“Every strand of American music comes directly from Congo Square,” musician and trumpeter, Wynton Marsalis once said of this national treasure – the historic birthplace of jazz and Rhythm-‘n’-Blues. Situated in what is now the Louis Armstrong Park [left] in Tremé, the oldest African American neighborhood in the tricentennial city of New Orleans – at 2.35 acres, today Congo Square measures approximately half of what it was in its heralded 19th century years.

New Orleans, Louisiana [NOLA] is a major US port whose strategic location facilitates the trafficking of commercial goods between the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River system, which historically included trans-Atlantic cargoes of enslaved Africans. Congo Square was a gathering place Read More

Panther ~ Black Rite-of-Passage

“Great, another broken white boy for us to fix!” One of several funny lines from Black Panther delivered by Shuri in reference to CIA Agent Everett Ross. “What the hail!” My line when I left the theater on President’s Day with mixed feelings about the movie, but mostly about the droplets of ice which had just begun falling from LA’s South Bay skies onto my African head-wrap. Was this a sign? Movie promos had gone hard with Gil Scott Heron’s classic The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, I mused while trying to extract pieces of the odd weather from my son’s fro for inspection. But why not build a strategic alliance between African cousins rather than having T’Challa, in true bourgeois liberal fashion, make a Wakanda charity-case out of Killmonger’s Oakland after the fact? Mom, it’s not your story… Huh?!  Read More

HaNtu: Afrofuturism “In the Stone”

~ Posted in honor of African-American Music Appreciation Month, June 2017 ~

“The artist is meant to put the objects of this world together in such a way that through them you will experience that light, that radiance which is the light of our consciousness and which all things both hide and, when properly looked upon, reveal. The hero journey is one of the universal patterns through which that radiance shows brightly.” [Joseph Campbell, Pathways to Bliss] Read More

PTAH ~ Hollywood Re-members…

The biggest night in show business is the annual Academy Awards show which pulls in a television viewing audience of 40 million (give or take). It’s where the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (founded in the 1920s) recognizes the merits of its most talented artists/craftspeople and honors them with a golden idol, a statue whose nick-name Oscar means ‘divine spear.’ The specter of Hollywood as an ideological battlefield where dreams and stories as cultural artifacts fight, bleed and die for acceptance in the dream factory run by mainstream [white] gods is not farfetched from the industry’s competitive, often cut-throat reality. Harsher still are the ironic implications of the Oscar award itself whose form Read More

Heru ~ Djedi Sky Walker

horus2“Sky God… God of Hunting… Warrior God… Lord of the Horizon… Divine Falcon… He who came forth from Hapi [Africa’s Nile God]… Dweller in Sopdet [Star of Auset]… God of Kingship… Heir of his Father…” are some of the epithets ascribed to Heru, one of Africa’s most storied gods of salvation. Heru‘s hunting prowess is represented in the falcon or hawk whose right and left eyes respectively denote the sun and moonheru-eye-primary-colors1; and who is said to hold the stars in his speckled feathers as his wings create the wind. The circumstances of Heru’s placement in the Holy Trinity which includes Ausar (his father) and Auset (his mother), and his triumphant role in the battle against evil [Set]
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I Re-Member ~ “Nakumbuka Day” (11/11)

“God never dies, therefore I cannot die”

Adinkra symbol of God’s omnipresence and the perpetual existence of man’s spirit… This symbol signifies the immortality of man’s soul, believed to be a part of God. Because the soul rests with God after death, it cannot die. Read More

Purple Reign ~ Royal African Symbols

A color with mystical and noble qualities, purple/violet is associated with royalty, spirituality, creativity, and magic. Representing the upper end of the visible color spectrum of Light, purple/violet is both a completion (spiritual mastery) as well as a beginning of the energy vibration beyond the physical. prince on guitarThis is the energy field in which one realizes the eternal union that exists between one’s self and the All (one’s infinite/higher/pure consciousness) – which is the goal of the soul’s journey in this life and beyond. Purple/violet governs love and crown chakra, at the top of the head…

This post offers a brief look at the symbolism and meaning in the crowns worn by some of Africa’s royalty – gods and goddesses from Kemet (ancient Egypt) – along with some of the fundamental cultural wisdom that governs their being and evolution. It’s posted during  African American Music Appreciation Month (June), in remembrance of the late Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016 … “Sometimes It Snows In April”) – Purple Rain composer, performer and interpreter [*] of African symbols of love and royalty. This post honors the god(dess) who meets, supports and delivers us with such gifts of genius in our epic life quest for truth/consciousness/light, repair, and harmony. Read More

Swahili Wisdom/Sayings ~ Kangas

kangasExtremely popular throughout East Africa, the kanga (sometimes called leso) is a colorful rectangular piece of fabric that is distinguished by the different Kiswahili sayings or proverbs adorning each piece. Artifacts of the Swahili culture dating back to the mid 19th century, kangas are a well-admired form of clothing worn by women and often paired as shawls or headdresses, but are also used as curtains, tablecloths, bedding, mats, etc. Used by people of all faiths, kangas also often play a key role in major life passages such as birth, puberty, and marriage. Read More

Adinkra ~ Symbols of African Wisdom

SANKOFA

SANKOFA

ADINKRA are ancient visual symbols created by the Akan of Ghana that represent and convey essential cultural concepts, values and traditional wisdom. As such, each Adinkra often has a corresponding proverb which imbues the symbol with rich meaning. According to Akan oral tradition, Adinkra images came into existence in the early 1800s as a design element on fabric. Traditionally Adinkra cloths were only worn by royalty and spiritual leaders on special occasions such as funerals. Read More

Proverbs from the Luxor Temple of Amun~Mut~Montu/Khonsu

Luxor Temple entrance

“KNOW THY SELF” is one of the cardinal concepts in ancient African sacred wisdom which underlie many of the Proverbs that are inscribed into the walls of the Temple of Luxor in Egypt. There are six great temples in that area, the most renowned being Karnak and Luxor – both headed by Amun – which are on the east bank of Africa’s sacred Nile River at the fourth Upper nome in Waset (Thebes in Greek). Built during the New Kingdom, the Luxor Temple was dedicated to the Kemetic Sacred Triad: Amun~Mut~Montu/Khonsu Read More

“Reparation of the African Mind” ~ GDOD (guest re-post)

gdod4When the humble among us do great things reflecting a path to the greater good for the collective, those deeds are usually the gifts inspired by the ancestral realm reminding us of their guidance, living in us. Every time we find ourselves in the past attempting to remember stories of our true selves or jump into the future imagining where we can be as a people, we come closer to the possibilities which motivate what we have to do now. Read More