Saturday, May 07, 2005

It would be sooo totally interesting to get B.K. into my bed.... Today, it was almost a possibility if someone hadn't come in and sat down.... Hmmm....perhaps we shall make another attempt....
I love Datempo jazz...... I could certainly use jazz as life support if ever I needed is life blood..... Oftentimes, I am faced with forces that try to restrict or contain me, which I resist to the utmost. I resist these with all of my being and they wear on my soul and constantly keep me in need of rejuvenation, replenishment. My creativity persists throughout, even though there are hands grabbing to pull it back, to stifle it, to muffle my voice. DIScombobulaTed. I will live, my voice will be heard, and I will speak truth in all of my words, thoughts, and actions. My truth. Deliberately, with passion, with candor, and with the urgency of my wit and will.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Something I wrote that I will work with later

I am just back from my conference in Cleveland. I had a wonderful time. Everything was good at the conference, and I was defintiely glad to meet up with Susan and actually see her face to face. Definitely not who I envisioned her to be. I made some great friends and contacts there and I think my first time in cleveland definitely sits well with me. Other than that crackhead woman, bj, that Shane sent me to the hotel with. I tell you, she seemed to me to be the representative of some earth force that was telling me that there was still the possiblity and the real presence of it on earth. I mean her language was terribly poetic and she spoke with the possession that speaks of the devil, especially according to some. The ride back from Cleveland was good, comforting.. I had some people to talk to, three throughout the trip, and I was able to rest and recompose. All is well in my world, at least for now.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Bell got her PH.D at Santa Cruz! I am SOOO SOO GOING there now.
Steve Cain is such a wonderfully progressive man. I should go over to the Wesley Foundation more often. To think- - discussions on Marxism and Liberation THeology IN THE CHURCH(Not that that is something that is unheard of --but in INDIANA and in THIS ENVIRONMENT YES!!!!)

Observations While Listening to Toni and Cornel

Toni made mention of have a REAL INTEGRITY! I love her.... Cornel said "...but when your children are crying and mine are doing alright," my heart leapt and I said "Go ahead brother!" Earlier, Toni mentioned the anarchy in jazz-- I wanted to jump for Joy! There are definitely reasons why I love Toni and Cornel quite deeply (although, for some reason, I hold Toni at a close distance, but still she touches my soul). Thats what I have observed thus far.

On Listening to Cornel West and Toni Morrison

I am sitting here listening and watching Toni Morrison and Cornel West in conversation on the internet....and as I look into Toni's face as she speaks,her voice and her body re-minds me of my great-grandmother....However, I must critique some of what she says....I think her assessment of violence is a bit too simplistic. She mentions Mandela in her list of those exemplary of "nonviolent methods," but Mandela in his "I am Prepared to Die," address even gave his reasonings for why the South African liberation movement turned from their more non-violent methods to modes of organized and reasoned violent actions against oppression. I do not think that violence is the tool of immediate use--and I don't believe in any kind of brute force. However, as Alice Walker stated in regards to her assessment of what occurred on September 11th, violence is always with us, it is a fact of life.

This is not to justify violence the repression of the state, this is simply a statement of the circumstances in which we exist. That said, I believe it is incumbent for all to strive for peace and a peaceful environment for all human beings. However, along with that peace, there must be justice--hence the rally yell "No Justice NO PEACE!!" I believe what the proponents of nonviolence must and NEED do firstly, as a means of achieving a sure and all encompassing peace--is address the violence of oppression and the violence of oppressive hierarchies and institutions. What tends to happen as the message of Nonviolence is spread (which is mostly co-opted by the Power structure to quell dissent and revolutionary movement= the message of Dr. King, the most beloved now that he is dead, has ceased to be a nonracist, egalitarian society with the basic necessities of life ensured for people of all classes and their dignity,integrity, and humanity intact, has been reduced to " Dr. King preached NONVIOLENCE." (It is funny to think of the great big white man screaming down to his rebellious young (colored) children) "Remember! Dr. King preached NONVIOLENCE!"- Right, you want to keep your position and don't want anyone to kick your ass;-) At anyrate, a critique of the Violence within the POWER Structure and OF the Power structure and of hierarchies in general is what is needed within the nonviolent movement--and I think the Patriarchy Project spearheaded by Betty Reardon may play a part in that.

The issues of how the power structure is violent not only in terms of militarism and the sometimes even murderous machinations of the state as far as dissent and opposition go, but also the violence that is inherent in poverty, in racism, in sexism, in classism, in the ghetto conditions in which more and more people (and especially children) are forced, and in the violence that is imbued into the culture of this country that is more and more being played out in incidents such as Columbine, Abu Gharib (and there are a lot of issues concerning the violence imbedded in the tradition and history of this country and what occurred at Abu Gharib). This violence and the way that it trickles down into the meat of society and affects each and every person that comes into contact with it-- whether it be a mother trapped in the ghetto who's child is hungry and can't be guaranteed a full stomach, or the lengths and extent to which hierarchies will go in order to maintain the status quo--this is the violence that must be addressed in the nonviolent movement.

