Bredrin and sistas in solidarity like u make me so happy, en inspire en nourish [we] so….asante for the lessons of  your divine selves doing  the best you can in educating en sustaining communities.

I give thanks for yesterday, today en infinite possibilities, give thanks for the continued guidance and protection of our ancestors,  our growing [chosen] families en the living legacies of warriors on the frontlines.

Dear malaika[s]

asante for your sage secrets of loving……[from] Afrakenya, black queer resistance, BQY, blackness yes! & blocko

massives, behind the mask, bunge la mwananchi, coalition of African lesbians, colourmedragg, elimu sanifu, engender, Fahamu, FARUG, GALCK, Goldelox productions, gaykenya, IshtarMSM, Kufunda learning village, Kwari village, lost lyrics, manifesto, minority women in action, moyo wa Africa, none on record, p.a.p.a. institute, QWOC+ Boston, safe spaces, schools without borders, seven sistas, SMUG, stolen from Africa, the brown boi project, the stud magazine, the people project, toronto rape crisis centreweapon of the revolution, T.E.A, T.I.TsUganda

[wapinduzi productions, [to] the yoruba house project [en those that haven’t been named in dis open letter/yet]…gotta confess that I been falling deeper in love with you from the days we met…..

I want to sit studently at the rivers of your feet, relearning a language of integrity honesty passion scribed on our hearts tongues….. asante for teaching me so much with your dreams in rainbow colours]

I love you so so dearly and will work hard (hopefully into our old age) to be great friends and the best co-creator that I can be for and with you…. [and if like it feels] our destinies are inextricably tied, then wetin dey ‘red’ roads [to walk] for us to not only share mo resources amongst ourselves in service to our communities, but recruit more allies in rebuilding our learning villages?

Have we forgotten how to listen deeply to our voices? (How) do we need to re/vision our hubs to best harvest the wealth of all those intersections of our diversity?

I hope we’ll get to talk more about our ways forward and I honor and will welcome whatever you have to say…..

I was born when lizards were in ones and twos

colour spill productions: east side story

A child of Idemili. The difficult tear drops

Of sky’s weeping drew my spots. Being

Sky-born I walked the earth with royal gait

And mourners saw me coiled across their path.

But of late

A strange bell

Has been singing a song of desolation:

Leave your yams and cocoyams

And come to school.

And I must run away in haste

When children in play or in earnest cry:

Look! A Christian is on the way……

[read Travels of alice in wonderland:upside-down]

…beside/s the sorrow of the solitary voice that now wailed after them they might have been returning with a bride. The sweet agony of the solitary singer settled like dew on the head.

Dis hadithi is about ‘IT’, for the purposes of dis blog (story/teller) ‘IT’

[revised excerpts  ya Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe]


is the tangled web of realities that transform (not only) my perspectives on waiting for superman, the politrix of diverse media on [david]kato’s trial, retreats en the pursuit of ‘rapture’ TO what comes next…

like a poem from d’bi young anitafrika’s epic dub archive….ancient concept…..

it all comes down to.. nothing less than UPENDO

that has me (en we)not only advocating for truth n reconciliation but co-creating epics of the hadithis of our lives with our learning villages

IT is what has had us rebelling in righteousness and rebuilding our homesteads from (long ago)

sharing all our resources to grow[ing] magical forests  en farm[ing] yams, pumpkins n herbs, multiply[ing] heads of goats en hens

retelling [ancient] poetry openly in diverse urban spaces [never confessing bush-rituals. But. dey plotting big time for return from exile o…..

[between the lines: we ask those tuff questions of remembering tradishun en paths of harvesting the powah! of our diversity,

only) TUKIFAFANUA the complexities of ‘every-night-till-the-newyamfeast’

(na)the urgency of security/interventions for LGBTIQ asylum seekers,

(na) the sacredness of  bredrin en sistrin/outsiders

IT is the spaces between silence, organising, and play(ing)with friends en families, praying (even) for blessings for  our enemies, and those who fight us…

IT is the struggle to maintain the abundance of well being and prosperity to blue sky and farm in the rurals,

source: sprbd.tumblr.com

Dreaming to Embark on a year long (artist-in-residence) retreat with (s)kin folk[s], finance [grassroots] organising with Bredrin and sistas in solidarity like   AfraKenya, Black Queer Resistance en The Brown Boi Project, Colour Me Dragg and FARUg , SMUG & T.I.TsUganda, Deviant & Goldelox productions,

massive human-positive en salaam coalitions and the people project[s] facilitating positive relearning en transformation at spaces like [moyo wa Afreeka] centres en women’s health in women’s hands,

IT is re/mapping the foundations of healing/schools without borders through [queer/Afrikan re-visions of en call outs for un]conferences like

Queer It Yourself – Tools for Survival

[read: how to become a professional queer –  in another place not here

Play: spot the remix/ed en indigenus….hold a memory..harvest pumpkins, yams en herbs]

As a part of the 2011 National Queer Arts Festival, “A Sustainable Queer Planet,” the Visual Arts Committee presents…….

QIY: A laboratory…envisioned as… [re]creating a sustainable queer culture and demonstrating the power of self and community organizing, co-creation, speculation, and transformation.

As an antidote to anti-sociality theories of queerness (that suggest queerness can only be rendered as a negation of heteronormativity), Queer It Yourself invites artists to forge their own tools for surviving the everyday challenges of contemporary queer existence…….

