Thursday 30 May 2013

Fret not

“Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”
Martin Luther king Jr


Taken to stressing about everything, at the moment. Things that haven't even happened, things that have already happened, things I should perhaps worry about, but somehow forgot.. then worry about what on earth I forgot.. Then I was reminded of this quote

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow.. it empties today of its strength" made little impact.

I'm probably a bit hormonal, bit tierd, bit fed up, bit angst.. and I haven't seen my mum in a few weeks either. Or my big bro.. and that's not on.

An odd sense of dissapointment over some things.. a little frustration at times, I'm still working through it (the feeling).. and at some point it will make sense, and perhaps even become a coherent readable, blogpost.

I did have a nice chat this evening though.. cleared the air a bit.. which means I basically got to talk as much as I want.

Ti's been an absolute star of late.

Sunday 26 May 2013

The eyes are the windows to the soul

Hoping you all had a nice day x

from the O.A.U to the African Union: 50th Anniversary

The Organisation of African Unity was formed 50 years ago, on 25 May 1963.
In 2002, it became known as the African Union.

Rooted in the ideology of Pan Afrcanism, the OAU sought African unity, and to bring together the two main fractions that had begun to emerge at that time between states. Two particular approaches to Pan Africanism led to two dominant yet opposing groupings.. One known as the Casablanca group which included Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Morocco, Algeria... this group favored a more militant approach to Pan-Africanism, and the economic development of Africa was considered to be conceivable without the involvement of former colonial (western) powers or intervention, and the other, was known as the Brazaville group ( mainly Francophone countries) such as Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Central African Republic, Chad, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, and Senegal. The Brazaville group preferred a more gradual approach, and felt economic development should include working with former colonial (western)powers.

Despite emergent individual differences , the OAU concentrated its efforts on ending colonial rule in countries such as Zimbabwe(1980) and south Africa (1994)

A very patriarchal affair at the time

AU report on Rwandan genocide

Saturday 25 May 2013

The triple discrimination of black women.

This is a blog post. So before anyone shakes their head too hard, or asks.. where’s the research ... all I can say is.. errr..i'm kinda busy'...
No.. quite simply, I base it on empirical evidence, and phenomenological .
Basically, I see it, somebody told me, and I’ve experienced it.
Don’t believe me.. ?
Okay .. let me explain
Too often for my liking, I’m told of the frustration that some young black mothers face when dealing with issues to do with their children’s education.

The situations I am told of tend to reflect the negative common assumptions of women, who are black, who are young, and who happen to be mothers.
If they attend school functions alone, it may even be assumed that she is a single mother.. and not that her husband or partner is out working (but that’s another post)

Anyway, back to the point..I’m told stories of how some of these young women are often spoken to in quite a patronising manner, fobbed off when trying to vocalise their own concerns, and as a result may be left feeling powerless to do anything about it, as it would appear that very few people truly understand the phenomena, want to understand, but more importantly, act to do much about it.

If you add to the mix, unemployed mothers, or mothers on a low income, it’s quadruple. Add to that any judgement by family members, church members, or cultural attitudes... quintet.
Now that’s a lot of discrimination to deal with.

I was a young mum ( as time went on a single mum ) so I know when I hear some of these stories there is truth in them. .

Language.. lovely as it may be.. can also be used as a weapon, tone of voice, all those subtle little mannerisms, one uses over another to establish an understanding of where the'imagined' power lies. ( again.. another post)
My point is simple. It is entirely possible that young black women do face more discrimination especially in certain environments, and if they say something, it would appear the problem is theirs alone..or quite simply.. 'imagined'. They may feel safe telling others who may also have experience, or knowledge of it, but feel really uneasy sharing the experience with anyone else.
Why?. Because it’s hard to prove, uncomfortable to speak of, and uncomfortable to hear.

Catching up on a read or two, and a look back at Tracy Chapman.

