The Global African: Ferguson, Iran, & Urban Development Pt. 2

Was Kerry Washington’s Speech on Point?

I personally believe it was; people who have been wrongly ostracized by society shouldn’t be fighting among themselves  and voting against their own self-interest. Why are some of us so against it or sound like the Tea Party? Why did the people from Uganda let White Christians come to their country and tell them homosexuals was bad? Why did they listen and persecuted their own Ugandan people, because White Conservative Christians told them Gays deserved it? You guys should know when you are being used.

I don’t know whom I respect less; the Nigerian government, or people like this that appoint themselves as gatekeepers of traditional African culture and in so doing defend the obviously incompetent regime. How unenlightened to use the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic canon as proof of the unAfricanness of homosexuality when the historical truth is that homophobia was introduced to Africa through organized religion and Victorian values. Before then there is historical evidence that homosexual practice was accepted and even revered by tribes such as the Dogon, Bangala, Hausa (Yan Daudu), Nzema (Agyale) and others.

http://www.msafropolitan.com/2011/12/is-it-unafrican-to-be-gay-the-nigerian-case.html

http://www.ammazingseries.com/the-gay-african/

4 Ways to Make Your Brain Work Better

By Chris Mooney

You’re a busy person. Keeping up with your job, plus your life, has you constantly racing. It doesn’t help that when working, you’re distracted not only by your mobile devices, but also by your computer. You average 10 tabs open in your browser at any one time, and you compulsively click amongst them. One’s your email, which never stops flowing in. At the end of the day, you sleep less than you know you should, but as you tell yourself, there’s just never enough time.

Read more

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Sound Cloud

American Bully

New York City police officers play with kids in Harlem circa 1978. The man on the left is undercover.

Police sirens blared. They stood there, pistols at the hip in holsters. Thick smog and faint gunmoke choked my lungs. The mid-summer’s heat bared down on us, making us pant like dogs. We felt like dogs. Told to stay put. Our legs crossed like kindergartners on time out. The rough concrete and jagged glass scrapped against my thighs.

They started going through the car. The first officer tore out left over fast food bags out the backseat and worn CDs out the front. The second waltzed to the car’s rear, his black loafers clicking on the concrete, to pop the trunk.

Could they do that? I wondered. I looked at my cousin; he less bewildered. This was his city, I was nothing more than a tourist. His face contorted and in objection, but he said nothing. Deep down, he knew it didn’t matter. Other moans and of dissatisfaction and the occasional swear, that was all he had the courage to muster.

Why did they stop us again? I wondered. I didn’t know. They just pulled us over and we instantly obeyed. Without question, without second thought. I rolled down the window and he peered in, sniffing the fear on both of us. Next thing I knew, we were on the curb, questioned about everything from gang affiliation to drugs.

They found nothing. The first officer flashed us, a condensing, but nevertheless impressed smile. The second flicked the flashlight’s beam in our eyes before heading back to their squad car.

They left, sirens blaring.

———————————————

The picture above offers a glimpse into a pefect world, absent of brutality, prejudice, fear, and exploitation. The job of a police officer is beyond stessful and truly a daunting amount of responsibility. But when you mistrust those who you’ve sworn to protect, and that mistrust morphs to misconduct and malice, you no longer are a police officer…

You’re just a bully.

What does it mean to be Black and the misconception of Gay people?

Interview with Kushite Prince

Why do you call yourself Kushite Prince?

 I read a book years ago about the Kushite kingdoms in Africa. I call myself Prince because I don’t feel like I’m a king……yet.

What was your upbringing like and how did it shape you to be the man you are today?

 I grew up in southern California. I had a very loving family. My father instilled in me to always speak my mind and demand respect. My mother told me to always stand up for myself and be a proud black man. She also told me to never put another race of women above black women. Those teachings shaped me into who I am today.

At what age did you become aware with how the world operates on race?

A learned at about seven years old that white people were everywhere. And they were always on television. I assumed they controlled everything in the world. I wasn’t too far off. It wasn’t until I read Isis Papers by Frances Cress Welsing that really opened my eyes. That book made me realize the sickness of racial hatred.

Why do you identify with Huey’s character on The Boondocks?

I love Huey from The Boondocks! I have the complete DVD series. He’s not afraid to speak his mind. Reminds me of myself.

