Why did this ad REALLY Come down??? Maybe this film knows…

So by now, you’ve all seen the ad that has everyone up in arms. Controversial is an understatement. 

While the overall reaction to this ad was one of unanimous disapproval, the subsequent thoughts from the frenzy have been loosely divided. However, that’s only a by-product of the ever polarizing debate on abortion itself.

Whether or not the numbers provided by the organization behind the ad that claimed Blacks are at ridiculously high rates of abortion cases in the country are factual, the real issue here is why Blacks show up in high percentages in these statistics in the first place. Whether that number is 20%, 35% or 63%, as only 12% of the population in the U.S. , with an already high number incarcerated, any number in the double digits should be unacceptable for Blacks. It’s an indication that something is very wrong, as I can assure you that while every woman should have her choice, there is NOTHING ok about abortion.

I’ve read from comments on this that it is another attack on Black women and their right to choose. That it’s an inferiority tactic aimed to make Black women feel insecure and uncomfortable. If you remember from a previous post that I wrote on these so called “Attacks” on African-American women, this is still just pseudo feminist rhetoric that I  don’t get the logic in. Why would this be a desired outcome? What gain comes from this by the evil factions and powers at play? Just mind games? Ehh…

A more grounded and unfortunately grisly view may be the one that this organization horribly attempted to get across with this fuck-up of an ad. This is the view that organizations such as Planned Parenthood target minorities with a form of coaxing to give up their pregnancies under the guise of empathy. It lends itself to the more stark and grim idea of population control.

This may be old news to some of you, but a heavy documentary about this was released 2 years ago called MAAFA 21. It centers around the Eugenics movement and how it targeted African-Americans and Blacks globally  in attempts to stifle the rise and initially, the continuation of the race. There are excerpts from historical documents and newsletters, the origins of Planned Parenthood and it’s agenda are unearthed, and there’s even a connection between genocide and Charles Darwin‘s theories.

If you have never seen this film, I suggest you look for it and watch it and come to your own conclusions. It definitely has a slant, but is backed by so much empirical evidence, that room for falsehood is little. I don’t know how long this link will exist, but I watched it in 3 parts on a Chinese site here http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/3s6MHdSdehA/

If not, the official site is http://www.maafa21.com/

What IS the BLACKEST last name???

It would seem that the answer is; Washington.

This is a casual conversation that I have often. Kinda funny to see it as an official headline on my Yahoo! News feed. As this Black History Month comes to a close, this little write-up fits in just right so let’s see how much we know about what we think we know…

This question comes from the findings from an experimental tangent of the Census poll from the year 2000. Although this wasn’t repeated for last year’s Census, you can imagine that the wave of African-American surnames hasn’t changed dramatically in 10 years. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Black first names (see; Alize, Starkeisha). Nevertheless, the results showed that of the top 1,000 most popular last names in America, Washington was number 138, counting 163,036 people bearing it, and 90% of those people being African -Americans. That 90% translated to 146,520, and that percentage was the highest for Blacks out of all of the last names, making it statistically the most prominent among African-Americans.

Surprisingly, Jefferson was # 2, rounding out as about 75% Black. Jackson was only 53% Black (tho I’ve never met a non-Black Jackson. Guess I’m not as worldly as I think). And Williams was only 46% Black. In an ironic twist, the last name Black was 68% White.

For a deeper look at this interesting tidbit of modern Black history, complete with historical relevance and slavery ties, check out this link to the full article – written by an African-American editorialist by the name of Jesse Washingtonhttp://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110221/ap_on_re_us/us_the_blackest_name

And to think, all this time I thought the Blackest last name was Jenkins

Black History Moment – Did Blacks really invent the RollerCoaster? And Granville T. Woods…Do you know this man??

While getting my hair cut earlier this week, I couldn’t help but notice a radio ad that played for Black History Month and listed an African-American as the inventor of the rollercoaster.

I’ve heard this loosely before, and I know that within the last few decades, Black folk have made a habit out of claiming people and accomplishments in an effort to empower ourselves even at the expense of being historically inaccurate.