Queering the index….the various sections of the QIY exhibition include:

Land Use / Dig it (organic farming, community gardens, eco-projects, cruising sites, earthworks, recycling projects, rural gay culture, hippies and rednecks, RFD zine, Billy Club, 420 cultures, mountain men, off the grid living, survivalism, subsistence, indigenous and third world land use, border disputes)

Shelter / Sheltering (guides to urban and rural homemaking, urban and rural homelessness, cars, tents, bridges and freeway overhangs, tiny houses, pre-fab housing, visionary architecture, greening your living space, creating mood lighting with energy efficient fixtures, housing collectives, polyamorous living)

Craft Making / Queering it (queer arts and crafts, craft demos, how-to guides and workshops, how to use etsy.com, Blurb and self-publishing software, QIY kinky toys, homemade fashion and couture)

Commerce / Selling it (experiments with capitalism, fashion collectives, sexwork, alternative book,

art, and product distribution, queer & LGBT marketing demographics, critiques, small businesses, barter, trade, resource-based economy vs. commodity-based economy)

Community / Join in (political organizing, queer community organizing, ad hoc political action committees, queer pride, gay shame, organizing your first demonstration, social & political groups, leather clubs, s/m networks, biker gangs)

Nomadics / Roaming (the culture of the road, the runway, the superhighway, jetsetting, transnationalism, queer diasporas, queer immigrant and exile cultures)

C

kwetu

ommunications / Connecting (zines, homo-core

music, queer speed-dating, independent publishing, social networking, blogging, listserves, social media, flashmobs, promotional strategies, writing your first press release, street art, posters, stickers, queer graffiti)

Learning / Get Schooled (community art and culture projects, health activism, continuing education, grant writing and fundraising, guides for queer survival, mentorship, “training” in leather circles, drag “mothers”, informal or marginal methods of transmitting culture, service, apprenticeships)

Style / Working it (working the runway, drag king & queen culture, ball culture, leather, gear, street styles, rural styles, international styles, fashion and make-up tips and tricks, makeover demonstrations, finding the right photographer for your head-shot)

We welcome artwork, ephemera, documentation, publications, zines, music, videos, installations, DIY kits, guides, instruction manuals, maps, charts,

source:natural belle.tumblr.com

top-ten tips, alternative cosmologies, proposals for live demonstrations, workshops and interactive QIY workstations.

Propose a history of Zine culture, show work of collective art projects, show artifacts of ad hoc political action committees, give live demonstrations of quilting and queer homemaking, offer a do-it-yourself stencil-making so that you too can be a street artist, and much more…

[deadline to submit proposals passed but…If you have questions (say about funding for travel n accommodations or collaborating with grassroots networks),

please contact QIY@queerculturalcenter.org [and] uhai.eashri@gmail.com [pia]

todavidwithlove@gmail.com [na] check dis conference in another place, not here….mo’ wisdom circles in world cafes on the art of taking participatory leadership to scale]

UHAI-EASHRI is pleased to announce that the 3rd Regional Changing Faces, Changing Spaces Conference will be convened in Nairobi, Kenya from 4th to 6th May, 2011. This conference will bring together activists from the LGBTI and sex worker movements in East Africa, as well as health and legal professionals, human rights activists and organisations, and donor partners working in the Region (Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda).
As such, UHAI is requesting participation, input and support from activists within the LGBTI and sex worker movements across the five countries. It is hoped that a representative team of activists will guide UHAI in developing the Conference agenda with the needs of the activist community in mind and in light of lessons learned from the 1st and 2nd Conferences.

This will require activist participants, working with the Conference Task Force, to volunteer time and their unique perspectives in helping this Conference meet the needs of all the stakeholders involved in UHAI. Further to this, the activist participants will be involved in crucial decision making regarding the logistics and organizing of this Conference. Therefore, we are seeking a maximum of 8 LGBTI and sex worker activists to volunteer a little of their time (hopefully not more than 5 hours per week in the run up to the Conference). Activist participants will need to have email and telephone access.

This is a great opportunity to shape the 3rd Changing Faces, Changing Spaces

Conference and to ensure your place at it!

….please feel free to send any inputs or inquiries to the Conference Coordinator at angusparkinson@gmail.com.

Looking forward to your support, input and participation!

CFCS³ Conference Team

give thanx for yesterday, today en kesho in the Q_t werd: we reveal s/heroes behind the masks,

(share our communing usiku at one a dem tambors for esu [odara]

en invite mo artists to)  co-create enchanted retreats

betwixt en between blue skies/ancient forests,

canoes on the Indian ocean en altars on mountains of the moon,

dis hadithi is the keeper of secrets, esu carry my prayer, divine messenger of transformashun, melding with [great] mystery ase::

dreams of, documenting en facilitating luv-in Elimu sanifu missions of [healing] Safe Spaces with people you [/we are blessed to] know like Lost Lyrics en Manifesto with The Weapon of The Revolution

#todavidwithlove projects watering seeds from Kampala to Nairobi, Tdot to Brooklyn, Cape-town to Dar-es-salaam en Kigali, Montego Bay to Santiago de Cuba, Lagos to Jinja en Tripoli,

from the diaspora of righteousness [back] to Afreekan shores, on a quest of maps with doors to no return.

Are you ready?

Hadithi? Hadithi? Hadithi njoo…….

Giza ya? Sahani ya?

Wetin dey (UKWELI YA) riddle of the sphinx o?

[Hadithi? Hadithi? Hadithi njoo….Kama ya Pan Afrikan Performing Arts Institute, en the Queen who founded dis wondrous senta…… inspiring stories like these teach me en our communities the infinite possibilities n divine manifestations of working on our own unity first….for those of us who want to know what comes tomorrow en the moons after and what more we can do……here’s  some answers en many questions, not only between the lines but, all around us….]

rivers and other blackness between us (cape town)

who among us carry the sage-secrets of loving?

who among us carry the sage-secrets of loving?

what elders and children

walk with old-time knowledge

of a courageous love

an unapologetic love

an uncompromising love

a healing love

tell me who

and I will sit studently

by the rivers of their feet

washing away all the unknowing I have come to know

relearning a language of integrity honesty passion

scribed on our heart’s tongue

by the ancients

whom I have forgotten

somewhere between a dream and a time-less-ness

across di ocean waters

black sons and dawtahs

black moddahs and fadahs

black auntie uncle sistah and breddah

stretch love fabric

thick and thin

so now we trodding

trying to heal these scars

of broken fibre

that stick up inna wi like macka

who among us carry the sage-secrets of loving?

what elders and children

walk with old-time knowledge

of a compassionate love

an unapologetic love

an uncompromising love

a healing love

tell me who

and I will sit studently

by the rivers of their feet

washing away all the unknowing I have come to know

relearning a language of integrity honesty passion

scribed on our heart’s tongue

by the ancients

whom I have forgotten

forgive us for not having loved you relentlessly

in all cases fear has been our worst enemy

were fear not here

I would kiss you

and feed you food from my mouth

stop you from aching and share a smile

maybe even wait with you

by the roadside for a while

were fear not here

I would give name to these unnamed

spaces of accountability

and responsibility

that flow like rivers between us

sometimes silent but always deep

were fear not here

the full moon radiance of your

vulnerable warrior spirit

washing over me like the sun

bathed in blackness

could mirror and you would shine

and I would shine

and we all could shine brilliantly

who among us carry those sage-secrets of loving?

