In this episode Kwasi brings back Dutty Bookman to discuss the movement he has helped dub as the Reggae Revival after a panel at SXSW 2027. He also speaks to Koro Fyah of the Bevel Rock camp about his ABC’s at SXSW as well. Bomani interviews the founder of the Uganda’s Bavubuka Foundation, Babaluku, and their chief archivist Gilbert Daniels about Hip-Hop in Uganda and the Lugaflow movement. Bomani and Kwasi also discuss spirituality in independent music, and how the community discusses things like sin. A must listen!
I’ve been dealing a lot with misogyny this week. Something I want to write more about because of how heavily it weakens the men and children who are surrounded by it. I thought I’d start with posting this poem I wrote for SLAM THEATRE 2.0: The Miseducation, a play that ran for the Intersections Festival at the Atlas Theater in 2011. I was commissioned to write poems based on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill song titles. It was performed a by a woman, and I was flattered that many women assumed a woman wrote it. More on this topic soon…
this is not a prayer
this is an ultimatum
addressed to the coat of armor
you call your manhood
whether addressed as dad
or patriarchal society
… Continue Reading
scroll down to see music videos and live performances from navon smith. listen and read along!
Bomani Armah: How’s everybody doing? This is Bomani Armah, broadcasting live from the Even Place. Today we are doing The Indie, my show dedicated to independent art, independent business, independent thought. So, it was only a matter of time before I had my man, Von aka the Voice of a Nation, better known as NaVon Smith here in the studio. Introduce yourself to everybody Navon.
Navon Smith: Hey what’s up, what’s up, what’s up? This is Navon Smith. It’s all good. You know, a lot of people having their issues with the name change.
Bomani Armah: We were just talking about it. We’ve known each other for a lot of our artistic careers, you know what I’m saying? Back in the—
Navon Smith: You’re almost close to eight or nine years, I think when it was going on.
Bomani Armah: Yeah, yeah it has been. We were doing shows next to The Howard Theatre at this place called [inaudible 00:44]. And, I was telling people—I’ve bragged about this for ten years and it becomes truer and truer every time. I know my favorite MCs personally. You know, people with skills, people with drive, and people who I believe what they’re saying because I see them live the lifestyle that they’re talking about. And so you were telling me one of the things that we were talking about is kind of the reinvention, the re-emergence of you as a hip hop artist. You had this project V for Vendetta, I remember that when you were releasing it and now you know, you’re moving units in the streets with it and now you’re doing it again releasing music videos. Tell people about the project a little bit.
Navon Smith: V for Vendetta is like the title—if you seen V for Vendetta, then you kind of know—you kind of know the direction of the album or what have you. It’s definitely really social conscious hip hop album, but we’ve never got the visuals for it, it never went viral, it was strictly in the streets. I was a stubborn guy back then. I didn’t believe in internet, I didn’t believe in, you know, the whole thing and I just want to get that out there. You know, we revamped it, we put out the video ‘Fear’, which is going to be like the lead single off of the album, which is getting like a crazy response.
Everybody is loving ‘Fear’ right now. I didn’t think people were going to get it. I didn’t care, but they got it; so it feels good, you know what I mean, when people get it. But, yeah that’s pretty much it man, V for Vendetta.
Bomani Armah: So, one of the things you know, I’ve been learning to do recently especially when talking to artists is to begin with the art. So, what we’re going to do is we’re going to play that song and for the people who are watching this on the video blog, we’re going to show the video, but give us all the set-up we need to know for the song. What’s going on with this?
Navon Smith: ‘Fear’, everybody hears it differently, but fear is about nature, it’s about Mother Nature, it’s about women and about women being God and it’s about that awakening, you know what I mean?
Bomani Armah: Gotcha.
I wrote this in 2008 on an old blog, and just wanted it here so I could continue my campaign to ban the asinine “n-word”. Shout out to my favorite current comedian Louis CK. He has a bit on the same subject. I wrote mine first though.
This is your official invitation to join my campaign to ban the N-word. This word, since it’s inception, has had a deleterious affect on the attempt to further dialogue on race relations. Whether on television, radio, college campuses, and spoken word poetry nights at quaint coffee shops, you hear people spew the n-word liberally. For the sake of our tenuous racial relations, and the future of our children, I propose we ban the n-word.
That’s right the N-word. Not the word nigger, the “N-word”.
