Saturday, February 28, 2009

Black Literary History: Octavia Butler



Though well-known among most bookish folks in both over and underrepresented cultural communities, Octavia Butler's work brought an innovation to literature that was sorely needed in race-torn America, and some are only now learning about it. Exploring the unknown and under-embraced dimension of possibilities available in speculative fiction, her work has reached into a potential apocalyptic future in search of practical spiritual direction, shapeshifters and telepaths in the old world, and independence vs. co-dependence through off-world symbolism.

Under-championed by libraries in my area, I hope to see more of a growing awareness of the gems she's left for us, as her work is the kind that expands, rathers than shackles the black and non-black imagination alike.


Words of Wisdom from Octavia's Parable of the Sower:

"Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought

To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears.

To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists that control the fool

To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen

To be led by a liar is to ask to be told lies

To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery."


Of her works we thoroughly recommend:




The Curious Bazaar- Liberator's Tire Shoes

http://weblog.liberatormagazine.com/2009/02/african-tire-sandals-for-sale.html


Placing an urban twist on an Afrikan rural classic, these one size only sandals, are made of upcycled rubber from defunct tires sewn into a sandal. Extreme props for the innovation, and connection with the Motherland continent.
It's all about making history during Black History Month, by looking to the future, ever keeping Ujamaa in mind. Props.





Click the above image to browse and purchase.
There are also Massai Blankets available here.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Am I Not Human- Free Tibet

http://www.strangehyacinth.com/mediadump/tibet_learn.jpg


Pro-Tibet demonstrations took place outside of the UN during Tibetan New Year recently, marking China's 50th year of occupation in Tibet. The day began with a prayer in the morning for those still suffering in Tibet, for the departed, and in general solidarity. A shrine to the Dalai Llama was also erected surrounded by food, Tibetan flags, and candles.

The group, Karma Namgyal, who greeted one another saying 'Free Tibet', intend to demonstrate throughout the year. They hope the US will become more deeply involved by placing pressure on China to clean up its human rights practices.

It is a relief to see a continued raising of voices unified in the intent to see a liberated Tibet. May those who fell, and experienced torture in the struggle, rest in peace.





On behalf of the suffering, and fallen in Tibet we ask: 'Am I Not Human?'



Learn more about how you can help:

http://www.freetibet.org/

http://www.tibet.org/

http://www.savetibet.org/



Thankyou to all who participate in the Am I Not Human campaign.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Jihae- Black Pearl

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_VZN1v4y6WPg/RcJRt3rh9LI/AAAAAAAAAis/dMh_FMjR8EA/s400/Jihae.gif

I first learned of Jihae via URB ALT in the fall. There's a lovely tenderness and slightly campy feel to the video. The song is pleasingly URB ALT genre. Uncategorizable, transcendental, and perfect for the moment.





Props to The High Council.


unrelated note:

You'll likely be glad to know that my editing carnival is nearly at a close, and I'll be returning more focus to slightly more frequent posts within coming days *_^ Some lovely interviews, artists features, and vegan prn are anticipated. Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Kuku- Ife

http://naijajams.com/img/blog/photos/photo_kuku.jpg

'Ife' is a soothing piece, with a fantastically gentle vibrance captured in the video. Props to Kuku and filmmaker Ayoola Daramola. Well done.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Loer Velocity- Infatuated EP



More conscious candy arrives for our ears in the form of an EP by the sonically blessed Loer Velocity, a personal favorite in the Ultraviolet Underground.

Click the image to download.


Props to the flyness that is AudibleTreats.

Crystalheads: Don't Be Afraid Of A Green Society

Repercussions From A Green Hand



There's a trend beginning that I rather like, which focuses on the power of nature.