tell me

where are our elders

where are our children

who walk with the old-time knowledge

of a courageous love

an unapologetic love

an uncompromising love

a healing love

tell me who

and I will sit studently

by the rivers of their feet

I want to unknow all this unknowing that I have come to know

I want to relearn a language of honesty

a language of integrity

a language of compassion

these were scribed on my heart’s tongue

by ancient ancient ancient ones

who somehow I have surely forgotten

please forgive me for not having loved you relentlessly

in all cases fear has been my worst enemy

I cannot promise to love you fearlessly

but I will love you courageously

in spite of my fear

I will love you compassionately

honestly

and with integrity

this love is a healing love

re-branching herself like the iroko tree

roots reaching beyond

the wounds of yesterday

arms outstretched to the promise of tomorrow

you and I and we

the community

the people

we

can

choose

to

stand

firmly

in

love

one love

[ase, ase….]

[dis fundraising petition is reposted with overflowing love, respekt en humility from  http://papainstitute.org ]

dear member of the community:

my name is d’bi.young anitafrika and I am an afrikan-jamaican-canadian dubpoet, monodramatist, and educator. I am contacting you in the hopes that after reading more about papai you will choose to help fund this urgent and necessary project. the pan afrikan performing arts institute (papai), of which I am the founder and artistic director is a cultural organization committed to the holistic development of afrikan artists, through the use of self-knowledge, orality, rhythm, political content and context, language, urgency, sacredness, and integrity; eight principles in the sorplusi methodology of biomyth theatre, that I am in the process of developing:

  • papai supports the recovery, healing, mentorship, growth, propagation and ultimate success of continental and diaspora afrikan artists through comprehensive creative, practical, technical, philosophical, administrative, and critical-thinking training in the performance arts, via residencies, courses, and workshops. papai provides the panafrikan artist with the tools to assert, manage, promote, and professionally develop ourselves while formulating a methodology to house our creativity.
  • papai is also devoted to the exploration, preservation, and expansion of afrikan oral storytelling traditions within and outside of afrika through it’s centre for research.
  • and thirdly papai is invested in the arts-education paradigm shift that the sorplusi methodology and biomyth theatre represent; founded on a system of critical thought-analysis, accountability-responsibility, and love for the earth and ourselves within it, the sorplusi method inspires artists to be conscientious human beings and conscientious human beings to become artists.

I was born and raised in jamaica and as an emerging artist, I always desired mentorship in developing a personal system of art-making and dissemination grounded in knowledge of self and community. throughout the years I have had the great fortune of being raised by many villages and being mentored by some incredible doers and thinkers starting with my mother and grandmother. all of their guidance and support taught me that in the absence of what I need, I must create from what I have been given. papai is for every afrikan artist who has ever felt neglected, unsupported, uncelebrated and left to fall through the cracks of life; whether amateur or professional,  emerging, mid-career or established, my vision is that papai will house our whole selves as we regain our rituals and cycles of afrikan oral storytelling traditions. and provide the necessary resources for us to soar beyond our wildest spiritual, creative and professional dreams.

currently papai is home to a school of monodrama and a school of storytelling for youth. in the near future we hope to also nurture a main theatre, a centre for research of afrikan oral traditions, a library, green arts project, and a plethora of other programs and services including artist consultation and mentorship, weekly townhalls and performances, and the annual vuvuzela! monodrama festival and storyteller (un)conference. we also envision housing the me/we funding drive, an in-house funding system for projects that emerge from our student body.

papai’s school of monodrama is directed at young adults ages 18-35. the program presently hosts 5 students, tuition-free, in its three month biomyth monodrama residency: phillip cowie from the cape flats, mbali vilakazi from cape town, siphumeze khundayi from the eastern cape, jennifer bryant from the united states and danielle lee williams from canada. we meet twice per week for three hours; there I teach a curriculum based on biomyth theatre and the sorplusi principles. each student creates a solo show which is then presented to the public at the end of the program. papai’s other program is the  school of storytelling for youth. it is geared towards learners ages 4-16 and is a joint initiative between the pan african market and papai. I facilitate tuition free storytelling sessions for children and youth bi-weekly on saturday mornings from 10am-12pm. the curriculum includes storytelling, games, discussions, art tours and other stimulating creative activities.

currently, there is no one organization in cape town or in the rest of south afrika that provides pan afrikan artists with a wide artistic skill-set that enables them to professionalize their art, including teaching them how to conceptualize an idea, nurture the idea, manifest the idea, garner support for it, market it, stage it, and finally professionally and personally benefit from the entire process.  the institute is based on the premise that everyone is a storyteller, and gives the artist a solid theoretical, methodological, practical, pedagogical, and administrative approach to the art of art-making dissemination. artists get the opportunity to reflect on their lives while developing a personal creative system that they can utilize when they need to generate art. this system is primarily concerned with developing a sense of integrity on the part of the artist for the work that they create, and for themselves within the work. the artist is always implicated in their art and the dialogue between them and their audiences is always open.

papai aims to mirror in many ways the objectives of your organization and it is for this reason that I have contacted you, in the hopes that you would take into consideration supporting papai through a financial contribution to our institute. this contribution will help us to grow and develop philosophically, ideologically, socio-politically, and economically as well as assist us in further providing tuition free education to afrikan artists. you can make you donation through our website as well as find out more about papai at http://www.papainstitute.org and about me athttp://www.dbiyoung.net.

I can be contacted via email at artisticdirector@papainstitute.org or via telephone at    +27(0) 760 889 025.

I look forward to hearing from you and thank you in advance for you contribution.

in solidarity

d’bi.young

founder and artistic director of papai

check dis brudda's site out @ http://www.youdunknow.org

[ nakupenda….bless you dada and your family, and all those around you….infinite gratitude for all the positive transformashuns in our shared spaces, diverse and intersecting journeys with our growing, revolushunary villages….wanikumbusha kila siku pamoja tunaweza! Pamoja tunafika!  ase

In the words of another brudda in solidarity,”You Dun Know D’bi we will be (re)uniting very soon….” ]

[between the lines: i, s(ista) i(n) s(olidarity) give thanks for yesterday, today and tomorrow,our true love stories make I and so many others extremely happy…]

Dar es Salaam is abuzz. It’s giving birth to a novel artistic landscape. Well, at least new in scope.

