Friday, September 19, 2008

Revolutionary Movements: Remembering Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Comrade George Jackson, and Col. Allensworth

This morning was as hectic as usual. I was in the bed at 2 AM and trying to get up at 4:30 AM and still almost missed logging in on time at 8 AM. It was the usual hectic frenzy as I received music I needed two days ago, 5 minutes to air time, guests calling me on the cell while I'm talking and unlike weeks past, I couldn't take a music break, so I had to ignore key voices because they couldn't call in. I also had a different kind of dilemma, which I know how to handle in the event it happens again: landlines are the best vehicle for Internet radio, but it a person has to use a mobile phone they should not use a hands-free device. Oh my goodness! Wait to you hear the interference on the line in the first half-hour. It was horrific, but wade through it, the panelists in the studio give great insight into the life of a marvelous brother and community he fostered, which continues to this day.

The exhibit BJ has curated reflecting our brother's life, is not a minute too soon. It's a great tribute to his life, as opposed to his death.

What came out of the conversation between many of the guests today, especially the men, yet, it was a young man, Eli who put it best when looking at the poverty in Ghana and poverty in America. He noted that the type of art HipLife artists sing about is loving, despite the difficulty, yet their peers in America sing about death and strife and other topics that point to the harsh philosophical terrain they have to navigate--these are the inheriters of the legacies of the men like Sundiata Tate, David Johnson, George Jackson, Robert King. I found the reflection thoughtprovoking. I can hardly wait to listen to some of the music and see the film: "Home Grown."

The battle isn't over.

Col. Allensworth was also fighting for his rights as a citizen when he founded the black town in Tulare country 100 years ago next month, October 11. Alice C. Royal's Allenworth, The Freedom Colony, A California African American Story, with Scott Braley and Mikey Ellinger's book, is a document that is a continuum of this unfortunate story black people have been cast in for too long.

There is a free program at Merritt College in Oakland, Saturday, Sept. 20. I think it begins at 11 AM. It a family affair and for everyone. As Baba Abrams says, "Black History is American History."

It is initiatives like Lee Mun Wah's Walking Each Other Home, A National Conversations on Race which helps us put the dilemma in a context small enough to actually see it and do something about it.

Racism is big, too big for any one person to handle all by him or herself, but if we become committed to working our way through this to heal our nation beginning with the people next door, or the one's we might meet this weekend at the First facilitated conversation, then...I don't can only be a step in the correct direction.

We closed the show with Nkrumah's words given at a speech that called for African nations to unite. This was prefaced by Nii Amah Hammond, a wonderful culture worker and percussionist with the West African Highlife Band, and the African Groove Connexion, and Hedzoleh Sounz a wonderful band that came to the United States in 1974 on tour with South African artist, Hugh Masekela.

It was, to say the least, one of my best shows.  Visit

Oh, if you haven't listened to From the Archives, check out my interview with Patrice Rushen. This Wednesday, I might have one Mary Monroe, novelist.


At 7:18 PM, Anonymous Rianna said...

Interesting to know.


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