Ghetto Bastardz – MLK’s Abandoned Children

RELEASE: “Save Our People” Video by “Mayor of DC Hip-Hop” Head-Roc now on YouTube

Head-Roc

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Contact:
info@head-roc.com

“Save Our People” Video
“Mayor of DC Hip-Hop” Head-Roc teams up with Nepalese Film Director Roshan Ghimire to produce inspirational video featuring prominent Washington DC Organizers, Activists, and Artists

Washington, DC – DC based Hip-Hop artist Head-Roc and Nepalese Film Director Roshan Ghimire have produced another Washington DC based socially conscious “call to action” music video. Head-Roc and Mr. Ghimire first worked together in 2011 on the “Keep DC Walmart Free” video, produced by Washington DC community organizing group Empower DC.

The “Save Our People” song (written and produced by Head-Roc) and video (directed, filmed, photographed, edited, and published by Roshan Ghimire) is the first song from Head-Roc’s May 2013 creative commons released “Black Rock Star Super Hero Music” Street Tape LP, and is available for free download on Head-Roc’s Soundcloud and Reverbnation pages. The video is a combination video/photo essay…

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By the Time I Get to Arizona: Public Enemy and MLK Day

I wrote this last year on MLK Day. It’s another angle in which we can reflect on an observe the “holiday” and Dr. King’s life. It’s a message that potentially appeals to the Hip-Hop generation.

The Manuscript

pe_arizona

By Nick Westbrooks

As an admirer of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and a fan of Hip-Hop music, I reflect on the classic 1991 Public Enemy song “By the Time I Get to Arizona.” The song and video is a response, and to me a diss track, to former Arizona governor Evan Mecham’s opposition to observing Dr. King’s holiday.

Music website Song Facts provides the background:

“The song deals with former Arizona governor Evan Mecham, who faced harsh criticism during his time in office after he refused to recognize Martin Luther King’s birthday as a national holiday. John McCain was an Arizona senator at the time, and in 1983 he opposed creation of a federal holiday to honor King. He later admitted that this was a mistake, and in 1990 supported the holiday. The music video stirred some controversy, as it depicts the group assassinating the governor with a car bomb…

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Salim Adofo: Another Side of King

I received this message in an email earlier this week, and I thought it as a vital message to share considering that it presented a side of King that our schools, government and media (the 4th branch of the government) doesn’t teach us or tell us about. Check it out.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., lead organizer of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, is often quoted, referenced and honored, but was he ever understood? Many people remember Dr. King for his position on non-violence and his “I Have a Dream” speech. However, contradictions in White America’s treatment of African Americans, which were exposed by the Black Power Movement, fashioned another side of King, a side that accelerated Dr. Kings’ assassination.

In Dr. Kings’ book, “Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community,” he wrote,

Black Power, in its broad and positive meaning, is a call to Black people to amass the political and economic strength to achieve their legitimate goals. No one can deny that the Negro is in dire need of this kind of legitimate power.

Dr. King also went on to write,

Black Power is also a call for the pooling of Black financial resources to achieve economic security. Through the pooling of such resources and the development of habits of thrift and techniques of wise investments, the Negro will be doing his share to grapple with his problem of economic deprivation. If Black Power means the development of this kind of strength within the Negro community, then it is a quest for basic, necessary, legitimate power.

It is important to note that these ideas that Dr. King had on Black politics and economics are the same positions that Malcolm X communicated in his definition of the political and economic aspects of Black Nationalism. The reason this is important, is because the FBI felt it would be necessary to eliminate Dr. King if he were to use Black Nationalist tactics. This can be seen through the Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) of the FBI.

COINTELPRO was a program designed to neutralize, disrupt and dismantle Black organizations. On March 4, 1968, the FBI released a classified document that stated:

Prevent the RISE OF A ‘MESSIAH’ who could unify, and electrify, the militant Black Nationalist movement. Malcolm X might have been such a ‘messiah;’ he is the martyr of the movement today. Martin Luther King, Stokely Carmichael, and [Nation of Islam leader] Elijah Muhammad all aspire to this position. Elijah Muhammad is less of a threat because of his age. King could be a real contender for this position should he abandon his supposed ‘obedience’ to ‘white, liberal doctrines’ (nonviolence) and embrace Black Nationalism.

