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Enslaved Black folk in America used to play a game called “The Dozens.” The object of the game was to tease and ridicule each other in order to develop a thick skin and high critical tolerance against the verbal insults of the enslavers. This was very important because if you reacted the wrong way you could get yourself and or your loved ones tortured or killed. This poem, “Ain’t Yo Mama Black,” flips the script and uses the dozens in a positive way!
On the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination, Wednesday, April 4, we need to stop and reflect on the many landmark movements which began 50 years ago … like hip-hop. For the Oakland Museum of California to showcase this culture in an exhibit entitled “RESPECT: Hip Hop Style and Wisdom” now through August 2018 is to elevate this conversation and its creators to a level unprecedented.
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.