbard's Scientology and Dianetics Axioms.
Other beliefs of Scientology are:[43]
A person is an immortal spiritual being (termed a thetan) who possesses a mind and a body.
The thetan has lived through many past lives and will continue to live beyond the death of the body.
Through the Scientology process of "auditing," people can free themselves of traumatic incidents, ethical transgressions and bad decisions which are said to collectively restrict the person from reaching the state of "Clear" and "Operating Thetan." Each state is said to represent the recovery of native spiritual abilities and to confer mental and physical benefits.
A person is basically good, but becomes "aberrated" by moments of pain and unconsciousness.
Psychiatry and psychology are destructive and abusive practices.[44]
Members study Scientology and receive auditing sessions to advance from a status of preclear to Operating Thetan.[45][46


Controversies


Of the many new religious movements to appear during the 20th century, the Church of Scientology has, from its inception, been one of the most controversial, coming into conflict with the governments and police forces of several countries (including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada[138] and Germany) numerous times over the years.[139][140][141][142][143][141][144][145][146][147][148][149]
Reports and allegations have been made, by journalists, courts, and governmental bodies of several countries, that the Church of Scientology is an unscrupulous commercial enterprise that harasses its critics and brutally exploits its members.[139][140] Some critics of Scientology have recanted under duress.[150] In some cases of US litigation against the Church, former Scientologists appearing as expert witnesses have since stated that they submitted false and inflammatory declarations intended to incite prejudice against Scientology, [151] and harassed key Scientology executives, by advancing unfounded opinions to get a case dropped or to obtain a settlement.[152]


The German government takes the view that Scientology is a commercial, rather than religious organization, and has even gone so far as to consider a ban on Scientology.[153] Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom have not recognized Scientology as a religion.[154] Scientology has also not been recognized as a religion in Israel or Mexico. The Belgian State Prosecution Service has recommended that various individuals and organizations associated with Scientology should be prosecuted.[155][156] An administrative court is to decide if charges will be pressed.[155][156]
Main article: Scientology and the legal system
The controversies involving the Church and its critics, some of them ongoing, include:
Scientology's disconnection policy, in which members are encouraged to cut off all contact with friends or family members considered "antagonistic."[157][158]


The death of a Scientologist Lisa McPherson while in the care of the Church.
Criminal activities committed on behalf of the Church or directed by Church officials (Operation Snow White, Operation Freakout)
Conflicting statements about L. Ron Hubbard's life, in particular accounts of Hubbard discussing his intent to start a religion for profit, and of his service in the military.[159]
Scientology's harassment and litigious actions against its critics encouraged by its Fair Game policy.[159]
Attempts to legally force search engines such as Google and Yahoo to omit any webpages critical of Scientology from their search engines (and in Google's case, AdSense), or at least the first few search pages.[160]
Due to these allegations, a considerable amount of investigation has been aimed at the Church, by groups ranging from the media to governmental agencies.[139][140]
Although Scientologists are usually free to practice their beliefs, the organized church has often encountered opposition due to their strong-arm tactics directed against critics and members wishing to leave the organization.


While a number of governments now view the Church as a religious organization entitled to protections and tax relief, others view it as a pseudoreligion or a cult.[161][162] The differences between these classifications has become a major problem when discussing religions in general and Scientology specifically.[106]
While acknowledging that a number of his colleagues accept Scientology as a religion, sociologist Stephen A. Kent wrote: "Rather than struggling over whether or not to label Scientology as a religion, I find it far more helpful to view it as a multifaceted transnational corporation, only one[sic] element of which is religious."[163][164]
Scientology social programs such as drug and criminal rehabilitation have likewise drawn both support and criticism.[165][166][167][168]


I became aware of a group formed to warn the public about Scientology. This organization is called Anonymous. They have a digital press release explaining their objectives. Initially, I thought this whole thing was a hoax. It had a sort of Matrix-type feel about it. Once I began dig a little deeper. It became very apparent to me the group is very commited and serious about their stated mission: To dismantle The Church of Scientology. One of most interesting aspects of this movement is they are faceless literally, they are nameless literally. They could be your neighbor, the mailman, your babysitter. It all seems like something from a psycho/drama/thriller. The Internet is being utilized in executing their strategy in the support of their stated mission. Check out the video.