A friend of mine gave me a Kate Bush book to read a few weeks back, and I have yet to tackle it. I'm feeling quite drawn to it at the moment, and need to take it to bed to ensure I get to reading it.

Whilst not a fan of the video, I've always liked this song. It's one of those that has sat in the background for years..
Perhaps it's having listened to Magic and Heart radio over the years.
Top song

Some of the nicest and most relaxed nights I've have, have been spent tuned in to those stations.

Fast Car - Tracy Chapman

The business of war

Valentines day - the business of love
Porn - the business of sex
Anything can be exploited.. not everything should.. but that's how it is

Uneasy comment made in this doc... 'America gives alot of these countries foreign aid so that they can come here and buy weapons from their companies'. Well.. foreign aid is not free money, it often come with strings attached.
A little like a pay day loan I suspect.. a little money.. for a whole lotta pay back if you're not careful


I was watching Mike & Molly and was reminded of how much I used to enjoy watching my children's school plays etc. The children were so sweet, and there's something about children that really heightens your emotions.. makes you a little tearful. Maybe its because they're so innocent, and we know that anything can happen from childhood to adulthood.. the reality of the world we've created.. To think, all the adults you and I know where children once, un- bittered, un-scarred, friendly and filled with love, big eyes full of wonder.. and a smile to melt snow.

A simple bedtime story, singing a nursery rhyme , looking out from behind the school stage curtain to see if their mum or dad is out in the audience to watch them. A quick wave...our children need us.. and equally .. we need them.

I think we need them to remind us of who we once were, how simple life can be.. and how to love.

Sometimes however.. childhood can be a real nightmare.
That's when things can go terribly wrong.
Much depends on where in the world you live, families you are born into.. you name it.

I never take for granted that childhood is a good memory for people. As quite often.. it isn't


80% of the worlds supply of Coltan comes from the Congo... that I didn't know.

The best within us

Well..young C has been laid to rest. Very sad and surreal day. Friends and family, old secondary school teachers etc.The University students are to set up an award in his honor which is a really nice gesture. Proud of T, he spoke well... they all did. Rev R did a top job...very moving.. bringing out the best within us, reminding us of what is
Was quiet all day.. not much to say really. Was more of a reflective day. Today? today is a day to kick back , and take things step at a time.. things to do, but wont push it.

Quite alot has happened over the past year... yet I suspect this is probably true for alot of us out there. Still, keep pushing on is the moto. I've learnt quite a bit all areas, and in my studies received a merit for my last assignment which was nice and is a good sign.
Sun's out but it's still a bit chilly. I'm working on my default.. pushing people away button.. which crops up every now and then. In fact, so many aspects of my life force me to challenge that, which I suspect is why despite my pleasure of solitude every so often, I still gravitate to wards others, and they to me at times. Like it or not :)
but I try to be discerning.. I think that's key. Give and take.
Had to cancel movie night last night as I was too tired after events of the day, but I'll see if I can fit in a day this extended weekend
Go with the flow, try to fit in time for myself, and time for others seems to be the order of the day

Enjoy your Saturday

Anthony Hamilton

Thursday 23 May 2013

Emotional maturity

Busy day ahead so aiming for an early night tonight.

Thoughts today were on love and emotional maturity. Discussions today were on culture and personal development.

Emotional Maturity

Spiritual maturity..personal growth.. call it what you will, it takes work, and commitment. Not dictated by age, neither is it a coat you can pick up and wear today, then discard the next, it's consistent.. a choice made each day, to keep on trying.
Our relationships, our interactions with others, can present us with the biggest challenges, yet the greatest rewards. What shows up, shows up for a reason, to be tackled, faced, reduced, questioned, embraced, even loved.
we.. are our greatest teachers

Six stages of emotional maturity


The dream of world peace, or an achievable goal
Surely a dream worth having, and a goal worth working towards

Monday 20 May 2013

Saturday 18 May 2013

On instrumentals.. Aston Barrett - Cobra Style


Bit of a movie night last night. Nice company, meal, and a little of my favorite tipple. Thought it would be more of a struggle to get to work today but it wasn't .. and it turned out to be a really nice day.
Ti had a few of his friends over too, and they insisted on watching the movie Babylon as they'd never seen it before(aside from one), so needless to say I gave him a little more info on Aswad this morning.. He was feeling the tunes, and they definitely brought back some nice memories for me.

