Afeni Shakur We Salute You. Thank You For All Of Your Hard Work And Sacrifices...
In discussing the news that Queen Afeni Shakur had passed away, one common thought expressed over and over again centered around the idea of who would now control the music, legacy & likeness of our departed brother Tupac Shakur. As if the corporate culture vultures had not already done all the could to water-down and bastardize the defiant/revolutionary-minded Pac, in favor of the more reckless version we saw during his Death Row Records days-now they may have the opportunity to ramp those efforts to new levels. My next thought centered around which version of Afeni shakur would the media focus on, when discussing her life. Would they minimize her just being Mother Of the Late Tupac Shakur? How quick would they move to dwell on her past substance abuse problems? More importantly, how would they report on her time fighting on the frontlines of The Black Panther Party-if at all?? Being that she was the driving force behind the eventual acquittal of The Panther 21, anything less than the dignity warranted for a Freedom Fighter would be unacceptable. But I'm sure that I will be disappointed, as they will not due her justice and the focus will immediately shift to how to monetize the legacies of both her and her son. Why? Because in America, We The Black & Brown are not considered to have a soul worthy of the same dignities required to be given to others. So daily, whether we realize it or not, "They got us fighting for our spirit and mind." How much longer will we have to fight? Until more of us take up the mantle of those before us, move up into vanguard positions and work on every level imaginable to finally bring Power To The People...
Afeni Shakur We Salute You. Thank You For All Of Your Hard Work And Sacrifices...
Psychologist & Educator Dr. Umar Johnson has been at the forefront of the push to bring Black Mental Health Issues (such as Post Traumatic Slavery Disorder and the affects of Psychotropic Drugs) into the light as major reasons why some issues continue to negatively impact The Black Community. In this latest video Dr. Umar speaks on the dysfunction in Black Make/Female Relationships, and its correlation to The Black Community on a Whole. Espousing on everything from the negative effects of sibling Rivalries & issues within neighborhoods often lay the foundation for how we tend to look at each other, to how unresolved past grudges & trauma can destroy new relationships (and more importantly cause damage to the psyche of the person they entered into that relationship with), to the unhealthy and addictive habit of using relationships as a "pacifier" to distract us from dealing with our issues-The self-proclaimed "Prince Of Pan Afrikanism goes in on many of the way too common & repetitive mistakes we make in relationships. FEEDBACK & COMMENTS WELCOME.
In January, and again in April, of every year the world pauses to honor the memory of the one & only Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But what is his true legacy? If you let corporate media, politicians, or the school system tell his story, you get just a really watered-down version that really loses relevancy with each passing year. If you rely on those vessels for information, as far too many do, then Dr. King Led a few marches, Had "a Dream," Went To "The Mountaintop," and then was snuffed out by some Crazy Lone White Assassin's Bullet. How many even know that in 1999 The U.S. Federal government was found Guilty as a Co-Conspirator in the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King? Yes. So while the narrative of James Earl Ray continues to go on, the FACT is that it has been CONFIRMED that members of U.S. Military Intelligence and Sniper Groups were in the immediate vicinity of Dr. King's Motel-and all police protection was REMOVED within an hour of his execution (check the links below for more information).
Anyway, back to the point...
Starting around 1967, or some evidence would suggest even 1965, Dr. King's message and overall demeanor began to change/gain a stronger sense of urgency. Dr. King's message began to shift away from a loving message of integration-to a stance against Institutionalized Racism. Dr. King began to call out the government for the hypocrisy of spending hundreds of millions of dollars toward wars to control other sovereign nations, and at the same time, loudly proclaiming the intention to fight harder for God-Given Rights. Dr. King railed against Racism practiced via Housing Discrimination, Employment discrimination, discrimination in Federal Funding and Grants, Violence against Non-Whites, and the overall lack of morality in the actions of Government & society.
