“However, I submit that, in point of fact, “we who are dark” have done precious little talking about our pain in this post-civil rights era and probably a bit too much posturing about our plans. if anything, we have a surplus of plans, many of them quite sound and longstanding and unrealized. What we do not have is a language, much less a political culture, that adequately addresses the complexity of our position(s), our predicament(s), and our pain(s) without recourse to euphemism. As a result, we are perhaps more inarticulate about our pain today - in the age of transnationalism and multiracialism - than we have been at any other historical juncture. I mention “pain” here, but it is better to speak more precisely of “suffering” and to do so in the fullest sense of the word: indicating not only pain, which everyone experiences, all oppressed people, at least, but also that which me must bear - uniquely and singularly - that which we must stand alone.”—Jared Sexton, “The Obscurity of Black Suffering” in What Lies Beneath: Katrina, Race, and the State of the Nation (edited by the South End Press Collective), p. 121 (via so-treu)
I recently, watched a trailer to the film,God loves Uganda.Along with whatever featurettes,I could find,that would explain more on the film.The feature length documentary is a powerful exploration of the evangelical campaign to change African culture with values imported from America’s Christian Right.
The film follows American and Ugandan religious leaders fighting “sexual immorality” and missionaries trying to convince Ugandans to follow Biblical law.
Now I am currently reading,’ Things fall apart’ by Chinua Achebe.Watching God loves Uganda clips, coincided with a pivotal point in the book whereby white men show up in the village of Umuofia and begin to talk on the ‘one true god’.
All throughout the book, till this point there is great description of faith systems and culture of the people of Umuofia; Ani ,the goddes of the earth.I am familiar with her through the literal works on Nnedi Okorafor’s ‘Who fear’s death’ and now via ‘Things fall apart’.
When the white men arrive they talk of their god. Some people listen, others ignore, but what captured me most was that, in the book, when the first white man arrived on his iron horse(bicycle), the elders consulted their oracle who then warned them that this white man would break their clan and bring destruction among them.It then warned that other white men were on their way.They were locusts,it said,and that first white man was sent to explore their terrain.
This film and this book, generations apart,collide in thought. Though it is evident the main theme of the film is geared toward sexual tolerance, but it also highlights how imposition of belief/ faith in a people, the white people on Africans, has and is having almost irreversible destructive effects.
We have forgotten our oracles, our Gods, our faiths, to take up the ones that they purport.Without questioning, why are they are here?Why aren’t they evangelising to their own?
In the film, you can sense there is this superior imposition that these pastors and their bethren feel towards, Uganda.Who said Uganda needed their god?I do not know!They pray over map, fall down in sweat,shouting and heaving.Why are they so eager to save people worlds apart from them,whilst they have their own?..are their own people ‘unsave-able’?
I am a generational Christian.My parents are Lutheran.My grandfather was a Lutheran pastor,and my great grandfather also spread the gospel of Christ Jesus.I have gone through 8 years catholic school in my primary level.In high school, I was very active in the all things Christian.
Let it be clear,I do not deny my past.I do not deny that when I pray the words,’in Jesus name.Amen.’ roll out of my mouth like a song to a bird.
I do not deny, that many at times, my prayers have been answered.I can attest to God’s existence. But lately, I question his form.I want to know more about Ani ,the goddess of the earth, that the Igbo people believed,brought them good harvest,and was not happy if innocent blood spilt on her.
I want to know more about the people of Kemet(Egypt), and their book of the dead
Depicting,the passage into the afterlife,where you heart is weighed on a scale,in comparison to the feather of truth.
Does that mean, I need saving?Does that make me a pagan?Why would it?
As Africans we speak of our former faiths with disgust,as if we were such buffoons. Yet there is evidence that when we had our faiths, we thrived. We had kingdoms made of ivory and gold, palaces, armies,dance and song.Now,what do we have?
I acknowledge, that not all practices and beliefs were rosy.However, the point is we had dignity and pride in what was ours, because it WAS OURS.Our spirits, our gods, corresponded with who we were, in our entirety.
I understand as well, that faith is a very personal aspect of each individual.
We have have forgotten our oracles. We have forgotten our ancestors.We have forgotten ourselves.
I leave you with this scene from the first movie I watched as a child at the cinema:
Remember who you are- Lion King (a confirmation that we must recognise our ancestors in order to recognise ourselves)
This is for the teenage mother who sacrificed her dreams for a drive through window. For the drug dealers, dope boys and conscience criminals who stand on street corners and porch steps having to make it by any means. This is for those with thoughts like a tsunami and they are stuck helplessly…
Here is the Part 2 of The mix Sessions called Dillusions. I selected some of my favorite J-Dilla Beats and mixed them with Jazzy, Soulful and Hip-Hop Music I’ve been listening to this year.
