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Abbey Lincoln Lives!
08.14.2010
07:01 pm
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Abbey Lincoln died today at the age of 80. She mattered in the world because she was a female jazz singer who stood up and became active in the civil rights struggle in the ‘60s when she could have remained neutral and safe.

She made great art. Nat Chinen wrote an excellent obit for her in the New York Times.

Here she is with her then-new husband, the drummer Max Roach, performing “Driva’ Man” from their 1960 album We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite.

This was a dangerous mind.
 


Abbey Lincoln and Max Roach

 
Get: We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite [CD]

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann
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08.14.2010
07:01 pm
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Say hello to the face of dopey wannabe-fascism
08.12.2010
10:44 pm
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Yes, talk on the white Right about “camps” and “guns” should send a shiver up my spine as a Jew (whose father spent time in an immigration camp in post-WWII Palestine). But I hope I’m not the only one who thinks that this type of thing represents the fascinating last gasp of mainstream hegemonic white-identity politics. I have trust in the rest of this country’s people. Maybe I’m hopelessly naive.

As seen in the video below, here’s Marg Baker, Tea Party Republican candidate for Florida House of Representatives, District 48, on immigration:

We can follow what happened back in the ‘40s and 50s. I was just a little girl in Miami, and they filled camps with the people that snuck into the country because they were illegal. They put them in the camps and shipped them back. We can do that.

Of course, those camps held Cuban refugees who fled the repressive Machado and Batista regimes, which leased virtually all of the country’s resources, land, financial system, electric power production, and industry to US monopolies. But, history shmistory.

On the Second Amendment:

We’ve gotta have guns!

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann
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08.12.2010
10:44 pm
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Remembering the Watts Riots
08.11.2010
08:01 pm
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The Watts riots happened 45 years ago today. Sparked by the arrest and beating of young African-American Marquette Frye and the detention of objecting Frye family members, the 1965 unrest happened in a context of extreme racial tension in California.

Along with the growing poverty that accompanied the post-War closing of factories in South Central L.A., the riots also happened in a context West Coast segregationist politics. By funding the passage of Proposition 14, the California Real Estate Association had just successfully cancelled out the Mumford Act, which was the part of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that prevented housing discrimination on the basis of race.

The week of rioting left 34 dead, over 1,000 injured and more than 200 businesses destroyed, with property damage was estimated at $40 million. Urban politics would never be the same. For some perspective, read Second District Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’s reflections on how the riots connect with the building and revitalization of the area’s Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital.
 

 
After the jump: From Stacy Peralta’s 2008 documentary Crips and Bloods: Made in America, Kumasi, a former member of the street squad The Slausons, breaks down the strategy of dealing with the National Guard presence during the riots…
 

READ ON
Posted by Ron Nachmann
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08.11.2010
08:01 pm
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We have come for your scalps: the wild world of Redsploitation films
08.07.2010
06:43 pm
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Vice online has a terrific piece on ‘Redsploitation’ movies.

Somewhere in the grey area between the noble savage and the savage-savage lies the Redsploitation film. These gems of schlock cinema feature Natives getting off their knees and kicking white ass all over the West.

For the whole scoop on really pissed off Indians in the movies check out the Vice website.

 
more vengeance after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Marc Campbell
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08.07.2010
06:43 pm
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Arizona’s SB1070 still in full effect today
08.03.2010
01:21 am
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OK, America, here’s how it seems to be going down in Tuscon, AZ as of earlier today, despite the standing federal injunction against SB1070, the state of Arizona’s attempt to enforce national border laws.

Run a stop sign, get detained potentially by Border Patrol.

What now, America? What do we got?
 

 
Hat tip Charlie Bertsch.

Posted by Ron Nachmann
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08.03.2010
01:21 am
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Opening in LA: How We Roll, an exhibition of black surf & skate culture
07.21.2010
12:09 am
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Attention people of Earth and Southern California!

This Thursday marks the opening of How We Roll, a six-month exhibition on African-America’s contribution to surfing, skateboarding and rollerskating culture at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles.

Starting with the history of black surfing from the 17th and 18th century in Polynesia and Africa and on into the US, the exhibit rolls through the African-American surf-skateboard-rollerskate continuum featuring photos by Glen E. Friedman, Grant Brittain, Jim Goodrich, Lance Dawes, Atiba Jefferson, Neftalie and more. Spotlights include the legacy of pioneering black female pro skateboarder Stephanie Person and the way that skateboarding has cross-pollinated with black music formats like Afropunk, hip-hop, jazz and reggae.

