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.
One major tool of White Supremacy is to separate non-white people into separate groups that can be isolated and conquered individually. Vital to making this happen is to exploit perceived or manufactured differences to create levels of constant friction between each group. Ever ask yourself where the countries are that form the basis of the Negro, Afro-American, Latino, or Hispanic Race names are??? Italians are from Italy, Russians are from Russia, and The Irish are from Ireland-so what justifies the generic names imposed upon the non-white majority by those that invaded their lands hundreds of years ago? Those who identify themselves as African American are the descendants of slaves that were kidnapped away from the continent NOW KNOWN AS AFRICA; but a European named it as such after successfully invading the bulk of the land and stealing control of its resources. Those who identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino are the descendants of the people who were conquered and raped by invading Spanish and Italian savages. Hundreds (if not thousands) of years prior, Black explorers visited these same lands and some of them stayed. There are scores of pyramids, statues, and other works of art that provide evidence of the African presence in precolonial South America. And with the coming of slavery, many of those same Africans were dumped onto these same lands-along with The Caribbean. So why is it that an already dark-skinned people-mixed with an even darker grouping of people would ever be looked at as anything other than Black? They are certainly not white, and there are no countries with the words Hispanic or Latin in it. The root of it all lies in subjugation and genetic survival. For the non-white minority lies the true power; but what good is it if the majority fails to recognize said reality?
Race refers to the Biological/Genetic Traits and DNA of a group of people. Nationality & Ethnicity are specifically traced to Cultural/Geographic Regions and the people that reside in that area. That is why clearly White citizens of South Africa and called just that - South African. There's no such thing as a Dominican Race, Haitian Race, Cuban Race, etc. These are all Black/Melanated People displaced by The Atlantic Slave Trade-plus prior African Exploration. But to make each group of people feel like the marginalized minority, with little to no power, the oppressive white minority maintains control by making them all think that they are different. Do you think they would still be in control of the resources of Africa, Asia, The Middle East, and South America if we all knew that we were of the Same Origin (and stopped fighting each other)? Why don't we learn about "The Black Dwarfs" or "Little Black People" (possible kin to the pygmies) that resided in China for at least a thousand years? Historians also note evidence that similar groups of Black people have been identified as having resided in Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia too. What about all of those chocolate-faced people of India, Cuba, and Venezuela? Why do they only show you the lightest of the light on Tell-Lie-Vision. and even those people, blinded 500+ years of subjugation, seek to hide their Black features by bleaching their skin and perming their hair. Former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez proudly proclaimed to the world that He Was An African; and now for that and many other reasons, he is gone. His legacy is tarnished and the movement that he led is left struggling just to continue to exist. As for Chavez's efforts to unite South American, African, and Asian Nations Economically & Politically-the have been some encouraging developments; but progress has been slowed significantly. Even worse, the movement no longer has a bright & proud figurehead to draw publicity to the movement. Reality says that, at a time when Europe and America find themselves on all sorts of Social, Political & Economic Instability, a Union of The World's People Of Color could have a Major Impact. Wake up, Study Your True History, Embrace Who You Really Are, and UNITE!!!
"World's Great Men of Color, Volume I" J.A. Rogers
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."
OSHUN - "STAY WOKE"
In Yoruba tradition & culture, "Oshun" is "The great mother of love, the great mother of sweetness, the great mother of the river, great mother of healing and fertility, the great mother of abundance." In in that tradition Niambi Sala and Thandiwe have emerged on the music scene with a vengeance not seen since maybe back when Erykah Badu graced us with her musical powers of Elegance & Intelligence. And in their most recent visual, Oshun bless with the powerful mantra "Stay Woke." Starting off with a spoken word intro, that would make The Last Poets so proud, as they ask "When Will You Declare You Destiny?!" the track then glides into a super smooth ode that challenges us to shake off the comforts of blissful ignorance in a system that is designed for your exploitation & eventual destruction.
"Picking and choosing when you conscious like narcolepsy, Thinking you equal in the pot that they say is melting-Saying you righteous but you pray at the masters church,And when you're told bout yourself you get your feelings hurt!"
As far as the visuals go, the Chelsea Odufu directed video adds a very modern twist to the 1993 film "Sankofa." Don't just look at the video, ANALYZE it. Absorb the lyrics, and then play it again & again. This is just the type of medicine WE need to heal the sickness of post-slavery/colonialism mindset that we cling to still today. Feedback & Comments welcome.
"But i still got to get up, cause my dreaming tells me so-Reflecting truth and fate like divination from the soul. Its tiring but better than a wake like funerals. They trying to keep me sleep and dumb cause that's what's comfortable-Catching zzz’s while their alchemy eating pupils closed. And I’m not living life asleep niambi staying woke. Wake up, wake up..."
(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: "STUCK"