Tracklist: • Jay Dee [Track 12] (Dillamenstrals Beat) • Waajeed [W-A-A-J-E-E-D] Interlude • Madlib [All Love] ( The Movement ) • Nine Yards [Always Find a way] • Platinum Pied Pippers [I got You] • J-Dilla [Workinonit] • Clan Destined Feat. Methuzulah [All in It] (RMX) • Clan Destined [All in It] (Instrumental) • Havana [Shine] • Q Tip [Let’s talk about] • Pete Rock [Track 09] (Petestrumental) • Zo! (feat. Dwele) [Hold on] • Chris “daddy” Dave Feat Cashmere Don [Wutcha Do] • Common [Keep on] • Othello + The Pocket Change Band Feat. Rebekah Pumphrey [For Her] • Slum Village [untitled Fantastic] (Instrumental) • Eric Lau [Gold En] • Freddie Joachim [One more Night] • Visioneers [It’s simple] • Muhsinah [Outsource] • Shafiq Husayn [Nirvana] • Dwele & Slum Village [A.N.G.E.L] • Eric Roberson [For da love of da game] (RMX) • Jay Electronica [My world] • Robert Glasper [Dilla Beat]
Our men do not belong to us. Even my own father, left one afternoon, is not mine. My brother is in prison, is not mine. My uncles, they go back home and they are shot in the head, are not mine. My cousins, stabbed in the street for being too —– or not —– enough, are not mine.
Then the men we try to love, say we carry too much loss, wear too much black, are too heavy to be around, much too sad to love. Then they leave and we mourn them too. Is that what we’re here for? To sit at kitchen tables, counting on our fingers the ones who died, those who left and the others who were taken by the police, or by drugs, or by illness or by other women. It makes no sense. Look at your skin, her mouth, these lips, those eyes, my God, listen to that laugh. The only darkness we should allow into our lives is the night, and even then, we have the moon.
“There was a young girl named Imola who was preparing to marry her beloved boyfriend. According to custom, before a girl could be married, a pot of walnuts would be cooked overnight and shared with the relatives of the would-be groom. If the walnuts were bad, unhappiness would plague the marriage. The jealous second wife of Imola’s father burned the walnuts in secret overnight; when Imola discovered this, she climbed up toward the heavens in search of good walnuts and became the moon. Her suitor then followed her up into the sky and became the North Star.”—Imola & the Moon (Celestial Folklore)
“Bobby Pin crown,
You, my throne,
We make like an empire before this closet mirror door
A village in your eyes, my eyes reflecting back upon this sanctified seat and Oh
What they will bear witness to this eve.
When wrapping my hair, you watch me,
Press your chest right up on my back,
Hold my hips as if they were the only mast offering balance to this wayward sea captain
As if it were my hands sea, my hands sorcery, my hands witchcraft or
Wire weaver who spins gold threading a nest of precious stone
But my fingers are rather betting fiddling,
Finding things to fix on your face,
Throw to find there isn’t much a scab to pick, a zit to pop, fussing with your stubborn fuzz which you like so much to bury in the north west axis of my neck
I got a mouthful of pins and a bedtime to respect.
Though your core is gorged with God, your hands are full of sin, Young Man.
My waist does not a meadow make for you to serpent your way in, Young Man.
We’ve got to go to bed.
I is a still wet concrete and here comes you, a brazen unkempt boy,
Carving your gang signs all up alongside me with an unassuming stick.
Where is your home training?
Why do you make the city of me so unbecoming?
Your language is hardening in this landscape of mine.
Everyone will pass here and what will they find?
That I am your block, I am your boulevard, your bayou,
And baby, I don’t mind, I don’t mind, I don’t mind.
When wrapping my hair, you stare and dare not touch.
Instead, our brown goes for one long line around.
We cannot tell where you begin my end.
I start to blush. You
Make to play connect my dots, my blemishes, and beauty marks
And with your lips inaugurate my monuments like they’ve just began this night last night
And this love is so fresh it squeaks and shines and…lies a little bit,
Has secrets and shit to hide a little bit,
Small unpoetic things like
Like, Baby, you don’t know how to each chicken and sometimes it bothers me.
Like you leave so much meat on the bone, your leftovers could feed a small child with a big appetite or make a nice snack for me now or late with some potato bread or butter.
