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Black Immigrants Matter

Thirty – five years ago today, my father arrived in America. My mother would join him the following January. He came on a scholarship to obtain his Masters from Denver University. He came to escape what would become the First Liberian Civil War – a twenty year conflict that would claim the lives of millions. I have never taken for granted the sacrifice and isolation of my parents’ immigrant experience; the abuse from both white and Black America. As Africans, they were thrust into the strange dynamic that is race relations in this country. They endured to ensure my sister…

The Griot: Ogden Park Prowl

I’ll be performing some poetry today at Baton Rouge’s Ogden Park Prowl at 1:50. If you’re local, I’d love to see you out. Ogden Park Prowl Spoken Word Stage Government and Beverly Street Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Sample Sunday: I Can’t Stand the Rain: Of Black Women’s Innovation in Afrofuturism and Music

Song: I Can’t Stand the Rain Artist: Ann Peebles Album: I Can’t Stand the Rain Released: 1974, Hi Records Writers: Ann Peebles, Don Bryant, Bernard “Bernie” Miller Sampled By: Missy Elliott, Supa Dupa Fly (The Rain), Supa Dupa Fly, 1997. The Goldmind/Elektra. I: Do you remember how it used to be? Ann Peebles’ single, I Can’t Stand the Rain begins with an electronic timbale beating out the rhythm of rain drops as Peebles’ soothing voice rolls in like a soft thunder storm; a melancholic and Afrofuturistic rainy day. It is a thick and funky tune that carries elements of pure southern soul and an…

The Questions: Taylor Stanley

It is interesting to say that I have known people from college for more than eight years now. Time definitely flies and I feel that the black alumni of the University of Georgia tends to hold on to those bonds dearly. Even if we were not close in undergrad, there is still the special relationship…

The Questions: Bridgette Burton

Another fellow Georgia alumni, Bridgette is also a writer and author of The 365: The Year of Getting Back to Me. Like myself, Bridgette loves words and love. In our post collegiate years, we’ve formed a quiet bond that is founded on our mutual respect of love and creativity. Bridgette was gracious enough to participate…

The Questions: Yasmin Mohamed Yonis

I remember the first time I met Yasmin. It was during the summer sessions of my senior year of college; she, my good friend Ayla and myself were taking an International Affairs course on global economics. We would gather sometimes after class to discuss our professor, a wealthy Italian financier, who once called Michelle Obama…

Sample Sunday: Hello, It’s Me

Song: Hello, It’s Me Artist: Todd Rundgren Album: Something/Anything Released: 1972 Writer: Todd Rundgren Sampled By: The Isley Brothers, Live it Up, 1974 “Hello, it’s me. I’ve thought about us for a long, long time”. Todd Rundgren phrased this line perfectly. If there’s one thing I love about musicians, it is their innate ability to expose the minds and feelings of their listeners. It is the reason we all have a favorite musician; they are the one person who is able to musically create the inner workings of our souls. Love and music are two things that transcend all race,…

Sample Sunday: One Step Ahead

Song: One Step Ahead Artist: Aretha Franklin Writer: Eddie Snyder and Charles Singleton Released: Released as a single in 1965 Sampled By: Mos Def, Ms. Fat Booty, Black on Both Sides, 1998 Most of us have experienced the full cycle of a romantic relationship. You will meet a stranger; at the supermarket in aisle six, or while pumping gas or sometimes even at the God forsaken club, as described in Ms. Fat Booty. This stranger will have an inexplicable pull on you. Perhaps something superficial, Ass so fat that you can see it from the front or sometimes it is…

Sample Sunday: Crazy Love

Song: Crazy Love Artist: Van Morrison Album: Moondance Writer: Van Morrison Released: 1970 Sampled By: Brian McKnight, Crazy Love, I Remember You (1995) For the last two years, I’ve had this obsession with the musical catalog of Van Morrison; a brilliant singer-songwriter from Belfast, Northern Ireland. I have this tendency to listen to the same album for at least two months. It is the only thing I listen to and the lyrics come to mean more to me on deeper and personal levels. Moondance is no exception. Some of you may know his most famous single, Brown Eyed Girl (1967).…