Buy Black for Mother’s Day!
by Paradise Free Jahlove
Calling all Black celebrity athletes! Calling all Black celebrity entertainers! Calling all Black celebrity entrepreneurs! Calling all rich Black people and people who are rich in their Blackness! The ancestors are calling. The ancestors are calling for a national Black radio station. The same ancestors who enabled you to excel in this country by sacrificing their lives for the struggle are calling for outlets for the voices of Black America. We need more Black Power outlets!
Hollywood has the Big Mikes. The GOP has the Big Mikes. D.C. has the Big Mikes. The governor can get on the mike and speak to 30 million Californians. The president can get on the mike and speak to 300 million Americans. The pope can get on the mike and speak to a billion Catholics. But do you remember anything a pope has ever said. Has a pope ever said anything to make a significant difference in your life? What a waste of the biggest platform in the world. Give that mike to a mediocre poet and the world would be a better place in a Nubian minute.
We need microphones uncontrolled by special interests. We need a national Black radio station, programs and shows. Which is why you always hear me say, “Give me the ear of Black America for one year and I’ll make 40 million model citizens appear.” So-called White America, you wouldn’t have to worry about the so-called “Negro Problem” anymore if you gave the right people the Big Mikes.
But Zeus and Uncle Sam don’t want that. They don’t want to see a functional, happy nation of Black people in America. The cystem is designed for history to repeat itself. For his story to repeat itself, for the 1 percent who thrive off the misery and suffering of the 99 percent, for the status quo to stay on top. Otherwise, America could put truth on the microphone right now and the problems of America could be fixed in a jiffy.
America grew so afraid of the 1970s rise of the Black Panthers and Oakland’s ability to churn out community messiahs and change the American and world landscape that Oakland was purposefully discombobulated and flooded with guns and drugs. But perhaps worse than being Ground Zero for the crack epidemic – and still we rise – the entire city of Oakland was taken off the microphone! So Oakland is probably the only major city in the country, if not the world, without its own radio station. We can’t even get on the mike and say, “Stop killing each other, you idiots. It’s a setup. It’s a trap.”
Can you imagine, Oakland used to have its own radio station, like KDIA, with people like Sly Stone DJing on the mike! Spitting game like: “Everybody is a star. Stand. It’s a family affair!” Are you kidding me? Man, Bobbie Seale should have his own national radio show. Angela Davis should have her own national radio show. Congresswoman Barbara Lee should have her own radio show. Author Ishmael Reed should have his own radio national show. Oakland should have its own national Black radio show, so the voices of Oakland can be heard. So our revolutionary veteran soldiers can put out word.
Unfortunately, since Oakland was taken off the mike, about 150 people a year have been killed in Oakland for the last 30 years. And if we don’t do something about it, it’s going to happen again this year. His story repeats itself. The cystem is designed that way, so the same people on top can stay there, thriving off the suffering of the masses, and pretending that they are in the process of fixing things.
But this kind of violence is happening everywhere, not just in Oakland. In Connecticut, Chicago, the Middle East, Afrika, Boston. Violence in America today is more American than apple pie. Gun control? Terrorism? Turn on the TV and see 30,000 murders a day. But why do we let it happen in Oakland (which is like a metaphor for urban America)? Because we don’t take it personally. We are not in enough pain or it hasn’t hit home enough. Plus we can always run to our suburbs – the suburbs of our computers and TVs and gadgets. The suburbs of our minds. The suburbs of our hearts … on the perimeter where we don’t have to feel the pain of others.
But today there are no more suburbs. The violence is so prevalent and pervasive that at the world’s present rate of violence, corruption, pollution and consumption, humanity has less than 40 years to live. We are all on death row. And need to take a stand like Paul Robeson, until the day when a single gunshot in Oakland will be a shot heard around the world! And no less than a thousand concerned citizens will converge on that area to try and find out what happened and not leave until the problem is resolved or the citizens in that neighborhood are convinced it’s not going to be business as usual with violence and terrorism in our communities.
We should react to violence in our communities like America reacted to the recent Boston Marathon bombings. We saw recently in Boston, after people were killed during a high publicity event, how the so-called authorities know how to catch a killer if they want to: Shut down the city, send out the dogs, fly up the helicopters and aeroplanes, review the spy cameras, put the whole nation on alert.
