Archive for the ‘S/Heroes’ Category


One of my former students spoke out against Dr. King on Facebook, and here’s how I responded after reading the sheeple attack him:

You represent those of us who read OUR history, not lilly white versions of it. You represent those of us who know that Marcus Garvey and the Black Panther Party (et. al.) had a lot more to do with dramatic change than King did. You represent those of us who aren’t blind, those who know that America is largely segregated and that there is no such thing as a so-called black community any more. You represent those of us who don’t believe lies about Bro. Malcolm and the NOI, those of us who have read “By Any Means Necessary” and who know that when he started talking about black people connecting throughout the diaspora, he committed a fatal sin against the white “gods.” You represent those of us who don’t see how “Basketball Wives” represents improvement on our parts, those of us who see how we have merely switched from chattel slaves to economic slaves. “Bands a’ make her dance[rs]” we are now, and that is no position to be in. You represent those of us who know that more black men have been killed by the criminal justice system since alleged desegregation than were killed during the Jim Crow era and the post-slave South combined. You represent those of us who are not a part of the walking dead, those of us who are not afraid to ask questions, to demand answers of our so-called leaders. You are an intelligent black man who speaks his own truth and that is a dangerous weapon indeed. I pray you never ever go to work for the County or any other slave system that pigeon holes and categorizes our people while handing them a slip of paper with a list of “resources” and maybe a few pences then cry that you are on the front lines, the front lines of the enemy. I will never again do the coon dance for the miseducation system again because I realized how, even at the community college level, it was a lot about trapping unsuspecting poor and minority students into holding tanks of remediation from which they rarely escaped. If you never ever do anything but speak, you have done enough, and don’t let anyone tell you less. You don’t have to be a poser to enlighten someone, to make people think, to send someone to the books to learn.


 

Gaddafi advocated for Africa’s control of its own resources. He spearheaded the African Union and even paid the dues of poorer nations, contributing over $40million/yr. He bolstered the Union to form the African Monetary Fund, African Central Bank, and the African Investment Bank so that Africa could be self-sufficient and less reliant upon the World Bank and the IMF. He invested heavily in sub-Saharan Africa to build independent telecomm networks to reduce reliance on US & Euro companies. This is very dangerous to super powers and corporate leaders, incl. China, which all seek to continue the carving up & division of Africa. We need to understand that this coup has cultural significance, too, b/c the first accusation of the imperial powers against black people is that we are incapable of managing our own affairs. Gaddafi is modern proof that Africans are not inferior, that we can lead ourselves without being corrupt. Do you realize the force of Africa’s people throughout the diaspora? The greater danger to the survival of Eurocentric ideals is our empowerment, for if we all knew who we ARE and the greatness from which we came, we would be FIERCE.

 


Til’ Earth and Heaven Ring with the Rolling Sound of Liberty

It is difficult to contain myself when the vocals begin. Dramatic music provides a platform for Her Highness to exorcise our purest emotions. When her diaphragm releases her serum, we are arrested by Her Majesty, Lady Leontyne Price, our hearts agape and our eyes water-heavy. We are reminded that extraterrestrial powers do exist, for this is no worldly voice.

Price’s regal ability to convey dramatic art is transcendent, making one feel as if Her Honour is Giuseppe Verdi himself, Aida’s composer. While the adjective “soulful” is thrown around in R&B and jazz reviews as often as Starbucks opens up a franchise, applied to Lady Leontyne’s classical medium, her attributed “soulful” character is refreshingly exuberant.

There is no part of a movement when I am indifferent about Her Royalty’s beautiful bellows or her still current in moments of diminuendo. Price’s voice is one so illustrious that no one’s chords dare rival.

Further, Leontyne Price’s mere existence brings a smile to my countenance; you can only imagine the cheesing I do seconds after pressing “play”.

More than an uncompromised force, Lady Leontyne is the hallmark of black womanhood, one whom we could only be so gracious to follow. Unfortunately, like our most precious brainchildren, Price goes celebrated more by whites than by our own. It does not matter the genre; in jazz, classical, rock, Hip Hop, R&B… you name it… our Talented Tenth look upon virtually, if not all, white audiences.

I will not accept the logic that people are “given” choices; rather, experience tells me that people make choices. And if their inability to think rationally and without bias is absent, then it is the tall and direct order of the omniscient to share with and mold the infirm. In the case of Lady Leontyne, she deserves our unanimous exaltation as a torch-bearer, no doubt with the welts of ensnaring prejudice upon her back, yet she is not the “caged bird” singing. She is a freely floating plume, asserting that we are one bird.

Garnering the most Grammy Awards amongst all classical troubadours, reverent Price diplomatically takes the hand of Malcolm X, declaring, “You can ‘sing up on some freedom’, Brother.”

May we lift her.