Archive for February, 2008

song of the week

I’ve been super nostalgic lately about 90s R and B and the memories it always seems to conjure up. I was about 11 or 12 when Soul 4 Real was the hot male group–they came way before B2K and all that.

Anyways, “Every Little Thing I do” was a follow up single to “Candy Rain”. I remember swooning over the lead singer and getting all syced when it was played on 92.3 the Beat. Man those were the days…

So, without further ado…”Every Little Thing I do” by Soul 4 Real.

Whatever happened to them by the way?

The Farrakhan Fiasco

The day after the most recent debate between Obama and Hillary a friend of mine sent me an article dissecting Tim Russert’s question about Louis Farrakhan’s endorsement of Obama. For those who missed it, here is a link:

The article talks about how several journalists have harped on Farrakhan’s support of Obama, and, additionally,  have implied that Obama holds the same beliefs as Farrakhan and is, perhaps,  a threat to [mostly White] American sensibilities…A Washington Post piece by Richard Cohen being a prime example of this sentiment.

The first thing that struck me as I watched the debate and as I read these two articles is the need for a more multicultural media. It is another example of the lack of responsible journalism when it comes to issues effecting minorities. In Cohen’s article, for instance, he writes that Obama’s Church Trinity United,  stated that Farrakhan “epitomized greatness” when it was really the Trumpet Awards–a separate organization–who made this claim.

But in all honesty– if the church did actually say this about Farrakhan, it still doesn’t mean that Obama shares this sentiment.

Neither article from either Washington Post or ArchPundit acknowledged that Farrakhan’s views–particularly his anti-Semetic views–have changed for the better. Not to mention the number of positive things Farrakhan has done in his own community. But as long as the media is dominated by white males, you will almost never hear this side of the story.

On a related note, I was so impressed by the amount of class and grace Obama showed throughout this debate, and his reaction to this off-the-wall question is just one very clear example of this.

Next stop: Ohio.

Things of Note…

Sorry I’ve been so slow about updates, people–life is stupid busy right now–but here are some notes on a few things from the blogosphere and beyond:

  • Firstly this infuriating story out of South Africa. To sum it up, a group of White students at the University of the Free State forced Black employees to eat food that had been urinated on. I have really no words for this…firstly the irony behind the name of the school…and then this story being another example of how similar South African’s racial climate is to America after the Civil Rights Movement. Because there can no longer be overtly racist laws….racism and racist attitudes and habits manifest themselves in ways very much like what is described here. I could go on but this article just makes me too angry. On a lighter note:
  • So by now many of you have heard of a little blog called Stuff White People Like. Well…now there is another blog of the same style called—wait for it–Stuff Educated Black People Like! I’m low key psyched about it…while it’s all in good fun and it just started, the things that are written about are VERY true (did somebody say baked chicken?). Check it out right here.
  • Finally I’d like to share this picture with all of you:ride em cowboy

That’s right. B-Rock is stylin’ on you.

Ralph Nader, you need to have a seat.

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Seriously.

Why is this guy running?

First, he screws the 2000 Election. The votes that should have gone to Kerry went to Nader…and we all know what happened next.

Second, he decides it would be a splendid idea to announce his bid for the presidency right in the middle of one of the closest Democratic races in recent history.* Against Hillary Clinton, a highly experienced New York Senator and former First Lady, and Barack Obama, a charismatic Freshman Senator who has more than proven to be the favorite as of late.

Oh yeah. Capital idea, Mr. Nader.
Was the emergence of Repentant Nader Voters from 2004 not a good enough reason to NOT run again? What more is there to do in this election other than screw it up for the democratic vote again?

Don’t get me wrong. Nader’s stance on certain issues aren’t that bad at all–some say he’s comparable to Kucinich.

But the timing is simply all bad…I mean it couldn’t be worse

I just want to know why…

Calling Nader’s move “very unfortunate,” Sen. Hillary Clinton told reporters, “I remember when he ran before. It didn’t turn out very well for anybody — especially our country.”

“This time I hope it doesn’t hurt anyone. I can’t think of anybody that would vote for Sen. McCain who would vote for Ralph Nader,” she said.