A cursory look at www.everythingdar.com/ and other calendars gives a glimpse of what is happening in Dar on a daily basis. Of particular interest are the originality, novelty and locality of oratory and literary expressions. They remind one of the making of the Harlem Renaissance.

Just to recap, the Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement that partly swept New York City in the early 20th century. It produced music luminaries such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday and Duke Ellington. The movement also produced great poets such as Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen and Claude McKay. It was in these times that the famous Apollo Theater came into being.

pamoja tunafika!

The works of these artists and artistes are still immortalized in the African imagination. Langston Hughes’s poem ‘A Dream Deferred’ continues to inspire critiques of the post-colonial ‘African condition’ – no wonder one voluminous biography is entitled ‘Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred.’

It is also not surprising that the Ella Fitzgerald jazz song ‘Drop me off in Harlem’ was also used as a soundtrack in the movie ‘Malcolm X’ starring Denzel Washington. And even today writers are still grappling with Countee Cullen’s poetic question: ‘What is Africa to me?’

Such is a fervour one finds in Dar to the extent that at the risk of engaging in a stereotypical linear comparison it is tempting to refer to all this as ‘The Dar es Salaam Renaissance.’ Of course the term ‘renaissance’ is not as innocent, especially when viewed in the context of what happened to Africa and the then so-called ‘New World’ after the European Renaissance. Yet it is a term that captures well the cultural awakening that tends to usher social change in any society.
It is in this regard that we need to pay close attention to what is happening in Dar’s cultural space, for in it are seeds of a social transformation-cum-revolution. What do you see when you encounter youngsters with locally produced t-shirts with Kiswahili or ‘Kiswanglish’ messages such as ‘Harakati…’ and ‘Na-struggle…’? Or what do you hear when you listen to them rapping about societal injustice? Mind you these artistic products are not made by NGOs or donor money!

What is interesting is that this renaissance in Dar es Salaam is pulling people from all walks of life and age as it crystallises a social consciousness necessary for societal transformation.

The ‘maiden’ Pen & Mic event attests to that. It featured poetic expressions from the likes of Vitali Maembe, Saida Yahya-Othman, Fid Q, Langa Sarakikya, Walter Bgoya and Mzungu Kichaa. You can read a bit about the event or relive it altogether at http://vijana.fm/2011/02/09/pen-mic/

Yet that is not the only space in Dar. There is the Fanani Flava poetry club that meets every last Tuesday of the month at A Novel Idea Bookshop in Slipway. Who knows, maybe a century from now its blog athttp://fananiflava.blogspot.com/ will be one of the leading archives of the Dar es Salaam Renaissance. Surely such a space needs to expand, lest it become, if not remain, elitist.

Last but not least there is Soma Book Café at http://www.soma.or.tz/ and its Soma Literary Magazine, among yet many others, is a space for fusing oral and literary consciousness. Interestingly, the upcoming issue of the magazine features Maya Wegerif, whose poem ‘Who tells our story?’ at http://mayawegerif.blogspot.com/ is a recipe for an African (cultural) revolution.

BROUGHT TO YOU BY PAMBAZUKA NEWS

* Chambi Chachage is an independent researcher, newspaper columnist and policy analyst, based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.   * This article was first published on the Udadisi blog.
* Please send comments to editor@pambazuka.org or comment online at Pambazuka News.

[feel like I can’t blog it enough…..infinite gratitude for all those spreading love, hope and positivity in abundance…infinite gratitude for our true true hadithi]

Who tells our stories?

I’ve heard that the stories of hunting will remain weak
Unless the lion itself learns to speak.
If it is he who exploits us that tells our story you see
Then we will always be spear-hurling savages you and me

Because during slavery when we were forced to work for the white
This is the story they told
‘We are doing those Negroes a favor bringing them from the Dark Continent into the light’
And with that story we were sold.
They convinced themselves that ‘these negroes are beasts without the capacity to feel pain, shame or sorrow’
And slaves are fed and clothed, ‘we’re giving them a far better deal than they know’
And so the stories of hunting remained weak
because the lion was whipped if he tried to speak.

And when that lie became transparent and it became apparent that Africans were not like children who needed a parent
They began a new lie that would keep us subservient
Through their media they began to portray us as primitive and uncivilized
And thus announced it their burden
to come here and rescue us, to make us believers as though we were uncertain
Their holy book was the only book they allowed and forced us to read
Taught us to pray while they preyed on our meat
Throughout this purgery, they proudly named this converting we
Then went back and told of our tears of joy, when actually we cried and we’d bleed
They called us Pagans and heathens and tried to make us forget what gods we did know
Stealing our ancestors’ land because their God told them so? NO
And so, if it is he who exploits us that tells our story you see
Then we are spear-hurling savages you and me

And thus it went on through the colonial era
Stole our food and fed us lies that the smarter were fairer – A historical error.
Until we ourselves believed that we were inferior
And then they didn’t have to do so much of the story-telling
Because blindly we became mouth pieces still viewing ourselves through white-eyes
Judging ourselves on white standards, these were our white lies
And so we bit our mother tongues, after all how else could we survive?
And so the stories of hunting remained weak
Because the lion itself could not speak.

And so they observed us till we became blind
They spoke and spoke until our own words we couldn’t find
Now we wish our black eyes would reflect the sky
We want hair that follows orders from the wind
Because they preached that black was scary, and ignorant and death
No one has taught us that black is the color of endlessness, the universe and of depth.

When they told our story they spoke of primitive people with no organization
They spoke of our fields that seemed to be unused, with no signs of cultivation
We did not explain that we had empires with kings and queens and courts and tribunals and religion and music and love- We failed to speak of our kingdoms and complex early civilizations
We did not explain why we didn’t plant our crops in rows and so our fields appeared jumbled or untended, of form productive intercropping that we used for stopping the soil from over utilization
and so no one reached this realization
And so the stories of hunting have remained weak
Because the lion never did speak.