I wanted to find out just how true this really was. What I found on a brief search through the internet was not one mention of anyone Black in the timeline of rollercoaster ingenuity, but in fact, a discrepancy that would lead to the confusing information. The discrepancy comes from the claim of two Black inventors by the name of Stephen E. Jackman and Byron B. Floyd who developed a ride at a Massachusetts rink in the late 1800’s that set toboggan-style sleds on a track with multiple hills. They claimed to be the very first to use the name and term “rollercoaster”. This has never been documented in history as fact and therefore leads to gray area. But it lends itself to my initial scrutiny being that a loosely stated declaration such as the one of the radio ad that purported to credit Blacks with the invention of the rollercoaster can be taken all the way wrong. Even if the 2 men were indeed the very first to use the term, they are not the inventors of the coaster at all. The original patent for what we’ve come to know as the rollercoaster was granted to a white man named LaMarcus Adna Thompson years earlier, and the prototypical basis of the design comes from Russian constructs from almost a century earlier.

Even more interesting than that, were my findings on yet another Black Man whose name had popped up within the footnotes of my Black History studies, but never fully given his proper light. Granville T. Woods, who has helped in the sophistication of rollercoaster track engineering (particularly at Coney island), is the foremost and singlehandedly most influential Black mechanical inventor of the industrial revolution.

Known casually throughout text as the “Black Edison”, Woods was primarily a self-taught electrician and mechanist. He attended college to sharpen his skills and moved around the world as an engineer until finally settling back in his home state of Ohio and developing patents. Though born a free-man in Pre Civil War America, can you imagine how ridiculously hard it had to have been to be a Black Inventor at the turn of the 19th Century????

As his race played the most important factor in his lack of notoriety and upward mobility, many of his patents were forced to be sold to larger corporations such as the American Bell Telephone Company. In addition to that, he faced a number of legal woes as his White Contemporaries at the time, such as Thomas Edison, made claims to his patents. Ironically, he won against those claims, but ultimately lost when he was the one doing the accusing and served jail time for Criminal Libel.

Like many geniuses in their time, he died broke and under-acknowledged for his contributions to the field of Mechanical engineering and electrical systems. However, not many inventors have resumes that boast such a versatile range.

His patents were usually improvements to existing inventions that have managed to stand the test of time. They include those to an advanced telephone transmitter and the telegraphony, which combined voice and signal messages. This also included patents to an incubator for farms, street car wheel that gave birth to the name “trolley”, and his most famous invention, the Synchronous Multiplex Railway Telegraph – which revolutionized electronic railway communication and travel.

Google this man today and learn something new that’s very old…

This has been my Black History Moment

 

Go See This!!! – new film “Mooz-Lum” brings familiar faces and the conflict of Islam & Blackness in the modern world to the screen

I’m pushing HARD for this movie because whether it’s a classic or not, just the fact that it tackles such an unorthodox subject matter is compelling.

I appreciate these small indies that come from life experiences as observed or encountered by the writer or director themselves. They usually contain great realism and show flawed protagonists with interesting conflicts.

This particular film resonates with me, not only because it features an all Black cast with names and faces that we haven’t seen in a while (but who are great when given the right roles), but more importantly because it circles around 2 things that are close to home for me.

The first being the impact of the 9/11 attacks and the fervor and sentiment surrounding that during and after. The film is set mostly on a college campus, where the main character (played by Diana Ross‘ son, Evan) is attending and adjusting. I was in college when the attacks took place…Living directly across the street from The Pentagon to be exact, so I clearly remember all of the frenzy and madness.

Secondly, and more personally, this speaks to my coming of age as I was raised under Islamic principles and faith by a passively militant father who was a member of the infamous Nation Of Islam; known for its socio-political stance and race-motivated rhetoric, but more notorious for its outspoken members and imagery of Black men selling newspapers and bean-pies. Their adaptation of the Islamic following – preferably Sunni, developed a hybrid that usually Americanized and negroized alot of the religious dogma and highlighted certain parts and neglected others. The now satirized way of saying the universal Muslim greeting was coined by members of the Nation and their mispronunciation of the Arabic to the point where most Americans know it as ‘Salaam-A-Lake-Um’ as opposed to its correct pronunciation of

Asalaamu Alaykum!

