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WE ARE ALL OSCAR GRANT……..

14 Jun

PHOTO BY T.A.E. HOFFMAN .....WE ARE ALL OSCAR GRANT

Sunday I went to the rally held in downtown Oakland protesting the release of Johannes Mehserle , the Bart cop who murdered Oscar Grant in front of crowds transiting through Fruitvale Station early morning New Years day 2009. I am a recent resident of California and an even more recent resident of Oakland. I live in the Fruitvale area and I was sickened and saddened the more I came to know about this particular miscarriage of justice. All the same, and I hate to say it, but this is not anything new.  Desensitization is at an all time high and  I can say from personal experience that the barrage of blatant abuses of our human and civil rights can be numbing. It seems like every time I turn around there is another story about police brutality. Another life gone. Another exclusive clip taken from a security camera or cell phone of the police beating the crap out of young black and brown men and women ,or a wheelchair bound drunks, or in instances like the tragedy that took place at the Fruitvale Bart, murdering unarmed civilians. Being someone who has felt outrage concerning the wrongful deaths  and beatings of my people at the hands of thugs with badges,  and the system’s disregard for the value of our LIVES,  I wanted to go and be a physical presence at this event.

It was peaceful with few casualties, as I believe there were a few arrests made during the march to downtown.  The experience was phenomenal for the most part. There were some low points. There were a few folks that seemed motivated to grab the mic for personal gain rather than being genuinely moved by the sentiment of the occasion. Mistah Fab was pretty much booed during his whole speech and the crowd momentarily dipped into bicker mode when a young man stepped to the mic calling people out for getting on Mistah Fab’s case. Overall I picked up on a sense of people wanting to feel the heat and fire of protest but not necessarily wanting to listen to people who stepped to the podium and spoke with general calm and introspection.

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King Me…….

9 Mar

 

I saw this picture today and it’s one of those images that I just…….like. I could go on about the symbolism, the underlying themes, and all that but I’m currently working on a writing project right now so I’ll just keep it short and sweet. When I see this picture I think of  the fact that love is often times a battlefield, requiring a fierce weilding of the intellect that guards one’s heart from those unworthy to possess it. If love be a battlefield, be wise about your opponent. As you would in a game of chess…….

Pink Friday, Black Friday, Wack Friday, Schmack Friday……….

27 Dec

It’s been quite a while since I’ve felt the urge to blog, and that’s been perfectly alright with me, as I have been enjoying the transformations that have been taking place in and around me.  Since my last blog post, I’ve relocated from NC to CA, finally funnelled my many interests into a solid career path, found the courage to wholeheartedly pursue my deepest desires, and given up my need to KNOW the particulars of the road I’m traveling down and truly trust the journey. With all that said, I have missed writing in this space and hadn’t come across anything provocative enough to lure me out to play……….until I heard “Black Friday” by Lil Kim. Thank you Kim, for you have given me a valid reason to log into my wordpress and a topic which allows me to channel the disgust I’ve been feeling with popular culture and the mass media as a whole into a positive creative outlet.

 I was not impressed by Black Friday. Lil Kim’s “tongue lashing” did not get me excited as Globalgrind would have you believe. I wonder if this cancels me out as a true hip-hop head? I take no pleasure in watching a woman that I respect, that I grew up listening to, desperately trying to hold onto to the star of her youth. Clinging to scraps of faded glory, shredding them more and more, the harder she grips. It’s quite clear that Kim is mad, and it’s not because Nicki has failed to pay homage.  This “beef” is nothing more than the trainwreck that takes place when insecurity meets a threat, and any attempts at making it seem like anything less than that are insulting to my intelligence. Further more I’m tired of gimmicks and scandal being used as a means to maintain relevancy and divert the attention of the public, so the powers that be can continue the systematic dismantling of the black musician’s image while keeping the true power of the music safely contained.

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Sell The Kids For Food…….

26 Aug

No 13 off  Pitchforks Top 50 Music Videos of the 90’s , Nirvana “In Bloom”. Summer before 8th grade.

Thoughts on Spirit, Flesh, and Sparring with GOD……..

19 Aug

Photo by Christopher Bucklow

Yesterday, I spent about 4 hours on my floor. Yes, that’s right. 4 hours on my back, on the floor, in deep meditation…sparring with GOD, I call it.  Sometimes we all need to lay on the floor and ponder, pray, meditate, whatever you do. It is healing time for the soul. It’s not my intention to preach, or debate about what is right or what is wrong, what is true or what is false, but I do believe in GOD, and I do believe that when you seek you find. I don’t like being confused and yesterday confusion was my middle, first, and last name. I don’t like being afraid either, but I am deathly afraid of one thing and one thing only. I believe that everyone has their own journey, their own path and purpose in this life,  and if you don’t know yourself, deeply beyond what you feel you want to know, should know, or can know, you can spend a great deal of your life or the entirety of your life, never knowing the beauty of what it means to be authentically you, the creature you were designed and destined to be. That is my greatest fear. 