For too long we have allowed stories to be told for us!
Let us not speak on behalf of the West, let us speak from within us.
W’Afrika tujenge hadithi zetu wenyewe za kuhadithia
Zile hadithi zetu za zamani, tusisahau kuzisikia
Listen to the stories bibi tells not just the stories BBC sells
Let us revive our storytellers of old, let us sing the songs we sang and retell the stories we told
And as we move along let us create our own standard, our own beauty. Revive our historians and revolutionaries, let us be bold.
Let’s take walks down memory street
Retrace and teach the beat of our ancestors’ feet
But also move to the groove of our own emancipation
Casually let’s speak our native minds with no care as to who this will suit
Let the lion speak of how the hunter trembles in his boots before he shoots
Those old tales, they rendered us weak
Now

LET THE LION SPEAK!

As performed at the Tedxdar conference on 22 May 2010

the revolushun will (not) be televised, dis revolushun is live 🙂

by michael hureaux perez

We must build a militant grassroots movement rooted in the working majority that is completely independent from the political organizations dominated by the big business classes.”

 

How good it is to know that if the world were burning to a crisp, the owners of society would let us know before we were completely toasted. First the oil spill from the late Deepwater Horizon was spewing out at a thousand gallons a day, then it was five thousand gallons a day, and today it is quietly admitted that it may be upwards of a hundred thousand gallons a day. Not that I’m shocked, you understand, I expect nothing from the ruling class of this country after Hurricane Katrina was used to purge better than a thousand black people from the planet five years ago.

What does intrigue me, however, is the banality of corporate thugs like British Petroleum, who announce such news with the demeanor of a waiter letting you know the short order cook burned your toast. As for the so-called democratic government of the United States, which should be arresting these criminals at this moment, we are treated to yet another display of Obama’s stentorian skills.

Un(/)fortunately, you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

  

http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/eshu%E2%80%99s-blues-make-them-drink-it 

 The current ruling class of the United States of America is the most corrupt, bloated and incompetent group of gangsters to oversee this country since its founding. Their public face may be sleeker and wary of its “carbon footprint,” they may drink green tea and jog with their kids seated in ergonomically correct strollers through city parks, but they are as venal – nay, they are more venal than the top hatted, cigar puffing fat cats that were lampooned in the socialist press a century ago.

The robber barons of that era at least had enough social consciousness to know that public libraries and public hospitals were a needful thing. The current generation of new age merit class capitalists daily configure new strategies for selling off the public sector, lock, stock and barrel.

Market efficiency will take care of all, na?

 

So welcome to the new efficiency under the predator drone-guarded skies. The new generation of market gurus couldn’t foresee the depth of the banking crisis, they couldn’t foresee the endless nature of their atrocities in the Near East, they couldn’t foresee the disaster that has befallen the Gulf of Mexico. (Gaza, Johannesburg, Mtwapa, Ayiti…….)

Amazing, isn’t it, how people who were allegedly elevated through the magic of the marketplace can’t see a speeding train when they’re standing in front of it? The truth is that our new ruling elite do not care what happens to the economy or the ecology so long as their investment portfolios are yielding high dividends.

 

Certainly the charismatic they put in the White House this last go round wasn’t about to cop to how bad the mess in the Gulf of Mexico is until just a few days ago.

Obama’s response was his usual pursing of the lips, “cluck, cluck, cluck,” and a stentorian reminder to the hup-ho that from now on, they’ll have to play nice. Who needs manatees or pelicans anyway?

Obama’s daily concessions to the ruling gangsters have become the stuff of legend. Even people who never thought he was about much are perpetually astounded at what an opportunist and bloodstained piece of work he’s actually become. He is, in essence, the sort of black politician that all too many white folks – and unfortunately, a great many black people – have come to love and cherish as the best of all possible worlds under the current social order. He’s so obviously disgusting that many of us have grown tired of the topic. He’s just a symptom of our eighteenth century geniuses, Panglosses talking endlessly about their best of all possible worlds.

Our new age Panglosses have basically declared that what we have leading us in this country is the best that anyone can possibly do under the current arrangement. Unfortunately, if this daily grenade range is the best they have to offer, then I can only chime in with the terrible Leon Trotsky, when he observed seventy years ago that if global warfare and the common ruin of nature and humanity were required for the capitalist system to thrive, it’s time it perished.

A triad of transnational behemoths with the appellations Transocean, British Petroleum, and Halliburton have birthed an environmental catastrophe that will in turn imperil the hardwon economic gains of working class people in the deep southern United States for generations. The spill in the Gulf poses a menace to the economies of people of the Caribbean basin: Mexico, the Central American nations, the north of South America. The people who are responsible for this mess are vicious, and we must prepare to make them answer for their crimes against the planet and its peoples.

Obama’s daily concessions to the ruling gangsters have become the stuff of legend.”

So once again: There has been enough “skinnin’ and grinnin’,” and enough group deception around the actual intentions of the so-called “democratic” party. As usual, even as rivers of oil daily threaten not only the crabbing and shrimping industries that have fed our peoples along the Gulf Coast for generations – and not only as such irreplaceable creatures as the brown pelican, the blue fin tuna, and the manatee are threatened with extinction – the “democratic” party leadership stands with its hands in its pockets, and continues to mildly suggest that that the actions currently being undertaken by British Petroleum may not be adequate. Never forget: our ruling class knows that an unspeakable atrocity is palatable when it’s trotted out and played in minor chords.

Our peoples in this country must be made to understand that the destruction of a maritime industry that has kept the Southeastern states in the U.S. relatively solvent for generations and the slow immolation of an entire aquatic ecosystem is a crime against all of nature and all of humanity.

  

We have to stop fooling ourselves. There is a class war going on against our peoples and against the natural world, a calculated gamble that is being pursued by the ruling classes of this country.

If we are to survive, we are going to have to see this game, and raise the stakes………….

The eternal question is: who’s got the plan? There are lots of planners, there are lots of ideas in contention. At the very least, each respective strategy we adopt must retain as its watchword the complete independence of the political organizations of the wage earning majority from the political organizations dominated by the big business classes.

But I would like to modestly suggest that we begin by conducting a militant defense of the public sector of the economy through whatever grassroots community and labor organizations at our disposal – once again, with the notable exception of the “democratic” party, which is not an organization that belongs to the wage earning majority, nor will it ever be. Let’s get clear on that. A lot of us are going to go weak in the knees when the “democrats” break out with their usual “the monsters are coming!” show two years from now when the GOP rolls out creeps like Mitch Romney and Sarah Palin. Let’s declare their agenda irrelevant and organize differently. Let’s build upon what we do as a militantly independent grassroots movement.

