Monday, April 25, 2011

Shamboozled: The Scramble for Africa

How insidious. How effective. How current. I'd only like to add the following: As a person of African descent, this kind of information is extremely important to my personal evolution, and that of the entire diaspora. But I would be remiss if I didn't point out the fact that we (America) are doing the same thing over in the Middle East.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

On Segu, by Maryse Condé

I recently read Segu, Maryse Condé's African historical epic that follows the Traore family for three generations as they cope with the arrival of Islam, the slave trade and the dawn of colonialism. Despite the novel's litany of tragedies, I still found myself refreshed by how Condé was able to recreate Africa as it once was: teeming with life, in all of its beauty, violence, creativity and destruction. She held sacred that which we now dismiss as primitive or superstitious. She turned her spotlight on the social structures, politics and private battles of a people that history has tried to forget.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

On Patience

I was approaching the point where I’d resigned myself to a mediocre fate. I, like many of you I’m sure, have a dead-end job, and the writer in me is bursting at the seams. I want to be paid for my passion. I want someone to acknowledge this wellspring of talent. I was ready to trade in this dead-end job for another one, the only difference being better pay.

A Little Chaka

Chaka. There is only. Chaka. Watch as she performs "A Night in Tunisia" effortlessly and brilliantly. Wish I could've been at the Roxy on this night back in 1982. Thank goodness for YouTube.  The horn solos are enough to drop your jaw, but the synergy of all the elements here make this one to watch over and over again. Chaka.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Courage to Change the Things I Can...

I've been down. Spent so many years in depression that I got comfortable there. Happiness was not mine to be had; I was made for melancholy. Sadness my birthright, enduring joy belonged to other people.

I could do "happy" for about three to six months, but inevitably, depression, my old friend, would make another appearance. And finally, I got sick of it.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Les Nubians: Free Download!

Les Nubians are back! I was introduced to them over a decade ago by my super-hip French teacher in high school, and I’ve been a fan ever since. Their first album, Princesses Nubiennes has been on heavy rotation in my life for years, and it’s one of my favorite albums of all time. The jazzy, soulful, funky sisters are back with a new album, Nü Revolution, due April 19th. As a treat for their fans, they are offering a free download of their song, “Liberté.” Check out a video of the ladies singing it live, then watch another video of “Embrasse-Moi,” a tune that will force your hips to gyrate whether you want them to or not, and then head on over to their site to get your free download. C’est magnifique!

Friday, April 1, 2011

John Henrik Clarke

John Henrik Clarke (January 1, 1915 - July 16, 1998)
I don't have much to say here, Mr. Clarke articulates my  views on the history of African-America better than I ever could, and his historical lessons should be  required for everyone, not just people of African descent. So, here are some quotes from "A Great and Mighty Walk," a film that explores his personal history and that of Africans and African-Americans. The full video is below.