Wednesday, March 31, 2010


i like these chicks.
when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.
when it gives you male pattern baldness, you bedazzle that shit.

Stalley @ Chelsea from Creative Control on Vimeo.

i miss my sewing machine.
oh, the possibilities.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"It is better to go on foot
than ride in a carriage
under false pretenses.

it is better to go honorably on foot and do without than to ride in a carriage under false pretenses and thereby lose your honor. if you pretend abundance when in fact you are in need, those who would aid you will not, either by believing you to be abundant or by recognizing your pretense and considering you to be unworthy. furthermore, by pretending you have something when you do not, you diminish yourself in your own eyes and lose self-respect."

The Black Agenda

i did a post not too long ago about the Tavis Smiley and AL Sharpton disagreement, and not too long ago the 'We Count! The Black Agenda is the American Agenda appeared on C-Span. i missed it when it came on television, and forgot about it until i read about Farrakhan speaking at it in The Final Call newspaper. its almost 4 hours....kinda long. but theres a lot to be discussed, and you should watch all of it when you get the chance.

i think this was a good discussion that was much needed. i would like to know who put forth or made the final decision on the panel. well, i guess thats obvious-Tavis. my point though, is that if someone has a point they want to get across, then they'll pick a larger number of people to represent their stance, and fewer that don't. i'm not saying Tavis did this, but it would be nice to know how this panel was come to. i would have liked to see more women on the panel as well as others that aren't necessarily in this black leaders group that we usually see. like Van Jones or Ben Jealous and although i think he's a Republican lapdog, Michael Steele too.

something Tavis said towards the beginning was that people are constantly asking whether these discussions he hosts do more than just talk. he says that this program is supposed to lay out a Black Agenda that we can discuss, edit and then work towards as a community, but i'm not sure whether or not that was accomplished. most of the panels' sentiments were... "black folk need to....", "we should start...", "we need to stop....". which if good for those that that mobilize and work towards these things through organizations and voting, however, there are many people that need direction and a systematized plan. but a plan for what?

i like what Jackson said when he interrupted Tavis at one part when he was talking about the Black Agenda. he said that there is not one single black agenda. and i think that was a very good point. to act as though there is a black agenda is to think that all black people want the same thing. MANY black people want the best for all black people. but that is not ALL black people. and even that "many" has their own ways they feel would be best as well as their own agendas. some black people want environmental justice and things like climate change to be assessed above all; some blacks want better healthcare and more jobs available; other blacks just want to see more black faces in the government; some blacks' main concern is the war; some are just trying to remove themselves from poverty, and some are just trying to make money; some blacks understand the patriarchy and racism that this country is saturated in, and some do not; some want the best for all blacks and consider the black community in all that they do, and some just want to succeed on their own; some want to look past race, while others want it to be embraced. we are not one monolith of voters; of citizens; of people. its arguable whether thats a good or a bad thing (or beneficial or disadvantageous), but it is what it is.

although it was said a number of times, as in the title of the program, that the Black Agenda, apparently, is the American Agenda. yet, Cornel and later, Dyson, spoke about how much we did to get Obama elected, and how he, in a sense, owes us as blacks our due respect with a separate agenda. on another note, i liked that Ronald Walters (later reiterated by Farrakhan) pointed out that there doesn't need to be this much discussion about Obama because Obama does not run this country. he is in the government, but he is by no means the most powerful individual in the government-no individual is. we should be criticizing not only Obama, but black acitivists, mayors, senators, governors, and so on.

i think all of what was said about Obama was much needed constructive criticism. one criticism that should be noted was that Obama has no qualls about helping Asians and their goals, Native Americans and their goals, Jews and their goals, and so on....but falls short or backs away from blacks and our goals. but, like i just showed, we are not one monolith of people with the same goals. and this is possibly why he has not addressed or worked toward it. he cannot just listen to these self-appointed black leaders and fulfill whatever they say our goals are, because he knows they do not represent ALL black people. but that is just a possibility. its also possible that he understand what is best for all black people whether all of us understand what that is or not, and simply chooses not to work towards that because he doesn't want to be called a separatist or a president that focuses more on race than all else.

