Monthly Archives: August 2007

Cornel West and Hip Hop

The Village Voice talked to Cornel West about his new spoken word CD, Never Forget: A Journey of Revelations. He and “Brother Prince,” wrote the album’s first single, “Dear Mr. Man,” and have become good friends.

“Dear Mr. Man,” an organ-goosed open letter to the U.S. government in which most of West’s contributions consist of ad-libs like “Break it down, Brother Prince!”, finds the Purple One railing against environmental abuses, constitutional abuses, Geneva Conventions abuses, and institutional racism. We tired of y’all, he says. We tired of y’all spyin’ on fellow citizens, adds West. We tired of y’all lyin’ to justify war. We tired of y’all torturing innocent people. And though other Never Forget tracks like “America” (featuring Black Thought and Rah Digga), “Mr. President” (featuring KRS-One and M1), and “Bushonomics” (featuring Talib Kweli) tout similar sentiments, not all of the fire and brimstone here is directed at the White House. West also calls out his rap-artist brothers and sisters for “degradin’ other folk.”

“50 Cent, Snoop, Game, Nelly,” West says, as if he’s writing their names on the board. “On one level, I love those brothers, because their artistic and aesthetic work is a part of who I am . . . . On the other hand, I challenge those brothers because I’m just against misogyny. I’m against homophobia. So somebody can be in my house and in my community and I still have to present a moral critique, because I’m just against those things. I just think they’re wrong. “So the question is,” West continues, “how do I deal with the love and embrace of them as artists and at the same time respectfully challenge them? So in that sense, I’m not really with the crowd that trashes hip-hop. I can’t stand that. That’s ridiculous. And I’m not with the crowd that somehow tries to give some justification for misogyny or homophobia. I just think the critique of homophobia has to be more explicit on hip-hop records—that’s why I’ve addressed it on my album. Including the domestic violence and the misogyny and the sexism and so forth—it goes hand in hand with that. That’s true with anything—anti-Semitism, it could be racism, any form of bigotry. I just have to take a stand against that. It’s just who I am. Now that’s a little different from this post-Imus trashing of Snoop. Because I’m not part of that crowd. At all.”

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Filed under academic, african american, black, black women, celebrity, culture, hip hop, music, society

Bid ‘Em In

I saw the animated short, Bid Em In, by Neal Sopata, during “Hot Ghetto Mess”…I’m sorry I mean “We’ve gotta do better”. Wow…a name change. Anyway…I was moved and angered a lil. Angered in the same way that I was watching Roots, Beloved, and the Color Purple. Bid ‘Em In…an animated clip that depicts a the auction of a female slave is something that I wanted to share with the world, and I did…lol…but I had to take the clip down out of respect for the creator because it wasn’t an approved clip (Note: People, don’t tape things on your television and put them on YouTube.  You got me in trouble.  LOL).  I asked about an approved clip and will post one if there’s one available.

Oscar Brown, Jr is the writer, storyteller, and performer of the song, “Slave Sale Song”, and the animation short was created by Neal Sopata in 2003 and was widely acclaimed in film festivals. Brown is a very outspoken Jazz musician with social consciousness on his agenda and uses a spoken word, griot style to remind people of the truths that are often buried in the history books. Here is more info from Tavis Smiley’s show on NPR. You can also listen to an interview and watch an animated clip.

bid em inAt Comic Con, BET presented this video…here’s what “Ilustrator” Tatiana EL-Khouri had to say about it. (I echo her thoughts regarding the irony of BET showing this short film): “BET will begin playing animation shorts throughout their normal programming. The Shorts will range from 6 second parodies like a 6 second tribute to Notorious BIG to a very controversial short called Bid ‘Em In by Neal Sopata. The crudely drawn, naive style animation dealt with slavery and the auction block in particular. When the short was previewed, I was stunned. As a woman of color I was offended and uneasy by the animation. I didn’t know how to react, but the applause from the crowd blew me away. The short displayed the ugliness and demeaning nature of slavery and the objectification of women. It presented a view into the slave auction, but ended abruptly with no conclusion.

Directly following the panel, I discussed the short with other panel attendees. We questioned BET’s motive to display such a riveting short, on such a touchy subject. The issue that stuck out the most to us is the way the slave woman was objectified, much like the women in the music videos today. I thought this was an interesting choice for BET to make as an initial short, considering the content and depiction of the Video Girls in the rap videos. It spurred an intellectual conversation discussing the influence slavery still has in society, along with how this short will be received by America who will be watching this in the comfort of their home. Will it be well received? Will it spur the youth to question the effect slavery still has on society? Will it remind people of the injustice and objectification that took place during the formation of America?”


Filed under african american, angry, black, black women, culture, history, media, slavery, television

Remember the Storm: Hurricane Katrina Anniversary Events

If you’re in the NOLA, participate!

International Tribunal on Katrina & Rita

The Peoples Hurricane Relief Fund, the Mississippi Disaster Relief Coalition, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, and the US Human Rights Network and others are convening an International Tribunal on Katrina and Rita. This Tribunal will be held in New Orleans on August 29th through September 2nd 2007. We call on international governments, organizations and individuals to sign on as endorsers of the International Tribunal with contributions of time, resources and funds in support of this important event. To participate in the Tribunal organizing process and get further information by calling (504) 301-0215 or click here to send an email.

