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Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Israel Must Stop Now!!! Hamas Must Stop Now!!!

In Politics, Religion, the World, Uncategorized on 19/11/2012 at 11:55

Israeli and Palestinian Peace

CONSIDER THIS: I do not under any circumstances support what the Israeli government under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu has been doing in Palestine especially in the Gaza Strip.  But let me be very clear to those reading this and would translate that to mean that I’m somehow “anti-semitic” or “anti-Jewish” because I don’t support the Israeli government, shame on you for thinking so small.

There are Jews throughout the world as well as Israeli citizens who don’t support this government and what some would deem crimes against humanity.  So for me this is a human issues not an Jewish issue.  Let me further add, I do not under any circumstances support the actions of Hamas and their rhetoric of hatred and their corrupt leadership.  They are very wrong too.

You see, there’s a complex history when it comes to the formation of Israel in the 1940’s and the unwillingness of the European nations and the U.S. to force the creation of a Palestinian state at the same time.  The mistake was made then and the world is still paying for it now.  Some of you think this is about religious belief and ancient prophecy, that too is wrong thinking.  The only prophecy that’s taking place is the self fulfilling kind.  The kind that would continue to see this supposed prophecy to fruition at a cost to all humanity.

What this is, is a powder keg of human behaviour that has caused nothing but pain and suffering on all sides.  True leadership on the part of Israel and Hamas would be working towards to diplomatic solutions of compromise.  Until that happens we will continue to see what we’re seeing now. Pain, suffering, fear and needless deaths.

But when it’s all said and done, it will be the Children of Israel and the Children of Palestine who will loose everything.  And that is where the real shame and sadness resides.

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Happy 88th Birthday to James Baldwin. You continue to inspire

In Authors, Culture, Philosophies and Opinions, Politics, the World on 02/08/2012 at 11:58

James Baldwin was born on this day in 1924. He was a public intellectual, a civil and human rights freedom fighter and a literary giant.  In his honour here are a few of his quotes:

  • “American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it.”
  • “Any writer, I suppose, feels that the world into which he was born is nothing less than a conspiracy against the cultivation of his talent.”
  • “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”
  • “Everybody’s journey is individual. If you fall in love with a boy, you fall in love with a boy. The fact that many Americans consider it a disease says more about them than it does about homosexuality.”

R.I.P. good brother. You spirit, wisdom and intellect is sorely missed.

Remembering Fela Anikulapo Ransome-Kuti. R.I.P. Son of Africa

In Music, the World, Thinking Africa on 02/08/2012 at 11:38

Its been been 15 years since you started your peaceful journey Black President, Omo Iya Aje, Stubborn boy, Oko gbogbo Omoge, Roforofo fight – Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Anikulapo-Kuti 15 October 1938 — 2 August 1997 son of the soil gone but never ever forgotten…..E’erbody say yeah yeaahhh! RIP.” – Tunde Jinadu

This man of men must continue to be remembered for all that he offered both the world and African people.  Fela’s music lives on in multiple genres of today’s music, on Broadway and in our hearts.  Many Americans called him the James Brown of Africa.  I call him a kindred spirit to the Godfather of Soul.  Because he too was an African man and it showed whenever James Brown sang and was on stage.  Kindred spirits is what they were and they are both no longer with us.

Music brings the world together. It tells the stories of a people and Fela knew how to tell a story that would sting the faint of heart.  Because he called out the injustices of his home country of Nigeria. he spoke of the corruption, lack of leadership and the negative influences of foreign religious, i.e., Western Christianity and Eastern Islam.

Until this day many sing his songs, dance to them but seemingly still don’t understand what he was really talking about.  15 years ago the ravages of AIDS took him from us.  AIDS a disease that kills millions throughout Africa and certainly if he were alive today he would be speaking out about AIDS as well.  Remembering Fela is bittersweet but also it’s wonderful because his music means so much to so many.

As is said in Yoruba, “E mi omo n’ile” and he was truly a son of his father’s land.  We miss you Fela but know you are with the ancestors and therefore continues to be with us.