Two films have taken appropriate leaps in the direction of reminding us why nature can be something to fear as much as it is something the sane celebrate, in the stead of poisoning.
The first of this 'The Happening' reminds me of the green threat mentioned in a book I read this Spring, when I was first introduced to the name Nnedi, by The Amazing Black Race blog. In Nnedi's book the Shadowspeaker, nature shows her intentionally vicious side as an impressive warning, polluters would never dare risk offending were the nature of this world (which is increasingly sci-fi) to show such a face.
In the Happening [spoiler alert] nature utilizes its natural internet to organize and attack the brains of humans with neuro-toxins that cause them to undo themselves. I personally felt the movie was well-done, as some of M. Knight Shymalan's movies can have a jagged edge that is difficult to get engaged with, but I may be biased by the championing of the green reality.

In 'Wall-e', we saw the second example of media that dares to educate as well as entertain. Almost masterfully done, Wall-e tugs at the heart while creating a strong suggestion about our collective gluttony as a society (mostly in the uS and countries patterning themselves after the US, truth be told), and the trash carelessly created that must be dealt with if we are to continue to enjoy the gifts of nature, let alone life. The suggestion is not preachily extended, but intelligently woven into the backdrop of a lovestory that rushes what was almost a great look into the relationship between loneliness and its sublimation into duty, but still manages to move the viewers to 'ooohs and aaahhhs' (although the movie audience I was surrounded by was mostly composed of dissapointing duds who couldn't be bothered to carry an appropriate clap where it was warranted...).

In the past there have been attempts to create green media, that have unfortunately lacked the kick to capture the attention of audiences with extremely conditioned minds and disturbingly short attention spans, but they are only now showing how very successful a theme of meaning can be when woven into art, it's beloved womb.

In recent days we saw the reminder again offered through film in 'The Day The Earth Stood still' , which in a poignant trailer offers a woman begging a mysterious man not to destroy the planet, saying 'We'll change.'
Unconvinced, the being advises her the decision has already been made; to basically save Earth from mankind by removing mankind.

Something to think about.

GreenSociety


Visit the Green Society on Afropunk to contribute your Green goodness,
recipes, news.

Dope Quote: Miss Eartha Kitt



"The thing that hurts, that became anger, was when I realized that if you tell the truth — in a country that says you're entitled to tell the truth — you get your face slapped and you get put out of work"
- Eartha Kitt (R.I.P)


Thankyou to Fung'ke Blak Chik

Thursday, February 19, 2009

KiD CuDi- Day 'N' Nite



I think this one is safe, and we won't be ex-communicated if we embed it on our blogs *_^

The vid is cute. Not better than the one that leaked, but it has its moments.


Overt Racism In The New York Post

http://electronicvillage.blogspot.com/2009/02/racist-cartoon-infers-barack-obama-is.html

Racist Cartoonist Sean Delonas has lost his mind, if he thinks the above cartoon is in anyway acceptable. But then, I realize more and more, that racists don't have active neocortexes. Maybe he needs a little help. Let's contact his superiors and request they set an example quickly, and fire him.

The Ultraviolet Underground joins Electronic Village and Al Sharpton in demanding The Post publically clarify what point they were trying to make in this cartoon, and reprimand their cartoonist for making inferences that are offensive and divisive at a time the nation struggles to come together to stabilize the economy if, in fact, this was yet another racially charged cartoon.

You can contact the editor here: col.allan@nypost.com

update:
Col Allan's box seems to be full...
You can also make sure your voice is heard,
by participating in the Color of Change campaign here

I sent the following:
"I am writing to request clarification from your publication regarding the point the bullet riddled chimpanzee cartoon is making, if it is not a racist point.

I am appalled it was printed, and had to check the name of the newspaper several times to be sure I was seeing what I was seeing. As trusted as
your newspaper has been, I would hope you would publish a retraction and an apology to your community of readers, regardless of what culture they hail from. There are people of European descent who are just as disgusted with this incident as people of color. If no such retraction or apology is printed, I have no problem boycotting your newspaper for life, while suggesting others do as well. In reality, this cartoon is not only deeply insulting, it is criminal. Suggesting the commander in chief be murdered by police is an act that can fan the flames of those whose minds are not well, and easily influenced.
You owe it to your readers to be trustworthy. The printing of this 'cartoon' has broken trust with your readers. Personal racist daydreams have no place in a newspaper.
"


Thankyou Villager for the intel.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

B.o.B- Generation Lost



Food for thought is always appreciated. B.o.B's voice comes through more on this track than it did on 'I'll be in the sky'. For a minute, it was uncertain what his sound was, and if it was his own. We're still keeping an eye on him, as the consciousness is appreciable.