The ‘democratic’ party leadership stands with its hands in its pockets, and continues to mildly suggest that that the actions currently being undertaken by British Petroleum may not be adequate.”

Obviously the only ideas that are excluded are racist, classist, sexist, homophobic, shapist, or anything else the capitalist system has come up with to get us to kill each other. No more false unities with people who clearly hate us. Let the polarization that actually exists be open, and let it declare itself openly under the rubric of a political organization rooted in the wage earning majority. There are beginning efforts like this happening in Pennsylvania and North Carolina right now, and there can be no doubt that this will be a long arduous road. All the same, we must get started.

We have to build a grassroots political movement that bases itself upon the energies of the wage earning majority, one that conducts a militant defense of the public sector in this economy. The ruling elite don’t want us to have any political power. Not any. Defend our unions, defend our community organizations, build, defend and expand the public sector of the economy.

The terrible Che Guevara used to say that to accomplish much, one must lose everything.

But be very clear: there are things we have no business losing, and the natural world is foremost among  them. We live in a moment when the ruling class of the most technologically advanced country on the planet is willing to flush all of nature down the toilet in order to preserve its imperatives. We cannot allow that. If all I’m talking about here is what amounts to an existential choice for most of us, maybe that’s going to have to be enough to get some people going. The choice is one of being or nothingness.

As for the fools who are destroying the Gulf of Mexico, who believe as the fool Ayn Rand used to argue, that pollution is good for the global economy – make them drink it.

 BAR columnist michael hureaux perez is a writer, musician and teacher who lives in southwest Seattle, Washington. He is a longtime contributor to small and alternative presses around the country and performs his work frequently.

 Email(s) to: tricksterbirdboy@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

Hadithi? Hadithi? Nipe mji…..nilienda isiolo na kampala, kiambu na malindi, nilirudi nyumbani, for the truth about stories is, they’re all we know, and (where) our heart is,

Leo ni leo….kweli si….

[an open letter to pride toronto]

Big tings’ a gwaan: (pan) afrikan(i)s(ts) reconnecting en relocating with/indigenUS folks everywhere, these are our litanies of survival inviting you to listen to our songs of freedom en healing….

Big tings’ a gwaan like: the fiya this time at blockorama (could eve/n spread through all the tents, streets, en arts enclosures, all thru pride, maybe even straight to the ‘official’ pride tdot committee)

 

 Big tings’ with: (our) word! Sound! Powah!

in solidarity with the all-afrikan people’s revolutionary party, akina mama wa afrika,  anitafrika dub theatre, behind the mask, black action defence committee, bunge la mwananchi, coalition of african lesbians, the crux, elimu sanifu, engender, fahamu, gender education and advocacy project,  malcolm x grassroots movement, moyo wa africa, ngomeni eco tourism community development project, swagger, Toronto women’s bookstore, Toronto rape crisis centre, Yoruba house project, Zingaro self help group en many more businesses en grassroots groups [to be revealed when we ‘officially’ launch dis’  epic of a video project].

na (many) bredrin en dadas (educating ourselves and others in the practice of freedom,)

(rebuild)in(g) solidarity

within(en outside for) our communities

(this is my prayer…bless those who work for healing, truth, justice, peace & reconciliation)…..

The ground should (potentially) be revolushunary and ripe for organising big love en support for our growth and unity, the reality on dis earth has been in need of ‘the fiya this time’ en healing wota for years en counting….

I know I am just one of many conscious individuals, who have been disturbed by the increased gentrification and imperialism of the powers that be running pride, one of the many members of our communities that have organised more alternatives in celebration of our diversity and that also ran away…still I am one of the many that have made up the vast crowds

For our kind/a (people) masque/e/rading has been an intervention,

rainbow colours a testament to us people that have trans/formed not only ourselves but our communities

en even though I can  really only speak from my experience in the last 8 years, for I have to admit that I have gone to every single pride for only as long as I’ve been in Canada, for where I’ve come from there ain’t been no ‘pride’ parade yet, and I sure as heaven haven’t experienced where pride is coming from before 2002, but that is exactly what  may make me even more qualified to speak on the gaps in the structure than any one of the folks sitting on the committee right now.

For I am (not) one of u people, i am the sista outsider en revolushunary insider, (mis)placed betwixt, those ‘other’ people who are between so many communities, longing to go back home (to another place, not here…)

I was among the ones who were left behind in the entrails of ancient afrikan times, times dun changed (again) en there’s a reason it’s not taboo to go back for what you’ve forgotten, so

dear pride, I think it’s time we revised some tings, put the ‘real’ back in multicultural and go a lil deeper than we think we’re able or willing to….

Right back to when tings were (really) different, So I know, that there are many others who might disagree with me, or not feel as strongly about ‘the crisis’ in the state of tings, but in my opinion, it’s overdue for radical shake-ups in pride, the current committee has failed in the mission and spirit of Pride, and we have many more who are more than qualified, willing and able to run the committee, it’s time to (really) open tings up, less overconsumption of alcohol en more fundraisers for queer/trans groups in ‘third world’ countries, like for real, don’t you know at least 15 organisations that could really use some money in legal, security and administration fees, in say, Africa? That could be a good place to pick up the tab from last year, or why don’t you try nominating an afrikan again as pride marshall, there’s many more warriors who would love the platform to raise awareness on queer/trans rights, who have already dedicated so much of their energy, resources en time, in such a relatively short time, like say pouline kimani, audrey mbugua, nikki mawanda, chan mubanga, fikile vilakazi, d’bi young.anitaafrika or Zanele Muholi, and there are many many more to choose from…….

This comment is ofcourse a direct reference to how just last year you nominated Victor Mukasa as the International Grand Marshall, passed the buck in alot of the organising for hir reception, and other than giving hir a nominal amount to donate to the organisation of hir choice, an interview on the xtra website, a small blurb in the pride issue focusing on Helen Kennedy’s pet project, other than Alison duke’s work, en the interview with other Ugandans on the forefront of LGBT activism produced by Mary Tangelder en commissioned by ‘another’ group, other than Zanele muholi’s art-bios en the warriors of (the group formerly known as) pride Uganda organising, celebrating en  documenting our AFRIKAN stories in the making, if it were not for these people, key milestones might not have really registered.

