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After gracing the planet for 76 years, Aretha Franklin joined the ancestors Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. President Obama: “Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade – our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace.”
International peace activist Cynthia McKinney brought a very important point to me recently when she asked me to think about the fact that every time Black people reach a moral high ground over the police, something tragic happens to the police. It drives home the subliminal point that other ethnicities should be sympathetic to police who are paid to control these Black animals, who, untrained or barely trained and armed, can kill multiple elite, trained officers. Consider the cases of Larry Davis in New York and Lovelle Mixon in Oakland.
Sia Love’s debut hip hop album, “For the Record,” was released last month. The production on the album goes from ‘80s pop to the ‘90s sound of Hip Hop to the traditional stringed instruments and drums of Africans from Latin America. Her vocals are rhythmic, strong, soothing, confident and filled with wisdom. Check out this flame on the rise in her own words.
Miguel Gonalez is a Colombian man who teaches youth how to play the traditional African-Indiginous rhythms of our ancestors from all over Africa and the Americas, opening the door for children intellectually trapped in the system’s schools to develop a knowledge of self, with the first steps being through playing the heartbeat, the drums. His organization, New Urban Drum Culture, is unique in its approach in helping to build self-esteem in at-risk inner-city youth.
By ourselves, we disenfranchised Haitians took down the fake elections and U.S. puppet president, Michel Martelly. He left on Superbowl 50, Feb. 7 – the day Beyoncé set off a politically charged “Formation,” unapologetically Black. America’s most powerful artist dressed her dancers in Afros and Black Panther leather outfits and got in (Malcolm) X formation, Black fists raised up. Banm sèt kout kouto – bring it! she said.
On Feb. 2, 2015, underground Bay Area rap king the Jacka was murdered on 94th and MacArthur in East Oakland, in the prime of his career. At 37 years old, Jack had been rhyming for over 20 years. In rememberance of my potna, my comrade, and my brotha, I wanted to interview producer Rob Lo, the Mob Figaz’ and the Jacka’s main producer, about the man and his music behind the glamour and glitz. Check Rob Lo out in his own words.
“Motown the Musical” is a wonderful story of a man’s ability to take a dream and, with the support of first his family and secondly his community – in this case, artists in Detroit, Michigan – see the vision through to its fruition. Berry Gordy Jr. decided to open his own music company, Motown, a company that put Black music on the map and provided the bridge between mainstream white America and the parallel nation Black people occupied, but not for long.
Congratulations to William Rhodes on a successful trip to South Africa, where he took a quilt created by his students at Dr. Charles Drew Elementary School in San Francisco to honor the legacy of an international hero, President Nelson Mandela, and returned with art panels from workshops conducted with youth in various townships and regions from Cape Town to Johannesburg.
“Motown the Musical” is the true story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and many more. Motown shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat. Interview with Bayview Hunters Point native Rodney Earl Jackson Jr., who plays David Ruffin.
Word reached The Liberator Magazine that revolutionary Black independent media is about to expand with the impending launch of Block Report Radio Station on the internet. So they sought out its founder, Oakland journalist JR Valrey, to ask him why he devotes his life to independent media and what we can expect from the new Block Report Radio Station.
“Love, Peace, and Soul” by the award-winning writer and WPFW broadcaster Ericka Blount is a documented history of the show that helped to launch and sustain the careers of such musical giants as James Brown, the Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Barry White, Ike and Tina, Aretha Franklin and more.
There are a lot of people out there who are concerned about how you spend your money. Embrace this glorious month of February and our incomparably rich history that extends back God knows where and support the future Gabby Douglases and Colin Kaepernicks and George Washington Carvers of the world by buying Black.
The House of the Lions of Judah Ecumenical Rastafari Service at San Quentin State Prison is a universal Rastafari mystic community. Some of the Rastafarians at San Quentin attend the religious services, some don’t.. Terrence Keller said, “Whether we attend the services or not, or whatever the reason – we Rasta! The sphere of love and guidance goes with us wherever we go!”
Tupac Shakur, a very talented rapper and actor who defined the aspirations and frustrations of a generation, was shot on Sept. 7, 1996, and died on Sept. 13. On June 16, Bobby Beats, the father of Digital Underground’s Money B and a former Black Panther, organized one of the biggest, most exciting and most meaningful Tupac birthday parties in history.
I would like to wish all the fathers a blessed and happy Fathers’ Day 2012. It is a hard time to be a parent of a youngster, not to mention an adolescent or youth. The challenges are great, in direct proportion to the rewards. I’d like to congratulate the young fathers who are stepping up and participating in their children’s lives, especially when society equates parenting with one’s largess or paycheck.
Amoeblog invited author, journalist, broadcaster and activist JR Valrey, aka the People’s Minister of Information, to be a guest contributor. The Oakland-based Valrey, who was interviewed and profiled on the Amoeblog last month, is known for his work on KPFA radio, the San Francisco Bay View newspaper, and his book “Block Reportin’.” The book will soon be available for sale in Amoeba Hollywood’s book section.
Afrika! Black people! Afrikans! Let’s do like China did and put the whole continent on lockdown by closing our doors to the rest of the world until we’re ready to come back out again as a superpower.
There are those who would have you believe that seeing a black cat (like me?) cross your path will bring you bad luck. But the Native Americans had no idea when they first saw that white cat named Christopher Columbus that he would be bringing them and the whole world 500 years bad luck!
A recent evening at the African American Museum and Library in Oakland was special. The line wrapped around the corner of 14th Street at Martin Luther King Jr. Way as people lined up to hear Isabel Wilkerson talk about her book, “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration.”
Rico Pabón is one of the most talented, versatile, dedicated and well-informed artists that I know on the West Coast. At home in the studio or on the stage, the Afro-Puerto Rican bilingual musician known as Rico Pabón is a man of many genres. Although hip hop is the music of his generation, he is just as comfortable singing traditional Afro-Carribbean tunes with a live band.
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