Aug. 31, Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home and Cemeteries in Louisiana will display 1,400 white flags with the hand-printed names of hurricane victims on the grounds of Metairie Cemetery, 5100 Pontchartrain Blvd.


Several well-known local restaurants will join thousands of others nationwide in “Share Our Strength: Restaurants for Relief,” supporting Gulf Coast hurricane recovery efforts. A percentage of the Aug. 29 sales will be donated to the relief program, sponsored by American Express. For participating restaurants see

“In Loving Memory” is a photographic exhibit of photos submitted by New Orleanians of family members and friends who died during Katrina, along with written memories about each. 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Mississippi River Heritage Park, 1100 Convention Center Blvd.

Mayor Ray Nagin and other community leaders will ring ceremonial bells to mark the time of the first levee breach 9:38 a.m., at City Hall. Simultaneously, five City Council members will lay memorial wreaths at the St. Roch Playground at St. Roch and North Prieur streets, the 17th Street Canal breach on Bellaire Drive, the London Avenue Canal breach, atop the Claiborne Avenue bridge over the Industrial Canal, and outside Gate A at the Superdome. Councilman Oliver Thomas at the eastern New Orleans home of his deceased brother Renaldo.

A memorial ceremony and march begins at 10:00 a.m., at the 9th Ward Levee Break, Jourdan and N. Galvez Sts.

A Jazz funeral requiem march is scheduled at 11:30 a.m., from the Superdome to Congo Square.

The “One New Orleans” jazz funeral procession will begin at 2:00 p.m., from the Convention Center to the Superdome and will be led by Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré to honor first responders and all the lives lost in Katrina as well as acknowledging the rebirth of New Orleans.

The Official Interfaith Prayer Service will be held at 7:00 p.m. at St. Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square. 12 faiths will participate in the services, including Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu. The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra will play in Jackson Square from 8:00-8:55, and at 8:55, the Katrina bell (twin to the 9/11 bell in New York City) will be rung to commemorate the lives lost in Katrina.

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Filed under history, injustice, katrina, news

Black women unite at U.S. Open


(Original publication: August 28, 2007)

NEW YORK – A Who’s Who of black female pioneers was in the hallway inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, including former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun, billionaire Sheila Crump Johnson and Tony Award-winner Phylicia Rashad. And despite all their credentials, they all started applauding when Venus Williams walked past on her way to the court.

“I wish I had more time to say hello, but center court’s calling,” Williams said. “It’s amazing, more than fantastic. Its very special.”

The women were in the hallway after taking part in an hour-long celebration of Althea Gibson, the daughter of sharecroppers in South Carolina who broke the color barrier at the U.S. Championships (now the U.S. Open) in 1950 and won the title 50 years ago. She was also the first African-American winner at the French Open (1956) and Wimbledon (1957).

After that, no black woman won any of those tournaments until Serena Williams took the U.S. Open in 1999 and Venus Williams followed with the Wimbledon championship in 2000.

The sisters followed the ceremony with first-round matches in front of a night-session-record 23,737 at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

– click here for the rest of this article 

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Filed under african american, black women, celebrity, history, news, sports

Raven Fund: Juanita Bynum’s husband, Bishop Weeks, wants the saints to pay for his legal defense??

As many of you know, Juanita Bynum’s husband, Bishop Thomas Weeks III, allegedly struck, beat and stomped his wife Tuesday in a hotel parking lot after the pair had dinner together to discuss a reconciliation.   It’s so appropriate that his last name is Weeks…because this bamma is week.  So week in fact that he how has a link on his website to the Raven Fund…a fund to raise money for him and his legal fees.  Now, I caught on to this story early, so when they first posted the graphic to give to this bamma, the graphic said that you were giving to something like “Bishop Weeks Defense Fund“…but of course that looks crazy.  He beat his wife for goodness sake…allegedly (let me be PC).  Raven Fund…sounds better huh.  Well now, it says this (now is 8/27, I know it can be gone or say something else tomorrow:

raven fund

Prophetic Seed…you mean Profit Seed.

Bamma, we see you.  This ain’t some dumb ass “stop snitchin”, support your homies type madness.  Your business is on blast all over the Internet…bruises, handcuffs, mug shot…etc.  I sure hope the people in your congregation are not dumb enough to give to you.  Aren’t you supposed to be paid?  Didn’t Juanita have like a 7.6 carat ring at the wedding…or did she buy that (maybe you couldn’t afford something like that after divorcing your first wife).  I don’t know.  In the end, this is a mess.  You surely have money, or you’ve really been faking the prosperity funk.  Use your own money, Bishop Weeks!!!

This is why black people need to stop following these televised pimp preachers who ask for you to sow your last dimes into them, instead of showing you how to live a better life, support your community, and effect the cultural and political landscape of America for the benefit of all God’s children.  This is a mess.


Filed under african american, angry, black, celebrity, christian, crime, ghetto, internet, juanita bynum, news, opinion, pimping, television

White youngster dancing his a** off

Whoa, look at lil Justin Timberlake.  That lil boy can move

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Filed under culture, music, white folks

lil something for the saints – Clark Sisters

I busted folks out yesterday.  Let me soothe your soul with a video of the Clark Sisters, vintage, classic Clark Sisters.  🙂

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