In Honour of Babatunde Olatunji, Morehouse Man, Citizen of the World

In Culture, History, Music, the World, Thinking Africa on 23/07/2012 at 09:36

Morehouse college alumnus Babatunde Olatunji (April 7, 1927–April 6, 2003) was a Nigerian drummer, educator, social activist and recording artist.

Olatunji was born in the village of Ajido, a small town near Badagry, Lagos State, in southwestern Nigeria. A member of the Yoruba people, Olatunji was introduced to traditional African music at an early age.
In 1950, after reading about the Rotary International Foundation’s scholarship program in the Reader’s Digest magazine he applied for it, recived the scholorship and got a place at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia,

Olatunji won a following among jazz musicians, notably creating a strong relationship with John Coltrane and Columbia Records A&R man John Hammond who signed him to the Columbia label in 1957. With Coltrane’s help, he founded the Olatunji Center for African Culture in Harlem. This was the site of Coltrane’s final performance. In 1959 Olatunji released his first of six records on the Columbia label, called Drums of Passion.

In 1969, Carlos Santana had a major hit with his cover version of this first album’s “Jin-go-lo-ba”, which Santana recorded on his debut album, Santana, as “Jingo.” Olatunji favoured a big percussion sound, and his records typically featured more than 20 players, unusual for a percussion based ensemble. Drums of Passion became a major hit and remains in print; it introduced many Americans to world music. Drums of Passion also served as the band’s name. Notable band members included; Clark Terry, Bill Lee, Horace Silver, Yusef Lateef, Sikiru Adepoju and Charles Lloyd, among others.

 

Olatunji’s subsequent recordings include Drums of Passion: The Invocation (1988), Drums of Passion: The Beat (1989) (which included Airto Moreira and Carlos Santana), Love Drum Talk (1997), Circle of Drums (2005) (originally titled Cosmic Rhythm Vibrations, with Muruga Booker and Sikiru Adepoju), and Olatunji Live at Starwood (2003 – recorded at the 1997 Starwood Festival [1]) with guest Halim El-Dabh. He also contributed to Peace Is The World Smiling: A Peace Anthology For Families on the Music For Little People label (1993).

Olatunji recorded with many other prominent musicians (often credited as “Michael Olatunji”), including Cannonball Adderley (on his African Waltz (1961) album), Horace Silver, Quincy Jones, Pee Wee Ellis, Stevie Wonder, Randy Weston, and with Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln on the pivotal Freedom Now Suite aka We Insist, and with Grateful Dead member Mickey Hart on his Grammy winning Planet Drum projects. He is also mentioned in the lyrics of Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Free” as recorded on the album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. Olatunji composed music for the Broadway theatrical and Hollywood film productions of Raisin in the Sun. He assisted Bill Lee with the music for his son Spike Lee’s hit film She’s Gotta Have It.-  (Source: Wikipedia)

Gun laws need to be reconsidered and the NRA has too much influence

In Consider This, Culture, Politics on 22/07/2012 at 22:42

CONSIDER THIS: Our media more often than not spins and softens information before broadcasting it to the masses. Especially when it doesn’t fall in line with atypical ways of defining and describing individuals or events. I think this poster about sums this one up. What say YE?!!! #RIPColoradoShootingVictims

 

 

R.I.P. Steven Covey

In Business, Culture, Leadership, Philosophies and Opinions on 18/07/2012 at 10:47

 

Habit 1: Be Proactive
Take initiative in life by realizing that your decisions (and how they align with life’s principles) are the primary determining factor for effectiveness in your life. Take responsibility for your choices and the consequences that follow.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Envision the ideal characteristics for each of your various roles and relationships in life.

Habit 3: Put First Things First
Prioritize, plan, and execute your week’s tasks based on importance rather than urgency. Evaluate whether your efforts exemplify your desired character values, propel you toward goals, and enrich the roles and relationships that were elaborated in Habit 2.

Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Genuinely strive for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships. Value and respect people by understanding a “win” for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution than if only one person in the situation had gotten his way.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Use empathic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, respect, and positive problem solving.