Rza's gift of chess, changes lives in the inner city

http://wuchess.com/

Rza gets extreme respect for this powerful move to change the face of sabotaged neighborhoods, where patience and critical thinking are a crucial matter of survival, and opportunity.



Visit Wuchess.com
Props to OKP

Audiovisual Splendors- EP's from the underground

New digital splendor for underground appreciators
courtesy of Wutang, Blu, and The Five One
Click the images to download the EP's.





Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Review: Ecbacc's Read For Fun

http://c2.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/41/m_f68bf427455d4ad1906db652aaa7227d.jpg

Reviewed by, Q. (Youth reviewer)

Read for Fun is a book parents and instructors would want youth to enjoy, for sure. It will keep them occupied. The workbook has tons of fun mini comics and many many puzzles, so you don't have to worry about your kids breaking things and poking around looking for something to do, while your working in the next room.

I'd say this is a read for kids ages 9-14. I say 9-14 because there are some parts that involve loss of limbs, which is not something a younger child should see. Also there are some words a younger child might scratch there heads at, though there is a great deal of educational value in this workbook. The incorporation of "that means" and "sounds like" as workbook guides is an interesting twist to activity books I haven't seen before. The average activity book will give directions but with Read for Fun your kids will enjoy a mascot to go with those directions.

Though I'm 15 I still found this to be a rather interesting publication. I may even find myself doing some of the activities to keep me occupied. The cover is bright, and the quality of the book is on par with mass produced publications in the activity book market. I will definitely read the comics many times over. They are well done short comics that give you an idea of what Black Culture comics are like. Ecbacc has outdone themselves.



PZ says:
From an adult perspective, I agree with Q's assessment. Ecbacc already provides a needed outlet and meeting point for creators and consumers of Black alternative comics, art and literature annually with their convention. It is an added bonus that they have begun to publish their own books. It is hoped there will be more to come. The illustrations are lush, and the work put into this volume overall, is admirable.

I only have one word of caution to parents, as being a parent myself I would want advance warning in case I wanted to further expose a young child to the Memnon character introduced in the workbook, as some parents may be inspired to invest in the series for their children. The second book in the Memnon series has extremely mature scenes involving graphically inferred sexual violence, especially where the Minotaur demon is concerned. While an adventurous, historically educational and incredibly well-written story, it is absolutely not for young audiences. I would however recommend it for you, to include in your adult reading. The series is available through Amazon.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Kinny- Enough Said



Powerful, organic soul.



Thankyou Dwayne for the intel

ConsciousInk- Retro-Km



Retro-km has arrived.
I cannot wait to get my hands upon it.

Visit author Edward Uzzle here, here and here.

Golliwogs are to dollmaking, what pointy white hoods are to capemaking



Golliwogs aren't something many people of color are familiar with in this country, but they've been an overt disrespect in the form of a doll, to citizens of *Afrikan ancestry in England. The Golliwog is an anti-Afrikan caricature with exaggerated Afrikan features, and the bright red clown lips we've seen in American racist caricatures depicting people of Afrikan descent. They have their roots in England's depraved era of slavery, where they were given as mocking gifts to children.

The dolls have come to our scrutiny lately after Margaret Thatcher's daughter, Carol, used the term Golliwog to reference a male tennis player participating in the Australian Open tournament. She dismissed her comments as a joke, and has not lost her position as a result of her racial slur (perhaps the joke was like the one Tiger Woods' 'friend' used about him involving a noose?).

Needless to say, the Golliwog 'doll' needed to be banned long, long ago. Let's get that in effect now, so those with sluggish functioning in their neo-cortexes won't mistake them as justification for using, Golliwog, jokingly to describe a person of color.