Lloyd Brown... on Warrior charge

I heard this for the 1st time today.. really nice song.. came out awhile back by all accounts..

Monday 13 May 2013

Could you be a mentor

Panorama (BBC)- on why young black men are unemployed at twice the national average.

So despite applying for jobs, sending out CVs, and having qualifications,the ONS stats highlighted in tonight's show, state that young black males are still less likely to be given a job than young white males.
The question is.. why?

One comment ( offered as a solution to counteract this discrimination) was that older black men who are successful, should actively volunteer or become a mentor, even if its to one youngster, as they are in a position to offer hands on experience, guidance and advice, which would be invaluable, given that these boys are not being offered a chance elsewhere.

How would that work on a practical level?.. well.. speak to a manager if needs be.. get the go ahead, or if you own your own business, simply decide to do it, research an organisation or two if you're unsure..but I suspect it wouldn't be too hard to find a mentee.

I know a few men that do this, but to be honest, they are mainly football ref's or local football coaches.
Black men who are relatively successful, or are earning very good wages in more specialized industries, be it law or banking for example..tend not to. I don't know why.

In truth, anyone can be a mentor, anyone can decide to give someone else a chance, a helping hand, share their knowledge and skills.. if they want to.

The sad thing is, that these young boys will grow to become men with little to offer a family if things don't change.. and you know what that means...

More often than not, the blame for this unfortunate state of affairs is placed on the youngsters.. assumptions are made about their conduct or appearance.. their focus or commitment.. anything...( in some cases that may be true - but not all) bottom line.. is the denial or reluctance to admit that the issue could be racism, or racial discrimination.
The youngsters don't want to think it either - and in truth - neither do I.

Some say okay - we know racism exists - we cant let that hold them back. Exactly.. we can't.

Older black men who are long term unemployed now,( 20yrs +) skills or no skills... were young once. Many (in that situation) have all but given up, after all...where do you go when hope becomes a luxury?
It's an old tale - yet a reoccurring one
Its not about victim-hood, but it is about doing something to change, balance, or counteract what's going on out there.

Something tells me they may be able to re-run that show again in 10 years time. Sol Campbell may look older presenting, but the statistics could pretty much be the same... hope not.

Daughter - Youth

So what is Ti listening to these days?. Singing the praises of.. Daughter.

White Sheets - Chris Martin

Why we need Lauryn

"Lauryns in jail now.."
"I know. I blame Wycliffe."
"What?? For her not paying her bills!?!.. typical woman.."

The discussion turned to the ways in which the media and certain artists like Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, and Beyonce, have a particular image, portray a particular lifestyle, seemingly subscribe to a particular doctrine, and how seductive it is.

Ti listens to most music.. but will readily admit he doesn't really bother much with hip hop anymore.* although I've now left with the sounds of it ringing in my ears.. and his head boppin'* :)

"Wasn't she married to a Marley?"
"Yeah.. but a lower class Marley"...
"You what!?!"
Even I had to laugh at myself with that one
"Didn’t he beat her?.. why did she stay?"
"Did she stay?"
"Well.. they have 5 children.. stayed long enough".

Here’s the thing.
Lauryn was seemingly doing okay. Elevated the Fugees no doubt.. provided an alternative image of what can be beautiful.. what is beautiful..and has a beautiful mind.