This is one of the most ridiculous inventions in American language. A word is only what you mean. If you say “N-word” and you mean nigger, it’s the same thing. We need to stop treating the word nigger like it’s a magical chant similar to “hocus-pocus” or “abracadabra”. People avoid the word like every time it’s uttered a dead Klu Klux Klansmen earns his wings. I know the NAACP officially buried the word, and there are numerous lessons on life in America to be learned from this groundbreaking institution, but I’m not taking vocabulary lessons from the National Association for the Advancement of COLORED People!
Our dialogue on anything consequential in this country is crippled by our refusal to encourage people to listen and comprehend. The need to publicly and absolutely ban any word speaks more to a deficiency in our educational system than an advance in our race relations. Words like satire, nuance, innuendo, inference, and context are lost on the vast majority of our population. Those words have been replaced by “blurb”, and “sound-bite”, giving the speaker fifteen seconds to expound and the listeners two seconds to decide how to react. We have lack the ability to see hypocrisy or irony (depending on the speaker and situation) for terms and phrases like “support our troops” or “bringing democracy”. Politicians and pundits alike, intentionally latch on to any language that can possibly be misconstrued. This allows Hillary Clinton supporters to restate Barack Obama’s words about Reaganism, or his grand mother, like they honestly did not comprehend their meaning. … Continue Reading
As he so aptly puts it, “I’m not a rapper, I’m a poet with a hip-hop style.” Bomani Armah is an artist, producer and “edutainer” most known for his internet smash hit “Read a Book,” the subject of a short animated film that debuted on BET in June 2007 to much critical acclaim and controversial backlash. His 2008 release, “Radio Friendly,” blends his fluid and funky production style with his insight-fully poetic yet accessible lyrics. As a editorial writer, he has been published in The Washington Post and TheRoot.com. As a veteran event host, Bomani was the organizer and chief host of Art Under the Stars at Sankofa Video books, and has been hosting at Busboys and Poets since it’s opening.
2Deep has certainly made a name for herself in the poetry community since 2006 by performing at Ottawa University (Canada), Cornell University, and opening for the late Gill Scott-Heron in 2009. She was a member of Busboys and Poets’ 2009 Slam Team, Word War II Champion, and served as the Busboys and Poets’ Slam Master. Currently, she’s selling her book, Spoken Heard, and stays busy with her blog, 2DeepUncensored. 2Deep welcomes the life lessons, as they make for beautiful and honest poetry.
Where Langston Hughes meets Mos Def, Komplex is a poet/writer, hip-hop artist, author, and actor. His accolades include consecutive season performances on BET Lyric Café, 2008 and 2009, works aired on VH1 Soul and MTVU as well as reviews in The Source magazine (May 2009, P. 88). He has also appeared in award winning short films, had major roles in web TV shows, feature-length films and theatrical productions. Kom has toured the U.S. extensively performing spoken word and is considered by fans and peers alike as one of the best at his craft.
This Louisiana native found her voice in her teenage years when journal writing evolved into poetry. Nothing about Rebecca Dupas‘ poetry speaks to her quiet, reserved nature. Perhaps, it is something about her passion, something about the stage, something about the microphone that illuminates her boldness, something that grabs your attention, something that moves you. In addition to being one of the hosts for Monday Night Open Mic Poetry at Busboys and Poets in Shirlington, she hosts VERBATIMondays in Baltimore, Maryland. Rebecca has released three poetry albums including her most recent, “Therapy Sessions: A Year of Epiphanies” (2010), and is at work on her first poetry book, “Beauty for Ashes: The Exchange.”
Eric “E-Baby” Smith began writing and reciting poetry in July 2000 with 95.5 WPGC’s Thursday Night Love Talk & Poetry Café. Since then, he’s opened for R&B artists Musiq Soul Child, Me’shell N’degeOcello, and Heather Headley to name a few. He has featured his poetry, hosted poetry shows, and taught classes as a special guest instructor at over 200 colleges and universities across the US. E-Baby has competed in, and won, numerous poetry slams from Virginia to New York within his poetical career. In 2011, he was nominated for the Male Spokenword Performance Artist of the Year by The National Underground Spokenword Poetry Association (NUSPA) and has released two albums.
