Modern Griots Reviews: Summerstage – Femi Kuti + Sinkane

FSSUMMEREvery time I go to a park concert, I am reminded of why I dislike going to park concerts:

1) the scorching heat (I almost passed out from it)

2) the standing up for several hours

3) the rude people who either step in front of you while you are recording a performance or the people who say “excuse me” in the crowd only to stand in front of you (not to mention people doing obnoxious things like blowing bubbles in your face while you are right next to them)!!

Even winning a backstage pass did not help because the sitting area for people with these passes was obscured from the stage (I need to try getting a press badge next time or they photo-5need to rearrange the backstage area to a sectioned off place at the front of the stage).

Anyway, of what I could enjoy of the show: DJ King Britt introduced the show and played between the two performances with a mix of funk, afrobeat and other danceable music to stir the crowd. The first performing act, Sinkane played songs off his latest album, Mars, which were synthesizer trippy with multiple guitar melodies yet had the audience moving.

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Blogging While Brown Recap

Photo: At Blogging While Brown #BWBNYC #FABWB

I learned a lot at my first Blogging While Brown conference, so I wanted to share some of what I learned and have done already:

The opening keynote from Markus Robinson of Interactive One opened my eyes to several new ways to gather traffic and reach out to a large audience. Some of his advice included besides social media sharing and guest blogging were to put your blog in your email signature (which I do), post on Craigslist, answer questions on Quora, post SlideShare presentations and update Wikipedia pages. So far, I have placed my blog in the external links on the afrofuturism page.

Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup was a book frequently mentioned at the conference and Robinson used the lean marketing loop points – acquisition (get viewers to site), activation (join/buy), retention (come back), and referrals (other people join) – and tools to use to help to do it:

For email lists – Mail Chimp or Constant Contactor

For analytics of site – Google Analytics, Segment.Io, Mix Panel, Lucky Orange (real-time), Lead Converter, Optimizely (not free) and Social Crawlytics. Also, Luvvie and Scott mentioned Feedburner

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Modern Griots Reviews: Black Girls Code

Me and Bryant
Me and Bryant

Where was Black Girls Code when I was younger?! Event today, black women make up less than 3% of the STEM industries and other women of color is lower, less than 1%.

Last Thursday, I attended the showing of the Black Girls Code short documentary and fundraising event. Already having taught over 1500 girls across the country, the organization wants to change those statistics above and hope to reach one million all over the world by 2040, maybe earlier, 2020.

The organization’s founder, Kimberly Bryant, an electrical engineer, created the non-profit after noticing the lack of women, specifically women of color in these fields, and recognizing that her daughter, Kai, was using the technology, but not creating it. Besides that, with computer classes costing thousands of dollars and lack of computer science in grade schools, it is difficult for younger children from lower class backgrounds to obtain that knowledge. Through summer camps, class, 6-7 week Saturday classes, mobile labs, and working with other organizations and schools, they want to open the doors of opportunity for them.

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Art of This World: S. Ross Browne

Via Phenderson Djèlí Clark  (a fellow Caribbean afrofuturist)

Speculative Art- S. Ross Browne: Self Evident Truths

Posted on April 23, 2013

The Huntress by S Ross Browne“Our personal history is often rooted in the identity of our families and what the writers of history, often the usurpers, choose to depict as historical fact. I try to reveal the distinct possibilities of these often conflicting allegories with imagery depicting the contradictions in historical fact, the omissions in historical academia, and the narrative of the imagination of the hope of ones place in history.”–artist S. Ross Browne

Painting- “The Huntress” 2010, by S. Ross Browne

I’m always on the lookout for art of the speculative that subverts history and our expectations. Enter artist S. Ross Browne’s exhibit Self Evident Truths. In this 2012 exhibit, mostly women of African descent are portrayed. Each is dressed in early or late medieval European armor or royal dress, in poses that mimic popular Western art of the time. Each however manages to hold onto a distinctly non-European identity–rooted in their elaborate and richly decorated locs, a part of the modern African Diaspora now familiar throughout the Black Atlantic with its own royal/regal history that links to an unknown but celebrated African past. In several of the images, the women wear clothing tinged with symbols of death–ghostly skulls, and what looks like the embroidery from the hull of a slave ship.

Read the rest here

Moving on the Wires: Black Girls Code in NYC +Afrikadaa/Afrofuturism +Afrofuturism 2070+Black Girls Are From the Future+Blogging While Brown…

*On Thursday in Brooklyn, Black Girls Code will have a free screening of their documentary with founder Kimberly Bryant. “The event will help support our expanded Summer of CODE 2013 and bring our mobile lab to 10 new cities and reach 2,000 more girls. In addition, we will discuss the development of New York City Chapter of Black Girls CODE.” Click here to rsvp.

*Afrikadaa Magazine recently released their issue 5 on Afrofuturism, which features both French and English articles. Take a look at it here and the other issues, too (“Birth,” “Black Renaissance,” “Visibility,” “Identity”).

*At the San Francisco Main Public Library’s African American Center, the exhibition Afro-Futurism: Envisioning the Year 2070 and Beyond is running till August 1 and features artists Durrell Owens; Ajuan Mance; Karen Oyekanmi; Tomye; Malik Seneferu (whose wife, Karen Senefru recently did the Black Women is God exhibition); James Anderson; Safety First; Michael Ross; Jarrel Phillips; Nyame Brown; James M. Kennedy; Sara Marie Prada. Read about it here.

*The tentative table of contents for the upcoming book Black Girls Are From the Future were released with topic including Steve Harvey, For Colored Girls, hair, technology, twerking, Whitney Houston, Makode Linde and more. B

*I will be at Blogging While Brown on Saturday and will be tweeting from the event under the hashtag #FABWB

Continue reading Moving on the Wires: Black Girls Code in NYC +Afrikadaa/Afrofuturism +Afrofuturism 2070+Black Girls Are From the Future+Blogging While Brown…

Otherworldy Videos: So Divine — Saidah Baba Talibah, Vodun, YC The Cynic

Saidah Baba Talibah – “High”

Donate to her Pledge Music fund for her next album, RedBlack&Blue (“RedBlack&Blue is a journey into the multitude of emotions dealing with the three most important ladies of my life; my mother, my daughter and my sister under the mystical, magical and spiritual guidance of my totem animals; The Robin Red Breast, The Black Panther & The Blue Morpho Butterfly.”) Also, if your in Canada, go see her in the Obeah Opera.

Continue reading Otherworldy Videos: So Divine — Saidah Baba Talibah, Vodun, YC The Cynic

Obeah Playlist

To end my Caribbean focus for the past few weeks and to show support for the re-premiere of the Canada show Obeah Opera (hopefully one day it will go international), here is an Obeah playlist. Enjoy!

Exuma – “Obeah Man”

Nina Simone – “Obeah Woman”

“Scratch” Lee Perry – “Obeah Room”

Mighty Shadow – “Obeah” and “Obeah Man”

Mighty Sparrow – “Obeah Wedding” and “Obeah Man”

Mad Professor – “The Coming of the Obeah Man”

Dillinger – “Obeah Bath”

Charlie Chaplin (reggae singer) – “Obeah Business”

Obeah Opera videos with Nicole Brooks