This is just a reflection of how that adaptation and subsequent blending in with the very lost Culture of African-Americans has given way to many of the popular ideas and misconceptions of Islam held by the majority of the U.S. The melding with political and racial agendas has made the ideals of a community-based and peaceful religion very murky and has even lead to off-shoots such as the 5% Nation of the Gods and Earths that was heavy among Afro-centric pot-heads in the 90’s. From fallacies of oppressed women having to dress like ninjas, to imagery of a constantly aggressive and non-smiling people who starve themselves for one month out of every year, Muslims have a bad rap in this country and most of the Western world. Alot of that is based on the inherent ignorance of our societies. And alot of that has been the doing of Muslims worldwide themselves. I’m pretty fuckin’ sure that Islamic Extremists causing mass atrocities aren’t helping that either.

As my father was more of a Muslim by description than practice, I was not one of those kids walking around with 4 Arabic names and white robes and kufi’s going to private neighborhood schools. In fact, I took more of a vested interest in the faith upon entering my teens, when I set out to teach myself how to pray in Arabic and bonded with my boy Randall, who was the first Muslim kid I ever met in life that was one by choice. Most Muslim kids that I knew of were all just like me; hood babies with Muslim names given by their fathers who were members of the Nation but failed to instill any hardcore Islamic influence. I had reached a point where I felt like more of a Muslim than my own father, who doesn’t even spell his adopted Muslim name the Arabic way…but eventually, after leaving college, I succumbed to the conflict that has always surfaced within myself about the inconsistencies within Islam. I started to analyze it again, remembering passages I’ve read, and looking at everything that’s been done in its name, and this caused me to distance myself from all religion as a whole. I’ve considered myself agnostic for a while now.

However, my upbringing under the codes of conduct have influenced my life choices irreversibly and it cannot be denied. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. A life without pork and alcohol is not a life lost. I do like balance. And I feel that the skewed view on Muslims is so much the majority that the actual beauty of the core essence of the religion is never seen. What it provides at the heart, is a structure that promotes a nearly rape-free culture that doesn’t objectify women and places her value at such a level that she is to be protected, not restricted. The teachings of appreciation for and usage of the Planet Earth is almost Zen-like, and the hygienic guidelines rival others in just how close to God one can be. There’s a solidarity between most eastern Muslims that is admirable to the point where everyone can learn from. Once again, it’s those things done by people in the name of their beliefs that fuck it up for the world!

Hope this movie touches on all these things while entertaining. As most movies that I wind up promoting and suggesting, this film is only showing as a limited release, and in NYC that means only at AMC theatre in Times Square, starting Friday February 11th. If nothing else, maybe folks will never pronounce it as “Mooz-Lum” again!

THIS is what they think of your “Black History Month”!!!

You ever heard that a picture is worth a thousand words?

Keiry sent me this picture like she randomly does sometimes because her sister had it sent to her from a friend who was just honestly shopping around their local PathMark. I wish this was one of those photo-shopped viral images designed to be texted around and laughed at (it can still be, and very well may be by now), but this is just truly one of those WTF moments captured in still life.

Last year, it was the NBC breakroom menu that was going around the internet, where the catering staff took it upon themselves to feel like they contributed to the legacy of the month by providing a special rundown of “Soul Food” and the Black choice for bottled water, Aquafina (a.k.a., the cheapest). 

It sparked controversy, as everything Black usually does because we are the most sensitive race on the Planet, and of course, outsiders struggled to wrap their heads around how this assumptive gesture could be taken offensively.

What it really comes down to is the question, is this what we are to the rest of the world?? Can we be narrowed down to a 1-note monolithic idea? Is our culture steeped primarily in singing, dancing and food that started out as the most unhealthy scraps that we turned into damn good-tasting delicacies??? Ironically, the same food that because we’ve been living off for decades, has caused us to develop diseases that pass generation-to-generation almost exclusively to us.

