Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Watch for the Hook

I was once called racist for stating that the greatest benefactors of the fight for civil rights for every US citizen and affirmative action were foreigners and Caucasian women. Well, census data confirmed the thought three (count it off 1-2-3!!!) times within the last 20 years. Walking through blogs that inspire me (or, at least, inflame me), I noticed this post at The Root. I grew up in northern Louisiana, a place that has a long and storied history of racism and color-struck mentality, and have an INCREDIBLY thick emotional skin, but I have my limit.

This artist reached my limit.

Controversy sells in media-minded America, but respect and dignity still remain chief among human qualities. Keith Adkins, the blog contributor who posted the story, spoke volumes with his feeling that "non-Black artists have a heyday playing around in Black...[and] like to get down and dirty and obscene when it comes to how they examine this country (or media's) interpretation of Black culture and how its marganilized and dehumanized; [we're] always fair game for something."

Have some character for Christmas, Yazmany Arboleda. Brown and black are more closely related than some historians want to admit despite medical and anthropological evidence that opposes their politics. Skeeting on your cousin to make your neighbor laugh and pay you is one mile down the road from genocide. Social critique isn't posting a gigantic likeness of a Black man's penis next to a presidential candidate's likeness; disrespect is. Thanks to this artist, my worst nightmare has come to life: I agreed with an federal agency's decision to shut down an artist's speech.

Thanks, Yazmany. Much obliged.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A PSA for Thinking Folk in America

Tomorrow is an important day in American history: Juneteenth. History, the story of civilization's greatest successes and most massive failures, tends to be circular. We cannot forget our history, America, or we will repeat our ancestors' mistakes.

Thinking for yourself and remembering lessons of the past is free. Not doing so is failure in the making.

Now playing: Donny Hathaway - What's Going On [Live]
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Jonzin' for New Music

I read recently that Virgin Records is releasing a "Greatest So Far" collection for D'angelo. I hope that doesn't mean that the new CD he was slated to release this year hasn't gone away...

Groove and enjoy, people.

Now playing: Common - Southside ft. Kanye West
via FoxyTunes

Friday, June 6, 2008

...And Her Name Means "Hope"

I'm a sucker for young artists who have old-school music leanings. Esperanza Spalding is a new name for me, but I predict that I'll listen to her for a lifetime. Thanks to Okayplayer for giving me a fresh dose of new sound.


Hope, lyrics, and freedom: three forces of nature. This is Rhymefest. Listen to great lyricism and social commentary in one compelling piece.

Monday, June 2, 2008

T.R.O.Y. = Thoughts Remain Of You (Positively)

This is a moment of respect and love for the loved ones who are no longer here and the people who removed their presences from my life for their many reasons. A piece of me mourns lost friendship in much the same way that I face the passing of family and friends-- but this is no sad minute. People leave when they need to leave for all their varied and needful reasons. God bless us, one and all. Face life with strength; be courageous in living your dreams. Be.