On April 3, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave the speech that is now known as “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top.” In his speech he stated:

And our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from [big corporations]. And so, as a result of this, we are asking you tonight to go out and tell your neighbors not to buy Coca-Cola in Memphis. Go by and tell them not to buy Sealtest milk. Tell them not to buy, what is the other bread? Wonder Bread. And what is the other bread company, Jesse? Tell them not to buy Hart’s bread. As Jesse Jackson has said, up to now, only the garbage men have been feeling pain; now we must kind of redistribute the pain. We are choosing these companies because they haven’t been fair in their hiring policies; and we are choosing them because they can begin the process of saying they are going to support the needs and the rights of these men who are on strike. And then they can move on downtown and tell Mayor Loeb to do what is right. But not only that, we’ve got to strengthen Black institutions.

Dr. King also stated,

I call upon you to take your money out of the banks downtown and deposit your money in Tri-State Bank. We want a ‘bank-in’ movement in Memphis. So go by the savings and loan association. I’m not asking you something we don’t do ourselves at SCLC. Judge Hooks and others will tell you that we have an account here in the savings and loan association from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. We’re just telling you to follow what we’re doing. Put your money there. You have six or seven Black insurance companies in Memphis. Take out your insurance there. We want to have an ‘insurance-in.’ Now  these are some practical things we can do. We begin the process of building a greater economic base. And at the same time, we are putting pressure where it really hurts. I ask you to follow through here.

This would become King’s last speech. The very next day, April 4, which was exactly one month to the day after the COINTELPRO memo was released, Dr. King became a victim of American terrorism.  Why? As one can see, according to Dr. King’s last speech and his writings, another side of Dr. King was developing. King began to embrace Black Nationalist tactics and strategies as a means to achieve freedom, justice and equality for Black people.

Salim Adofo is a multimedia journalist, DJ, freelance writer, video producer, social justice advocate, community organizer, educator and photographer. He’s also the national vice chairperson of training and organizing for the National Black United Front.

 

Amusing ourselves to death

On the Path of Knowledge

This is perhaps one of the most striking passages I have read for a while. It describes the modern world with startling accuracy. In our fear of an increasingly authoritarian rule, we have allowed a far more dangerous vision to come true: heedlessness

Below is the foreward of Neil Postman’s book “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business“, accompanied by a comic illustration of the two ideas. It gives a concise comparison of the two authors views and what they foresaw society will become. But perhaps the remarkable part of this whole story passage lies beyond its lines with us:

Most of us will read this and continue living our life exactly the same way as before

…wake up

————————————————————–

We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn’t, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves…

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Guest post: my mom, a retired English teacher, reflects on recent changes in education

teacherbiz

Here’s a guest post by my mom, a former Teacher of the Year, who laments the effects education “reform” is having on students, teachers, and education in general:  

I began teaching in 1973. I retired July 1, 2013.  I taught every grade and every level of secondary English (yes, we called it English, not language arts or LAL) during my career, which I loved with a passion.  I am so fortunate to have had a profession I felt so devoted to, one that allowed me to engage with everything I loved: literature, writing, and young people of diverse backgrounds, interests and abilities. I have often though that without my rich career and all I have learned from it, I might be a much different person, much poorer in my understanding of human nature, adolescence, history, sociology, the arts, the creative process, and the complexity surrounding every facet of learning…

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Little Known Black History Fact: Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz

Black America Web

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Russell “Maroon” Shoatz  is a former Black Panther Party (BPP) member now serving two life sentences. Shoatz helped to found a revolutionist organization called the Black Unity Council in 1969. From August 1970 to January 1972, Shoatz was an active underground member of the Black Liberation Army, born from the BPP.

Then in 1970, Shoatz was convicted of murdering a police officer in Pennsylvania. He was part of an attack on a Philadelphia police station, leaving one officer dead. Seven years later, Shoatz escaped from a maximum security prison. He had stolen a gun from a prison guard, Dale Rhone, later abducting him and his 5-year-old son. Rhone’s family was found physically unharmed later, tied to a tree. It was reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette later that Shoatz had built a wooden barrier in the street, to hide himself from unsuspecting drivers, one of…

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