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!