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Moving on the Wires: News, Posts and New Music


Brer Rabbit:The Opera. Poster by LaRonda Davis.

*Atlanta BlackStar has a new series called blerds, which features topics on technology, lifestyle, education and the arts. Rasheedah Phillips of The Afrofuturist Affair (correction) is one of the writers of the series and here is one of the articles, “Afrofuturism: Black Presence in Sci-Fi Worlds of Technology, Magic, Fantasy:“This is where afrofuturism as a genre, lens, community, and practice becomes important, not as a response or reaction to the lack of representation, but as testament to the fact that not only have Black folk (along with other marginalized groups) already made it into the future, we are, in fact responsible for shaping it.” Also stayed tuned to a feature I will have on the series in the future.

*This show will not premiere until January 2015, but the art for it already looks cool! Greg Tate revealed an up coming show from Aisha Cousins and The Burnt Sugar House of Ideas, Brer Rabbit:The Opera at BRIC in Brooklyn. It is as he described a fabulation upon gentrification. Poster by LaRonda Davis.

*Black Girls Code partnered with General Assembly to bring more underrepresented groups into tech with Opportunity Fund scholarships. If you are part of an underrepresented group (women, person of color, veteran), apply here.

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Otherworldly Videos: Busdriver’s ‘Colonize the Moon’


Rapper Busdriver along with Pegasus Warning presents the video for “Colonize the Moon.” If you can get through his fast rapping style, which might be fueling his faster-than-the-speed of light acceleration through space, you will hear a song filled with head-spinning stream of consciousness as he lists off various social commentaries about living on the moon. All of this while he spews out what looks like tape as if he is a human record machine gone haywire.

“Colonize the Moon” is from the album, Perfect Hair, which will be released September, 8 2014.

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Art of This World: Renee Cox’s ‘Sacred Geometry’


Self-Portrait of Renee Cox

Jamaican-American visual artist Renee Cox recently released her latest collection of work, Sacred Geometry: where she turns bodies of various people into mandala-inspired geometric fractal patterns. Given several of the stories I have heard lately in the news, her work is again relevant, reinforcing the divine power and value of ourselves, our cultures, our spirituality, and our bodies that is so often dismissed in the world we live. Here is part of her artist statement about her collection:

“…My new body of work, ‘Sacred Geometry,’ consists of digitally manipulated black & white portraits that display self-similar patterns. They are executed with precision, creating sculptural kaleidoscopes of the human body while exploring the power of symbols as elements of collective imagination. The inspiration for this new work comes from fractals, a mathematical concept centuries old and used by many ancient African cultures.

The work has also been the result of my embrace of the digital world. Bridging the gap between the old and new technology has brought on new challenges and endless possibilities. As the digital world has transformed the medium, I have embraced it and integrated it into my process.

 ‘Sacred Geometry’ has brought a new viewing experience. The simplicity and connectivity of the fractal concept seems to be engaging the viewer in a profoundly different way, bringing a certain peace, reflection and joy.”

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Moving on the Wires: Recent News and Posts


*Today is my Birthday!!!! Officially 24! You can give me a gift through support of my blog by becoming a patron on my Patreon page or sending donations to my PayPal account (email: svfreebird87@gmail.com). Any amount is appreciated. Thank you!

*I haven’t been able to post as frequently lately, since I have been working on other projects, but thank you for continued reading. Also, if anyone wants to help with the blog, click on the Contact/Submissions page.

Here are news and other important posts from the past few weeks:

*”Sun Ra’s Full Lecture & Reading List From His 1971 UC Berkeley Course, “The Black Man in the Cosmos” on Open Culture: “In 1971, he served as artist-in-residence at UC Berkeley and offered a spring semester lecture, African-American Studies 198, also known as “Sun Ra 171,” “The Black Man in the Universe,” or “The Black man in the Cosmos.” The course featured readings from—to name just a few—theosophist Madame Blavatsky, French philosopher Constantin Francois de Chasseboeuf, black American writer and poet Henry Dumas, and “God,” whom the cosmic jazz theorist reportedly listed as the author of The Source Book of Man’s Life and Death (otherwise known as the King James Bible).”

*Support Joy Kmt and bekezela mguni’s Tabernacle of Immaculate Perception Creating the World: “We transform the world with words, stories, art, ritual & activism. The Tabernacle of Immaculate Perception is dedicated to producing work that disrupts time as we commonly understand it and centralizes the humanity and stories of black women. The TOIP also works to create environments that are slightly alternate other-worlds, using soundscape, storytelling, poetry, interactive ritual and visual arts.  When you pledge, you support innovative creation, workshops, ritual and art that is about creating space by and for black women….We will also keep you updated on the progress of the work of the Tabernacle of Immaculate Perception, which includes Testify, a traveling interactive performance-ritual-, workshops like Liberation Science, Shrining, You as Tabernacle, and more. We hope to bring it to your city soon!”