It is not a search for power that drives violent retaliation against oppressive hegemonies, it is a visceral struggle to survive that inspires revolutionary, violent activity(And the difference between revolution and violence must be made, because the two are not synonymous).Violence is a tool of last resort, but one cannot and should not condemn such beautiful struggles for dignity and liberation such as the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and the Sandinista movement in Nicauragua. These struggles efforts of resistance are beautiful and inspiring.

Indeed, the beauty and integrity of the Black Power Movement and the Black Arts Expressionist Movement in the 1960s is rich and overflowing in the examples set by these movements for the struggle for humanity, integrity, and dignity. As Toni says in this dialogue, "There was a time in this country when art, education, and writing were a revolutionary act." Indeed this revolutionary zeal is what is witnessed when June Jordan states in her "Owed to Eminem,"

but nobody's dumb
enough to believe that you grieve
because folks
can't conceive that you more than a
or why would you whore on
the hole in your sole?

At this stage of my rage
I'm a sage so I know how you blow
to the left then the right and you maim
every Columbine game about "No!
Cuz he's white!"

But I am that I am
and I don't give a damn
and you mess with my jam
and I'll kill you
I will!

and also in her poem "Poem About My Rights"

I am not wrong, wrong is not my name.
My name is my own my own my own,
and I can't tell you who in the hell set things up like this,
but I can tell you that from now on,
in my simple and daily and nightly existence,
in my very self-determination, it may very well
cost you your life.

This is the language of revolution. It is not violent, it is not oppressive- it is the language of self-attainment and the commitment to respect for the right to human dignity and human self-determination the world around.

You have GOT to LISTEN to June!!!!!!

  • June Jordan
  • Wednesday, May 04, 2005

    Link to Amiri Baraka

    God You must listen to this! Amiri Baraka " Somebody Blew Up America!"

    Amiri Baraka
  • We need radical revolutionary change in this world. What happened to the spirits like Sonia Sanchez (who's face is burning in my mind right now)? Amiri Baraka?
    I turned on my television tonight for the first time in ages...there wsa some show on CBS about a pedophile... I have seen quite a few shows like that on tv--cop dramas...this country is sick.....

    Tuesday, May 03, 2005

    I am just now looking at a picture book with illustrations of Josephine Baker and other scenes from the Cafe Au Lait period of Paris.... Beautiful....
    I am reading bell hook's Where We Stand: Class Matters...and am in the section where she is talking about poor whites and white trash (a distinction I have failed to make up til this point).Some of her pronouncements are interesting....but her discussion of certain things put me in the mindset of my own family and its dealings with "white trash." IT is sort of odd, or perhaps not odd, but just untalked about- the nature of small, southern towns...but the racial dynamics in them are something worth and that NEED to be talked about. To give an example,when I was going to Prattville High School, there were two boys that went there, both named Michael Rawlinson-- one was black and the other was white. Both were related to me and were related to each other. That said, the Deramuses(me) are related to more than their fair share of poor white trash--- we didn't get to be related to too many high brow white people as is the experience of many other Blacks;-) But alas, one of the stories that has intriqued me the most is how my mother used to tell me when she was a little girl, this white woman would come to her grandmother's back door (she didnt want to be seen coming to the front) and knock and knock. And then she would say "Aw sissy (my great grandmother's nickname), you know we cousins....." and my mother would be standing behind her grandmother thinking "Who is this white woman at my grandmother's door begging for food?" Oh my, white power really does rule......

    Monday, May 02, 2005

    Ok, about Charles....he is a beautiful man/boy. He is 24, the same age as me...and very much a male....and much like straight men I know, although I think i have corrupted that in him ;-) Last thursday was interesting and what happened that night was something that I have seen in movies. I don't really think he can call himself straight again(at least not with a straight face). And all I have to say is WOW.
    I was just thinking last night at dinner how absolutely progressive it was that I group up in a household where I had Studs Turkel's books at my fingertips.....My family might not have been radicals, but they definitely new where to put their politics.......
    I am readding bell hook's Class Matters-- and it is soo profound. She is talking about Black elites...and I am thinking about Bill Cosby and his "pronouncements" on Black people. I think that someone should have told Bill that he should have had his ass down there in Cuba with Jesse Jackson.......

    Sunday, May 01, 2005

    I love LAPC...and I love the progressive community in Lafayette...more and more I wonder if I should leave...or stay....god.... Good Luck to Mike and Beth!
    I Love Earth, Wind, and Fire.....Please transport me back to the 80s.....Chicagofest in the summer time....beautiful music...dancing....a beautiful time.... I always wanted to be my cousin Freda...she was sooo chic, beautiful, fashion statement nonpar...I'll continue about her later...