the panelists i most liked were Michael Eric Dyson, Cornel West, Dorothy Tillman and Louis Farrakhan. Tillman had an attitude i liked. she reminds me of a church lady that took up politics as opposed to the ministry. she was honest and straightforward about what she wanted to be accomplished in the education system, mainly.
i grew a little more live for Cornel. i love his spirit and enthusiasm and lack of inhibitions. i liked how he got up to high five Tillman at one point and to hug Dyson at another point. and all thats aside from his wicked fro.
the individual whose message(s) i most liked, whose intellect and statements i most respected was that of Michael Eric Dyson. around 108 minutes, Dyson speaks for the second time with much more passion than his first time around. he said Obama was analagous to Jackie Robinson who was the first black man to integrate professional baseball, but not the best. " the end of the day-he's Jackie Robinson. i'm waiting for Willie Mays to come behind him cuz willie's got a hell of a swing. .....dealing with the black agenda is what every president before you had to deal with, how are you [Obama] any different?" he also scoffed at the comparison between Obama and Martin Luther King Jr. which is made so often.
Farrakhan is probably the most controversial person on the panel. and i spoke about my feelings about the Nation of Islam in another post. Farrakhan speaks more bluntly than anyone else, which is not only refreshing, but also mperative. sometimes we need someone that isn't afraid to offend and simply speaks the truth when it needs to be spoken. there are many criticisms i have of The Nation of Islam, however, during this discussion, he was on point. he said "i am very proud that a brother sits in the......WHITE. HOUSE. long are you gonna sit around asking white folk to do what we can do for ourselves?...we have been looking at the wrong people to fulfill our agenda!" that being said, i respected how Tom Burrell said that we need to stop focusing on white people (i believe he was speaking to Farrakhan) because it reinforces that superiority complex.

all in all, it was a productive discourse. theres more and likely some new perspectives that all of us heard and found necessary for the struggle.

criticize. comment. think. question.

Friday, March 26, 2010

C. Eric Lincoln

i started reading another book by C. Eric Lincoln entitled The Black Muslims in America. which, i didn't notice until after i checked it out, that it was written by C. Eric Lincoln, author of another book i read a while back- The Negro Church in America/The Black Church since Frazier. i was not able to get through all of it at the time, so i think i only got through Frazier's portion of the book.

since then, i've learned more about Lincoln. he died in 2000, and helped (Frazier being the only other black to delve into the field) show that black religion is a field worth studying. many people simply assume that blacks are christians, and a few are muslims, and thats the sum of it. but thats a gross oversimplification.
for example, in the book with Lincoln and Frazier, Frazier suggests that "shouting" in black churches is really a continuation of spirit possession in Africa. one strength (among many) in this claim is that this rarely, if at all, happens at non-black churches. and if you haven't been to a black church, you probably have no idea what i'm talking about. luckily, i've found some youtube videos to assist you. this is one video of a woman, here's another one (cut to about 1:40 in), and this one too (about 2:48 in). i cannot find a video of animal possession in any African tribes, but i have seen many watching the Travel Channel or The Discovery Channel. not only in Africa, but in tribes in New Zealand and Australia as well. they dance in almost the exact same way, while imitating whatever animal they are supposedly possessed by.
that being said though, i was telling my friend Yvette about Frazier's claim and she said that she's been to Mexican churches and white churches in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas that do the same type of "shouting". having shouting in Mexican or Mexican American churches doesn't refute Frazier's claim, considering they are partially African, however, i have never heard that whites do it too, but i did find a video of a white man doing it here. this may be caused by influence from black churches it could mean that Frazier's claim is faulty. i'm open to either outcome, though. so give me your perspective/argument/experiences within your churches or former churches.