If crime weren’t a part of the cystem and the economy of the rich – like giving out parking tickets – it could be squashed by knowledge and technology in a few years. But capturing the killer was only of great importance because it happened in the land of the Caucazoids, at one of their major money making and high publicity events. If a similar bombing had taken place at a similar event in the hood, dudes would still be running around and the whole affair would only get a blurb in the mainstream news – if that much. Where was the outrage and coverage of the most recent Middle East-like war violence in Chicago, where in one weekend last March over 40 people were shot and 10 killed?
But frankly, my dear, if we continue to lose our voices, our hopes for the future look very dim. Essence magazine is no longer Black owned. Ebony is no longer Black owned. BET is no longer Black owned. Motown is no longer Black owned. Even Famous Amos cookies ain’t Black owned anymore. Dag. Are you Black owned? Is your mind Black owned? Is your behind Black owned? If it is, you need to take it to a Black owned business and buy Black.
There is a movie out now about the Jackie Robinson story. I personally don’t feel the need to see it or empower this non-Afrikan entity with my dollars. The Jackie Robinson story is a great one and he is a great man for what he accomplished and suffered through. You gotta love Jackie Robinson. But truth be told, his “integration” into the “great white way” was the beginning of the end for the Negro Baseball Leagues. And on a larger scale, the Jackie Robinson story is reflective of the beginning of the mass integration that would wind up being the disintegration of Black culture and self-sufficiency in this country.
I would prefer to see or hear about the Curt Flood story. An Oakland brother who graduated from McClymonds High School and went on to play pro baseball during a time in the ‘70s when the major league baseball team owners could keep a player on their team for as long as they wanted and pay them whatever they chose. The league was making millions off the players and the players were getting paid pennies in comparison!
Curt Flood freed the baseball slaves by taking the league to court and winning free agency. So the players could bargain for their contracts and play for any team that would pay for their services. Curt Flood was soon blackballed or, rather, whiteballed from the league. But he is the reason most pro athletes are getting these mega million dollar contracts today,
Currency is like electrical power: Who or what are you empowering with your dollar? Professor John Henrick Clarke said being “Black and beautiful” in this world today is practically meaningless. He said we need to be “Black and powerful.” Curt Flood was Black and powerful because he raised his voice for righteousness!
Raise your voice and the voices of our people – the voice of truth. Until we get the big mikes, we gotta hit a lot of little mikes. Bring back the doo woppers on street corners and concerned citizens speaking on footstools like Malcolm and Black New Yorkers used to do in the ‘60s – and even today. Support your local poetry, spoken word and open mike scenes where – at least there – we still have a voice.
Don’t go just to suit yourself or after a disaster and you want to know what other people are thinking and doing about it. Disasters are happening in our communities every day. Go to support the process and free speech, keeping in mind that in places like China they don’t play that – they don’t have open mike.
Fortunately, something positively amazing has recently happened in this country, so please support it. There’s this new Black (owned?) television (station?) channel 66.1, called BOUNCE, BTV, and so far it seems to be really good and representative of our people. It has quality Black drama, classic Black movies, comedy and videos, and it’s not degrading, minstrel or coonish. Please check it out and let me know what you think.
Make your mama happy for Mother’s Day, the busiest day of the year at the post office! Purchase Black stamps and flowers from Black flower shop owners and Black greeting cards. Be Black! Think Black! Buy Black!
Black Business of the Month: KPOO
Speaking of having a voice and a choice, my Black Business of the Month is KPOO radio in San Francisco. Black-owned KPOO has been giving our communities a voice for some 30 years; but it may be closing down and taken off the mike as early as mid-June without your support!
Go to www.kpoo.com/donations, where you’ll see several ways to contribute. KPOO’s fundraising drive on Indiegogo has a goal of $10,000. As of May 1, with only 38 days to go, they are $8,300 from their goal.
We rallied together to save Marcus Books. Let’s do the same for the lone Black voice of San Francisco and the Bay, KPOO! Give KPOO a call and thank them for their many years of service, then ask them what they need – in addition to your generous donation – and how you can be of service to them.
We tolerate KPFA because its powerful signal potentially reaches millions and could provide an invaluable service to our communities worldwide, but racism continues to rear its ugly head there too. We, with all the capital and currency that we command, as a people should not be losing radio stations, but building more!
Paradise is president of the International Black Writers & Artists Local 5 in Oakland and was honored by the City of Oakland with “Paradise Day,” on Oct. 6, 2007. Visit www.2012worldsfair.wordpress.com and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Paradise also facilitates the Buy Black Wednesdays Facebook page and group, hosts the Black Wednesday Show every Wednesday at 6 p.m. on www.harambeeradio.com and blogs at www.blackwednesdays.blogspot.com.