Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Dialogue begins? Um, not yet.

As those that have been reading my blog know, I thought that racism would actually be more visible in an Obama-world. Well, that seems to be the case. All sorts of evidence is pointing to that (Obama receiving MANY more death threats than other presidents, hate crimes up, gun sales up, racist cookies and cartoons, more police killings of unarmed young black men, etc., etc.).

Now I also saw it as an opportunity to finally take the scab of our racist history off and start a proper healing. That seems to be a harder task, because while the evidence builds, the denial remains. So where many are outraged over the NY post's racist cartoon this week, many are defending it. While Eric Holder spoke the truth about this country's cowardice about the issue of race, most from the right and LEFT are offended...instead of accepting it as the truth and working on changing it.

While the vast majority of my emails this week have been about the cartoon controversy, I did not really engage...because I felt we were missing the ball again. I finally posted something today on an article a friend posted on his page, and I wanted to share here:

Simulating Murder - Another Look at the NY Post Cartoon Fiasco
By Amiri Baraka

To see the comment thread, follow the link below:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Davey D's 25 Joints to Get U Through-Dedicated to Victims of Domestic Violence

A great thanks to Davey D for sharing this mix...

In my classes we've been talking about the sociological perspective and seeing the general in the particular, where all have been talking about Chris Brown and Rihanna but remain SILENT about the abuse that is happening in their households, friends lives etc.. We had some frank and good conversations...a first step. I'll share this mix with them too...and keep trying to break the silence...

From Davey D:

25 Joints to Get U Through the Day #9
No More Tears-No More Shame
Dedicated to Victims of Domestic Violence

Listen to 25 Joints by clicking link below:

01-PSAStop Domestic violence
02-Tabb Doe 'Sleeping w/ the Enemy' (San Francisco)
03-MC Hammer 'Big Man' (Oakland)
04-Poetess w/ Def Jeff, Kool G Rap, Almighty 'Love Hurts' (LA)
05-Brand Nubian 'Sincerely' (New York)
06-KRS-One 'Brown Skinned Woman' (New York)
07-Bridget Gray 'Letter to Hip Hop' (LA)
08-Amir Suilaman 'How Beautiful' (Oakland)
09-Hard Knock 'Hands of a Stranger' (New York)
10-Sister Souljah 'Relationships' (New York)
11-Paris 'Assata's Song' (San Francisco)
12- J Boogie w/ Zumbi 'For Your Love' (San Francisco/Oakland)
13-Michael Franti & Spearhead 'Hey World' (San Francisco)
14-Urban Ave 131 'Heaven Help Us' (Washington DC)
15-X-Clan 'Wiz Degrees' (LA)
16-Bambu 'Nicole' ft Micah (San Francisco)
17-Desdamona 'Faulty Fuse' (Minneapolis)
18-NY Oil 'You're A Queen' (new York)
19-M-1 'Love You Can't Borrow' (New York)
20-Gabriel Teadros 'Warriors' (Seattle)
21-Public Enemy 'Revolutionary Generation' (New York)
22-Queen Latifah 'Nature of a Sista' (New York)
23-Kofy Brown 'Just a Woman' (Oakland)
24-Michael Franti & Spearhead 'U Can't Sing R Song'(San Francisco)
25-Jennifer Johns 'Afraid of Me' (oakland)

This week we were disturbed by the domestic violence incident that is swirling around singers Chris Brown and his now former girlfriend Rhianna. Its been the topic du jour. Sadly this is an industry where such occurrences are not unusual. If anything this industry actually celebrates and handsomely rewards those who have been accused of committing acts of violence against their partners. Some think its funny. Others think its no big deal. Way too many think the person on the receiving end deserved what they got. We see that happening now with the Chris Brown situation. Far too many comments along the lines of she may have gotten what she deserved. And that's coming from both men and women.

So this week we went and found some songs that address the various issues around domestic violence with a message of hope, upliftment and healing.

Among the cuts we got hold of include a new joint from Brother J and X-Clan called 'Wiz Degrees'. Its a nice song about love and his appreciation for his partner and what she means to him. Its off the new album 'Mainstream Outlaw' which is banging.

Desdamona out of the Twin Cities has a searing song that'll make you pause and think called 'Faulty Fuse'. We also hit you upside the dome with new music from Michael Franti called 'Hey World' which will definitely touch you.

Two of my favorite songs addressing this issue comes from MC Hammer and Brand Nubian. Hammer's track 'Big Man', off the Family Affair album hits a homer as he reminds folks the harsh consequences of such behavior.

Brand Nubian's song 'Sincerely' was completely overlooked when it was released on the 1st anniversary of the Million Man March'. You will be asking yourself, why wasn't this record being exposed to the masses? It's an incredible song.

two other songs to check is Bridgette Gray's heart wrenching Letter to Hip Hop. She lays out some serious questions that still have yet to be adequately answered. We follow that up with a piece from fellow spoken word artist Amir Suilaman called 'How Beautiful'. here he addresses the painful topic of rape.

Anyway there's lots of joints to get you thinking. Enjoy, reflect, pass along and most importantly Try to make a difference help bring about a world where the horrors of domestic abuse no longer exist..

Listen to 25 Joints by clicking link below:

Dedicated to the victims of domestic violence

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Sobering but Necessary Read

This is a sobering article but necessary read. The youth MUST understand the stakes and stay/get involved or it will not be OK.

It's Not Going to Be OK

By Chris Hedges, Truthdig. Posted February 4, 2009.


Personal Note: As I commented to a friend, the ripple effect of corporate priorities will be felt for decades to come. Buzzword: Irrelevance.

This society is a short-sighted one...only looking at the immediate instead of long term effects, etc. It's not rocket science, strictly a matter of common sense and natural law. The system as is was not sustainable...a house of cards...But if efforts are all about trying to save a system that's not sustainable instead of investing in long term sustainable solutions (education, completely different economic structure), I'm afraid the result will be exactly what this article states.

We've (academia) been talking about this "economic crisis" for years (but not "doing" anything about it because as the article argues, many universities & academics have sold out in many ways too - discussion for another

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mic Holden Performing @ Blue Cafe LB - Thurs 2/5

Mic Holden Is Goin' CRAY-Z!!!!!

Come Witness... Mic Holden's CRAY-Zness...
Live @ Blue Cafe
210 Promenade
Long Beach Ca, 90802
THIS THURSDAY!!! Feb. 5th, 2009

Mic Holden

Tickets are $5, hit me up asap to get yours!!!

Brought to you by Encore ent. & Serekh ent.
also featuring a live performance by
Definite & Relative Partners
Diondre Jermaine
The Uhh...! Infinity
and oh's still no sleepin allowed!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Summer Internship in Washingon D.C. for College Students


The Summer Academy is uniquely designed to offer students the specialized knowledge and skills required to begin a dynamic career in the world of policy research – especially research on policies and programs that disproportionately affect minorities and distressed communities.

The UI Summer Academy is free to students who are accepted.

In addition, the program will provide students with:

- Round trip transportation to Washington, DC
- Housing at nearby George Washington University dormitories
- $4,000 stipend*

Visit for more information.


Shay Olivarria
Bigger Than Your Block

Please visit for the weekly money management column.