“We have waited for more than three hundred and forty years for our constitutional and God-given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jet-like speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter.” Missing from the pages of history is the reality that many of his allies turned on him during those latter days of his life. He was no longer welcome in Lyndon B. Johnson's White House. Many spoke out against him. His change in focus, and willingness to criticize The Federal Government, put him on an island by himself. And much like Malcolm, it got him killed. Do note that on April 4th 1967 (EXACTLY ONE YEAR PRIOR TO HIS ASSASSINATION) Dr. King called the U.S. government "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today." Most of those that walked with him prior to that time began to go into business for themselves, and Dr. King knew it. Once he was gone, they all got rich-and today they continue to bask in his light, while never doing anything more than SYMBOLIC acts that remain in the vein of a strategy that he had moved away from.
“We have waited for more than three hundred and forty years for our constitutional and God-given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jet-like speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter.”
In an encounter just days before the execution of Dr. King, Harry Belafonte Jr. described the demeanor of Brother mLK:
"I remember the last time we were together, at my home, shortly before he was murdered. He seemed quite agitated and preoccupied, and I asked him what the problem was. "I've come upon something that disturbs me deeply," he said. "We have fought hard and long for integration, as I believe we should have, and I know that we will win. But I've come to believe we're integrating into a burning house." That statement took me aback. It was the last thing I would have expected to hear, considering the nature of our struggle, and I asked him what he meant. "I'm afraid that America may be losing what moral vision she may have had," he answered. "And I'm afraid that even as we integrate, we are walking into a place that does not understand that this nation needs to be deeply concerned with the plight of the poor and disenfranchised. Until we commit ourselves to ensuring that the underclass is given justice and opportunity, we will continue to perpetuate the anger and violence that tears at the soul of this nation."
KILLAH PRIEST - "B.I.B.L.E."
What to you is the difference between Hip Hop today, and what it was before before being hijacked by Corporate america? To me it's all about the content & messaging. Always, but especially in The 90's Hip Hop songs were crafted more often to inspire and uplift. Yeah, you always had your NWA's, 2 Live Crews, Too Short's etc-but then there were those like Public Enemy, KRS-One, Rakim, and Killah Priest that made you sit down and read books. And in speaking of BOOKS, we come to today's featured song "B.I.B.L.E." by Wu-Tang Affiliate Killah Priest. This 4Th Disciple produced track originally appeared as an extra track on The The GZA's classic 1995 album "Liquid Swords," and then showed up again Killah Priest's 1998 solo Debut "Heavy Mental." "B.I.B.L.E." comes off like a journal entry of reflections about Killah Priest's journey through acquiring a Knowledge of Self from youth to adulthood, and drops crazy jewels from beginning to end.
"I searched for the truth since my youth. And went to church since birth but it wasn't worth the loot-That I was paying plus the praying-I didn't like staying cause of busy-bodies and dizzy hotties-That the preacher had souped up with lies-Had me cooped up looking at loot, butt and thighs. During the service he swallowed up the poor-And after they heard this, they wallowed on the floor. But I ignored and explored my history that was untold
And watched mysteries unfold..."
I give thanks daily for emcees that dropped science in their rhymes, for without them my own life would have taken a much different turn, and many very positive movements would have never been successful without Hip Hop's Power To Mobilize The Masses. The thing here now is to get This Thing Of Ours back on course. #EachOneTeachOne
"I strolled through the books of Job to unfold-And open bibles, instead of hoping on revivals-Calling on His name and screaming hallelujah-When he hardly knew ya, that's how the devil's fooled ya. See look into my eyes brethren, that's the lies of a Reverend-Why should you die to go to heaven? The Earth is already in space, the bible I embrace-
A difficult task I had to take-I studied till my eyes was swollen, and only arose when I found out that we were the chosen. I deal with the truth, and build with the youth-
And teach my son as he kneels on the stoop-Son, life is a pool of sin, corrupted with foolish men..."