Thankyou for your patience as we work out the kinks with “The Indie: Independent Art, Independent Business, Independent Thought”, my new radio show airing on the Paradise Radio Network, CBS Radio and http://www.alvinjones.com and notarapper.icom. This interview is just in time to lead into the celebration of Malcolm X’s Birthday! Feel free to read a long with the transcript, and check out the correlating music videos that go with the 3 songs I played during the radio broadcast including Love & Hate by Radio Rahim, Cold by Leftist and Destiny by Rae Shine. Thankyou!
Bomani Armah: Welcome everyone to the Even Place, my name is Bomani Armah. We are here doing The Indie show, it’s about independent thought, independent art, independent business. Our guest today is Dr. Jared A. Ball. I brought him here today to talk about a book. Actually, let me talk about the book that his book is about first, it’s a book called The Life of Reinvention: Malcolm X by Manning Marable. I read this book last year. I’ve been trying to study more about Malcolm X and like a lot of people, I was drawn into the whole idea that this might be the definitive work on the man’s life. It was endorsed by a lot of the, you know, leading black intellectuals and then I came to find out that a
lot of black intellectuals that I know personally and respect, did not particularly like Manning Marable’s take on Malcolm X and so actually Dr. Jared A. Ball and Todd Steven Burroughs came out with a book called and so after reading his book, I brought him in today because I definitely wanted to talk to him so—. How are you doing today Jared?
Join us for this Birthday Party with live music and food at the historic Sankofa Video and Books Cafe on Georgia Avenue. Celebrate the birthday of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz aka Malcolm X. There will be a free event outdoors (Arts Under the Stars, and Crescent Moon Nights style) featuring performances and presentations from Bomani Armah, Radio Rahim, Words Beats & Life and MOMIES TLC (many more to be named soon!). There will be games and educational experiences for all ages, as well as free cake, and drinks because it’s a BIRTHDAY PARTY! This event is from 4:00-8:00pm.
From 8:00 to 10:00pm there will be a performance inside by Bomani Armah with Immaletchufinish (with more artists to be named later). Part of the funds raised from this party is going to pay for all the free stuff we did all day. This event is $20. Buy your tickets on eventbrite now!
Before there was this thing called Google (and yes, for those 25 and younger there was a pre-Google world), the 10 year old me use to spend hours leafing through encyclopedias. There would be one word or concept I’d hear about on the news or see referenced in a movie or book, and I’d go rushing to the big stack of red books in alphabetical order. There should have been 26 books but there were more like 30 something. Some letters had so many words and concepts that they took two volumes. I would start off researching “gravity”, and after flipping towards the end of the G section it would say “see Isaac Newton”. After sifting through the “I” section (then realizing I needed to be in the “N” section) I’d get to the end of the section on Newton and go back to the part where it discussed Newton’s writing on the Bible, and I’d have to look up “textual criticism” and or “pantheists”. Before you know it I had traveled around the world and back again, all while sitting criss-cross apple-sauce in the extra-bedroom in our house that doubled as the library.
I wonder what my face looked like? There weren’t camera phones, and my parents weren’t creeping around the corner waiting to catch me in a cute moment with their Polaroid. I’m sure my big eyes were lighting up, or my brow was wrinkled as I flipped intensely through volumes of information. I’m sure my jaw dropped one or two hundred times, as I learned the connections between historical figures and events I never knew existed. You can’t fake intellectual curiosity. It’s something all children are born with. It’s what causes human progress in the first place. It does not have to be taught, just drawn out. I want my sons to have the same thrill I had, even more. … Continue Reading
no one is truly parenting Single. Thanks Eshe
better yet, that god serves me
I use my scientific mind
Breaking down physical phenomenon
into binary numbers
the imaginary space
but I am hard headed
and a poet
I know a spirit when I hear one
delivering specifically vague messages
speaking in nudges
cloaked in coincidence
solids freeze into blessing,
liquids melt into miracles
and gas evaporate into spirits
all at the tip of my pen
I serve a fill in the blank god
Better yet, that god serves me
Made of the same atoms
That stood before a burning bush as Moses
Struck with blinding awe on a Damascus road as Paul
the same photons that emerge from a cave
As Muhammad with a chorea-poem
All of us? matter
My god does not play death game
Neither craps with loaded di
or 3 dimensional chess against himself
only to reset the board and do it again
ask the dinosaurs