This post statement at Sojourner's Place made me aware of the issue and the need to become vocal about it. I hope you will post about this issue as well in your dimensions:

"I am urging all Sojourners, if you are so inclined, to our collective voice be heard across the waters in protest and solidarity with our sisters and brothers. You can do so by writing a post about these controversial and racist creatures or by leaving a comment at anyone of the UK blogs and electronic venues discussing this issue. We know there is strength in numbers and change can come even when the status quo tries to stop it."


Please sign this petition (added in an update) to share your support:
http://www.petitiononline.com/golliwog/petition.html


Related note: It's amazing to me how much overt and even 'unconscious' racism expressed among liberals there actually is. Even shopping yesterday, a friend and I experienced 'the racial side-eye' and overt ridiculousness, which my friend, a businesswoman shopping for supplies, feverishly reported to the manager, who thankfully acknowledged the seriousness of the issue and sought to make amends.
It really placed things in perspective for me. I am very aware of the problem that is white supremacist-based which causes us to seek ways to heal the damage, while breaking the cycles of self-hate it has conditioned into communities of color, and
I dare say the 'vibes' are even worse now that a person of color has been "allowed" into the role of Commander-in-chief in America (...or perhaps there are those who will say I'm being sensitive? )

... Disturbing to say the least, but we can raise our voices and stand in solidarity, because ignorance is a sign of limited intelligence that reaches for the hope of feeling superior, when in reality ANYONE that is reasonably balanced couldn't be concerned in the least with feeling superior.

::exhausted sigh::


*The spelling 'Afrikan' is used in solidarity with the ideology of Pan-Afrikanism which acknowledges the scourge of colonization and white supremacist ideology that has waged both overt and covert war on people of color, with Afrikan roots, the world over.




Friday, February 13, 2009

Black Rock: DirtyFuzz




Dirty Fuzz's determined true-to-art ethos, and vintage rock sound hailing from Britain, bring a fiery, organic guitar-mance to the other black experience. Props and appreciation.


warning: some colorful language in
interview and music intro footage.









Visit their digital dimensions:
http://community.afropunk.com/profile/DirtyFuzz
http://www.myspace.com/dirtyfuzz



Extra flyness: Afropunks 'The Echo Jinx':

Click the image to visit their spot on AP





Thursday, February 12, 2009

The List: They are Many




There are so many talented artists locatable via online dimensions that I want to give proper shine to in the underground and Purple Mag. It just won't do not to share names and links of some of the flyest alternative veterans and budding geniuses.
The solution seemed obvious to me recently, as I wracked the crown trying to figure out how to get ample coverage to the many acts and artists of various mediums out there, without losing vital time to eat or sleep. The following list and blog series (links to blog series posts will be added to this master list as they appear): 'They are many' is the solution.
It allows me to say a few words, include a link, pic, and possibly a few vids in an effort to compile the indie lovelies you may well swoon for if you are only made aware they exist *_^

The artists aren't listed in a particular order, as they are beautiful, talented and all bringing something to the table that the community needs, craves, and blooms to.

Enjoy, and as always feel free to extend your suggestions: purplemag at gmail.com



We present to you Indie Earthtoned Majesty:


Blackbird



Dead sexy, smoothed out angsty sweets
for all the alt girls and boys.

warning: Colorful lyrics- Not for the
little ones in the room.





Milk Plus


Sonic nutrition for bad a--es
who enjoy monsters in their
stereos
.






MILLS


Electro-pixie MILLS gives new
meaning to the term 'alt'.
Hypnotic chords, smooth matter-of-fact
slinky phrasing, and luxurious
vocal lace make for a transfixing
experience into the other black
experience.






Muthawit


Otherworldly heights,
channeling of mighty depths,
and smoothed out vibes said
to be 'for the ladies'






Auntkeke


AuntKeke sticks to your thoughts,
dusting off neglected brain cells,
replaying infectious melodies that resonate
with the warrior punkette in your heart with
its brow raised, and a question poised for
the mainstream, waiting to saunter
from sumptuous lips.