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Our Friend and Brother Bob Marley

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Our Brother and friend:Bob Marley part3

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

One of my favorite movies!



This is one of my favorite movies. In my profile I have not listed any of my favorite any thing. I prefer to show rather than tell, If possible. This film is beautiful! You have to rent,borrow or buy this DVD. You will not be disappointed. One of my heroes is Quincy Jones, the female lead in this movie is Marpessa Dawn(whew!) She was Q's lady at the time.

He was against her going down to Brazil to do the film because it had a low budget and she had to pay for her own transport. He later said he had to eat his words, the film was and is splendid work of art. This movie also has music from Antonio Carlos Jobim the great Bossa Nova singer/songwriter/musician. Brotha's if you want to really set it off right?! The next time you have the chance look for some nice romantic Samba/Bossa Nova. You may not understand what they are sayin' But she will know want you mean! Check out these beautiful Nubians!

Black Orpheus:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Black Orpheus (Orfeu Negro in Portuguese) is a 1959 film made in Brazil by French director Marcel Camus. It is based on the play Orfeu da Conceição by Vinicius de Moraes, which is an adaptation of the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, setting it in the modern context of Rio de Janeiro during the Carnaval. The film was an international co-production between production companies in Brazil, France and Italy.
The film is particularly renowned for its soundtrack by bossa nova legend Antonio Carlos Jobim, featuring songs such as "Manhã de Carnaval" (written by Luiz Bonfá) and "A felicidade" that were to become Bossa nova classics.
Black Orpheus won the Palme d'Or at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival as well as the 1960 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and the 1960 Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film (in those awards the film was credited as a French production; only in the 1961 BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Language Film was Brazil credited together with France and Italy).

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Vogue Italia goes to Nubia!

This is a preview of the Nubian-Only issue of Vogue/Italia. I have to give mad props to the magazine for doing this. It is a very courageous thing for then to do. I have also read some in the publishing industry are not pleased. I would be willing to bet they are from the good old USA! USA! USA! USA! oh uhh......sorry. Sometimes I just can't help it:). The photographer for this issue was Steven Meisel, the Vogue/Italia Editor is Franca Sozzani.



There is a link at the bottom of the page to the New York Times article by Cathy Horyn. The website I got this article from is Softpedia, the writer of the piece is Monica Gaza she is the Life & Style editor for Softpedia. "We don't do shout-outs here.. but if we did" Shout-outs to all ya'll! They know what we have known for a long time. Sistah's got it goin' on!



All-Black Vogue Italia Preview



http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/19/fashion/19BLACK.html?ex=1371614400&en=1a3ea21f8f9e8103&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

And... The Seventh Day Is The Sabbath of The Lord Thy God!


I was raised as a 7th Day Adventist. If you grew up as SDA you may or may not understand my observations regarding the experience. On Saturday we would go to Chuuch. I have some very fond memories of those days, the fellowship, the friendships, the bonds of family/community we were very close knit. I also have some not so fond memories. I remember missing all of the Saturday morning cartoons. Friday night missing Sanford & Son.

The myriad activities that took place on Saturdays and Friday nights, the sense of being out of sync with the rest of the world. We were indoctrinated to believe in the imminent return of Jesus The Christ. This very often brought about a profound fear and paranoia in many of us. The Second Coming should have inspired joy and anticipation. Needless to say this affected me in my view of the world and life. When I was old enough to live on my own, I was determined to experience all of the "things of the world".