As a Black Man who has never been a fan of what I call “Slave-Food”, I can’t deny that this cuisine is indeed a testament to Black genius and our ability to make marvels out of morsels, or something from nothing, but I refuse to be defined by it when we’ve done soooo much else as a people. And If we’re speaking strictly within the realm of food, why not peanuts? Why not Red Velvet Cake? Foods that we undeniably have added to that are not stigmatized? There’s so many different kinds of “Black”. Then I must remember that excluding our African and Carribean counterparts, the history of the American Black is a very limited one…One that begins with slavery. So maybe this is our foundation. Scary isn’t it?

I understand why other races could be confused as to why something that seems like a good-natured effort to recognize the history of an ethnic group could be taken with such malice, but these implications speak volumes without saying much.

Next time the need is felt to put a sticker on something to celebrate Black History Month, how about a Traffic Light?? That‘ll be the day…

NIGHT CATCHES US – A Movie You NEED to see!!

I’m Just coming back from seeing this movie – which I made it a POINT to do and became quite the mission for me this week, and I must say that Iam really appalled that this Critically acclaimed and award-winning film was not promoted or given half of a chance. It’s a great independent with a great cast and great performances by everyone included.

Anthony Mackie and Kerry Washington‘s chemistry on film is dynamic, but it’s young actress, Jamara Griffin, that delivers the most layered performance and debut from a young actor since Spike Lee’s Crooklyn. There’s several familiar faces that appear here with a soul-heavy soundtrack and score provided by the legendary Roots Crew. Check the trailer and this review and synopsis from the New York Times http://movies.nytimes.com/2010/12/03/movies/03night.html

As it was only viewable in about 3 theatres in New York since December 3rd and was pulled out of the so-called ‘Black theatre’ (Magic Johnson’s AMC in Harlem), it’s only showing in one theatre for one more night only. The theatre, Cinema Village on 12th street, will be holding 5 showtimes; with the last show at 9:05 Thursday Night, December 16th.

If you take nothing more from this film than to spark conversation or the want to go back into your Black History books, then that is a victory in itself for the makers of this movie. It Should be celebrated for its introspection and softness. It’s a refreshing take on Black issues that doesn’t force Black issues in your face. No message. No cliché. Just the humanity of choices. It’s a subtle film, and I urge you all to catch it on its last night before the night catches up.

Is Your Weed THAT important??!

Damn TIP,

My dude Nathan at Refined Hype pointed out yesterday that only bad things happen to rappers in L.A.

(For the full backstory of what happened with T.I. getting arrested for drug possession, it’s only right that I kept it Atlanta and provided this link http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/t-i-faces-possible-605384.html?cxtype=ynews_rss)

But really now,

This weed shit is getting over the top. You kids are acting like it hasn’t been around for ages, like it’s sooo fucking revolutionary.

I can’t for the life of me understand this new movement of rappers that dedicate 90% of their gimmick and content to a plant, cause yeah, that hasn’t been done before almost 20 years ago. What’s so new about this?? What makes it such a phenomenon now? Is it that the kids are smoking at younger ages now when before it was left to the older heads? That can be the case. Also because the kids today are just more indulgent period. The fear of consequence is less and almost every song is a get-fucked-up anthem now more than ever. I used to think it was a hood thing, but now I see that even the nerdiest lames are blowing it down. And more females too, as I focused on in my post earlier this year, The 2011 Legalization of Cali bud & The Death of The Good Girl (http://wp.me/pFRgn-5s). You still think rap music doesn’t influence pop culture and vice versa??! It’s cyclical. Even if the amount of Young muafuckas puffing back in the 70’s and 80’s was the same as it is now – and I highly doubt this, we weren’t hearing about it 1/4 as much as we’re hearing about it today, in all it’s glorified glory.

As the new wave of niggas who have invaded my building have given me the misfortune of having to step over them daily as they round up to roll up on my staircase on the way to my apartment (and I don’t live in the projects, just across, but might as well at this point), I don’t see this surge going anywhere soon. It’s the great get away…fill your lungs with carcinogens, spit, cough and spend your way to temporary happiness…

I just wish this shit was legalized already so I can stop hearing about it. I want them to tax it, over-charge it, monopolize it and then make Truth commercials about it and let everyone see how offensive the smell is when you’re not the one smoking it…when you have to walk behind it and have it blown in your face like cigarettes. When the blunt guts and spit globs are outside corporate buildings. I think it’s so praised because it is counter-culture and apart of a rebel spirit that people, especially youth, like to embrace.

