Sunday, August 10, 2008

Weekend Reflections, draft

I woke up rushing, got to the Maafa planning meeting almost an hour late. Sunrise and Elouise, and Brother Alaman, were about to start when I arrived. it was a small group, but we got a lot done. We planned the month and even assigned dates to events. I have to get the notes from Elouise. She was a great facilitator.

I have a lot to do before Monday: Give Brother Alaman and Sunrise a press package. Revise the proclamation. Develop a press release for this year. Follow-up with the artists for the Prescott Joseph House exhibit, call Stewart Shaw about the Sunday event at the San Francisco Main Library and cancel. See if we can show Traces of the Trade at the African American Art and Culture Complex if MoAD falls through, not saying that it will. But we don't want to charge and need to have the screening earlier before we fall asleep.

We decided to host the healing retreat with the Congolese medicine man I met at ABPsi conference last week, the weekend of Veteran’s Day weekend, Thursday-Sunday. We can see if we can do it at the Malonga Center in the Fire Place Room. If we need to be outdoors we can walk over to Lake Merritt.

I wish Mandanza was here. It has been too long since we’ve connected. I miss my Dare siblings. I don’t see why we couldn’t have gotten together before now, it’s been over a year.

Maafa San Francisco Bay Area is also going to initiate a conference call invitation finally to all the organizers of maafa rituals throughout the country and the world. We’re going to do this in Sept. 13-14, at 9 a.m. our time. I need to secure the phone number and ask Brother Osei to help coordinate it. We’d also like him to pout libations at the opening of the discussion.

I want to invite: Zoe, Brother Kofi, Hadiah, Lezell, Brother Magalisi, Ebun and Kola, Aishah, the sister at Ache in New Orleans, Kalamu, Alan, the sister in Miami, the brother in Chicago, the sister in Detroit, Dr. Marimba Ani, the people in Denver…Southern Cali, Philly, the sister in Seattle…Brother Clint… Rev. Youngblood, Drs. Vera and Wade Nobles.

The sister’s luncheon is going to be great—Carolyn said she can talk to Rick Moss, director of AAMLO about it. We have a date.

After I left the meeting, I went to the post office and then I walked. I called Karen, she’d just finished taking the CBEST and was tired and on her way home. I tried to get her to consider joining me—didn’t happen. She fell asleep.

After I walked I drove to the Food Mill. I saw Abdi driving his car in front of the barrier. His group had performed and I Susan, whom I saw later at Farmer Joe’s said they were impressive.

I ran into Darryl Green, former Oakland drummer, in from New York, at the Foodmill. He’s playing with Lavay Smith and the Red Hot Skillet Lickers. I met his mom too (Linda).

After getting blocked by a car in my driveway, I was off after a shower, change of clothes and a little snack, to The Black New World, for the SFBV community meeting.

Bilal and TaSin sold refreshments; the meeting was an opportunity for the community to hear from Bayview publisher, Wille Ratcliff and offer creative solutions. It was also sort of a reunion--I hadn't seen Leroy Moore in quite sometime, or JR for that matter. Besides Leroy Moore (Poor News Network), it was also great to see Pierre Labossiere (Haiti Action Committee) and Davey D (Hard Knock, etc.). I left after an hour for Sharon Henderson’s concert at the Oakland Center for Spiritual Healing—after getting completely lost, I finally located the place with my friend Karen’s help. (Karen has Kissin Kousin Dolls). The church is literally up from the California College of the Arts where my younger daughter, TaSin Sabir, graduated, but I didn’t know this while I was driving around. (I’d left my directions at home.) When I arrived at the concert it was intermission. (It was the same when I got to Ashkenaz at 11:30 p.m.)

Sharon Henderson & Friends gave the best concert I’ve been to in a long while. The songs were so uplifting and positive. Her vocal range extraordinary—I really liked it when she got low. The selections were arranged in everything from contemporary soul music, to rocking chants, and songs by popular artists like India Arie. Lovely in a pants skirt, a blue chamois-like jacket topping the short sleeved tunic. It looked cool, yet classy.

I left there and went to Berkeley. I was hoping a zealous policeman wouldn’t pull me over to check my light. TaSin’s dad, Bilal tried to help me, but he couldn’t figure out it either.

I am so disappointed I missed David Sanborn’s tribute to Ray Charles and ?
I also wanted to see Nicolas Bearden, Yosvany Terry, and a few others. Tomorrow I will be staying in town and getting over to the Oakland Museum to hang out with Brianna and Bilaliyah. It’s the end of the summer reading program and there will be games and prizes for those who participated and those who didn’t but are thinking about it for next summer.

At 2 p.m. I’m going to go to the Comedy in the Park with Mark Curry. He seems like a really cool brother. After Sharon’s event I mingled and spoke to a few people and then headed over to Ashkenaz to see the Bongo Love Boys. The men didn’t have any bongos, but they were very good. John, lead singer, composer and arranger was calm and relaxed.

The show was precisely what John said it would be—the range was eclectic and is promised to shake the dust off the dust one’s heels. The rhythm was seductively simple…stylistically captivating like reggae and other lilting Caribbean styles. You could dance all night and not feel it until the morning—ah, the word I’m looking for is low-impact. Inviting, we found ourselves singing along at several junctions—I really missed the bongos though. They’re on the CD though. I’m loving the first CD which has more tunes with lyrics. If one is familiar with Oliver Mtukudzi & the Black Spirits or Thomas Mapfumo, then one could hear echoes of the land and power and people of this Southern African nation.

I just loved it when the Zimbabwean delegates for the 2008 Olympics marched waving their flag into the assembly. It was the same seeing other ravaged African nations and other nations in the world like Iraq, which have suffered greatly under this war against terrorism. You have to give it to the Chinese, they let governments in the US would have sanctioned. I was happy to see Pakistan, Cuba, Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea.

You know I was looking for the African folks…so when France came through I was keeping an eye peeled for the dark complexioned folks. South Africa surprised me with its interracial team. I shouldn’t have been surprised. The US had a large contingent. Oh, the United Arab Emmirents didn’t have any women in their contingent, but other Muslim countries did. Niger was even in the house and you know they are suffering from years without adequate water.

It is amazing how art and cultural institutions give people the will to continue, when all seems lost. In the midst of the disintegration of one’s political systems, the idea of training for the Olympics gives one hope for the future. I loved it when Venezuela marched in—the folks were happy. You could tell the commentors were American from their US sanctioned statements. Their perspectives were rehearsed and not politically exciting or challenging the status quo—US empiricism and western domination.

The men were high energy, with great spirits and great talent. Their CDs are Bongo Love: Rwendo Rwedo! Was recorded on their first US tour. It means, “Our Journey.” Visit Bongo Love, their first CD is more polished with guest artists and offers a fuller, richer sound. I’d buy both to experience the artists range, and nominate Bongo Love for an international music award. It’s really wonderful! I just purchased it so I don’t know what the songs are about, what language they are in, or if they are new arrangement of classical traditional songs or new. I know, I’ve heard Malaika before, but that’s it :-) At the concert, John introduced the songs, but you know I wasn’t paying attention :-)

Photo: TaSin and her dad, Bilal Sabir at The Black New World townhall for the SFBV, 8/9/2008. Photo credit, of course: Wanda Sabir


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