I did it with gusto! If you want to see some sho-nuff Pawtay Aminals hang with some SDA's or ex-SDA's after sunset on Saturday! I am sharing this with you family because it is Saturday. The experience I had is still a part of my psyche the good the bad and the ugly. I now have more balance in my life(praise God). I am no longer resentful of the exposure I had to this religion. It is Saturday and it is Summer. I hope you all are enjoying this day. God made it for us to enjoy. I know now all of the good things in this life come from God. The music, the food, the wine, the joy. Summer is a wonderful time for all of the above. Summer has a rep! Sly wrote a song bout' it Want heah it?Heah it go!

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer Madness!

Classic Kool & The Gang Live! Enjoy!

Happy Friday Family!
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NubianBlues Part II:What cha thank about it?

Hey Family! I have time on my hands more than I should. So I fill out job applications online read blogs and look for things that will amuse or stimulate me (mentally). I ran across this. I think you will like it. Let me know what you think.
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NubianBlues Part I: I got mo' time than money

I love the summer. I hate being unemployed. Love and hate. Dark and light. Yin and Yang. I am watching all of you leave your homes and go to work from this basement window. I also watch you come home from work. I will still be here in the basement. My family keeps me here to .....I' really don't know why. I am more and more disconnected. I feel like an exile. I have been banished from the nation of gainful employment. In third world dictatorships when a citizen/servant says something or writes something or does something that threatens to expose the big lie.

They disappear, I have involuntarily disappeared. I am not on any ones calender, my phone don't ring that much no mo'. When I had skrilla,ends,green,bread,duckets,cash,money. On a day like today after work I would go to one of my favorite restaurants The Metropolitan. I would get my favorite table out side and have a meal, some company and some very nicely chilled white wine. This experience was in walking distance from my well decorated high rise loft in downtown. Today I'm in the basement.....watching ,waiting.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Young Gifted and Black


Barack Hussein Obama (yeah I'm using all his name) has achieved the seemingly impossible. There are times I don't believe what has taken place. I never thought I would see any thing like this in my life time. We have the real possibility of electing an African-American to become the leader of the free world. The first African-American President of the United States! I am a supporter not because he is a black man, I am a supporter because he is the best choice for the country.

He is symbolic of all that was promised to us: a fair chance, no limits. He is symbolic of what I believe Americans of good conscience would want to see: proof the system works. Barack Obama is half black and half white. Negro and Caucasian.
He is literally African and American. Yet ultimately All-American. What the great writer Charles Murray may refer to as the "Omni American"

I mentioned in an earlier post that as President Mr. Obama can do only so much for us as a people, he would be after all the leader of all the people. However the thought of having a real Brotha' up there gives me a warm feeling. Nubian males can walk with a little bit more spring in their step, we can stand a little taller, we can collectively feel more a part of the grand social experiment we call the United States of America.

In my lifetime I have seen our nation make great strides forward in the area of relationships between ethnic groups. I have also seen the opportunities for minorities improve. I would however like to see more constructive economic development in the inner cities, more investment capital made available to our communities. I would also like to see the educational opportunities for our inner city children improve that means fix the damn public schools already!

His rise from virtually nowhere has been nothing short of astounding. He has completely changed the game in the area of fund raising and the organizing of a political campaign by using the Internet. I read in an issue of The Atlantic magazine earlier this year Mr. Obama's wife Michelle told him "If you are going to run I don't want this to be a bullshit campaign" Michelle is down for her man! I love it! It is wonderful to see a couple like Barack and Michelle doin' the damn thang. Most especially since black men and black woman seem to be more adversarial toward one another.

Their relationship is very inspiring to me on many levels, think about it two beautiful Ivy-league educated Nubians marry and become American royalty. I am of the belief Barack Hussein Obama will be one of our greatest leaders, he will govern slightly from the right of center. He will serve two terms. He will change the composition of the high court. Barack will also have long coattails, we will see a new era of Democratic Party dominance. Mr. Obama will also restore our credibility on the world stage. He will also re-establish the use of diplomacy as a part of our foreign policy.Barack will do some things that we will be pleased with, some other things we won't be so pleased with. I do believe when all is said and done he will make us proud. Welcome to the Nubian Millennium!