But these comments ain’t no ‘hate’ on pride,

read them as a litany of love for what really ‘makes’ pride, pride……

everyone knows it’s US…. ‘the people’….

from the ‘straight’ outsiders, to cliquey ‘insiders’, the photographers,  volunteers, the floats en agitators, the masque/e/raders, youth en elders,

ALL the people of colour en the tourists, the vendors and the artists, activists en families….

so we already know that we’ve got nuff  ‘other’ people ready for accessible, bigger, safer and more fun prides….we know we’re ready for a revolution, one that includes the liberation of all oppressed peoples, and not just vip tickets, token nominations and assimilation into oppressive status quos, and definitely not about giving, say blockorama less to organise with, or say, banning queer Israelis against apartheid from the parade…..so THIS time at pride we’ll be recruiting bredrin and dadas in (working class) solidarity and interviewing ordinary people for dis’ documentary en web series that is dedicated not only to the liberation of ALL Afrikans, but ALL  people.

we already been collecting these hadithi for moons now, for you see, we come with our legacies of wom(b)anspeaking en manifesting powah!

the q/t werd is a (real/raw en) mystic, organic, us-people driven caravan of  pan-afrikan myths, legends en our (kinda) super/s/heroes, we’re sharing OUR  stories with everyone out there, we warn you we have not only just begun, en the fiya (en clean wota) this time, (en) next moon(s), will be/is/always has been divine….. 😉

we’re officially counting down to the launch of Nekkyd & The Q werd web series on the 1st of July, and in honour of bredrin and dadas in solidarity (BA-DIS) na elimu sanifu,

we dedicate this moon’ to egun en  living ‘extraordinary’ people that are featured in the Q/t werd.

Bless those who pray en work not only for their own good but for others, en bless our good earth, healers, cooks, farmers, artists, teachers and wotas.

Ase.ase. ase….

[YOUTUBE=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHEyzL1g3w8&feature=related]

On Sankofa en santeria: a study of our (great) ancestors and mestizoed cultures, recent and ancient, from Michael Jackson, Tajudeen Abdul Raheem, Miriam Makeba, Audre Lorde, Elijah Masinde, Che Guevara, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, to Queen Nzinga, Nana Yaa Asantewaa, gran nanny of the maroons, the legendary Nyabinghi Muhumusa, orishas and many (many) more hadithi…..

Hadithi? Hadithi?

Nipe mji……

 

 

A WOMAN SPEAKS

Moon marked and touched by sun

My magic is unwritten

But when the sea turns back

It will leave my shape behind

I seek no favour

Untouched by blood

Unrelenting as the curse of love

Permanent as my errors

Or my pride

I do not mix

Love with pity

nor hate with scorn

And if you would know me

Look into the entrails of Uranus

Where the restless oceans pound.

I do not dwell

Within my birth nor my divinities

Who am ageless and half grown

And still seeking

My sisters

Witches in Dahomey

Wear me inside their coiled clothes

As our mother did

Mourning.

I have been woman

For a long time

Beware my smile

I am treacherous with old magic

And the noon’s new fury

With all your wide futures

Promised

I am

Woman

And not white.

[from black unicorn by audre lorde]

Ase o….

blogger’s note: I know (many) stories of super/s/heroes that are changing tings on the ground in their communities….

The Q werd is starting with the ones that we’re familiar with, because if we don’t cherish en honour our own, then who will (do it better)?

Until we listen to the lionesses, the tales of hunting will be weak,

These are some of the (many) stars of the Q werd. The people are real. Na hadithi ni kweli pia….leo ni ya Millicent Gaika, Anelisa Mfo na Ndumie Funda of LulekiSizwe LBT

check out http://www.lulekisizwe.com 

 

A lesbian was allegedly beaten and raped repeatedly for five hours by a man who told her he wanted to “turn her into a woman”.

With both eyes swollen and bruised, stitches above her left eye and open wounds on her neck, Millicent Gaika, 30, of Gugulethu, haltingly told how a man she had known for years attacked and raped her repeatedly on Friday night. Her voice was husky from screaming.

Gaika alleged her attacker “acted like an animal who wanted to kill”.

He has been arrested and will appear in the Philippi Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

On Friday just after 10pm Gaika and her friends were walking home after spending the evening at a friend’s house in NY1. As they approached their home, a man, one of many tenants on the site, apparently asked Gaika for a cigarette.

She stayed to smoke with him while her friends walked on. A few minutes later, the man refused to pass the cigarette to Gaika and walked into his room.

When she followed him he allegedly locked the door. “He started hitting me and I fought back. Then he started doing what he did to me. He pulled off my clothes and pushed me down on the bed. He did it more than once. He was holding me down, strangling me and pushing his hands hard on to my neck.

“I thought he was going to kill me; he was like an animal. And he kept saying: ‘I know you are a lesbian. You are not a man, you think you are, but I am going to show you, you are a woman. I am going to make you pregnant. I am going to kill you.'”

Gaika said the man had never openly objected to her sexuality before. “He was very nice to me – I’d known him for years. I hate him now. I am just angry. I was swearing at him while he was doing this to me. I just wished I could die. I hate what he has done, he makes me sick.”

About 4am, after five hours of Gaika being raped, a neighbour knocked on the man’s door and demanded to know who was in the room with him.

A friend of Gaika’s who asked not to be named said: “The neighbour heard something and he insisted that the man open the door. Then he broke the window and the two men started fighting. Other neighbours came and eventually broke down the door and saw what was happening. The rapist wanted to run away, but we kept him there until the police came. Millicent was on the bed. She was only wearing her sweater and it was full of blood.”

The attack was not the first one. After she was raped by four men in 2002, Gaika told herself that it would never happen again and got her life back on track.

 Gaika said the four men had been convicted and were sentenced to between 10 and 15 years. “But after a few years, they got out and that was too little time… I saw them walking around here in Gugulethu again. I was angry but I got through it and I wasn’t scared. But this time it was worse, much worse. Now I am scared, I don’t trust men. I don’t know if I am ever going to be okay after this because I thought I was going to die.”

Ndumi Funda, the founder and director of Lulekisiswe Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Women’s Project in Nyanga, was at Gaika’s house (yesterday) and said she was “deeply hurt and traumatised” by the news.