(WRITER'S NOTE: The "MUSIC OF THE MIND" Series is loosely inspired by the Classic 1972 "Music of My Mind" album by Stevie Wonder)
BONUS CUT: KILLAH PRIEST - "ONE STEP/FAKE MC"
Atlanta University was founded on September 19th 1865. Born out of the work of the American Missionary Association & assistance from the Freedman's Bureau, Atlanta University is one of the original universities put in place to serve the Black Population of America. Starting originally as a grammar school, to provide the first solid legal education for the former slaves, what would ultimately rise to full University status by the late 1870's. Around this time, A.U. would serve a major source for teacher's & librarians who would teach in southern public schools. It had also added Graduate Studies in The Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Social Work, Business Administration, The Liberal Arts, and other areas. In 1896, W.E.B. DuBois would come on board as faculty at the university.
“I’ll Find a Way or Make One.”
By the late 1920's Atlanta University had added programs in Business & Engineering, and under the leadership of Morehouse College President Dr. John Hope, an alliance was formed between Au, mOREHOUSE & sPELMAN cOLLEGE (The Atlanta University System). In 1988, Clark College and Atlanta University merged to form the new Clark-Atlanta University. Distinguished Alumni of Atlanta University include the multi-talented James Weldon Johnson & Civil Rights Pioneer Walter White, among many others.
This weekend, Thousands to the streets of New York In commemoration of The One Year anniversary of The NYPD's EXECUTION of Eric Garner. Protest rallies and memorials were held in numerous locations including outside The Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn, Columbus Circle, Central Park, The Fox News Building, Macys in Herald Square, Penn Station, and Union Square. Activities on Friday were highlighted by the releasing of White Doves, by Eric Garner's 15-Month Old Daughter Legacy Garner, in front of the Tompkinsville store where he was EXECUTED Last Year. Dozens were reportedly arrested at the various locations.
As a sidebar, The city has agreed to a $5.9 Million Dollar Settlement with The Garner Family & governor Andrew Cuomo has issued an executive order naming attorney general Eric Schneiderman as special prosecutor in charge of investigating The abuses & Excessive Force cases The NYPD is so well known for, including The Murder of Eric Garner. R.I.P.
Mainstream America never liked Allen Iverson. They always sought to bash him. Sadly a quick Google Search will yield way more stories about his past & present legal troubles, rumors about his finances, and stories about his bad reputation among NBA coaches. Rarely ever is he mentioned as what he truly is, which is one of the most dominant NBA players of all time. So with onslaught of coverage he's gotten recently after some writer claimed that A.I. was allegedly drunk when he made his infamous "Practice" rant, I figured now would be a good time to remind those that don't know (or forgot) just how good "The Answer" was...
Allen Iverson was the Only player to leave early from John Thompson's Legendary Georgetown Teams of the 80's & 90's and go pro. Upon getting to the Philadelphia 76ers, Iverson spent most of that time playing essentially as a One Man Team, but he never disappointed & and ultimately carried the team on his back to the 2001 NBA Finals. It's a wonder how anyone could possibly forget his playoff duels with Ray Allen & Vince Carter that season. As far as his well-documented troubles, an unbiased mind would uplift him as a hero for never giving up. Though he surely could have done a lot of things differently, word is that most of his money issues come from loyalty and overly generous spending for those in his inner circle. Perhaps that's why Reebok saw fit to put $32 Million in a trust for his later years. Hopefully more good fortune awaits this brother in the future...
JANET JACKSON - "ANY TIME, ANY PLACE"
Black Love & Sensuality personified... From the moment the beat drops, and elevated beyond imagination once you hear her Janet's voice, her classic 1993 Love ballad will take over the mood of any music lover.
"In the thunder and rain, You stare into my eyes, I can feel your hand Movin up my thighs. Skirt around my waist, Wall against my face, I can feel your lips, Oooh"
Remember when songs painted sexy pictures, without being just straight up raunchy? Lol.
Happy Birthday Janet Jackson.
Far too few know about her, but hopefully soon that will change. I first heard of Ann Wolfe years ago after watching an episode of "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel" on HBO; but sadly her name remained under the radar for several more years. But in the buildup to the Canelo Alvarez versus James Kirkland fight, the question of how James Kirkland would fare without his mentor & trainer Ann Wolfe was a constant question coming from all of the big name analysts. And that question received a DEFINITIVE Answer Last Night as James Kirkland was absolutely destroyed over the course of three brutal rounds.
