Black Girls/Black Women Are From the Future: Something Men Like Rick Ross Need to Know

Via Clutch Magazine

As you may have heard, Rick Ross came out with the controversial line from his latest song, “U.O.E.N.O.” : “Put molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it / I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it.” A few days later, he addressed the lyrics with an “apology” that made me give him one of the biggest side-eyes ever. The kind of side-eye equal to smacking him (hey Ross rapping about murder, it is always clear that it is about murder. however when you rap about rape, you tend to excuse it like you are doing now). This incident with Ross comes on top of others like Lil’ Wayne‘s lyrics about beating a woman’s vagina like Emmett Till was beaten, reactions to the Steubenville Case, tech developer Adria Richards receiving death and rape threats and was fired after reporting sexual harassment, and the countless rapes of people all over the world. The war against women and control over their bodies continues, even in Women’s History Month, and so I am giving a loud and clear message to all out there:

You do not have the right to give me any substances especially if they may be harmful to my body without me knowing it. You do not have the right to do anything to my body without my permission. You do not have a right to do what you want with my body because of my own personal choices with my body. You do not have the right to disrespect my body and my mind, and call me out by a name or a statement that I do want addressed to me. You do not have the right to patronize me when I call you out on your bullshit. You do not have the right to define rape for me. Rape is when I do not give you absolute consent. It does not need to be said as rape for it to a disgusting action in which you take advantage and use your power over someone’s body. If I say no, if I am unconscious and cannot consent, or if I look scared or uncomfortable, do not touch me; do not enter my body with force! If you really think I am a queen and the greatest gift to man, you would know that. So here is a message from the future (and not the rapper Future who decided to cosign that mess); now you know it.

For more information on how to respect Black women, their minds, their bodies and their bodies, take a look at Black Girls Are From The Future website.

Continue reading Black Girls/Black Women Are From the Future: Something Men Like Rick Ross Need to Know


Modern Griots Reviews: Nick Cave’s Magical Horses in Heard.NY

DSC00014As Ebony celebrated Katherine Dunham, Nick Cave was featuring dozens of Alvin Ailey dancers wearing 30 colorful horse “soundsuits” in his public performance piece at Grand Central station, HEARD•NY. Presented by Creative Time and MTA Arts, the 30 minute performances included a grazing pastoral music and dance sequence followed by a rhythmic choreographed dance, “crossings” in two rings in the hall. The “crossings” take place two time each day, 11 am and 2 pm, this week until Sunday. Harpists Shelley Burgon and Mary Lattimore and percussionists Robert Levin and Junior Wedderburn provided live musical accompaniment and William Gill did the choreography.

Continue reading Modern Griots Reviews: Nick Cave’s Magical Horses in Heard.NY

Modern Griots Reviews: The Burning Bush by Kenya Wright“Motherpounder!” That left me speechless! And by speechless, I am talking about Kenya Wright’s sequel to Fire Baptized, The Burning Bush. In this novel, Wright takes readers deeper into the fantasy world of the Santeria Habitat and main character, Lanore Vesta, expanding on the history and relationships of the beings who live there.

Opening with the bombing of the Linderman’s Blood Factory by her organization MFE (Mixbreeds for Equality) and the shapeshifting Rebels, Lanore’s world becomes chaotic once again as she is dragged back into being an amateur detective solving the murders of two women while trying to enact revenge on the Vampire Dante Botteli, who owns the factory, for killing mixbreeds. Trying to solve the murders, Lanore realizes that who she thought was her enemy and who she thought she could trust may not be so true, and that her problems are much bigger than Dante or even the habitat.

Lanore’s character is the brains in the book; she is observant and logical in her thinking even when others around her may be incompetent, particularly the habbie detective Rivera. The second book in the Habitat series shows Wrights ability in fantasy world-building and characterization; she creates a world that is strange and exciting, yet feels familiar. She is great with the imagery (I can picture it as a film) and providing detailed descriptions of the characters and the cities they are from in the habitat. For example, Wright gives us a look into shapeshifters grieving process and their “seasons” (puberty) and the different types of elemental witches and how they look.

We are also introduced to more characters, like Zulu’s (Lanore’s boyfriend) curious sister, Cassie, the next Palero, Angel, and Lanore’s mentally unstable, druggie demon father, Graham, as well as seeing the connection between main characters deepen. The love triangle between Lanore, Zulu, the MFE leader, and Meshack returns. Meshack constantly flirts with Lanore despite her new relationship with Zulu creating tension, but these scenes often provide needed breaks or moments of levity balancing the tragic moments throughout the book that had me almost in tears.

The only issue with the book is that sometimes the sexual scenes can be a bit too much, specifically at the end. I would have preferred a different memory of one of the characters so that it would not have been so striking of a scene and would have given us a different look into the relationship. But then again, that could have been the connecting essence of their relationship. Other than that, Wright has written another strong story and I can’t wait for the next book. By the way, when you read about Graham, I am kind of picturing Keith David as him in a film, if I haven’t made it obvious that I would like to see this as a film.