Get a preview of what the exhibit looks like here.

Here’s a piece of the black skateboarding story on the East Coast from Jeremiah Alexis via Current TV
 

 
Bonus clip after the jump: a tribute to the irrepressible black skater & actor Harold Hunter, R.I.P.
 

READ ON
Posted by Ron Nachmann
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07.21.2010
12:09 am
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What if the Tea Party Was Black? & The End of Whiteness
07.19.2010
12:44 am
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Tea Party Express leader Mark Williams’s demotion in the amorphous movement—read the foul bit of racial satire he wrote that prompted it—has put the Tea Party’s racial issues in clear focus lately, which made me think of two hip-hop-generation responses to where racial politics stand in the country.

First: Hua Hsu wrote his piece “The End of White America?” for The Atlantic‘s January ‘08 issue, many months before the Tea Party crystallized white resentment. Launching from the refined racial paranoia in The Great Gatsby, Hsu delves into a high-level overview of whiteness and how whites are fleeing both from and into it. The core of it:

Today, the arrival of what [Pat] Buchanan derided as “Third World America” is all but inevitable. What will the new mainstream of America look like, and what ideas or values might it rally around? What will it mean to be white after “whiteness” no longer defines the mainstream? Will anyone mourn the end of white America? Will anyone try to preserve it?

Lots of food for thought, and still highly relevant. Please check it.

Second (and more rhetorically), check Pittsburgh MC Jasiri X‘s new video, based on Nashville anti-racist writer Tim Wise’s essay which asked the same trenchant question:
 

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann
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07.19.2010
12:44 am
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Cleveland’s Black Rock Legacy: Purple Image
07.17.2010
07:38 pm
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Today’s resurgence in black rock and Afro-punk has been accompanied by a boosted interest in obscure post-Hendrix black rock from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, as shown by the rediscovery of Detroit bands like Death and Black Merda.

Elsewhere in the heartland, Cleveland’s late-‘60s soul and R&B scene (a role-call of which can be found in this bio for the Imperial Wonders) also boasted a clutch of guitar-centered rock bands, including the excellently named Purple Image. Rising from the 105th St. & Superior area (which took a big hit during the unrest resulting from the 1968 Granville Shootout), PI traded on a thumping, harder-than-Parliament psychedelic sound fortified by powerful group vocals and the two-guitar attack of Ken Roberts and Frank Smith. Unfortunately Purple Image’s excellent self-titled 1970 debut would be their one and only, becoming a rare black-rock nugget before it was re-released by the UK’s Radioactive label in 2007.

It would take another Midwestern black rocker to pick up the

purple

but that’s another story…
 

 
Get: Purple Image - Purple Image [CD]

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann
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07.17.2010
07:38 pm
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Anatomy of a fresh vibe: A BBC jungle music documentary from 1994
06.28.2010
01:29 am
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MC Gunsmoke
 
When done right, the underground music genre primer can be the most dynamic type of documentary. We’ve seen it time and again, whether it’s punk, hip-hop, or in this case the hugely energetic scene surrounding the dance music subgenre known as jungle in early-‘90s London. In 1994, the All Black show on BBC 2 presented this community-conscious look at a genre that would eventually morph into a largely over-the-top mish-mash of sci-fi imagery and unsubtle software flogging.

At the time of the doc, jungle is definitely posited as young, multicultural black music, and treated in classically analytical BBC style. DJs, producers, MCs, label people, academics—everybody seems to chime in on issues of roots, authenticity and commercialism. Not only do you get an intro to the basic ingredients of the music—the samples! the reggae! the soul! the basslines! the breakbeats! the speed!—but the producers even weave in some drama surrounding a club gig starring the legendary Shy FX and his crew.

Of course, this program fails to feature some of the genre’s giants, like Goldie, Roni Size or Dillinja. But the American Moonshine Music label sent journalists a VHS copy of this doc along with their compilation Law of the Jungle for good reason—it’s a quality document of a time now long gone. Check it!
 

 

 

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann
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06.28.2010
01:29 am
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Superman’s Girlfriend ‘I Am Curious (Black)!’
06.25.2010
02:09 am
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Read more of the comic here.
 
(via The Daily What)

Posted by Tara McGinley
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06.25.2010
02:09 am
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