What is the most controversial viewpoint you have?

Too many to name. lol Although I’ll just say I’m not the biggest fan of interracial dating or homosexuality. I’ll leave it at that.

How do you think Black Americans will come together, pertaining to group economics and do you think it is the glue that will hold us all together?

I think we need to create more black businesses. We need black owned and controlled banks. As well as diners,car manufacturers, grocery stores,schools,clothing stores etc. We need to invest in our community. And redistribute the wealth back to the black community. We need to create another Black Wallstreet. We did it once…we can do it again. But we must trust each other and work together.

What is your favorite graphic novel, and author?

I don’t read to many graphic novels. Although years ago I did read Sin City by Frank Miller. It’s a comic book but was done in graphic novel form.

What is your favorite comic book?

As a kid it was Black Panther. For obvious reasons. As a kid there was the X Men,Superman,Batman and Spider Man. Seeing the Panther gave me a great sense of pride. There weren’t a lot of black comic book characters back then.

Favorite show on television, and worst show on television in your opinion?

Not sure if I have a favorite television show. I do like watching pro basketball and football from time to time. Sometimes I watch Sports Center on ESPN. I’m not a big fan of most sitcoms or dramas nowadays. So many of the shows promote violence,death,sexual perversion and anti-blackness. There’s way too many negative black stereotypes today. Worst show?? Where do I start? Any reality show with black people, anything by Tyler Perry,Kardashians,Lee Daniels etc.

Do you think Black Americans criticize each other too harshly at times?

At times we do. There’s nothing wrong with constructive criticism. We should be trying to lift one another up.

What is your favorite music genre?

I love R&B and hip hop music. Some of my favorite artists are Erykah Badu,Sade,Stahhr,Dead Prez,Kalik Scientific,Sa Roc,Amel Larrieux, Nitty Scott,Lauryn Hill,Oshun,D ‘Angelo Maimouna Youssef and Narubi Selah.

Do you think the media unjustly or unfairly targets Hip Hop Music?

Yes they do. They blame hip hop for many of the social problems. This is grossly unfair. I have my issues with gangster rap music. I like more uplifting and socially conscious hip hop. But the problems in the world didn’t come from rap music. Problems like crime,police brutality,unemployment, poverty,blacks filling up the prisons stem from racism. The problems we face come from white supremacy. Not hip hop. But of course they’ll never admit that.

Thank you Kushite Prince for the interview; it is refreshing to be able to disagree with each other on some points, but still remain civil and working towards the goals we share.

“Floodwaters” + Hurricane Katrina Anniversary

Every night, for the past three years, I had the same dream. And every night, it gets more vivid than the last. The trumpets and saxophones melt together in a smooth melody. Men chatter, glasses clatter, and smoke shifted above their heads. Smell of the sea and its bounty linger the air.

Then water rushes in, and drowns out everything.

Sound, sight, time. The world becomes a blur, an abyss. I’m sinking and struggling to breathe.
My nails dig into the shingles of my neighbor’s roof. My fingers become as red as the paint. Just as I’m slipping, about to fall back into the abyss, I’m pushed upwards, higher on the rooftop. My husband. His strength, his force, his force, his love lifts me, and I scramble up the roofing like the side of a mountain. Safe. Finally safe.

I turn around and he’s gone. And the water continues sweep and roar, the streets turned to rivers.

I stand up and call his name; then scream it. Repeatedly and frantically. I get no answer. Only the cries of others stranded. The sky, still a storm, is absent of both mercy and sympathy.

I hold my tears back. Too worthless to be helped, too pitiful to help ourselves. We wait.

And then I wake.

I sit upright in my bed, my body draped in dark cotton sheets. My brown eyes weary. The moonlight and hum of streetlights crept inside the room from the window and blended across my bed.

I get up, my feet pattering the floorboards. I gathered my things in silence, not to wake the other women. Weaving through rows of beds. Women and children sleeping soundly, each with their own struggles and nightmares to overcome. I go into the hall and exit through the shelter’s double doors.

It was time to go home.

