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Black Genius built the pyramids, not slave labor. Black hands have built pyramids all over the world. In Afraka, Asia, Amerika and, apparently, even ancient Atlantis! I mention this because there are some very schizophrenic people out there who can’t make up their minds whether or not to try and steal the credit from Black people about who built the pyramids or to condemn Black people for using slave labor to build the pyramids.
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is one of the most riveting and exciting instrument-playing musical formations specializing in Jazz wit’ a splash of Hip Hop. I talked with trumpet player Gabriel “Huda” Hubert about touring extensively overseas, one of his brothers quitting the band, growing up in a polygamous household, the legalization of marijuana, their upcoming new album, “The Bad Boys of Jazz,” and more.
One of the most interesting musical formations of an African aesthetic that I have come across has to be the Black Spirituals. Influenced by Punk, Free Jazz, Reggae and other genres, this improvisation-based group is receiving top billin’ at the upcoming Matatu Festival of Stories this week. On Wednesday, Sept. 23, they’ll perform at the Starline Social Club in the historic spot at 645 Grand Ave., Oakland.
Given the trajectory of 2014 regarding Black lives, perhaps February would be a great time to reflect on what bell hooks calls “the love ethic,” a principle Dr. King embodied and preached. Langston Hughes would have been 116 on Feb. 1 (his mother, Carrie Langston, was born Jan. 22, 1873). Albert Woodfox will be 68 on Feb. 19. Hopefully he will be eating cake under some sunny sky, a freed man by then.
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.
Baba Kamau Seitu, jazz musician and cultural artist, is playing music with the celestial orchestra. On Saturday, Nov. 28, with literally dozens at his bedside, the drums opened the way for his transition. His Homegoing Celebration will be held on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2 p.m., at Wo’se Community Church, 8924 Holly St., Oakland.