“This needs to be stopped. We know of so many that this happens to and nothing is done about it. How many more young lesbian women must die?”

The project was formed more than two years ago and has various awareness programmes. It also has a centre to help women like Gaika.

It was started after Funda’s fiancee and other lesbians they knew died of Aids-related illnesses; they had contracted HIV in homophobic attacks.

Last month, Weekend Argus reported that the rape and murder of gays and lesbians had taken on “crisis proportions” and was not restricted to townships.

According to a report by international group ActionAid, there were reports of 10 new cases of lesbians being raped every week in Cape Town alone.

Gugulethu police spokesman Captain Elliot Sinyangana confirmed the incident and said a 40-year-old man had been arrested.

He will remain in custody until his court appearance.

Written by melanie Nathan in San Francisco

http://lezgetreal.com/?p=31434

 

blogger’s note: corrective rape, out here in the West, is usually associated with South Africa, and conjures talk on the discrimination & fear that African lesbians face in their lives, couched in human rights frameworks en (not-so) critical analysis …..there are very few I’ve talked with who’ve  associated the term with say, Pride Toronto, but I think what they’re doing to queers of Afrikan descent is, depending on one’s subjective perspective ofcourse, is worse.

bredrin (one of the warriors who’s featured in the Q werd) posted on facebook recently….. Pride Toronto doesn’t give a fuck about black people. And I say, amen! to that. 

See when (the devil in) the man was ‘allegedly’ assaulting Millicent Gaika, he ripped her apart like he said he wanted to, he told her exactly what he thought, that he wanted to turn her into a woman, that she was a slut, he fucking RAPED her, en it’s ‘signified’ as corrective. At least we know him for the devil that he is….and we can agree, without a doubt, that shit ain’t kosher.

Now Pride Toronto, that’s a much more sinister story, a case of  devils we know masque(e)rading as leaders of the community, hardly even bothering with camouflage, a corporate-ized story of class divides and white supremacist ideologies  that are couched in token nominations [read: as necessary as Victor Mukasa’s nomination last year was its rendered superfluous by all the ways that the Committee HASN’T  come through for the queer/trans Afrikan communities in Tdot…….like, look at the ongoing dispute over Blockorama, and we’ll definitely be talking back about  OUR experiences at Pride last year]

The truth is, most of the organising for queer/trans rights in Afrika is being done by people of Afrikan descent, and there are still many gaps to be filled, and conscious allies to be recruited.

For many in the movement on the continent, the issues are simpler and  more direct, than the fragmented post-modern queer theorising dykes en fags who will systematically get paid way more (en creatively) to sustain their professional queer-ism.

For many of us on the continent,  it’s a matter of being able to survive while doing this work, as in concretely (as necessary as it is for more afrikans to take up space in discourse on gender & sexuality), no lengthy dissertations on the wear en tear on the soul or preferred acronyms in our rainbow soup of identities.  We need food to eat, money to travel from Point A to C (en back again), safe spaces, allies who are willing to do hard work themselves, we need to be decriminalised and protected by the State, and our issues need to be framed in our own words.  And as necessary as all the talk is, to make it plain, we need more than empathy, encouragement, tolerance or worse yet, charity & sympathy.

And we are not JUST advocating for queer/trans rights, many (more) of us are struggling for the liberation of ALL Afrikan peoples, and it’s been critically analysed to heaven and back….we need to work on our OWN  unity first. Fafanua.

Drawing attention to oneself is an act of courage and one that cannot be emphasized enough, especially if the victim is one whose rape is termed   “corrective rape” where the odds are, that the victim could be re-victimized again and again.  Years ago, Lesbians would never have come forward to tell their stories, but now with the unrelenting support and loving assistance from an extraordinary human being, Ndumie Funda, a lesbian woman living in a South African Township, near Cape Town, women and lesbians are telling their stories, willing to be named, photographed and to stand up on our pages to say:- “This is what happened to me!”

In 2007, Anelisa Mfo then a 23 year old lesbian mother from Emkonto, an informal settlement in South Africa, was walking in along a street in Nyanga when she was attacked by a man who pointed a gun at her yelling “slut ,bitch” –while he brutally raped her with a gun to her head.  Anelisa is agreeable to her name being published and story being told. There are many heroes in this story…

Anelisa together with two friends courageously identified and pursued charges and the perpetrator was caught and sent to prison for ten years.  After her HIV test proved negative in a country where HIV/AIDS is epidemic, Anelisa felt much relief even though still suffering from the cruelty of the crime.   While Anelisa was dealing with this trauma she had no idea that her five year old daughter was also raped in the Eastern Cape, by her sister’s boyfriend.

At the time Anelisa had no shelter, no employment, no money, no job, was disowned by her family because of her sexuality and a child who suffered so unimaginably.

In September, 2008, on the anniversary of her attack, Anelisa tried to kill herself. She poured paraffin over her entire whole body and set herself alight.

When LulekiSizwe LBT, Womyns Project, which had recently formed to help lesbian victims of rape, heard about her story the small unfunded group ran to the hospital in JOOSTER, where Anelisa lay clinging to life in an ICU, with no friends and no family to help.

“Because we don’t have resources yet we went to Triangle Project , they help us with counseling for Anelisa and her daughter pay for transport for Ndumie and Anelisa to travel to hospital and food parcel,” Ndumie Funda, founding Director of LulekiSizwe, informed Lezgetreal.  “We then approached IAM for a shelter and they were also a good help. Now the tough part comes who can look after her? There was no one, but I have looked her since that day,” said Ndumie the director of LulekiSizwe LBT volunteered herself to look after Anelisa.    “Like a nurse doing everything for her, feeding, cooking, washing Anelisa and her laundry- not to forget the good team of us that we have at LulekiSizwe LBT every day to relieve me.”

We received donations from the straight community at the time and so we could hire a nurse who was also helping with the dressings.

“Now,” says Ndumie, “Through prayers and care, Anelisa has recovered from her burns and has her daughter with her. We are currently trying to get some funding to get Anelisa and her daughter a home.”

Anelisa is breathing through a pipe – she cannot use her nose anymore – this is the very sad story of ANELISA.

Donations for LulekeSizwe to –

c/o Melanie Nathan
nathan@privatecourts.com
Private Courts, Inc
P.O. Box  1108
Woodacre, CA 94973

to be continued……kesho, on resistance from the margins