———————————————

The effects of Hurricane Katrina, I think is extremely downplayed concerning importance. It was a pivotal moment in American history. The Hurricane opened up a lot of issues about government accountability, neglect, racial implication, socioeconomic barriers and so on. A country that can mobilize for war in a matter of days, takes weeks to do anything about a city within it’s own boarders under water I think says a lot. People talk about how police killings are an issue now, they were always an issue. From the criminalization of blacks in the media during Katrina as looters to the slow and inffective response of the local, state, and federal governments, it’s possibility to be a case analysis for how true systematic oppression and neglect works is constantly overlooked.

With this year marking the 10th Anniversary, expect something big with more analysis on the subject from us at Sincere Ignorance. For now, check out these resources on the subject.

http://www.propublica.org/special/timeline-katrina-and-its-aftermath

http://www.propublica.org/nola/story/post-katrina-shootings-by-police-where-things-stand

Crossroads: A Story Inspired By Robert Johnson

https://i1.wp.com/image.tmdb.org/t/p/original/yz4Pc1FTiZNs8z1EhNZqocVJho7.jpg

I held my guitar, strumming the strings to hear its cool twang echo bounce through the forest as I stepped up the moonlit dirt road. I thought I was pretty good. Some said I had talent, but I was never talented enough to step on stage.

But that was about to change. I reached an intersection, where four worn roads came together. By this time, the forest was behind me and there was nothing but miles of sweeping Mississippi farmland coating the earth. The distant, pained howl of a hound lingered in the night air for a second before fading into silence.

A man stood in the center of the crossroads, dressed in a sharp gray suit with a fedora tipped sideways atop his head. The look in his dreary blue eyes sent a whirlwind of doubt ripping though my subconscious. I stopped within six feet of him; a lump filled my throat.

“I believe you know how this works, right?” he asked, his voice as pale as his skin.

I nodded and swallowed my uncertainty. I stepped closer to present my guitar to him.

His eyes widened. “I suppose not. We’ve changed policy, dear.”

Before I could raise an eyebrow, he slipped a hand into his jacket, pulled out a sleek pen and a sheet of paper— offering it to me. I placed my guitar on the ground, next to his briefcase, and took the instrument.

“Sign the dotted line, please,” he said.

The paper was strong enough to write on without need for a clipboard and it was glazed with legal jargon. Some words I couldn’t even pronounce, let alone understand.

“Midnight doesn’t last forever,” he said after a few minutes.

Fearless of sin, I scribbled my name in pen. The signature glowed a bright blue, but the ink started to sizzle and smolder to a coal black. There was a blank section below the signature line which filled itself in with words that formed my biography. Before I could speak, the man snatched the paper back and scanned it.

He arched an eyebrow. “Keisha Williams? Born in New Orleans, sixteen-years-old, and second daughter of James and Angela Williams?”

I nodded.

He bit his lip. “I see, and what do you plan to do when you’re a rich and famous musician?”

I paused for a second. “Charity,” I admitted.

A thin mocking smirk played on his lips. “For the hurricane, I assume.”

“Yes.”

He tore the paper to pieces and blew them into the humid air. Like fireflies, the pieces lit up the night sky before fading into darkness.

The man then reached into the breast-pocket of his jacket, taking out a red pack of cigarettes and a pack of matches. He shook a thin single out and plopped it between his lips. “Please don’t try to undo our work, Ms. Williams. You have a good evening.”

He struck a match and a bright flash nearly blinded me; my eyes slammed shut. The flames crackled like witches. When my eyes flicked open, he was gone. The dirt beneath me was covered in dark soot.

My guitar sat next to my sneakers as a pile of black ash. Left were the twisted metal strings protruding from the instrument’s charred remains.

Law school it is, then.

————————————–

Robert Johnson was the inspiration for this story. I felt it could’ve went in a better direction, but I see these shorts I’m posting as literary exercise than anything else. Decent to be written in a day I’d hope.

https://i0.wp.com/www.sacurrent.com/imager/king-of-the-delta-blues-robert-johnson/b/original/2401841/9337/cityguide48-1.jpg

Robert Johnson was a 30’s blue musician, passing away at the age of 27 and joining the legendary 27 Club (with Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix), Johnson left a huge dent in music despite his short tenure in blues. In the 60’s his re-released works grew immensely popular and went on to inspire many white and black powerhouse artists of the day.

It’s always been according to legend that Johnson made a deal with the Devil to play the guitar the way he did. That, coupled with the fact little is known about Johnson’s life besides his music career and his early demise, and you have yourself the music blues legend.