Domestically, maybe I can get my mule and that forty acres! I wish W.E.B DuBois,Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers,Thurgood Marshall, Roy Wilkins,Whitney Young, Adam Clayton Powell Sr. & Jr. Patrice Lumumba, Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta,Bob Marley, Ralph Ellison,Gordon Parks,James Baldwin,Duke Ellington,Louis Armstrong, John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie,Miles Davis,Ray Charles,Count Basie,Lorraine Hansberry,Langston Hughes, Alex Haley,Fredrick Douglass,Sojurner Truth,Harriet Tubman,Nat Turner, John Brown and my father and his father and mother and my mothers father and mother were all here to see this! Don King said"Only in America" We need to hear from our Uncle Donny. In love WE Stand!



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In Rememberance:Joe Zawinul

What can I say? Another great one is gone. He and Miles, were a part of a revolution in Jazz and music in general. Both are gone and we are the worse for it. It is sad when a person dies and leaves us, it is even more sad when a musical voice is silenced. Joe had a voice. I was privileged to see him at Cleveland State, It was a great show, he was in rare form. That show had me jonesin' for a Weather Report reunion. It never happened. My date had heard his music through me, so she was excited. She just was not ready for what she saw Joe and the Rhythm Syndicate do! She told me she "saw" his music when we would listen to him at home. When they took the stage she drowned in Joe's groove, melodies, colors, textures and rhythmic complexities.

He converted her to his musical practice of Pan-ethnic-eclectic-electric-Pentecostalism! I had the occasion to meet the great bass player Alphonso Johnson, who had played with Weather Report. He was playing in one of those real cool free Friday night Jazz shows at LACMA in L.A. He was playing with Patrice Rushen, Bennie Maupin, Ndugu Chancelor among others. I asked him about playing with Joe. He said "Joe was basically open to many different cultures and it came out in the music "

When I first heard his music I thought he was black, he wrote a song called Country Preacher that captured the essence of what that might feel/sound like. The same with Mercy, Mercy, Mercy. He did both of those songs with the great Cannonball Adderley. I think Miles put it best when he spoke about what makes Joe so unique "In order to write this type of music you have to be free inside of yourself and be Josef Zawinul with two beige kids, a black wife, two pianos, from Vienna, a Cancer and Cliché-Free." He was all that! NPR did a story on him the link will take you there. Peace!
A Look at the Life and Work of Joe Zawinul

We are one

A few years ago I had the privilege to watch a documentary (I love them) entitled Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey this was carried on PBS. The host of this fascinating examination of man's genetic and geographic history was a man named Dr. Spencer Wells of Stanford University out in Cali. Dr. Wells clearly illustrated the genetic connection between all of us and at the same time refuting the myth of race.



The Stanford professor showed me that we are all one. We do not however have the same experiences, some of us have it better than others because of the false concept of race. The word race always conjured up images of alien beings in my head, like the ones we used to see on Lost in Space. Somehow within the concept of race we used the genetic/racial identity to explain behaviors/proclivities/beliefs. He or she can't help it they are black,white,red. That is how they be! The information below is from Wikipedia on the concept of Race.



The 19th century saw attempts to change race from a taxonomic to a biological concept. In the 19th century a number of natural scientists wrote on race: Georges Cuvier, Charles Darwin, Alfred Wallace, Francis Galton, James Cowles Pritchard, Louis Agassiz, Charles Pickering, and Johann Friedrich Blumenbach. As the science of anthropology took shape in the 19th century, European and American scientists increasingly sought explanations for the behavioral and cultural differences they attributed to groups (Stanton 1960).



For example, using anthropometrics, invented by Francis Galton and Alphonse Bertillon, they measured the shapes and sizes of skulls and related the results to group differences in intelligence or other attributes (Lieberman 2001). These scientists made three claims about race: first, that races are objective, naturally occurring divisions of humanity; second, that there is a strong relationship between biological races and other human phenomena (such as forms of activity and interpersonal relations and culture, and by extension the relative material success of cultures), thus biologizing the notion of "race", as Foucault demonstrated in his historical analysis; third, that race is therefore a valid scientific category that can be used to explain and predict individual and group behavior.