Moving on the Wires: Roxe15, Afronauts, Donations, Brooklyn Museum, Oya Film, Logo…

roxe15_affa_image* Artistic Freedom Ltd. is producing Roxie15, a short film about a “virtual reality programmer working on the project she hopes will change her life. Things are good, until the software she has created is infected with a virus. Things go from bad to worse when the virus comes after her.” The film takes place in New York in 2051 and will start shooting in April. Read more about it here and donate.
*Another film, Afronauts, is also in the works. Frances Bodomo, who also did Boneshaker, is heading the project and here is the synopsis: “Afronauts tells the alternative history of the 1960s Space Race. It’s the night of July 16th, 1969 and, as America prepares to send Apollo 11 to the moon, a group of exiles in the Zambian desert are rushing to launch their rocket first. There’s only one problem: their spacegirl, Matha, is five months pregnant. Afronauts follows characters that have not been able to find a home on earth and are therefore attracted to the promise of the space race.” So far, model Diandra Forrest and actress Yolanda Ross are in the film. Donate at the indiegogo page.
* I want to thank Ian Burzynski for his recent donation. If you want to donate to my blog, the button is on the right side of my page. Any amount is appreciated! >>>>>>>>>
*This Saturday at the Brooklyn Museum will be free performances and presentations including Adia Whitaker and neo-folkloric dance ensemble Ase Dance Theater Collective and Bernice McFadden discussing her novel, Gathering of Waters.
*Don’t forget to continue support for the Oya: Rise of the Orisha film centering on the West African orisha being turned into modern day superheroes. They are posting concept art for the orisha Oya on their facebook page. and watch the latest interview with actress Luiana Bonfim playng Tanit.
* I haven’t posted this in a while (mostly because I put it on the backburner while doing other things), but I am still looking for people interested in creating a logo for my blog. If interested, click here for more info.
*Metropolarity announced a workshop in Philadelphia about incorporating race, gender, and sexuality in sci-fi writing with Alex Smith, founder of the Laser Life sci-fi reading series and founding member of the Metropolarity arts collective. There will three workshops on April 8, 15 and 22.

Black Girls/Black Women Are From the Future: Thoughts on LaBelle and “Lady Marmalade”

When some think of the song “Lady Marmalade,” one of their first thoughts is that it is a song about a New Orleans prostitute. On the surface it may be, but the song is much more nuanced and has deeper meaning beyond that. Listening to the song, I realized how ambiguous it is.

First, the title is “Lady Marmalade” for a song supposedly about a creole prostitute. For a woman who is a sex worker to be still called a “lady” is important despite that this aspect of the song is rarely discussed. She is a lady no matter what she does; she is still respected. Another is that she is creole. Looking into Caribbean studies, there is a lot of literature on the significance of creolization (creolite)– the hybridity or syncretism of cultures (ex. Santeria’s use of Catholicism), but in connection to the song, also the fear of racial and sexual miscegenation that Lady Marmalade represents. How do men in power suppress their fear about a sexually independent or powerful women or guilt about taking advantage of her; they usually call her a “hoe” or “prostitute” (i.e. Jezebel). Additionally, the lyrics themselves do not fully suggest she is a prostitute; it at most sounds like she is a sexually powerful woman. But even it being about a prostitute, the song refutes the sentiment that a song about a woman classified as a “hoe” or “prostitute” is not about one of us; it does concern all of us (“hey sista, go sista”).

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Otherworldly Videos: Misha B/Mutu & Santigold/Jawwaad

Misha B– “Here’s To Everything (Ooh La La)”

Wangechi Mutu + Santigold – “The End of Eating Everything” Preview (Interview here) co-released by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and MOCAtv on YouTube.

The 8-minute video (co-released by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and MOCAtv on YouTube) stars Santigold as a mysterious protagonist who is part human, part cyborg, part flying island, and her own ecosystem. The creature encounters a flock of birds and gulps them voraciously, invoking ideas of consumption. The video features an original soundscape by Mutu, a haunting score of weather, animal and machine sounds.

Jawwaad & Kiva – “Chief Among Chiefs”

Modern Griots Spotlight: Nino

Nino modeling clothes for PAGE

Last weekend, I attended the Africa Now! concert at The Apollo, which featured performances from FreshlyGround, Lokua Kanza, Nneka and Blitz the Ambassador. While all the performances were great (FreshlyGround’s silly, energetic dancing, Lokua Kanza tender singing and Nneka’s fierce honesty), the standout performance of the night was Blitz the Ambassador’s with his simulation of a plane trip to Ghana. I especially enjoyed his connecting of the drummer and the DJ, the inclusion of political issues in Ghana in his music, and his showcasing of musical artists from Africa, like Osibisa and Fela.

Speaking of Osibisa and Fela, one artist from Ghana who wants to follow in their path is musician Nino (Agyemang Kofi Offeh). Already he is making his presence known in Ghana and the rest of the world; having survived a terrible car crash, he is coming back with his new genre, NUSLAM. He interestingly described NUSLAM as “a prostitution of known genres on one piece to give a different and unique rhythm that is sensitive and mellifluous to the ear.” Basically, he is taking the musical values and sounds he has learned from his pioneers and forming a new style of his own that will hopefully have a huge impact.

Read more about him here.

Continue reading Modern Griots Spotlight: Nino