In Flight….


Egyptian Goddess Maat Balance Painting

We have come full circle. At the beginning of this blog, I wrote how I was inspired to create this blog because of a clip from the documentary, “The Last Angel of History.” Fortunately, one of my followers, Mr. Thumble Waddle, gave me a link to the documentary and I was finally able to see it in its entirety. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the film:

“…Mothership connection is like the link between Africa as a lost continent in the past and between Africa as an alien future…” – Kodwo Eshun

“Roaming the internet, the data thief discovers a new word, Africa. Somewhere in this street is the secret of the mothership. The data thief knows that the first touch with science fiction came when Africans began playing drums to cover distance. Water carried the sounds of the drums; sound covered the distance between the old and the new world.”

“Our music is a mirror of the universe. We explore the future through music.”

“I am the firmament computer, I am the sky computer” – Scratch Lee Perry

“The data thief knows that there is a connection between music, space and the future.”

“The line between social reality and science fiction is a science fiction”

“Ever since the 50s you had electronics, which summoned up the alien, the monster; In the 70s you had Disco, which summoned up the idea of the clone and the robotic; by the time you get to the 80s, and Derrick May, techno is now something like a species…” – Eshun

“Techno to me means…to express man and machine intertwined…to bring these two elements together…to take technology up to level of human instinct…to make people see the human side of the technology…” Derrick May (That is what makes up the best Techno music)

“Black existence and science fiction are one in the same…the form itself, the conventions of the narrative in science fiction, in terms of the way they deal with subject, it’s usually someone who is at odds with the apparatus of power in the society and whose profound experience is one of cultural dislocation, alienation, estrangement…” – Greg Tate

“Our thief from the future gives up the right to belong in his time in order to come to our time to find the mothership connection. The thief becomes an angel, the angel of history. The data thief can visit the old world and the new, but he cannot be a part of either. He doesn’t know that is his problem.”

“Science fiction doesn’t try to predict the future, but rather offers a significant distortion of the present…We sit around and look at what we see around us and we say how can the world be different” – Samuel R. Delany (science fiction writer)

“New words: Sonic warfare, sonic Africa, Afrofuturism, digitized diaspora, Analog ecology.”

“Technology has broken time down because we are the future…We are always looking for the future and it is right underneath our nose….Because of technology and being able to take from any of those eras, time is irrelevant.”

Sadly, I will be putting this blog on a hiatus as I travel to London for a study abroad trip (that part is not sad hehe). You can follow the blog, A London Overture, that I will be running during my stay there. Thank you for reading my blog and I will be back the week of August 8th.

Up, Up and Away…….

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“I’m Strange and I Like It, Just the Way I Am”


Earlier, I posted about how I was never impressed by Lady Gaga because I have had enough experience with quirky female artists who I feel do a better job, especially in the music area. I am not saying that Gaga is not smart or talented; I am saying that she is not very convincing at her strangeness and most times, it feels manufactured or unnecessarily weird. So, I am compiling a list of other female singers, past and present, who seem to do it effortlessly:

1) Grace Jones: Even she admitted to not wanting to work with Gaga: “I’d just prefer to work with someone who is more original and someone who is not copying me, actually.”

My Jamaican Guy

2) Betty Davis: As you may already know, Betty Davis, to me, is one of the quintessential quirky women. She was different before it was acceptable for most women, especially women of color, to be weird in fashion and music in the early 1970s.

They Say I’m Different

3) Madonna: I am not a huge fan of Madonna (mostly for reasons outside of music), but I will agree that she has the amazing ability to reinvent herself over and over again.

Express Yourself (This is one of my favorite songs from her and I enjoy the Metropolis references)

4) Kelis: Before Rihanna and now Beyonce, she was the contemporary Black female artist who made it cool to be a “Weird Black Girl.”

Get Along With You (It is very Tim Burton-esque)

5) MIA: The first time I heard her was when I heard “Galang” and I liked her style from her fashion to her musically fusioned sound, mixing aspects from Hip-Hop culture to South Asian culture.

Galang

6) Santigold: Like the to previous artists, she mixes together different styles like rock, pop, and dance.

L.E.S. Artistes

7) Shingai Shoniwa: The lead singer of the band, The Noisettes, and as you saw on my post on Sister Rosetta, she definitely has a unique style, from her hair to her clothes.

Don’t Give Up

8 ) Pink: She has a soulful rock voice and a look with just as much edginess to it.

Just Like a Pill

9) La Roux: I just found out about her and I am liking her style…

Bulletproof

10) Karen O: The leader singer of Yeah Yeah Yeahs….their name says enough….

Heads Will Roll

11) Janelle Monae: Can you get any weirder than an artist whose muse is a cyborg?

Many Moons

12) Sia: She is kind of like the adorable, shy, creative artist that I relate to.

Breath Me

13) Gwen Stefani: Remember her? The No Doubt singer and her out-of-the-box style over the years. Just look at her Alice in Wonderland inspired video (Gaga wasn’t the only one inspired by the tale).

What You’re Waiting For

14) VV Brown: Is it me or are British people more quirky than Americans?

Crying Blood

15) Priscilla Renae: A singer who deserves more attention for her unique style.

Doll House

Art and Ms. Jones


During my Art of the Other (Black and Latino Art) class, I found out about Lois Mailou Jones, a Harlem Renaissance artist. I came across, a few days ago, her painting “The Ascent of Ethiopia.” In this 1932 painting, Jones traces the journey of Black people from the Egyptian/Ethiopian culture to the Harlem Renaissance in New York City. Jones appreciation of the African Diasporic culture increased after she met Haitian graphic artist, Louis Vergniaud Pierre-Noël, who would be her future husband. Besides completing works based on the AfricanAmerican culture, including portraits and collage paintings of well-known figures like Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes and Carter G. Woodson, her paintings included works with influences from African culture, such as in “Les Fetiches,” “Ode to Kinshasa,” “Africa,” “Initiation Liberia,” and “Ubi Girl From Tai Region,” and Haitian culture, in “Peasant Girl, Haiti,”  “Voodou Symbols” (page 3), and “Veve Voodou III.”

Egyptian Heritage

I like the space-age look of this painting

Initiation Liberia

What the Fourth of July Means to the Slave…


For our Independence Day, here is Danny Glover reciting Frederick Douglass‘ 1852 speech, “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro:”

It still holds true to this day. Also, here is an article discussion how today’s young Americans know little about the country’s history, such as what year the nation declared independence (it was 1776, by the way). What a shame.