anyway, i think i want to do what Lincoln did to a subject. right now, i'm not currently in school, but i'm registered under the Philosophy major. but i might change that once i get serious about school (which may be soon). i plan on changing it to Religious Studies with maybe a minor in Anthropology. Lincoln went into groups like southern baptists and non-denominational churches, and the Nation of Islam, spoke to the ministers and congregations, and made controversial or new theories about religion, about blacks, about the meandering of religion (specifically that of the oppressed adopting the religions of the oppressors)and about American society. i pretty much want his job. the field of religion is the perfect balance between Anthropology and Philosophy-two of the most interesting subjects ever. we tend to underestimate the power that religion and personal philosophies play in society as a whole.

comment. criticize Frazier or Lincoln. give me you stories about your churches (current or former).

Planet Mabel Blog

i found a bunch of amazing photos of beautiful animals on this blog i just discovered- Planet Mabel.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

city girl

Stacey Ann Chin

sooooooo i just left from seeing Staceyann Chin at the Brooklyn Library. it was
they had 13 or 14 other speakers that spoke prior to her. some rapped, some read poems, and some did spoken word...which, if you haven't seen it before, is somewhere in between rapping and reciting a poem; there is a flow one must have that is smooth at some points and choppy at others, humorous at times and heart achingly sad at others.
i've posted some of her videos in another post on here.

coming from a small town in Alabama, seeing famous people (famous in the sense that they have a book published, record deal, or have been on some type of television show) is startling, and surprisingly normal. most of the people i get roused about meeting (or spotting) are somewhat lesser known. so, like Sia (who was just chillin on a rail in Union Square) the famous people i notice aren't being attacked by droves of fans or escorted by bodyguards.

Staceyann came in maybe a half an hour before the event began, when it was just me, my pal Yvette and around 10 other people...just strolled in....shook the host's hand..said a few words...sat down and began to read through her papers.
do i go up to her and tell her i've made blog posts about her, posted her videos under my facebook status updates, tell her i've read her book and it almost made me cry, tell her that i've watched every single video she has on youtube and that i'm signed up for e-mail updates on upcoming shows from her website? (, this is not stalker territory.) do i ask for an autograph? a photo? maybe i should have brought my copy of her book and asked her to address a small message to "Nell" on the inside.

but i didn't do any of those things. i have an issue with treating celebrities like celebrities. i don't like to get photos or autographs. to me, those things are just for validation for others ("see, i really did meet _____. here's a picture of me and her..."). but i really don't care if someone knows i met someone or not. pictures and autographs fade, disintegrate, and get lost. the moment of meeting or seeing someone is much more valuable. and that won't be going away any time soon (hopefully). i should have gone up to her, at least, and told her that her book meant a lot to me.

but...anywho....i did get to see her. she got the biggest reactions from the crowd. and if you ever get a chance to see her in person reading her poetry or speaking, you MUST go. she's so candid, honest an open with everything-about being a lesbian, about what she can do to a woman, about her pussy (a word she used this interchangably with "coco bread", "poonanny", "vagina" and "va-jay-jay"), about her rough childhood, masturbating for the first time, about growing older (she's 37), and about the homophobia of Jamaica.
she read 4 or 5 haikus and one about this idea that there are no gays in jamaica. i can't recall it exactly, but she said along the lines of "WHO'S PUSSY WAS I EATING?!"

at the end of this video, she does the reading where at the end, she yells "WHAT HAPPENED TO ME WAS NOT MY FAULT! WHAT HAPPENED TO ME WAS NOT MY FAULT! WHAT HAPPENED TO ME WAS NOT. MY. FAULT!" she did this poem at the end of her reading today too. i think its like therapy for her. screaming period can be therapy, right?

comment. check out some of her videos. read her book.

i found this that has all these interesting photos on it. here are some:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Take not gain or loss to heart.
what man holds high
comes to nothing.

you are not your gain neither are you your loss. Gain and loss are external to you, things with which your eternal soul is not concerned. All gains and losses pass away at the time of death. Do not waste even a moment on gains and losses when death is plucking your ears saying, "Live! I am coming.

~I Ching Wisdom Volume One by Wu Wei