*Upcoming events from CCCADI:

-Spirituality and Social Justice in Brazil- A Panel Discussion on August 15th: “The Schomburg Center, Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI), Home Slice Magazine and Veterans of Hope co-present an evening celebrating African ancestry and activism in Brazil through the lens of Iyalorixá Valnízia Pereira, a priestess and activist from one of the most prominent candomblé terreiros (ritual temples) in the state of Bahia, Brazil. As Iyalorixá of the Terreiro do Cobre, Valnizia Pereira is responsible for the preservation of sacred rites, ritual music, dance, pharmacopeic knowledge and liturgical African languages that have been passed down to her for more than seven generations.”

-Mulheres de Axe, Celebration of the Sacred Power of Women of Spirit on August 27th: “Silvana Magda and Brazilian Week join with the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute and Senator Bill Perkins to present “Mulheres de Axe”, an event shedding light on the Brazilian women, the keepers of Afro Brazilian sacred traditions who have formed a network to challenge and combat misrepresentation of their historic sacred traditions and practices, violence against women, condemn racial discrimination, gentrification and the lack of resources available to youth and families of economically poor and disenfranchised communities. Visitors will enjoy a display and discussion of Ritual Candomble Dresses of Mulheres de Axe (Women of Axe) representing the different Orixas, African Yoruba Divinities, of the varied Candomble Temples of Brazil, a musical presentation of the diverse rhythms honoring the varied Orixas of Candomble, a panel discussion, and more.”

*Check out Floyd Webb’s timeline, Afrofuturism:Reframing Afrofuturism, a Historical, Spiritual and Conceptual History. Also, “The Strange Story of Afrofuturism” on Cool Accidents and “Afrofuturism: Space Is the Place” on Viva Scene.

*Afrofuturism takes flight: from Sun Ra to Janelle Monáe” on The Guardian: “A new generation of artists are exploring afrofuturism – Outkast and Janelle Monáe take the philosophy to the mainstream, while Flying Lotus and Shabazz Palaces push jazz and hip-hop to their extremes.”

*Conversation on Chronicles of Harriet about the relevance and problems of the term Afrofuturism.

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Otherworldly Videos: Janelle Monae + Georgia Anne Muldrow


Enjoy the latest videos from Janelle Monae where she has her own Greek sorority party and includes some well-known music artists in “Electric Lady,” and Georgia Anne Muldrow initiates you into another level of knowledge with “Dimensions.”

 

 

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Modern Griots Reviews: Roots Reversion – “Rehistory” Lessons from Black Rock Coalition and CCCADI


 

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Deep Roots of Rock and RollBlack Rock Coalition and CCCADI (Caribbean Cultural Center) hosted events last week that reminded audiences, especially those of the African diaspora, of how much black histories, stories and voices get erased, revised, transformed, hidden, abducted, revised, whitewashed or any other term you would like to call it. And just like kinky or curly hair after it is straightened, eventually our histories will revert back.

The other day, for example, I was watching Mysteries at the Museum, and found out that the first black Major League Baseball player was not Jackie Robinson, but Moses “Fleetwood” Walker (although some sources say it is William Edward White). Walker was also an inventor and author and played professional baseball until the late 19th century when Jim Crow Laws were enacted and the League was segregated. After the Major Leagues, he became a businessman and black nationalist, writing a pamphlet titled Our Home Colony: A Treatise on the Past, Present, and Future of the Negro Race in America.

As time goes on, we see our histories often revised or hidden like that, but we still must keep revealing the truth. One such history is rock ‘n’ roll. Rock ‘n’ roll is often whitewashed to the the point that it seems only white people created the genre and continue it, ignoring the contributions of people of color, including black Americans, in it. Black Rock Coalition, which will be celebrating 30 years next year, continues to fight that erasure and did with “Deep Roots of Rock and Roll” last Saturday. at Lincoln Center Featuring performances from Toshi Reagon, Nona Hendryx, Tamar Kali, Corey Glover of Living Colour, Karma Mayet Johnson, Kimberly Nichole, Jason Walker, and Adaku Utah, the show was two hours of electrifying truth, hosted by poet and writer Carl Hancock Rux as the radio DJ speaking his rock and roll gospel. Rux opened the show and repeated throughout the question of “What is Rock and Roll?,” giving a rundown of the various voices and histories that contributed to today’s rock music, like minstrel songs, jazz, blues, spirituals, ring shouts, gospel, early rock ‘n’ roll, and then the demonization and later “abduction” of rock. Bo Diddley, as Rux quoted, did say, “I opened the door for a lot of people, and they just ran through and left me holding the knob.”

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Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth: Amanda Johnston


Amanda Johnston Pic

Source: Prose and Cons Editing

Women Writers in Bloom is a literary salon I started attending a couple of months ago and this month’s featured Texan poet Amanda Johnston. Today I feature her here with some of her poetry influenced by science fiction/fantasy films, like Blade and The Matrix.

Below are two poems, “Mixed Blood” and “Blade Speaks at Career Day,” published in Kinfolks Journal based on the Blade movies:

(click on the image to see full screen)

Amanda Johnston

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