…well, this is one time where I’ve gotta agree with Hillary.

Yes, it’s Black History Month

I launched this new blog promptly following President’s Day, but also smack dab in the middle of Black History Month.

It’s amazing to me how many people don’t even know about the significance of this month. When I was a freshman in college, I met a girl on my dorm floor who had never heard of Black History Month. “Do you know what next month is?,” I asked her during the second week of spring semester. She said, “um…well, I know it’s February…why, is there something going on?”

I couldn’t believe it. Yes, I grew up in a Black neighborhood in Los Angeles and attended a Black Pentecostal church, but I also went to a predominately White all-girls’ school, where most students regardless of color at least knew that Black History Month was in February. How can someone NOT know? I thought.

Resisting the urge to look at the girl like she was crazy, I told her I’d explain a little later but that Black History was founded years ago, in 1920. I then logged on to the internet that night while taking a study break, and began printing out Black History facts such as the inventor of the traffic light (Garrett Morgan), Zora Neale Hurston’s publishing date of Their Eyes Were Watching God, and the fact that the Black National Anthem is entitled “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” written by James Weldon Johnson.

As a Freshman, it was “cool” to post notes on your front door–this was well before the Facebook Revolution. Every day, I posted a new fact on the front door of my dorm room, along with my school’s list of Black History Celebration events. At first, I thought no one would really care–in fact, I was pretty sure it would be ignored.

About three days later, folks were coming by to the room to say, “Wow, I didn’t know that [insert Black fact]. Where did you find this out?” or “Hey, are you going to the Civil Rights discussion in Marvin Center tonight?”

By the third week, NO ONE in the East Wing of Somers Hall could say they didn’t know that February was Black History Month.

My sophomore year I had an interesting discussion with an Africana studies professor. He said that Black History Month was rather bittersweet for him, because not only is it very busy for speaking engagements and lecture invites, it was a reminder that Black History was still seen as separate from American History (see my note about Malcolm X for a related discussion).

I can’t describe how true this latter sentiment is. One summer I taught a Black literature course for 4-6th graders in Los Angeles. The kids were so happy and excited to be reading books, stories and poems written by and about people who looked just like them. Every day they would come in and couldn’t wait to talk about Letters from a Slave Girl or the packet of Langston Hughes poems I passed out earlier in the week.

Multicultural education and history is so important–not just to children but to everyone in this nation. It is a shame that we live in a society where the experience of people of color is set apart from what we call “the American experience.” “American tradition.” “American History.”

Nonetheless, I am proud of the accomplishments of my people. I am proud of how smart and regal and blessed and brave and beautiful we are. And I’m proud to share all of these things with all of you out there in the blogosphere.

Happy Black History Month, everyone.

Next Week: Positive Visions of Africa

Another great event in DC for Black History Month…the documentary featured is sponsored by the Mamelodi Project.

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Who:
The Mamelodi Project will be presenting the official preview of its upcoming documentary at the Africare House.

What:
Join us for food, raffle prizes, performances, photo galleries, and the official documentary preview.

When:
Wednesday, Feb. 27th; 6-8pm

Where:
Africare House (440 R St. NW)

How:
RSVP to info@mamelodiproject.org (seating is limited).

Why:
Because we’ve seen enough negative images of Africa…

song of the week

so if you know me, you know that the most important things in my life are God, family, and music. so of course this blog wouldn’t be complete without at least one music-related topic during the week.

so this week i’m introducing the song of the week…it’ll be cross genre, and with women’s history month coming up the focus will most likely be female artists, but we’ll play that part but ear, shall we?

the first installment in this series is a rendition of “Take Another Little Piece of My Heart” by Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company.

This was originally going to be about Dusty Springfield‘s version, but unfortunately I couldn’t find a version I could embed into my blog….in any case, this song has been on my mind since I heard it used in an episode of The Wire from season 5.

This cover is hot, but I’m partial to Dusty Springfield’s version since blue-eyed soul has a special place in my heart.

Enjoy, and happy Friday.