And it takes everything in my power not to clean your plate for you but, goodness, that would be ghastly.
And also, I pass gas.
I talk with my neck and my hands, not only when I’m fed up but sometimes, when I’m trying to say a point like
It just helps me express it better.
And I got a little street in me. Sometimes, I lose my cool and get hood.
And I never lose in Taboo but I’m so competitive I’d make you cry and I’m mean.
Your feet…make me uncomfortable.
You never have a clue but it’s more than a hint when I suggest you and I should go get pedicures together soon.
I have 13 piercings and two tattoos and you still look at my body like it’s brand spanking new.
I’m afraid you’ll find my tarnished parts.
If you keep snooping around the way you do, I’m afraid you’ll see there is no land left here unchartered or un-charred.
This was an empire before they burned their fires, stuck their flags deep in this soil.
And when the ear was barren dry, they gave it back, unholy act.
See, I’m no piece girl, when I love I give the whole of me.
So when they left the lease in pieces, they also left these holes in me.
My monuments have seen some things, Baby,
Civil wars, famine, and crusades, Baby, the conquer and raids of holy places.
So before we go any farther, Baby, will you listen to the kind of mess my heart’s been in?
Touch the grit that’s sitting tranquil between each whittled rib?
After all the best has been torn away, will you want the rest of me,
The parts that poets find grotesque and plain, The bits that boil and bubble over, crack and callous, break down and dust to dust;
My crown is fluff.
Bobby pinned bee hive hair,
But, when wrapping my hair just before bed, you stay.
My shoulder be your port, your eyes reverse my isle, your hands hold my sea.
Let’s make camp here for a while and Oh,
What they will bear witness to this eve.”—Zora Howard (via millicentlamar)
“The first time we met we stood on a winter beach.
Ankles deep in sand under a sky of unconstrained stars. The second time it didn’t work but I hope the third times the charm. I’ve never had the audacity before now to wait for a heart but you said “sleep on it.” so I curled up on your…
“Immature people falling in love destroy each other’s freedom, create a bondage, make a prison. Two mature persons in love help each other to become more free. There is no politics involved, no diplomacy, no effort to dominate. Only freedom and love.”—Indian mystic and guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, or “Osho” (11 December 1931 – 19 January 1990). (via jimchuchu)
Dear boyfriend, you better hold her tighter than an armrest in a crashing airliner
And pray that I don’t wingwalk my way onto that plane and fly her away myself.
Because she loves you enough to be honest
Always wears her heart on her sleeve, so I can see her face everytime she waves hello;
Or takes my hand just to keep it platonic.
So don’t think that I won’t recognize you, in the wedding photos you will take with her years from now
And I stay at home with my own children, joyful as humanly possible but still earthbound
Without that hydrogen smile to lift my spirits and remind me what turbulence tastes like at one in the morning.
Dear God, you said that love isn’t selfish
That it’s patient and perfect and is the only real rule You ever gave us.
And I’m trying my hardest not to covet my neighbor’s wife, but
They’re not even married and she looks beautiful tonight.
So dear unattainable love,
If you ever find yourself alone at a busstop in Brooklyn
With a lead heavy heart and a craving for wings
Write me a love poem on a kite, made from paper clips and old crossword puzzles.
Wait for an evening, when that sunset is so brazen that you could fry an egg on it
And let it fly, addressed to the boy with earthquaked legs
Signed sincerely, the best co-pilot this side of the atmosphere.
P.S. Lying was never worth it, I’ll see you on the other side.
“give your daughters difficult names. give your daughters names that command the full use of tongue. my name makes you want to tell me the truth. my name doesn’t allow me to trust anyone that cannot pronounce it right.”—TULANANA warsan shire. (via warsanshire)
all those nights with the phone warming the side of my face like the sun. you made jokes and sure, i may have even laughed a little but mostly you were not funny. mostly you were beautiful. mostly you were unremarkable, even your mediocrity was unremarkable. when friends would ask ‘what do you…
“Past the gossiping fountains and the homeless woman shouting at the top of her lungs, “This chair belongs to me, and all the Louvre belongs to me” and it did. It was made for the rich but ever since it was the unspoken home of the people who needed to forget and to remember, and I am remembering to forget you as best I can but damn it, you belong to me.
If only in between the shoulders of September, if only for the width of fall, those days spent walking downtown with you; I could wrap my arms around the whole bouquet of autumn but you didn’t stay.”—http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JiVLdzkZ24 (via bollockstoyourassmar)