a fill in the blank god
a god serves me
I challenge facts
I but I’ll never take away your miracles
Miracles appears all over the holy book
that is your bio
Miracles have no synonym
and are birthed from the same womb as curses
the womb of a god
that does not love
or does both with equal measure
when a child is born, ten toes and chubby smiling cheeks…
when that child is raped by his father…
to say it is not is blasphemous
taking “omni” prefix out of god’s job description
To be aware and incapable makes you inept
To be aware, capable and unwilling makes you… an asshole
I don’t debate if god is either or both
just know my god is everything
It doesn’t matter if god cares
a fill in the blank god
a that god serves me
my god appears as speckles
of absolute nothing sifted between white noise
of genetic Morse code
the hiss in each s
the tap in each t
the pop in each p
there is no discussion without god
there is no word that is not about god
god is a vowel
god is a
god is e
god is i
god is o
god is u
god is always y
the variable in any equation
words with friends are more than a game
they are scripture
I serve a fill in the blank god
Or better yet, that god serves me
I can call myself god
because whatever I put in the blank is true
Because god is ______
“Coz the war on drugs, is just a war on us
And the wrong time to see it is when you in them cuffs” – Stic.man of Dead Prez
I have no reason to think that my voice will be any louder or more clear than countless others trying to bring attention to the horrible War on Drugs this country has waged on its citizens. Since the banning of opium at the turn of the century, then cocaine and hemp, (well before Tricky Dick Nixon coined the term) the War on Drugs has been the epitome of everything that is wrong about this country. The war on drugs is unethical, unequal, inhumane, un-christlike, unsuccessful, unscientific, and a bunch of “un’s” and “in’s” the English language hasn’t invented yet.
“Why is this my war?” your say, “Why should I care? This is why we hire police and correctional officers. To take care of bad people so we don’t have to deal with them.”
I want to beg with you. I want to plead with you, to see the humanity of your fellow Americans. I figure recognizing the humanity of the Afghans and Latino’s involved in the cocaine and poppy trade is too much for xenophobic Americans, but I’m still baffled as to how we can’t see the human toll when it hits black people in D.C. on crack, or white people in Nebraska on meth. The “War on Drugs” rhetoric has convinced us that these communities deserve to be fatherless and poor due to their own sinfulness. I have nothing new to add to the End the Drug War argument, but I do realize this is a brand new concept for many people, so here is a list of 5 things you should read or watch to bring you up to speed. It includes one organization, one documentary, one website, one book and one magazine article. Of course, this is not the definite list of things to expose yourself to in order to be caught up on the subject, but this is one of the most crucial issues of our generation. Not having an informed opinion on the subject is unacceptable, so you should use to familiarize yourself with the topic. (click on the photos to take you to the necessary websites). … Continue Reading
This is the first blog on “single-parenting” from my sons’ mom Eshe. I’ll be contributing once a month. Check it out.
“It didn’t work out with me an your mom
But yo push come to shove
You were conceived in love”
– Will Smith (Just the Two of Us)
If you had told me my night would go like this, being out bowled by not one, but two six year olds, I would have never believed you. But here I was, Bomani Armah, in the middle of a suburban MD bowling alley. 4 year-old birthday parties crescendo into “how old are you!!” to our right. Twenty-somethings on double dates try to alternatively look cool and cute as they bowl to our left. Olu Armah is hurling duck-pin balls at unsuspecting pins like Aung bending fire. The projectile ricochets off of the left bumper, then the right bumper, then lines itself up right down the middle. Dela, his twin brother and partner in crime, is giving vivid play by play of the 45 seconds it takes for this ball to creep down the lane. Dela has already finished his round, scoring a full 1 point more than his Dad. Now, can they do the impossible and take the top two positions of the night? A strike from Olu puts him in 1st place by a healthy margin (considering our scores looked like impressive math test scores, but miserable bowling rounds). The ball didn’t exactly crash into the pins, more like scooted them over impolitely. But fall they did, and we all erupted like Tiger Woods winning the masters. The twenty-somethings flirting to our left, and the gang of pre-k’s and their parents on our right, roared and hi-fived Olu. As the noise quieted, and Dela rushed to reset the game, his mother Eshe Armah hands me a drink. “You suck at this” she says through a laugh. “Yet someone how I’m still 11 points better than you!” I snicker back. Cheers. On to the next round.