Too much for the many perhaps. Too much influence for a woman like that. So.. very quickly.. again.. that was replaced, with the image we have all come to know, and often try to emulate.
Don’t think about it

19 people shot at a mothers day parade?? Quick mention on the BBC. Come again.. 19??
Apparently the FBI have described it as street violence... what does that mean
Who got shot?.. and who did the shooting?
It’s a big deal.
Yet to describe it as 'street violence' almost implies it's really not that significant.. not tragic.. but a relatively common experience.. like a bar brawl.
Why is that?
Why do you think it's being described in that way?

As I said.. It's a big deal.

Sunday 12 May 2013

Desiderata..a poem for all time

Over the years I have heard my sister recite this poem..
I think she learnt it at grammar school. I cannot recite it, other than the first line.. even then it's a struggle.
I don't know why, but I thought of it this evening in the bath.
It's a nice poem... so here it is.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann c.1920

I enjoyed this movie tonight, and the soundtrack even more.

Monday 6 May 2013

When feminism goes out the window..

" Why don't you help?"
"That's the mans job"
"What about all this equal rights business!?!
"I don't care about that shit!"

Scene? - who should remove the wasp from the kitchen...

"Where is it?"
"I don't know!"
"Is it on the cooker?..look good.. black against black ( que giggles and a crap joke look)
"Man you better sort this shit out before you get married.. this aint goinna fly"
"Aint you gonna pick up that board you just dropped?"
"Listen..when man goes to war do you see them cleaning up afterwards with a dustpan and brush?

Open the doors.. it's summer

UK to pay compensation for 'poor' treatment under British colonial rule?

Well who'd have thought it.
Three 'Mau Mau' war veterans ( once regarded as terrorists no doubt) who were tortured in the 1950s at the hands of British colonizers,are 'in talks' with the British Government regarding compensation, and now thousands more could be in line for a pay out.

Colonialism was a particularly brutal affair. There are still a few people who are under the impression that it was those who were forcibly removed from the continent that suffered the most.
That would be incorrect.

Those living under colonial rule suffered greatly - systems were then put in place ( Native Administration) by Lord Lugard , to ensure the annihilation of trust, and an incalculable sense of self hatred that would eat away at these people for generations to come. To be fair on Lugard, I doubt even he thought that deeply about it... no... I suspect he just wanted an easier life.. found a way for the British to control without looking as though they were in control... Instil unpopular tax's etc, and seemingly keep their hands(and hearts) clean.
Clever really..(if a little devious)

But let's not be fooled into thinking that colonialism was an easy and dignified process, marked by the signing of papers or lands rights, and people simply being outsmarted.
Rape, killing, mutilation torture of men women and children, at a rate that could best be described as barbaric - even for those times. Often carried out in full view of others so as to scare them shitless.

"Official papers from the time confirm that prisoners suffered appalling abuses. Some died under torture, with colonial officials writing about prisoners being "roasted alive". In one of the few prosecutions brought against the torturers, in December 1954, a Nairobi judge, Arthur Cram, compared the methods employed to those of the Gestapo.

One of those abused was Hussein Onyango Obama, the grandfather of Barack Obama. According to his widow, British soldiers forced pins into his fingernails and buttocks and squeezed his testicles between metal rods. Two of the original five claimants who brought the test case against the British government were castrated." Source - the Guardian

So where does this case leave us?
What about those 'indigenous folk' who became loyal to the colonial system?..e.g chiefs and other bureaucrats.. or will they be excused under the.. 'do or die.. I didn't really mean it' law? (that I just made up)

I think it's interesting because as far as I'm aware no financial compensation has ever been paid to anyone for the abuse experienced under colonial rule. But here's where it get interesting.
If more of these claims are brought to court and won - it will be the British taxpayer who pays.. which begs the question - who among the tax payers should pay?. Surely not me !?" that would be taking the bloody piss! ;)

In all honesty I don't see how this is really going to work given the scale we're dealing with..( the Kenyan case is tricky also, given the fact that there were Kenyan 'loyalists' who fought against the 'Mau Mau for the British anyway.. don't ask.. sounds like one big bag a mixed up shit..) and to be honest, would the money help? and for how long.

