The lovely and talented Ms. Esperanza Spalding’s, We Are America. Our nation owes its citizens and the world an overdue promise: the permanent closing of Guantanamo. On so many levels this feeding my soul, as recently I have been doing lots of reading on the evolution of postindustrial, post-Civil Rights, and post-soul Black American music and racially-driven and divided music business.
" ‘Protest’ doesn’t seem accurate to me," she tells NPR’s Celeste Headlee. "We weren’t thinking of a ‘protest’ song, we’re thinking of a ‘let’s get together and do something pro-active, creative and productive’ song."
She says she grew increasingly motivated to take on the cause of closing Guantanamo as she learned more about the “human rights violations and, actually, the constitutional violations that this continued detention represents.” But it was news of hunger strikes and force-feedings earlier this year that prompted her to action. “I just felt, I really want to do more, and if I can become a public champion for this, let me find a way to do it.”
In the music video, Spalding joined up with artists Janelle Monae, Stevie Wonder and Harry Belafonte with a mission to let people know what is still happening at Guantanamo, and to say that everyone’s voice is important in this debate. “We really do have the power as a people,” she says. “Part of the message of the song is, ‘This is not our America. We are America. I am America. Esperanza Spalding is America. And all the people in this video are America, and no, we don’t condone this behavior, and we don’t want it anymore.”
When it comes to child poverty, the US ranks 34th among 35 developed countries.
New York City alone is home to 22,000 homeless children. Read one of their stories, from the New York Times.
For the selfish, yet necessary sake of self-preservation, we must cease pointing fingers, questioning why it is that “those people, them, over there” suffer so greatly. It is our own nation that we must care for, our security lies here. We cannot dare claim to lead the “free world” when our citizens do not benefit from the ideals and aspirations of the United States of America. A pack is as strong as its weakest wolf…The strength of the wolf is the pack.
Lisa ”Left Eye” Lopes
Beautiful, talented, intelligent
I have to say that seeing the comments/captions left on various social media sites just by people I know personally, I thought to myself, “Would there be the same freedom/willingness to analyze the expression of, let’s say, Former FLOTUS Laura Bush?” My thoughts then immediately shot to a presentation that I did last semester surrounding Melissa Harris-Perry’s chapter on Mrs. Obama in “Sister Citizen.” Thoughts abound.
A brief quote from my paper which accompanied aforementioned presentation:
Michelle Obama presents herself before us all as a product of this land, a product of the system which prompted her to write her undergraduate Princeton thesis entitled, Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community, which became a source of contention and an excuse for her to be slipped into “the Sapphire” model of the angry Black woman. But Michelle is no angry Black woman, as she asserted in a recent CNN interview. For me, the fact that she had to even assert herself as being counter to this image is problematic. When existing in a framework which is both imagined and institutional, there is a certain reinforcement of the legitimacies of these set “rules,” which are otherwise completely absurd.
The American government can’t praise Mandela’s steadfastness for sitting in prison, while ignoring our own political prisoners. -@zellieimani
THIS! The “otherizing” of evil that the U.S. regularly engages in is hypocrisy that creates a suffocating stench. And I love that Zellie addressed those who cannot understand why this juxtaposition between Shakur and Mandela rings truthful. Not everyone has access to the truth. So keep sharing it. Critical.
Twitter king Zellie does it again!
Just a little late night academic reading.
"In the midst of blatant state repression of black political expression, singer Marvin Gaye would, against Motown’s wishes, record and release what has come to be recognized as the quintessential black protest recording. Released in the spring of 1971, the title track and lead single from What’s Going On sold more than a million copies. Included in Gaye’s musical broadside were overt concerns about inner-city deterioration, drug addiction, child abuse, the crisis in spirituality, the war in Vietnam, political activism, and the deteriorating environment.”
-Mark Anthony Neal, What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public Culture (55-56)
— Lorraine Hansberry
I know I’ve been MIA for far too long, Tumblr. But here’s the latest from Rochelle Jordan. I’ve been bumpin’ her for a while, so watch out.
OMG, she’s like a small child. Lost in the unknown that is Maura’s shoe closet.
Maura should really help her find her way out of that closet…
That face <3
Ending one conference call at 1am and having another at 7am is not cool. How I will make it through these next few weeks, I do not know.
Somehow this just screams “troubled couple in marriage counseling” to me. Fan fic material, possibly.
- “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint.
When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.”— Dom Helder Camara (via ...