I am fortunate, because this is what single parenting looks like at least every other month for me. I’ve seen horrible fights over custody, child support, education, religion, and just residual animosity from failed relationships. Having bitter squabbles in court, and neutral child transfer locations assigned by a judge, was not the reality I had day dreamed about. It is a blessing to not have landed in one of those situations. Wish I could credit myself for that stroke of fortune but my failed marriage has proven I’m not that good at predicting relationships. … Continue Reading
“Until the lions can tell their stories, tales of hunting will always glorify the hunter.” – African Proverb
Tune in next Monday at 10pm on PBS to watch the documentary “Soul Food Junkies” by noted filmmaker Byron Hurt. This isn’t the entire point of this blog post, but I realized after writing half of this post that I was endanger of doing exactly what I am criticizing. Being one of too many current “State of Black Media” watch-dogs who only criticize and don’t promote.
Somewhere in the modern era of black activism we have confused the anti Jim Crow tactics of the Civil Rights era to our concern with black self-image and modern media policing. I get it. We need more stories told by and/or about us that show us in a realistic and thought provoking light. But now the internet has become a great place for pho-activism. Where well-meaning people, trying to protect us from the ire of the ever-present racist eyes and ears of America, engage in “nigger” word counts and decry depictions of any black character that is less than heroic. The problem is, they do this completely out of context. As Kerry Washington and Jamie Foxx so simply and necessarily state, the word “nigger” is supposed to make you wince. I understand not liking a film like Django, I don’t understand being offended by it. I’ll let other people like Rodney Barnes, make the pro-Django argument as he did so well in the Huffington Post. Rodney writes,
“Film is an art form. It is a form of expression. And it is a business. And I want my films about my culture to be honest. Not positive or negative, just honest. There are those who feel all slavery-era films should be of the same tone where a gospel choir plays in the background as the noble slave is whipped and defiantly refuses to cry… a story where the prospect of revenge would never enter his mind because he is chiseled and formed from the spirit of Mother Africa.”
Hello Michael Vick,
You, no doubt, are worried about whether or not the Philadelphia Eagles will retain your services for the estimated $15 million dollars you are scheduled to make in 2013. As one of the most explosive and entertaining football players in the history of the league, we all know that there will be at least 3 or 4 teams that feel as if you can fill their immediate quarterback needs (but not for nearly for the same amount of money you’re currently making). Playoff teams, like the Minnesota Vikings, and a host of other teams that feel they are a tweak away from the playoffs (i.e. NY Jets or St. Louis Rams) are definitely trying to figure out how much gas you have in the tank. I’m not sure if these are big enough market teams, or what their salary situation looks like, but more importantly, all of them are a year or two away (other than Minnesota) from being a viable contender.
Can you risk being paid top dollar to have your career ended with another killer shot from an unblocked linebacker or defensive end? Your best bet for this stage of your career is to be the most overpaid (yet invaluable) back up QB in the history of the league. We all know that money is not an object to Daniel Snyder. One year he famously signed all the best players of 1994 in a special “name your price” deal to our beloved team (unfortunately this was in 2000, 6 years after their primes). Come to Washington D.C. and get paid $7 million a year to come off the bench for the next 5 years, or go to NY and get paid $10 million for the next 2 years until you have your spine realigned by an unblocked outside linebackers. … Continue Reading
My family knows about guns. I am a man of African descent, who lives in North America and speaks English. That is only possible because of one tool. The Gun. The gun didn’t force my ancestors into the hull of a ship on the coast of West Africa. The gun didn’t push my native ancestors off of the land we now call South Carolina (I have native American in my family, but I get my good hair from the African side). The gun is only a tool. Men did those horrible things, using guns. The gun is the most important tool in the creation of this country. We are now in a national discussion, trying to figure out how to keep this tool out of the hands of people we deem mentally ill. My family has a history with the mentally ill as well.
Both of my grandmothers spent time in mental institutions. By all accounts, my grandmothers were some of the greatest humans to ever walk the earth. My maternal grandmother spent a significant amount of time in St. Elizabeth, and gave birth to my two youngest uncles while there. Both women were beautiful, smart, and engaging. They loved their families. But, like millions of Americans, they had mental and emotional issues. I don’t know the details about my grandmothers’ respective mental illnesses. They grew up in a time when it was impolite to discuss these things. From what we know now about mental health, there is probably someone from each generation of our family who has dealt with it, going back as far as my family’s existence as slaves on South Carolina plantations.