Races were distinguished by skin color, facial type, cranial profile and size, texture and color of hair. Moreover, races were almost universally considered to reflect group differences in moral character and intelligence. The eugenics movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, inspired by Arthur Gobineau's An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races (1853-1855) and Vacher de Lapouge's "anthroposociology", asserted as self-evident the biological inferiority of particular groups (Kevles 1985). In many parts of the world, the idea of race became a way of rigidly dividing groups by culture as well as by physical appearances (Hannaford 1996). Campaigns of oppression and genocide were often motivated by supposed racial differences (Horowitz 2001).



The documentary I made reference to destroys this concept. I am Nubian so are you no matter your color! Check out the video from the documentary below. brightmoments!

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Hail Nubians!

In February of 2008 I was passing through a book store and saw a National Geographic cover that stopped me in my tracks. The headline for the February issue was The Black Pharaohs Conquerors of Ancient Egypt. I had to buy it. Africans as well as African-Americans claimed the rulers of Egypt were black. There have been very spirited debates/discussions regarding this subject. I have heard viewpoints from those whole claimed black people were not even in Egypt to those who claimed we Nubians were only slaves. I have also heard from some of my esteemed Nubian academics that the only people doin' anythang were black.



I was in Atlanta one day and I had the occasion to meet an Egyptian man he explained to me that the north of the country was where the Romans, Greeks, Assyrians and other nationalities and ethnic groups entered. They saw all those fine Nubian Sistah's and Brothas' and it was on! That is why the north of the country is light and the further into the interior one may venture you will find darker skinned people:The Nubian-type.



I also had an acquaintance of mine back when I lived in L.A. tell me that the further south he went along the Nile the the people were darker and darker:The Nubian-type. Well just what in the world does this have to do with the price of premium unleaded in Memphis? That is easy once my fam finds out about this information they will get get good grades in school. The babies will stop having babies. The slangin' gang bangers will stop slangin' and bangin'. The dope fiends will stop selling any and eerthing to fix the fiendin' The Incognegro* (I borrowed this term from a very sharp Sista who Blogs under the name The Black Snob. Gotta give my props!) will step up and proudly declare their Nubianess!

The hip-hoppers will give us more than what we have been getting lately. Our European-American brothers and sisters will now give us our long overdue, due. We as people will feel good enough about ourselves that we would actually put a Black man, a Nubian in the White House! Damn! Well Fam from my perspective I don't really know how this would impact us day to day. I do know that Barack Obama has made many of us very proud. I also know that there are limits to what he can do for us even as President. There is a link to the National Geographic issue at the bottom of the page, this article made me proud It says we were there and we did rule. It makes me just want to say "We told you so". See ya on the other side!





http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/02/black-pharaohs/robert-draper-text

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Great Nubian Musicians=Bright Moments

I have told people about this man Nubian and Non-Nubian. I always got a blank stare, like I was speaking some long, lost, ancient, dialect. I would insist the brotha' played three horns at once! We have entered a very different phase as a community. Yesterday a quote from Nelson George the great writer and music critic came to mind he basically said you can tell where the Black community is based on the music that is popular.

I agree with what he wrote. If that is the case there are some real opportunities to expose people to some of the real cool stuff that came before. Nubians are in fact a whole lot more than Ice-T and Soulja Boy......beefin' about what!?
This is a bio about Rahsaan Roland Kirk. It came from Wikipedia. I also have documented proof of said three hawn blowin' Check out the video below but read the story first.