Tenderhead
http://www.boldaslove.us/images/2008/06/26/uaf08_tenderhead.jpg

Fierce, original post-punk
melody-makers.



Brig Feltus


The Butterfly Queen
sipping plum wine
while mainstreamers
observe her steez
and take notes.




Sabatta



Kings of sinewy bass-lines
rooted in the soil of
rock's regal masters
.




The Thirst



Fierce dreamstring strumming,
sweatdripping afropunk.







Nikki Lynette



The sonic blooms are fly,
and Miss Lynette's pen
is on point:




Sandflower


Mellow punk kitten mews,
and sharp beats in a time machine
parked in the alt 80's.



Eden Rox


Feisty, AfroPopPunk.



PZ says:
Most assuredly more to come (eventually this will be a master list for extremely easy searching as it is much needed for the locating of indie phenoms). Give a sistah a moment to compile them.


Part Deux & Trois will likely include the following (pardon the delay, a sistah has to get back to editing the final draft of an expanded Motherland faerietale due in a week or so):

Honeychild Coleman
Imani Uzuri
Proton
Lightspeed Champion
Nerdkween
BLKJKS
OMG (Clever and lush)
Trezure the Empress (Alt sexy)
Dwarfstarr (Legendary)
Kendal
Amanda Ray
Tawiah
Corinne Stevie
The Smyrk
TVOTR
The Eternals
California King
Kudu
Blakbushe
Chewing Pics (transcendental, melancholy, otherworldly)
Sterling (We listen to her on the reg-u-lar)
Shinobi Ninja

Review: In my mind







Adonya Wong, founder of M.O.C.H.A (Mothers of Color for Holistic alternatives), has written a book that highlights the extraordinary perspective of the Autistic child. Her book, In my mind, takes us on a journey through the mind of an autistic child of color, who may appear on the outside to be thinking or intending one thing, but in reality possesses an interior world beyond our comprehension.

From the beginning of the tale, there's a substantial tugging at the heart as Adonya conveys, through a whimsical but powerful journey into interior potentials, just how little the average person grasps about the potential and expansive perspective of autistic youth.

Most remarkable about this book though is the story's ultimate message to the readers, which upholds one crucial truth: We know very little about the interior worlds of other individuals, and under-serve one another by placing restrictions upon each other with limiting judgments. This applies to children and adults who are considered challenged, unusual in some way, and even those we think we know so well.

Adonya Wong's book offers you a very positive way to promote expansive thinking, celebration of diversity, and tolerance of the unknown through your child's personal library.









Visit Adonya Wong to learn more about M.O.C.H.A and her writings here:
http://www.throughtheeyesofautism.com/

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Capitol HipHop Soul Fest 2009- Call for submissions

http://www.capitalhiphopsoulfest.com/



LiberatedMuse says:

If you are a soul singer, band, MC or live visual artist who would like to participate, please submit your electronic press kit to CapitalHipHopSoulFest@gmail.com. Visit www.CapitalHipHopSoulFest.com to see photos from last year's event. Acts must hail from the DC/MD/VA area.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bold as Love compilation call for submissions

Rob Fields
Amazonmp3logo

Rob Fields is looking for Black Rock, URBAlt, Afropunk artists interested in being a part of his Boldaslove.us compilation.


Rob Says:

Here's the deal:

1. This is strictly promotional, i.e., no money will change hands either for the use of the track or for the downloads that result (they'll be free).
2. Ideally, I'm looking for tracks from albums that have been released recently, as in within the last two, maybe three, months.
3. It will help you most if your album/EP is available on AmazonMP3.com. If it's not, I understand that you can set this up easily with a service such as Tunecore.

Interested? Send me your track or a link to download it at sounds [at] boldasmedia [dot] com. If I like it, I'll get back to you with some paperwork.

Deadline for submissions is Friday, February 27.