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Can You Be My Daddy?

11 Aug

Shea Rose captured by Kloe York

I find this image to be, for lack of a better phrase, pretty damn epic. I want a print of this somewhere in my house. I spotted this photograph at bglhonline, a natural hair and beauty blog that I think is bomb, as part of  a feature on rising bad mammajamma Shea Rose. This beautiful piece of time was captured by the equally beautiful and  talented Ketsia Vedrine of Kloe York Photography, who is also one of my newfound life-muses. This image is part of her Rockumentary series.

 If you have visited this blog or my previous blog Hot Buttah Biskits and Gravy then you know that I have a BIG thing for the art of photography. I’ve done posts on Katie West, Mel D. Cole, Peter Dean Rickards and Nia Mora to name a few.  I was struck by this particular photo immediately. It radiates a  sensualism, eroticism even, grounded in the immortality of Bob Marley’s  grand appeal and in a larger context verbalizes the part of the female soul that doesn’t mind being subdued and coddled by the masculinity of her lover.

 I don’t think I’ve ever met a woman who did not want to jump Mr. Marley’s bones; black, white, latino, asian, rocker chick, uptown girl or thug miss. There is no room for discussion. Bob was IT honey. He’s like the jamaican Brad Pitt.  Every woman who has ever seen him and/or heard his raggamuffin wail gliding through a pair of speakers probably harbors an immortal dream of being in the very predicament depicted above. This picture loudly beckons me to fantasize. I can imagine crawling up into his lap and burying my head underneath a curtain of locs. I can almost feel his chest underneath the palm of my hand and his honey-glazed skin resting against my upper lip as I breathed in his scent, which I imagine would be something kind of like sunshine, coconut water, good skunk and superb manliness.  Perhaps I could convince him to sing to me, or maybe he would just rock me slowly as I watched the sun set over the sprawling hills. Twista, I now understand how a grown woman could be moved to say something so incestuous and ridiculous to a man.

Interesting fact, I used to date someone who had quite a way with the ladies and while researching our astrological compatibility( i’m a student of the astrological sciences) I discovered both he and Bob were born on the same day, Feburary 6th aka The Day of Popularity. Gary Goldschneider’s ‘The Secret Language of Birthdays‘ says this of those born on February 6th ” In attempting to explain the popularity of those born on this day, one might find that good looks, charm, and an outgoing manner are at work, but surely the ability to strike a common chord in the hearts of others is something almost all February 6th people have in common.”  He also goes on to say, ” Those born on the 6th day of the month are ruled by the number 6. Those ruled by the number 6 are magnetic in attracting both sympathy and admiration…..For those born on this day the added influence of Uranus (ruler of Aquarius) on Venus lends an erratic and labile emotional life, in which they can be quickly swept of their feet.” This knowledge combined with the knowledge of Bob’s dating history and my beau’s status as a ‘ladies man’ left me feeling more than a little unsure about the stability of  his commitment to me.  To say the least, it didn’t last long.

Concep Says Black Is Beautiful

10 Aug

The artist Tony Concep

Master Teacher by Tony Concep

Hmmmmm, what can I say about Tony Concep ? In my humble opinion this man is one of the greatest African-American artists of my generation….strip away his ethnic affiliation and he would still be one of the greatest artists of my generation.  There are some people who have been  blessed with the ability to bless others through the works of their hands and this young man harbors such a gift.  

He is a microcosm of creativity unto himself;  he dances,  paints,  dabbles in prose,  designs clothing and , in no easy feat, is a master of all of his trades. I visit his blog often as I find it to be an abundant source of inspiration and knowledge, the sincere ramblings of a man doing his best to navigate this journey and share the bits and pieces of joy and sorrow and confusion and enlightenment he finds along the way. He calls his latest collection of paintings ‘The Darkside ‘, and for this collection he is using canvas that he has blacked out with gesso. When I first looked as the works he had completed,  my initial thought was ‘Black is Beautiful’.  I am not suggesting that other cultures do not love color as much as we, but the use of color to enhance our physical appearence, dwelings, and clothing has always been a strong  trait within our culture. Black folks  have an innate sense of style,  a striking aestheticism that I thank mother Africa for every day.  I find the the kaleidiscope of colors he uses against the black canvas as eye-catching and beautiful as I find hot pink, lime green, fire engine red, salmon, plum, burnt orange, gold, and electric blue garments against black/brown skin, as beautiful as the varying pigmentations of my people and the richness and complexity of our culture and collective  history which gains a new page with each passing day.  Below are pictures by photo-documentarian Phyllis Galembo. They are portraits of the various peoples of different cultures throughout the African diaspora……..look at them, then look at the canvas again. Do you see what I see?

Photo by Phyllis Galembo

Photo by Phyllis Galembo

Photo by Phylllis Galembo

Photo by Phyllis Galembo

Photo by Phyllis Galembo

Photo by Phyllis Galembo

Photo by Phyllis Galembo

Photo By Phyllis Galembo

Photo by Phyllis Galembo