Now the fact remains that James Kirkland has two losses in his career, both Early Round Knockouts, and BOTH losses occurred when chose other trainers over the proven commodity that is Ann Wolfe!
Ann Wolfe was/is an ex-con, who rose from Poverty & Homelessness to become a Women's Boxing champion who held World Titles in five Different Weight Classes (three at the same time). Her career record was 24-1 with 16 Knockouts, and she was widely considered to be the Hardest Puncher in the history of Women's Sports (Boxing or MMA). Before that though, she served time for drug dealing & slept with her two kids in an Austin, Texas Emergency Room because they were homeless. And in her own words, she would "fuck Ronda Rousey up!" Her intense training style had been criticized as being too aggressive in the past; but now that it has been proven that her style clearly prepares fighters to endure & excel past any type of adversity, one can only wonder how many calls she will be getting from other potential up & coming stars... #Salute
In the past I've written about the code words used to convey just why a Black, Brown or Yellow Inhabitant of this nation was beaten or killed after being confronted by a cop. Usually the code words center around the implication that this person was somehow deemed to be a threat (i.e "The Suspect was Non Compliant," "The Officer Feared For His Life," "A Crime Had Been Committed, In That Area, Earlier In The Day," etc). However, many of these same tense confrontations take place in other communities & those "citizens" either Live To See Their Day In Court-or Walk Away with a Warning. YouTube is full of videos of White Citizens assaulting cops, and much care was taken to simply contain said suspect. So what's the difference? It's the Mentality. NO, ALL COPS ARE NOT RACIST & VIOLENT. But they are human. Socialization is real, and so is its psychological impact on how we view everything around us is real. So if said cop views certain elements of the population in a negative light, Right or Wrong, this will impact how they interact with them. Sad to say this often places The Black & Brown population in danger, whenever we come into the presence of cops. We must Dissect 7 Attack the Mentality that far to often leads to the use of Lethal Force in Black & Latino Communities across America.
Here we have Seattle Police Officer Cynthia Witlatch & Charleston, West Virginia Lieutenant Shawn Williams as recent examples of people who just shouldn't have a badge.
Seattle Police Officer Cynthia Witlatch arrested an elderly Black man for carrying a golf club down the street. According to her reports, the golf club was viewed as a weapon & he was using it in a threatening manner towards her. The reality of the matter was that the 69-year-old man was using the golf club as a cane. And the allegedly threatening behavior took place while she was driving past him. Officer Whitlatch wrote in her reports that she wasn’t certain if Wingate’s action was “directed at me” until she saw him in the rearview mirror. Wingate’s “demeanor was hostile and his actions were threatening and I perceived them as such.” in-car video did not capture those events.
After hearing that William Wingate had accepted a plea deal for an unlawful weapon charge, Officer Witlatch sent emails to the state Attorney's Office complaining that about that they should have also pursued Obstruction of Justice charges & then went on a Social Media Rant about Black Racists. Dashcam footage has since been discovered, that shows that Mr. Wingate did nothing wrong, and even worse that Officer Witlatch lied in her reports. Charges have since been dismissed.
Back in October, Charleston, West Virginia Lieutenant Shawn Williams was placed under Leave-pending Investigation-after video was released that exposed his White Supremacist leanings. The video is said to have been of his eight year old daughter singing a Klu Klux Klan Anthem, while dressed in parts of his Police Uniform. In the background he can allegedly be heard Shouting Racial Slurs. Williams & many others claimed that there was some type of conspiracy against the Officer, and that his privacy had been violated, because the videos came from his personal computer. In late January Lieutenant Williams finally resigned from the Charleston Police Department. The video is said to have been leaked by his soon to be Ex-Wife. Again remember that The SOCIALIZATION & Embedding of Racist Attitudes/Beliefs is key here. Who knows what damage has been done to the mind of his eight year old daughter, or what havoc she may now spread among her peers.