“I AM ~ SOMEBODY!” – Graffiti as Cultural Text

"I Am - Somebody!"“I Am – Somebody!” is a praise poem to African-Americans written in the 1950s by Reverend William H. Borders, Sr., Wheat Street Baptist Church pastor and civil rights activist. The poem is most often associated with the Reverend Jesse Jackson Read More

Emcees ~ Unmasking the Trickster Deity

“With this breath I thee wed, my true nature… my forever… my being. With this breath I say ‘yes,’ and I embrace that which is real within me ~ All that is great within me; all that is beautiful; all that is self-love and gratitude; all that is divine…” (Dion Mial / Michael Bernard Beckwith – lyrics)

In Africa the word is endowed with the generative potential of a seed through the concept of nommo ~ spirit breathing life into the universe through its audible articulation or call. Read More

Master Drummers ~ The Gods Are Awake!

Mother Africa

Mother Africa

“Strummin’ my pain with his fingers, singin’ my life with his words… Killin’ me softly with his song…” (Roberta Flack).  

In Africa it is said that each person has a rhythm to which they alone dance.  Women of certain groups will gather around an expectant mother to pray and meditate until they hear “the song of the child.” Abbreviated in the name that child will be given, this song is chanted in the village to begin their education after they are born. Read More

Auset ~ Divine Mourner

Auset – (Isis in Greek) – one of the earliest and most beloved representations of the Goddess was known both as the Giver of Life and the Divine Mourner. She is the sacred model of African woman-hood and matriarchal agency who is at the genesis of life itself and its passage into the afterworld. Read More

The Language the Shulamite Cries In ~ “The Song of Songs”

“You can speak another language. You can live in another culture. But to cry over your dead, you always go back to your mother tongue… You know who a person is by the language they cry in.”
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Towards an Africa-centered and pan-African theory of Communication: Ubuntu and the oral-aesthetic perspective

rcsa20-v038-i02-coverABSTRACT ~ This article supports scholarly findings that Bantu traditions are among the strongest civilizing forces in the United States. Positing pop music as a paradigm of proof, the author argues for a cultural decolonization and corrective understanding of this expression as a manifestation of Africa’s oral traditions and the global agency of the continent’s cultural custodians. Read More

UBUNTU: “Two Birds” ~ by Michael Jackson

“Two Birds” ~ Michael Jackson

from

Michael Jackson, Dancing the Dream ~ Poems and Reflections (NY: Doubleday, 1992) Read More

“The Language You Cry In” …oral-aesthetic musings

“Everybody come… Everyone come together… / The grave is restless. The grave is not yet at peace…” (translation)

Lorenzo Turner, a pioneering Black linguist, recognized the origin of these lines in a song he recorded in the 1930s on the south-east coast of America, sung in the Gullah dialect.  Read More

“A Reasonable African Future” ~ Guest Post written by Molefi Kete Asante, Ph.D.

Molefi Kete Asante, Ph.D. ~ Author

Over the past five hundred years or so Europe has been on a quest to destabilize and dis-establish the agency of African people. The assault has been frontal, sustained, and violent at physical and psychological levels using all dominative instruments of language, symbolism, and warfare.  The consequences of this war on Africa have been profound, giving rise to doctrines of white supremacy and black inferiority, African servility, and the negation of African civilization. Read More

Bantu Roadmaps… Random Connections

Desmond Tutu

“Africans believe in something that is difficult to render in English. We call it UBUNTU… It means the essence of being human. You know when it is there and when it is absent. It speaks about humaneness, gentleness, hospitality, putting yourself out on behalf of others, being vulnerable. It embraces compassion and toughness. It recognizes that my humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” ~ Desmond Tutu  Read More

Uganda: A Multiplicity of Experiences ~ Guest Post (cont’d) written by E. N. Bisamunyu

Eli Nathan Bisamunyu (RIP ~ May 6th, 2014)

Eli Nathan Bisamunyu
(RIP ~ May 6th, 2014)

My father, Eli Nathan Bisamunyu, was born into a poor family in 1928 in a remote region of Uganda before my district’s inclusion in Her Britannic Majesty’s Protectorate of Uganda. He survived childhood diseases such as dysentery and typhus that had killed 13 of his siblings. His unexpected appearance on the scene much later compelled his mother to wish for him a different existence from that which his siblings had not survived. In a pioneering experiment she sent him to school where he distinguished himself as a six-year-old pupil amidst a throng of 15-18 year-old boys. My grandmother Rebecca had hoped that that “modern education,” as it was known, would keep him out of harm’s way. Read More