Over the past decade, we’ve had to deal with the mental illness that has shown up in my generation. I only have theories on what causes things like schizophrenia (and I am not diagnosing the perpetrator of last weeks madness). I know that many people suffering from it rant and rave about god, and judgment, and death, and sexual purity while in their mid to late twenties. So much so that when I described these things to my mental health professional friends, they diagnosed it immediately. I have theories, about how living in a society that teaches about a vengeful god who watches and punishes even thought crimes, is part of the mental issues some people are not capable to deal with. But they are just theories, that I am opened to learning more about, and discussing with anyone ready to have a grown up and real conversation. What I do know for certain is that amongst all the ranting and ravings from this family member, their detachment, their inappropriate conversations and downright creepy and disturbing habits, we realized as a family that this person had at least 4 firearms. … Continue Reading
“…See I don’t want him, if he ain’t made no arrangement with you/ I hope you would’ve done the same thing for me too” – Erykah Badu from “Booty”
Can we stop lying to ourselves for a moment? Can we stop pretending like it’s some historical anomaly for the most power military general on the face of the planet to be having sex with more than one woman? We would do better as a society if we’d stop lying to ourselves about monogamy.
…I’m sorry. I wanted to start this story off with some cute antidote, or a lighthearted take on this situation, but this has gotten out of hand. Especially considering that this is the conversation we are having about Petreaus, and national security, at the time that we have a war going on in Afghanistan and bombings going on in Iraq and the Gaza Strip. Compared to great military leaders from the Bible like David & Solomon, Petreaus is a freakin’ saint. … Continue Reading
Thanks again for reading my blog. If you don’t already know, I’m one of several skilled engineers who work out of Urban-Intalek Studios in Washington D.C.. I’m passionate about helping people find and express their voice artistically, and working at Washington D.C.’s premiere boutique studio is a great way to do it! I’ll be posting recording, production and songwriting tips regularly, as well as interviews with some of the artist who are clients of Urban-Intalek, starting with this interview with the inspiration hip-hop artist Rae Shine. Thanks to Charles and Kali from Chill Out DC for making this shoot almost effortless!
Rae shine is every engineer’s dream. She comes into the studio completely prepared, with her rhymes memorized, her tracks prepped for recording, and the ability to articulate the feeling she wants in the mix to the person behind the boards. Rae’s artistic pursuit of perfection, and never ending professionalism, reminds me that I don’t have to settle for less. Everyone who hears her flow, or watches her live show, is always surprised by the heavy, and sometimes dark, subject matter that comes from such a bright light of a person. But when you hear the overall message, of spiritual searching, redemption, and positive outlook on life, you are drawn in and want to know more. On top of being her engineer, it was a blessing to be there for her when she couldn’t get the original samples cleared on her track Savages. She asked me to step in as a producer and make it happen. Just in time for her martial arts inspired video! Check out her “More than a Mic” Interview, and then enjoy her videos and her new album “Vision Quest”. Thanks Rae!
“I’m just a soul whose intentions are good. Oh Lord! Please don’t let me be misunderstood” – Please Don’t let me be Misunderstood Written by B. Benjamin, G. Caldwell and S. Marcus
Consider what it would be like, if your religion taught that you were cursed at birth? To know that what you are at your core is deformed, inferior. Stereotyped and compartmentalized. What would it be like to be persecuted for being you in public? You are the downfall of man. Like generations of your kind, for millenniums before you, you learn to stay covered. You try to explain to the rough and tumble men who run the world, that this is just who you are. To explain that, by sheer evidence of your life, you are as loved by their god, and necessary to their gods plan, as anyone else. Mothers and fathers prayed to this god, to not give birth to the likes of you. Fathom what it would be like if your government upheld that religious view of you and your 2nd class citizenship. Imagine going through the court system and the electoral process to be granted legal rights everyone else was granted without question. Imagine, if you were a woman.
I know. It’s hard for many people to wrap their minds around that idea. American society, and Western understanding of Christianity has evolved a lot since the days the bible was written. It has matured since the days when Emperor Constantine converted. It has advanced from a time when Martin Luther nailed that letter on the church door.
