Kanye West …. A Pleasant Surprise!

west-treekanye singing Blood on the Leaveswest-tree3

I’m not a big fan of hip hop and some of the artist buy I was always a little partial to Kanye West.  He was introduced from a completely different background than most rappers.  I liked that about him and I liked his parents too. Kanye won my heart as I watched him during a celebrity telethon for New Orleans who was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. For a few second he was quiet and said what we were all thinking, “President Bush doesn’t like Black people.”  His co-host was shocked and my heart leaped.  YES, YES!! It needed to be said.  They left Black folks behind to die in the streets and my heart ached. And, I felt soooo bad for Kanye when he lost his mom.  I can’t imagine losing my mother as a young adult especially with the success that Kanye was having.  But, when he grabbed the mic from Taylor Swift was a sign that he was still in a bad place.  As a mother and grandmother I just wanted to hug and hold him because you know he was hurting!

The Lynching Tree
The Lynching Tree

The years after the Taylor Swift incident, I lost my zest for listening to Kanye West music even-though I considered him something special. Here we are at the MTV 2013 Video Music Awards and Kanye West performs a song that reminded you of Billie Holiday’s, Strange Fruit, Blood on the Leaves.  That’s the genius of this young man. He is singing and jumping around and I see in the background a forest or woodsy area and a tree that stands out as strong and very old.  I have seen this picture before it’s the site outside of New Orleans where lynchings took place.  And, the ground beneath the tree is where some of Blacks that were lynched are buried.  WTF!!!  I’m impressed that he knows the photographic work of the British Black artist and filmmaker, Steve McQueen.
steve_Mcqueen

I ran into McQueen’s work surfing the internet and was impressed with his education and latest project.  McQueen is considered an artist, producer, writer and director and has produced a film called “12 Years a Slave” as his latest project. The film is the true story of Solomon Northup who was a free Black man but was sold into slavery and remained a slave for 12 years.

I’m excited to see that Kanye’s genius is kicking ass and I am impressed with educating those who don’t know.  I am going to have to rethink Kanye and take him more seriously.

It’s Not OK Russell…

Russell Simmons
Russell Simmons

I can’t believe my first ever Black female hero, Harriet Tubman, was defamed by Russell Simmons. Harriet Tubman is a big hero of the African’s history in American slavery. We need to tell their story not so we won’t forget but for everyone to remember. I love Russell Simmons’ work and his commentaries on certain subjects like “Don Lemon” so I’m befuddled by the Harriet Tubman sex tape.  WTF??!?  Are we turning into a Black society that takes sacred historical figures and use them for song and comedy?  I hope not.  Does he know what this woman has done to earn her place history?

The state of Maryland offered a $12,000.00
Slave Owners offered reward

Harriet Tubman was born a slave in Dorchester County, MD in 1820.  . Her master rented her out at various times of her young life starting at the age of 5 years old. At the age of 12 years old she was hit in the head with a by a white overseer for refusing to assist in tying up a man who had attempted to escape.  Since this incident Harriet suffered black outs that happened unexpectedly for the rest of her life.  In December 1860, she made her last rescue trip to Maryland, bringing seven people to Canada. In the ten years she worked as a “conductor” on the Railroad, Harriet managed to rescue over 300 people. She had made 19 trips and never lost a passenger on the way. She also rescued her elderly parents and got them to Canada. So, I’m truly befuddled as to why someone would think it was a good idea to do a derogatory comedy skit about an awesome heroine.

Harriet Tubman on the left.
Harriet Tubman on the left. 1887

Simmons’ apologized for his indiscretion.  I say thanks for the apology but I got one eye on you now!

The Portrayal of Young Black Men And Boys

Young Black Men and Boys Behaving Badly

I remember when my nephew was in second grade at a public elementary school he got into trouble with his teacher for balling his hands at his side after she took something off him.  They, the principal and teacher took this as a threat.  Why??   I didn’t get it then and I don’t get it now.  Can you believe that a school system would have a hearing into the actions of a second grader?  For little white 7 year old Johnny it would’ve been a call home stating that Johnny is having a bad day but for my young Black 7 year old skinny nephew it was a suspension followed by a hearing at the board of education where he will probably be moved to another school because it would be more cost effective to move the child than the teacher.  When this Black man, who was the principal said those words concerning “cost effective” I knew the system was rigged against my nephew being successful.

accdent-scene

Unfortunately, young Black boys are not treated like the Johnnys in the world.  Young Black boys and men are portrayed in the main media as criminals, victims and predators. Even Black folks become afraid of our young men and boys because of how they are perceived negatively in the media.  When you hear the police chief refer to someone as a menace to society, you become fearful of such folks because then anyone can could get hurt including yourself.  Below is a picture of young Black man who has done a bad, bad thing.  The sentencing is what horrified me.   I can’t see a young Black man receiving a sentence like his without one of the charges being homicide.

Pittsburgh PA
Pittsburgh PA

PITTSBURGH (KDKA)

Pittsburgh Post Gazette — The Homewood man accused of leading police on a high-speed chase that seriously injured two Pittsburgh police officers was in court today for his sentencing.

In June, a jury returned a mixed verdict in the trial of Sean Wright. The 22-year-old was found guilty of attempted homicide and assault charges for running over two detectives during the 15 mile pursuit. However, he faced the same charges for injuries to five other officers, but was acquitted on the attempted criminal homicide charges. But he was found guilty of aggravated assault.

Today in court, Wright was sentenced to 50 to 100 years in prison.  I haven’t heard those type of sentences since the era of the south using imprisonment of Blacks as a way to gain a slavery hold on the prisoners.

August 7th

free angela

On August 7, 1970, a horrific event took place inside a court room.  San Quentin prisoners escape plot with outside help.  Four persons, including the presiding judge, killed in courthouse shoot-out in San Rafael, Marin County, California. Police charged that activist Angela Davis helped provide the weapons used by the convicts and issued a nationwide warrant for her arrest.

angela lie

She was arrested in New York City. Davis was eventually acquitted of all charges on June 4, 1972.

angela court