Monday, March 28, 2011

Quote of the Day

"It is the duty of righteous men to make war on undeserved privilege, but one must not forget that this is a war without end." -- Primo Levi

Sunday, March 27, 2011

E-Badu in Miami

LO DOWN LORETTA BROWN from Creative Control on Vimeo.

Black Power Mixtape

Body Mind Spirit

Redemption Songs

The news is so fucking grim all around the world. It wears you down. Drains you of hope, even as images of protest and justified, righteous rebellion pour in from across the globe. Shit's whirring through the fans and we are so clearly at a crucial crossroads. We must be clear, though; the world ain't ending. Mama Earth may well be shrugging the parasites known as humans off her tit... but the world ain't ending. Still, you want to know that your fellow humans are putting up the good fight, resisting the bullshit government/corporate machinations that reduce the bulk of us to cogs in the service of a few. You want to draw strength and inspiration from those who are doing work that shifts our collective consciousness toward awareness of and reverence for our connectedness, reclaiming notions of worth and value that have nothing to do with material possessions. I found two clips this week that gave me a glimmer of hope, and then I went old-school to one of the premiere poet/prophets of our time. Peace...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, Miss Ross

I've written at length about my great love, respect and admiration for Diana Ross. One article is here. Today, I just want to put up some clips that capture her throughout her career. The O.G. Diva...

Monday, March 21, 2011


Here's the latest short by Barry Jenkins, whose Medicine for Melancholy is one of my favorite films of recent years. This clip is another angle for Jenkins to explore issues of race, class and erasure of working folks (especially Black working folks) from San Francisco. Check it out.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mindful Tool, from Gary Kobat

Every fear or insecurity we have about ourselves is a button waiting to be pushed.
The fact that people push these buttons is not at all remarkable.
What is remarkable is that we blame them for pushing them.
When others trigger us, our reaction has nothing to do with the other person.
Our reaction shows us where we are in conflict, not where the other person is.
When we wear a sign that says "hit me", are we surprised that a few people
come along and take it literally?
Some people who attack us think we want them to do it.
And we allow them to do it.
The abuse will stop when we learn how to say "This is unacceptable. I will not permit it."
Until we have the courage to stand up for ourselves fully,
someone will always be around to abuse.
Actually, we will keep calling them in until we decide that we have had enough.
Don't blame them.
Ask instead, "Why did I allow myself, once again, to be drawn into a situation
in which I am not respected and listened to?
See our own low self-esteem. See how we accept love at any price. See how we keep
recycling fear and abandonment because we are afraid to face it head on.
Stand up and stop the game. Refuse to be an object, even though being
an object seems to offer us the attention we desire.
See the broken promises and tears of regret. Conditional love has given us nothing,
it just deepens feelings of abandonment and fear.
Let us remind ourselves that we decided to play the game, we gave permission.
Take responsibility. Acknowledge, learn, and don't repeat.
Until we say yes to ourselves, we won't be able to say no to others.
Others don't betray us, we betray ourselves.
Without their help, our awakening process would take considerably longer.
They teach us, we teach them.
We are equal passengers on the same journey.
Be patient. This is the journey of self-empowerment.
And when the self is fully empowered, abuse will be impossible...
... and the possibilities infinite.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Unions and Collective Bargaining

From the Color of Change petition link below:

In Memphis in 1968, Black sanitation workers worked in dangerous, inhumane conditions under abusive White supervisors for little pay. After two workers were crushed to death by a malfunctioning city garbage truck, the city's Black sanitation workers sought to unionize. They demanded better wages, safer working conditions, and the right to collectively bargain for these things. They took to the streets of Memphis bearing signs that read, "I am a man." During the strike, police attacked and jailed Black workers for peaceful protest. Months later, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said that "all labor has dignity," joined these workers on the front lines. He was assassinated while leading the effort to win collective bargaining rights for these workers.

Save the unions and collective bargaining rights. Click HERE.

Two of My Favorite Ways to Pass Time

Vintage Black Glamour

Eff Yeah Diana Ross!

Aloe Blacc - "Loving You Is Killing Me"

The little boy in this is rocking that 'fro and killing his moves...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This

Girl-group sounds and aesthetics, and the retro grooves and moves of Black music, period, have been ruthlessly mined for quite a few years now. Some good shit has come of it, but so has a lot of uninspired dross. This clip is kind of obvious in a lot of ways, and yet I dig the way it works on so many levels: highlighting the irony of Black folks churning out sweet pop sounds against the backdrop of struggles for basic human rights; underscoring the way in which scorching political reads can be applied to even the most disposable of art; reminding us that throughout America's history, the saying, "the show must go on" has often had a different meaning for Black folks who had to "smile and sell" even as they were roiling inside. "And then I might find / I don't want you any old way..."