Which is why we must evolve and vote yes for Question 6 in Maryland. Considering that the only reason to vote no for Question 6 is a religious one, the question should not be on the ballot at all. If your reasoning for a law boils down to belief in your religion, it is immediately unconstitutional. But even more damning to your argument, is that you already disagree with the bible about a whole bunch of things, especially God ordained genocide Deuteronomy 3:6. Take a look at how the Christian church, and the governments they controlled, treated women in before the 1400’s. Aren’t you glad we ignore the bible’s mandates? We decided long ago that a man couldn’t escape being punished for rape leading to pregnancy by paying a fine to her father or marrying his victim Deuteronomy 22:28-29. If your women come to church without their heads covered, in full make up and jewelry, or if you let women have any speaking rolls in the services, you have already defied direct instructions of the bible 1 Timothy 2:8-14. … Continue Reading
It was after sunset, so the breeze bit a little harder, and the jacket I wore was a little thin. I’m usually in a better mood while waiting for my mobile reading room and writing desk (aka the 70 bus) but I had just finished a week of running ragged by oversleeping and missing my Sunday morning gig. Add to that the heart-break of my sons’ schedule not allowing me to see them, I was in the midst of one those melancholy nights, questioning my own resolve, impatiently waiting to get home. So last night, and on all the nights like this since Substantial’s Home is Where the Art It was released, I played it on my phone while staring at the bustling life on DC’s streets. From the jump, with “Spoiled Milk”, it changes my mood.
If you haven’t meet Stan “Substantial” Robinson, you’ll get the impression from his latest album that he’s a father/husband/teacher, dedicated to making himself and the people around him stronger. That’s the same impression you’ll get if you ever run into him at an Up’n’Up event at Liv Nightclub, or one of the Black Father’s Rock Events in Baltimore. Thematically, the album is the father/husband/teacher’s version of Jay-Z’s “American Gangster”. His “no retreat, no surrender” attitude towards his career and community is as singularly focused as your favorite coke rapper, but with out the self-destructive braggadocio.
Check out my short review of Nick Sarillo’s book “A Slice of the Pie” as well as Dr. Jones’ interview with Nick on The Even Place. This is a great book for people who own or manage a small business!
One of my most rewarding and important experiences as a young adult was working at an African American bookstore chain, run like a close-knit family. The first day on the job the owner, knowing most retail employees are usually just passing through, gave me a copy of The Mis-education of the Negro by Carter Woodson, and let me see a copy of the lease so I would know what to look for when one day I opened my own business. The business was built around a culture of black education and financial empowerment, and used every opportunity to reiterate to all the employees and the community. The owners of this store have figured out in the 90’s what Nick Sarillo calls in his new book “High performance culture”, and I had been fortunate to see it in action.
Nick Sarillo and his family restaurant ‘Nick’s Pizza and Pub” has similarly…
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I had fun watching the RNC Convention. It was a welcome distraction from the late nights of work I had, and was as disturbing, jingoistic, xenophobic and factually incorrect as I suspected. Their most popular positive talking points were, “God is real”, “hard work pays off”, and “love your family”. Three things no one in America will argue with, and none of the 3 branches of government can do anything about, rendering them pointless. I was already aware of most of the views espoused by the RNC, but to see it produced on a stage, with a big screen behind it, and thousands of fellow Americans screaming in approval, sheds a new light on the reality. For the hell of it, let me summarize my favorite parts. … Continue Reading
From the first time the Director for The Angle was introduced to Art Enables in 2009, he has been an advocate for this dynamic organization. When the idea that The Angle would have episodes, featuring Art Enables was early on the list to capture. Park Triangle featured the organization a few years back for The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities’ Video Spotlight. We hope that everyone who views this episode is inspired to visit the Art Enables’s gallery (2204 Rhode Island Ave, NE Washington, DC 20018) where they can find amazing art (at an affordable price) that will make any home or office sparkle.
Max Poznerzon painting an octopus.
(From the Art Enables Website) In the Nation’s Capitol, a studio and gallery for emerging artists with developmental disabilities. Their chance to make art comes through Art Enables. Their reasons for doing it are their own: to have something to do, to make money, to feel important, to tell the world who they are, to become famous. All those reasons and more.
Very often people with developmental disabilities are better able to express themselves in images than in words. Art Enables is focused on just such a group: thirty-some artists whose disabilities include but are not limited to Down syndrome, autism, traumatic brain injury, bipolar disorder. Their ages range from 24 to 72. They are African-American, Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian, Arab.
Art Enables gives them the resources and supports they need to become visual artists. Their artwork is exhibited and sold at the studio, at host venues and via the web site. They earn 60% of revenue from sales. They have a chance to tell their stories, and they find people eager to listen.