Sunday 5 May 2013

Q.U.E.E.N Janelle M ft Erykah B

I'm liking this too

Still loving this.. so cute

Monae and Leftfoot
Another day
I take your pain away

Some people talk about ya
Like they know all about ya
When you get down they doubt ya
And when you tippin on the scene
Yeah they talkin bout it
Cause they can't tip on the scene
What ya talk about it
T-t-t talk about it
When you get elevated
They love it or they hate
You dance up on the them haters
Keep getting funky on the scene
While they jumpin round you
They trying to take all your dreams
But you can't allow it

Cause baby whether you're high or low
Whether you're high or low
You got to tip on the tightrope
T-t-t tip on the tightrope
Baby baby whether you're high or low
Baby whether you're high or low
You got to tip on the tightrope
Now let me see you do the tightrope
And I'm still on tippin on it

See I'm not walking on it
Or tryin to run around it
This ain't no acrobatics
You either follow or you lead
Yeah I'm talkin bout you
I'll keep blaming the machine
Yeah I'm talkin bout it
T-t-t talkin bout it

I can't complain about it
I gotta keep my balance
And just keep dancing on it
We gettin funky on the scene
And you know about it
Like the star on the screen
Watch me tip all on it

Now baby whether I'm high or low
Baby whether you're high or low
You got to tip on the tightrope
Yeah tip on the tightrope
Baby baby whether you're high or low
Baby whether you're high or low
You got to tip on the tightrope
Baby let me see you tightrope
And I'm still on tippin on it

[Big Boi]
You gotta keep your balance or you'll fall into the gap
It's a challenge but I manage cause I'm cautious with the strap
Do damage to your cameras that a dot cannot pass
See why you don't want no friction like the back of a matchbook
Daddy Fat Sax will fold you and your Macbook
Close shows shut you down before we go go backwards
Act up and whether we high or low we gonna get back up
Like the Dow Jones or Nasdaq
Sorta like a thong in an asscrack

I tip on alligators
And little rattlesnakers
But I'm another flavor
Something like a terminator
Ain't no equivocating
I fight for what I believe
While you talkin bout it
Sh-sh she's talkin bout it
Some callin me a sinner
Some callin me a winner
I'm callin you to dinner
Hey you know exactly what I mean
Yeah I'm talking bout you
You can rock or you can leave
Watch me tip without you

Now now now whether I'm high or low
Whether I'm high or low
I'm gonna tip on the tightrope
Baby baby whether i'm high or low
High or low
I got to tip on the tightrope
Now baby tip on the tightrope

You can't get too high
I said you can't get too low
Cause you get too high
No you'll surely be low
1 2 3

Now shut up
Now put some voodoo on it
Ladies and gentlemen
The funkiest horn section in Metropolis
We call that "fancy brass"

QUEEN Lyrics..

(feat. Erykah Badu)

I cant believe I love the things they say about me
Walk in the room they throwing shade left to right
They be like ooh, she's so fun face
And I just tell em, cut me up, and get down

They call us dirty 'cuz we break all your rules down
And we just came to act a fool, is that all right (Girl, that's alright)
They be like Ooh, let them eat cake
But we eat wings and throw them bones on the ground

Am I a freak for dancing around? (queen)
Am I a freak for getting down? (queen)
I'm coming up, don't cut me down
Yeah I wanna be, wanna be

Is it peculiar that she twerk in the mirror?
And am I weird to dance alone late at night?
And is it true we're all insane?
And I just tell 'em No we ain't" and get down

I heard this life is just a play with no rehearsal
I wonder will this be my final act tonight
And tell me what's the price of fame?
Am I a sinner with my skirt on the ground?