Habit 6: Synergize
Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals no one person could have done alone. Get the best performance out of a group of people through encouraging meaningful contribution, and modeling inspirational and supportive leadership.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle. It primarily emphasizes on exercise for physical renewal, prayer (mediation, yoga, etc.) and good reading for mental renewal. It also mentions service to the society for spiritual renewal.

~ Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Rest in peace.

In 1959 See Left Us and is Missed: My Tribute to Lady Day

In Culture, Jazz, Music on 18/07/2012 at 09:47

MUSICAL PSA: On this day in 1959 Eleanora Harris aka Billy Holiday died at the age of 44. She is still missed til this day. R.I.P. to an original diva.

 

A Harlem Landmark Closing After 10 Years In Business – Hue-Man Bookstore

In Authors, Business, Thinking Africa on 18/07/2012 at 09:42

 

COMMUNITY PSA: I’m deeply saddened by news of the closing of the largest Black American owned bookstore in the U.S. Just finished listening to an interview on NPR with the owner Marva Allen about the state of her industry and why she had to make a tough business decision to close the store.

Simple answer, the “business model was no longer sustainable.” She said that while at the same time indicating that her gross profit margins were 37%. Bottom line, her store didn’t have enough traffic to boost sales to a point where they would allow for a more sustainable model.

One other note, the largest Black American owned company is not as large as the smallest Fortune 500 company. According to Allen this is largely because Black American owned business don’t have the same access to funding and investment that White owned businesses in America. Just something to seriously consider people.

We’ve got work to do.

Happy 94th Birthday to the One and Only Nelson Mandela

In Culture, History, Politics, the World, Thinking Africa, Uncategorized on 18/07/2012 at 09:37

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” ― Nelson Mandela

 

FOR THE BOOKSHELF: SPOILED ROTTEN: Why do kids rule the roost?

In Authors, Culture, Parenting on 30/06/2012 at 18:55

It almost seems as if we’re trying to raise a nation of “adultescents.”

In 2004, Carolina Izquierdo, an anthropologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, spent several months with the Matsigenka, a tribe of about twelve thousand people who live in the Peruvian Amazon. The Matsigenka hunt for monkeys and parrots, grow yucca and bananas, and build houses that they roof with the leaves of a particular kind of palm tree, known as a kapashi. At one point, Izquierdo decided to accompany a local family on a leaf-gathering expedition down the Urubamba River.

A member of another family, Yanira, asked if she could come along. Izquierdo and the others spent five days on the river. Although Yanira had no clear role in the group, she quickly found ways to make herself useful. Twice a day, she swept the sand off the sleeping mats, and she helped stack the kapashi leaves for transport back to the village. In the evening, she fished for crustaceans, which she cleaned, boiled, and served to the others. Calm and self-possessed, Yanira “asked for nothing,” Izquierdo later recalled. The girl’s behavior made a strong impression on the anthropologist because at the time of the trip Yanira was just six years old.

While Izquierdo was doing field work among the Matsigenka, she was also involved in an anthropological study closer to home. A colleague of hers, Elinor Ochs, had recruited thirty-two middle-class families for a study of life in twenty-first-century Los Angeles. Ochs had arranged to have the families filmed as they ate, fought, made up, and did the dishes.

Izquierdo and Ochs shared an interest in many ethnographic issues, including child rearing. How did parents in different cultures train young people to assume adult responsibilities? In the case of the Angelenos, they mostly didn’t. In the L.A. families observed, no child routinely performed household chores without being instructed to. Often, the kids had to be begged to attempt the simplest tasks; often, they still refused. In one fairly typical encounter, a father asked his eight-year-old son five times to please go take a bath or a shower. After the fifth plea went unheeded, the father picked the boy up and carried him into the bathroom. A few minutes later, the kid, still unwashed, wandered into another room to play a video game.

In another representative encounter, an eight-year-old girl sat down at the dining table. Finding that no silverware had been laid out for her, she demanded, “How am I supposed to eat?” Although the girl clearly knew where the silverware was kept, her father got up to get it for her. (cont … New Yorker)