Things like this “alleged footage” increase the spookiness factor.

The idea of the crossroads has always interested me. Standing alone by yourself, making a choice in which direction to go. Or hoping to meet something of supernatural origin to strike a deal that you’d soon regret.

Check out some of Johnson’s music:

Sources:

http://www.robertjohnsonbluesfoundation.org/biography

http://www.biography.com/people/robert-johnson-9356324

https://i0.wp.com/fc03.deviantart.net/fs45/i/2009/124/6/f/Robert_Johnson_by_jugodenaranjo.jpg

American Bandit + Black Literary Magazines

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From the darkness, I approached a woman with a daringness and audacity not seen since the Old West. Her brown eyes lit up. I flashed a gun and any intention of heroics died in an instant. I aimed the barrel at her chest and she froze; her silk green dress ruffled in the wind.

But those shock-stricken eyes were familiar. Thick, white lines of cocaine had nearly erased my memory, but not of her. I blinked and she came back in flashes. I remembered her short, curly black hair and her smooth, dark skin. Danielle, the woman I once loved.

My confident smirk faded and my head sunk low like broken ships into the cold harbor. A shadow lingered above me, not below. She said my name, asking if I needed help. The worry in her voice was a needle to my heart. I could feel the spots and blotches dotted along my arm. I needed help. I needed her.

I didn’t want help, though. Help strangely always arrived and handcuffed me. The blue bandits. Red and blue lights flicked in my eyes just thinking of them. I didn’t want to risk rotting. A drizzle of rain pattered on the worn sleeves of my jacket as I contemplated both lunacy and salvation.

“Just give me the money,” I said.

I closed my eyes held out my hand, expecting crumpled bills or a credit card on my palm. After a few seconds of silence, a soft hand wrapped around mine and squeezed gently. Whispers of support floated through the air.

I squeezed back.

——————————————————–

I’ve been reading more, so that’s inspired me to write more. Not my best work, fairly heavy-handed, but pretty decent for 15 minutes. I’ve been struggling between activist and artist for the past year now.

I’m leaning more towards artist.

Black Literary Magazines to check for:

http://www.unionstationmag.com/issues-3/

http://www.spectermagazine.com/

http://www.ebony.com/entertainment-culture/new-literary-magazine-spook-228#.VQh5M-FsWM8

Dahomey Women: Amazonian of West Africa

For the better part of 200 years, thousands of female soldiers fought and died to expand the borders of their West African kingdom. Even their conquerors, the French, acknowledged their “prodigious bravery.”

As Father Borghero fans himself, 3,000 heavily armed soldiers march into the square and begin a mock assault on a series of defenses designed to represent an enemy capital. The Dahomean troops are a fearsome sight, barefoot and bristling with clubs and knives. A few, known as Reapers, are armed with gleaming three-foot-long straight razors, each wielded two-handed and capable, the priest is told, of slicing a man clean in two.

The soldiers advance in silence, reconnoitering. Their first obstacle is a wall—huge piles of acacia branches bristling with needle-sharp thorns, forming a barricade that stretches nearly 440 yards. The troops rush it furiously, ignoring the wounds that the two-inch-long thorns inflict. After scrambling to the top, they mime hand-to-hand combat with imaginary defenders, fall back, scale the thorn wall a second time, then storm a group of huts and drag a group of cringing “prisoners” to where Glele stands, assessing their performance. The bravest are presented with belts made from acacia thorns. Proud to show themselves impervious to pain, the warriors strap their trophies around their waists.

The general who led the assault appears and gives a lengthy speech, comparing the valor of Dahomey’s warrior elite to that of European troops and suggesting that such equally brave peoples should never be enemies. Borghero listens, but his mind is wandering. He finds the general captivating: “slender but shapely, proud of bearing, but without affectation.” Not too tall, perhaps, nor excessively muscular. But then, of course, the general is a woman, as are all 3,000 of her troops. Father Borghero has been watching the King of Dahomey’s famed corps of “amazons,” as contemporary writers termed them—the only female soldiers in the world who then routinely served as combat troops.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/dahomeys-women-warriors-88286072/#8MQTUpWzJhYapIY0.99
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Music: “Legacy (feat. Braille)” by Golden Disciples

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