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).

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

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!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer Madness!

Classic Kool & The Gang Live! Enjoy!

Happy Friday Family!

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.

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!

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!

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!

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.


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 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!