Am I a freak for dancing around?
Am I a freak for getting down?
I'm coming up, don't cut me down
Yeah I wanna be

Hey brother can you save my soul from the devil?
Say is it weird to like the way she wear her tights?
And is it rude to wear my shades?
Am I a freak because I love watching Mary? (Maybe)

Hey sister am I good enough for your heaven?
Say will your God accept me in my black and white?
Will he approve the way I'm made?
Or should I reprogram the programming and get down?

Even if it makes others uncomfortable
I wanna love who I am
Even if it makes other uncomfortable
I will love who I am

Dance 'til the break of dawn
Don't mean a thing, so duh
I can't take it no more
Baby, we in tuxedo groove
Monae and E. Badu
Crazy in the black and white
We got the drums so tight
Baby, here comes the freedom song
Too strong we moving on
Baby there's melody
Show you another way
This joints for fight unknown
Come home and sing your song
But you gotta testify
Because the booty don't lie

No, no, the booty don't lie
Oh no, the booty don't lie

Yeah, Let's flip it
I don't think they understand what I'm trying to say

I asked a question like this
"Are we a lost generation of our people?
Add us to equations but they'll never make us equal.
She who writes the movie owns the script and the sequel.
So why ain't the stealing of my rights made illegal?
They keep us underground working hard for the greedy,
But when it's time pay they turn around and call us needy.
My crown too heavy like the Queen Nefertiti
Gimme back my pyramid, I'm trying to free Kansas City.

Mixing masterminds like your name Bernie Grundman.
Well I'm gonna keep leading like a young Harriet Tubman
You can take my wings but I'm still goin' fly
And even when you edit me the booty don't lie
Yeah, keep singing and I'mma keep writing songs
I'm tired of Marvin asking me, "What's Going On?
March to the streets 'cuz I'm willing and I'm able
Categorize me, I defy every label
And while you're selling dope, we're gonna keep selling hope
We rising up now, you gotta deal you gotta cope
Will you be electric sheep?
Electric ladies, will you sleep?
Or will you preach?"

The real cost of cheap clothes?

I'm yet to meet anyone who doesn't appreciate a bargain.. have you?

Many people are having to buy cheaper to get by.. to feed and clothe themselves, and their families..

With capitalism - there will always be 'winners' and 'losers'

Our 'lifestyles' are dependant on the continuation of the exploitation of countries, and peoples of the periphery .
No one would ever 'choose' to be on the losing side, and it's that sad fact, which continues the grease the wheels of this unequal exchange.

The whole point of capitalism is to accumulate more. That's pretty much it.
It's a shame that greed, gets in the way of a more humanitarian approach to business. It's a shame that it's so easy for 'us all' to get caught up in it.

In 'reality' cheap clothes aren't always cheap.. they can be very costly indeed.

The Road to Guantanamo 2006 docu-drama

With Guantanamo in the news again recently, and with Obama still not having shut this prison down despite reported tortures etc, I thought I'd pay a little more attention. I'm actually watching this docu-drama as I type, and so far.. I'm confused.. and there are no subtitles!?! (I think they should have included them..) which makes it all the more confusing.

Another question for me is .. why is it located off Cuba? ( or am I mistaken/missing something )

Sounds like summer

It was an eventful week for me, and by the end of it I was extremely tired. One of two things tends to occur whenever I feel that way and they are 1. I may become relatively silly, or 2. I can revert to being relatively quiet. I opted for the latter.
So here we are again .. Sunday Sunday.
It's a beautiful sunny day outside - so enjoy it while it lasts.
Blue sky, and the neighbour banging away at something in the back yard ( not my best phrasing I'm sure:O)
Sounds of summer.

That would usually inspire me to get out there and do a little work on my own garden, but hmmmm should I?.. not today.
I'm enjoying the stillness, collating and organising my thoughts. Dinners cooking , but I think I'll go out for lunch today.. if the weather holds up

The Africans / Ali Al'amin Mazrui 1980's

Apparently this series was shown on the BBC in the 80's. I don't remember it, but I came across it. Interesting.

ft Nas

Going back awhile but Nas is one of my fav's

Project window

My way