But that’s the thing…you take white kids for example, and once they enter a certain point in their lives, they get more concerned with their prospects and other dealings, the whole consumption and over-consumption thing slows down and the risky behavior calms down generally speaking. You’ll hear stories about wild college days or crazy nights, but for some reason, you rarely hear about white stockbrokers, athletes, politicians, musicians or actors getting pulled over in their luxury cars because of a strong stench of Marijuana. And more of them smoke than negroes! Take Notes Tiny and T.I.!! (Now I will note that once again, this generally speaking, and just because you don’t hear about it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. And before you advocates start scrambling to scrape up the few examples in defense, I will also note that Paris Hilton, who is White, just got stopped and in trouble for the same thing recently)

How much have you allowed a drug to be integrated into your daily life? Niggas act like they can’t live without being high. How does that sound? So much so that you would risk your freedom for something that just makes you feel free? I can’t count how many times I’ve had my boys in my car with serious quantities on them and never paid attention to the fact that this shit could be the reason I’m not sleeping in my own bed that night. How dumb. One of my favorite rappers, who just got the slap-on-the-wrist of a lifetime, the biggest break since Cochran got Snoop off for Murder (And we all know he was a party to it), has royally fucked up and put himself in a situation where his future is yet again in question. Don’t niggas get tired of hiding? Don’t you get tired of having someone else decide your fate? Is this shit really that great that you can’t get by without it? Then you have to ask yourselves, what the hell has gone on or is going on to make that the case? What took it from a party drug to an everyday thang?

I mean, let’s take SEX. It’s an appropriate comparison since potheads’ number one argument is that weed is so natural. I Love sex.  Most of us do. Sex is a risky behavior, a natural indulgence. I’ve been in trouble with the cops for sex. I know that doing it in public, especially a car, can get me busted. But at the same time, I don’t have sex everyday. Most of us don’t. I don’t know if I would if I could. It would kill the awe of it. Yet, unless I’m raw-dogging a chic with no check-ups, I’m not doing any harm to my body, and I’m damn sure not risking my freedom! It’s a fine at most. The way you rappers and young fucks go about this recreational drug shit tho, I just really hope its better than sex, because sex is life, weed is just an escape from it…

Did I ever Mention How much I HATE Black McDonald’s Commercials??!

Why is this commercial so obnoxious?! Who greenlighted this?!

Their urban marketing team should be sent to the firing squad!

Now that I think of it…Are there any McDonald’s commercials that AREN’T Black??

Fuck Rick Ross, FRED delivers the Best Remix out!

Click the Picture to Hear song

It’s no secret my disdain for the poser who parades around borrowing the namesake of other grown men. Mostly, failed men who are notorious for all the wrong reasons. Note to rappers, if you’re gonna name yourself after a real street legend, try to name yourself after niggas who don’t get busted and lose it all. Also, try not to name yourself after actors who play such characters. They are just actors.

And how funny that we should talk about actors. In a recent review of This guy’s album Teflon Don (yet another borrowed moniker that I hear he’s getting flack for from the Gotti family), The site

http://www.djbooth.net/ begins by stating…

Rick Ross is the Al Pacino of rap. No one believes that Pacino actually was a Miami drug lord, but his acting in Scarface was so dynamic that Tony Montana seemed completely real. Similarly, only the incredibly naïve think Rick Ross is an actual Don; as a general rule, real drug kingpins wouldn’t dream of carrying kilos of coke in their cars, let alone embark on international media campaigns to announce the details of their massive drug distribution operation. But somewhere between the time Ross’ heavyweight Hustlin’ first hit our eardrums and now, the Bawse has embodied the larger than life characteristics of the actual gangsters he names himself after (Freeway Rick Ross, Albert Anastasia) so entertainingly that rants about his “realness” have become as pointless as complaining that Al Pacino didn’t “actually” engage in gun battles with Columbian hitmen.”