Kirk was born Ronald Theodore Kirk in
Columbus, Ohio, but felt compelled by a dream to transpose two letters in his first name to make Rolannd. He went blind at an early age due to poor medical treatment. In 1970, Kirk added "Rahsaan" to his name after hearing it in a dream.
Preferring to lead his own groups, Kirk rarely performed as a sideman, although he did record with arranger
Quincy Jones, drummer Roy Haynes and had especially notable stints with bassist Charles Mingus. His best-known performance is probably the lead flute and solo on Jones' "Soul Bossa Nova", a 1964 hit song repopularized in the Austin Powers films (Jones 1964; McLeod et al. 1997).
His playing was generally rooted in
soul jazz or hard bop, but Kirk's knowledge of jazz history allowed him to draw on many elements of the music's past, from ragtime to swing and free jazz. Kirk also regularly explored classical and pop music by composers such as Smokey Robinson or Burt Bacharach as well as his beloved Duke Ellington, John Coltrane and the other classics of jazz. The live album Bright Moments (1973) is an example of one of his shows, including all these elements and more. His main instrument was the tenor saxophone, supplemented by other saxes, and contrasted with the lighter sound of the flute. At times he would play a number of these horns at once, harmonising with himself, or hold a note endlessly by using circular breathing, or play the flute through his nose. All this, plus the fact that many of instruments were exotic or even home-made gave him a reputation as a vaudeville showman but the music, even with two or three saxophones in his mouth at once, was intricate, powerful jazz with a strong feeling for the blues.
Kirk was also very political, using the stage to talk on black history, civil rights and other issues, which he was always capable of tipping over into high comedy.
In 1975, Kirk suffered a major
stroke which led to partial paralysis of one side of his body. Despite this, he continued to perform and record, modifying his instruments himself to enable him to play with only one arm. At a live performance at Ronnie Scott's club in London he even managed to play two instruments, and carried on to tour internationally and even appear on TV.
He died from a second stroke in 1977 after performing in the Frangipani Room of the Indiana University Student Union in
Bloomington, Indiana.
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NubianBlues

I am sure many of you can relate to this story. I had a job. They sold my bank to a European bank so I lost that job. I got another job with a major US bank. They gave me the NIGGA accounts and the treatment to go along with it. I knew from the very start this was the way it was gonna go, I was the first Brotha' hired in the seven year history of the unit. I was also one of the only Nubian males (less than five) in the whole complex in a position to make real money. All of us ended up being liquidated.



My highly developed seventh sense (Nubian Paranoia) continually told me this was a "colorblind" situation. My functional superior was blind to seeing people of color as deserving fair, equitable, ethical, morally upright, professional treatment. This Nubian seventh sense is the one that I have developed in response to years of experience in my professional and personal life. I have verified the reality of this seventh sense with other Nubians. Somethin' just ain't right. Somethin' just don't feel right.



I was started the same day as "the white guy" after being told that I was the only candidate being considered for the position (hmmm somethin' just don't feel right). He blew up immediately! He was a sales god! He was a genius! He was a smug smartass! He was close being a headline on the evening news! The black guy (me)struggled working twice as hard making half as much money (hmmm somethin' just don't feel right).



I looked for and found the evidence I needed to make my case for disparate treatment. He was assigned the best accounts. I was assigned the worst. When I confronted the situation of course some cosmetic changes were made, however I knew after my complaint to HR my days were numbered. My formal complaint to the EEOC resulted in nothing, the attorneys I consulted with acknowledged that I got dogged. The prevailing opinion was that I could win in court but It would cost more in fees than what I would win in a settlement.



I am making the effort to move past this experience. It has however left a very bitter taste in my mouth as I have not been fully employed in over a year. My unemployment has run out and the plantat...er company I worked for had the nerve to try to fight me for that! I knocked they ass out on that one tho' So here I am, no money, no where to go, nothing to do. Nubian Blues. I have been posting my resume like a fiend 24/7 and no love WTF?!! I will continue to seek employment. I have no choice. I have been reading several blogs of late. I am impressed with what my folks are bringing to this medium it actually has helped me. I thank you. You have inspired me!

See ya on the other side!

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