Why Do You Keep Asking Whether We “Need” Kwanzaa?

Kwanzaa

Former White House Fellow, Harvard grad, and Black dude, Theodore Johnson, wrote an article at HuffPo recently that questioned whether we still need Kwanzaa.  I don’t understand the endless need to minimize or delegitimize Kwanzaa. Rarely, if ever, do we read similar articles about holidays for Jews, the Irish, Germans, the Chinese, etc. Their holidays are legitimate. Ours, on the other hand, are questioned and protested, often by other Blacks. Holidays primarily serve the function of reuniting families and reconnecting us to principles, traditions, and values. That’s good for everyone, regardless of race, culture, or ethnicity.

If you aren’t interested in the Kwanzaa tradition and its values or message, fine, don’t celebrate it. God knows I could care less about a lot of holidays. But I don’t defecate on them and attempt to run them out of existence using the technology of the day.

And I’m saying this as a guy who doesn’t particularly love Kwanzaa (the whole seven day thing kinda wears me out and drags on). I acknowledge, however, that of all people, African Americans–who still by and large are called by the surnames of the Whites who once owned our enslaved forefathers, think about that for a moment–are better off with a holiday that affirms, values, and reconnects us to something greater. Nothing’s wrong with that.

Fela!

Fela Kuti

My girlfriend and I saw Fela! at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles, and if you haven’t made time to catch this musical, you are doing yourself a disservice.  Never before have I been so engrossed and enthralled with a story that I didn’t want it to end.

You may check out your favorite website for information on Fela Anikulapo Kuti, but let me say that his story is one of musical genius, revolutionary action, and a celebration of what it means to be Black (not just African).  Aaannnd of course, his story includes a bit of drug abuse and womanizing too–few leaders have been able to avoid those vices.  Still, his story does remind me a bit of the movie Amandla! (look it up!).  One thing is for sure, music can be a weapon.

Fela! is amazing and a must-see!  The performers did an amazing job.

Big up! to Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter (he deserves to be known by his government name on this one) and Will & Jada Smith for being executive producers for this musical.  I really appreciate them doing that.

Did The Media Stumble With Steve Jobs Coverage?

Note: The following is a repost of an article written by Kelli Goff for the Huffington Post.

Last week America lost a man who changed the world. Without him and his visionary leadership it’s arguable that I, and millions of people just like me, (including many of you reading this) wouldn’t be able to do our jobs as well as so many of the small things in life we now take for granted.

If you assume I’m referring to Steve Jobs, the Apple founder who passed away last week after a lengthy battle with cancer, you’d be wrong. I’m actually referring to Rev.Fred Shuttlesworth.

If you just asked yourself, “Fred who?” you’re not alone. Though he and Jobs passed away on the same day and both men are credited with spending much of their lives revolutionizing all of ours, you’d hardly know it by the glaring difference in the amount of media coverage each of their deaths received. (Click here to see a list of other celebrities who passed away on the same day.) In the 24 hours following news of their deaths a Google search for “Steve Jobs dies” yielded more than 300 million results, while a search for “Fred Shuttlesworth dies” yielded just 144,000. In the days following the news of their deaths Jobs has graced countless magazine covers. Shuttlesworth has not. Continue reading

The Top 5 Sell-Outs of All Time

I finally caught the American Gangster episode that focused on the Federal Bureau of Intelligence and its long time, openly racist director, J. Edgar Hoover.  Hoover ruled the FBI for 48 years, and maintained file cabinets filled with so much political dirt that he could not be deposed.  The guy outlasted 7 presidents, and oversaw the Great Depression, the end of Prohibition, 3 major wars, and, most importantly, the decline of Jim Crow segregation–much to his chagrin.

Indeed, Jay-Hoova was not in favor of the enfranchisement of “Negroes” (don’t trip–that’s what we were called then).  He believed that because Blacks were second-class citizens, they’d only have second-class loyalties to the American social order.  Failing to consider how the American social order was the direct historical cause of Black America’s problems, and refusing to consider the legitimacy of Black social movements for greater access, preparation, and opportunity, Hoover went hard at leaders like Marcus Garvey, Dr. King, and Fred Hampton.  If it were sports, the record would be: Hoover 3, Black people 0. Continue reading

WTF Wednesday (Late Edition): Fear of a Black Hat

I’m just wondering White people: Just what the hell do you actually think a Black person is going to do to you–in broad daylight no less?

I work in an affluent beach city, and I keep coming across older White women who are apparently deathly afraid of me.  One woman jumped out of her skin when I clapped my hands softly upon remembering something I needed to tell her.  I’ve only seen such fear upon the faces of my children when they know discipline is on the way.  Another woman made a point of locking her door as she walked passed me seeking the first White face she could find, who incidentally, is my employee–not the other way around.

The thing about this is there has never been a period of time during which Black people were robbing, murdering, or beating White people up en masse.  This has never happened.  In fact, the contrary is true.  This is why a Black person in a predominately White neighborhood is endangering him/herself in ways that a White person in a predominately Black neighborhood need not worry about.  In fact, that White person faces almost no threats at all, since no Black community member would purposely welcome more police to his police-occupied.  Meanwhile, it is the police that a Black person must worry about while in a predominately White neighborhood. 

So where does this fear come from?  Is it guilt?  Are White people tacitly recognizing and agreeing that they deserve to be in fear of their lives around Black people for retribution’s sake?  I think so.  So guess what White people?  Since you’re afraid anyhow, I’m going to start slapping the unholy shit out of you whenever I suspect that you are fearful around me.  That way, at least your fears will be justified.  That is all.

1st Annual Kill a Descendant of Slaveowners Cook Out

That’s right Black people.  I’m very pleased to announce the First (of many more to come) Annual Kill a Descendant of Slaveowners Cook Out.  Bring your Toussaint L’Ouverture garb, as our opening theme will be:

Whatever defamation of character my enemies are spreading about me, I do not feel the need to justify myself toward them. While discretion obliges me to remain silent, my duty compels me to prevent them from doing any more harm. –Toussaint L’ Ouverture

Food and White people will be provided. We’ll be at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) this Monday (the 8th) where there are plenty of descendants of slaveowners and sympathizers of slaveowners.  We’ll drink “rum,” eat White people in effigy, simulate the rape White women, have sex with animals in effigy, not shower, spread diseases, and scream about how great freedom is just like the original denizens and citizens who started this great nation did.  Sign up for the Kill a Cracker Olympics.  Spots will go fast.  And remember: this is all just in fun.  There are no issues of race or racism here.  We’re just a bunch of young people having a bit of cultural-historical fun–nothing serious just like the “Compton Cook-Out.” 

Oh, and join us for other great celebrations: Genocide on Redskins Day, Kill a Kike Day, Partition Afrika Month (Afrika is a big continent), and Rape is Great Day! 

‘Fucking White people are out of their rabid-ass minds with the damned “Compton Cook-Out” and a noose hanging in the library.  This is just for fun?  Who the fuck are you kidding?!