I hesitate to call him a rapper. I cringe to refer to him as an entertainer.

Many of you probably don’t even notice the picture of him X’d out in his corrections Officer uniform that’s in the banner for this site above, but my respect level is nil for mr. Rozay. Besides the lame identity crisis gimmick, and I won’t even get into the cop past for a gangster rapper thing, I just am not a fan of repetetive rhymes about nothing but ignorance and glorfying of shit that there is no glory to. Alot of you have seemed to fall into the co-sign trap where if something is getting pushed hard enough and enough people seem to overlook something very wrong, then it’s okay to lean in that direction. Having some of the hottest beats around doesn’t hurt that effect either.

In one song, this guy encapsulates all 3 of those flaws almost unabashedly and unapologetically. Almost like he knows that ever since he’s got Diddy behind him, he can say damn near anything and niggas will eat it up because he’s filling a void left for street-oriented rap. Much like Biggie had this seeming immunity that made the general public look at you crazy when you questioned his more…questionable lines and statements.

The song I’m talking about is Called “B.M.F”. or “Blowing Money Fast”. How he convinced a rapper like Styles P to jump on a song with a hook that starts off, “I think I’m Big Meech…” I don’t know, but this track is one big fuckery fest of fantasy and fabrication that promotes drug money and everything surrounding it like it’s 1985.

There has been a Jeezy track called, “The Real Blowing Money Fast” that actually features a recorded statement by the actual Big Meech – the man behind the real cartel B.M.F., who’s serving a federal sentence. In it, he’s saying that he has no ties to Ross and has never met him, but doesn’t appreciate the use of his name. I’m not a Jeezy fan because he’s not too far from this guy in his approach, but he does have his moments. In any case, I was hoping this started a battle so someone that people really respect on both a street and rap level would break the hypnosis you’ve seen to have been put under in the last year. Sorry 50.

I guess this is better. What my boy Mr. Fred Hawkins has done has turned a negative to a positive. Kind of like what me and Brandon did with “Pack Of Niggers”, Fred uses Ross’ own shit to his advantage and flips his beat and cadence in a display of Self-motivation, Black Pride and Intelligence. It’s conscious without being corny so it doesn’t lose it’s street appeal and flare. Dare I say, it’s Revolutionary But Gangster.

There couldn’t have been a better way, Fred’s half husky, commanding voice is like listening to Ross’ good twin, who did everything right. He flips the hook saying, “I think I’m Malcolm X, Martin Luther, Marcus Garvey…Hallelujah!”, with lines like “You don’t need that White, You need that Black, we gave the system wealth…we need that back!” This version is more of an anthem for true manhood and responsibility.

Dopeness in it’s true form. Coalition is still alive and kicking.

Click on the pic or Hear the song here.

http://twiturm.com/qz2ty

And because it just dropped and Obvioulsy great minds think alike cause he went the same lane and started his hook the same way, I’m adding my new favorite rapper, Lupe Fiasco‘s version as well, with a link to my new favorite hip-hop website http://www.refinedhype.com/hyped/entry/lupe-fiasco-b.m.f/

Shout outs to Fred. I’ll jump on that remix if needed.

Happy Paddy!!

It’s at moments like this, where I see Black people all day parading around in green like they understand Irish culture, where I’m reminded how surface-level we as a society are. I’m all for the spirit of doing things for the novelty of it, but I don’t believe we put that much thought into our daily activities. Like how many of us think that this day is just about being from Ireland and that Ireland is all about Beer, Liquor House Of Pain singles and funny little Guys from the Lucky Charms box?? How many even know the significance of St. Patrick? I’m not making any point here except that people are interesting. Just something to think about. People are also stupid.

Having that said,

I leave you with this oldie but goodie that you might remember…

I was gonna put it up for a Great Moments in Black History segment for last month, but it just seems so much more appropriate and potent right now!

And Who can forget the follow-Up?

Ahh..Yes! Black People. We’re Magically Delicious!!