Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Cuz Davey D Said That

I mean he sent it. In a mass email. But it's the truth and I hope it means something to you. Change for 2007 is the motto on all levels. Change ourselves. Change the government. Change the arts. Change the structure. Change it all cuz it ain't working in it's current state.

Anyway, this is by Kristine Wright, a voice that needs to be heard.

Hit on the regular for the real.

Rise up Hip Hop Nation: Making 2007 the Year of Sustainable Change
by Kristine Wright (Tina)

On the eve of a new year, I'd like to begin by offering peace and respect to everyone everywhere. While many are celebrating the holiday season, many more are suffering. Some are reflecting on the year gone by, while others are just praying the New Year will bring new possibilities for joy, peace, sustenance and justice. This is the time of year for reflection on the past and resolutions for the future. For me, this annual process led me to important questions. How can we make 2007 the year of sustainable change? What concrete steps can we take to address what ails our communities and our global village more broadly? Wherever we are in life, whether blessed or oppressed, affluent or struggling, the condition of the global village will directly affect us all sooner or later, and it is in our best interest to work towards sustainable change.

The first thing we must do is realize that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. We can no longer wish for better and act the same, maintaining status quo by default. To get out of the hell that corporate greed, concentrated power, western imperialism, religious fanaticism, and "ideology over reality" have created, we must get specific about what it will take to realize people power. It is not enough to be compassionate, you must act (14th Dalai Lama, 1992). And here are a few specific things you can do:

1. Pick one local issue and one global issue that you will educate your self about and stay informed!

2. Join two organizations that deal with your issues of choice (feel free to email me if you need some suggestions).

3. Mentor one child (For parents, mentor your children fully and completely). For childless adults (21+), mentor a child at your local school, Boys/Girls Club, or Big Brother/Big Sister organizations. Each One Teach One; Each One Reach One.

4. Sign at least one petition a month. Activism in the digital age is much easier than in previous ages, and it is easier to stay informed via the internet and email. For those that do not have internet access at home, utilize your city's public library.

5. Recognizing that all media is framed (left/right, conservative/liberal), get your news from multiple media sources. By doing this, you will learn to separate facts from ideology.

6. Attend three community meetings or rallies a year or volunteer at community service centers at least three times a year. Getting involved in your community will lead to changes on the community level which will manifest on the global level eventually.

7. Be a conscious consumer. It's a simple as this: support what you believe helps your community, reject what does not.

8. Vote. Whether the system works or doesn't; whether elections are stolen or not. Too many of our forefather and foremothers died to give us the right to vote, and for no other reason than that, we need to honor that right. I strongly recommend all, particularly full time workers, consider absentee voting (this way you don't have to worry about making it to the polls on the day of the election). Visit your state's Secretary of the State page to register to vote and/or sign up as an absentee voter. Voting is easy and doesn't cost to do, but it might cost greatly when we do not. Do not buy into the idea that two evils are the same. There is no more striking example than the Iraq war to disprove this belief. I know if the 2000 election resulted in President Gore instead of Bush, we would not have hundred of thousands of dead Iraqis and thousands of dead and wounded service people. As well, global warming, and science in general, would be taken much more seriously. Voting may not directly affect your community but not voting could. To directly affect your community, it takes activism by community members and this list hopefully provides some guidance.

9. Make a sincere effort to communicate across class, color and generational lines. Most of what ails our community could be fixed with honest, open dialogue. With this we could overcome the internal divisions that separate us, and unity could be realized.

10. FORGIVE. No sustainable change will be possible until we develop the ability to be critical but forgiving, unyielding on principle but yielding on people and humanity. Mistakes have been made but if we let our mistakes keep us divided, it will impede our progress. We have to embrace our mutual interests and avoid getting clogged down in our differences. A community divided is a community conquered indeed. I challenge those in conflict to take time to dialogue on what divides us (hip hop v. civil rights generation, mainstream v. underground, rapper v. rapper, bourgeois v. proletariat) and find common ground to work together on. Sustainable change will require that brothers and sisters reconcile with our humanity, and forgive past (as well as future) shortfalls and indiscretions.

It is in human nature to be self-preserving, even at the expense of our progress at times. Informants have sold out movements for personal reward – and will again; some leaders have played politics at the community's expense for power – and continue to; brothers and sisters have disrespected themselves and their ancestors through some thoughtless actions (and even profit from some of this in hip hop). Our inability to forgive one another's trespasses will be our biggest impediment toward self determination. While I believe critical analysis of people that hurt our cause is essential, making criticism of others our primary focus makes it that more difficult to find common ground and unify around common interests. In the words of Iyanla Vanzant, Be against nothing…just be clear what you are for.

Here are a few things I'd like to see happen on an institutional level:

1. Black media needs to step up and serve the community, not exploit it. I see great room for this right now because it seems that commercial "urban" radio is at a crossroads. The music industry in general, and the hip hop industry, in particular, will never be the same, due to many things: the digital age being one of the major reasons. Hip Hop radio is struggling these days. It is the perfect time for radio to get innovative and diversify its play lists. It's obvious that the listening community is finally grown weary of the same ole' same ole'. What is needed is a more representative and balanced vision of hip hop. But even more than that, the media needs to inform listeners of issues that affect their lives. I see some success of that happening with national syndicated programs like the Michael Baisden Show (which is creating a community of 50+ heavily populated Black cities across the country every weekday and discussing some important issues that affect the community). As well, he has given airtime for everyday community organizers and entrepreneurs to promote their events and businesses. This is a good model to embrace.

Hip hop stations need to give quality time to issues important to the hip hop community. I'd like to see commercial stations like K-DAY (in L.A. and streaming worldwide) give a primetime 30 minute spot weekdays, and an hour weekend spot to this type of broadcast. Davey D's Breakdown FM Radio provides a great model. I'd also like to see 5 minute spots @ 4pm for community event listings, particularly for positive youth events. Finally, radio stations need to sponsor & broadcast dialogues at community high schools at least once a month. All these efforts will build community through dialogue and activism.

2. The panel on the annual State of the Black Union must be diversified by class and age. I know Tavis Smiley has interviewed a number of hip hoppers on his show, including Talib Kweli, Jill Scott, Common, Chuck D, KRS-One, Nas, Queen Latifah, and Saul Williams. Last year, given the emphasis on Katrina, it would have been beneficial to include on the panel someone like David Banner, or Kanye West, or community activists like Rosa Clemente or Fred Hampton Jr. (who organized community level Katrina relief efforts).

Hip hop needs to be represented for the annual State of the Black Union to have legitimacy. So I hope this message make its way to organizers and the oversight from last year will be remedied this year. All classes of our community need to be heard as well. At last year's forum, two Katrina survivors were brought on stage and given a couple minutes to discuss their experiences. Why was this brother and sister not invited to sit on the panel and add their perspectives to the dialogue? As long as activist do not respect the intellect of the most oppressed among us (poor and working class), and activists and leaders preach to the community they wish to uplift, instead of working with and learning from the community they wish to uplift, there will be no sustainable change.

3. Rappers and Media Program Producers: Stop using the n-word and derogatory words like bitch for women on records and other media forms. Substitute these with words like brotha, sista, and fam(ily), etc.. I realize that erasing a word that has a 400 year history in the vernacular of the Black community is not going to happen anytime soon. The masses in day to day speech will continue to use it, but people that put out products that must be edited and packaged before sale have the ability to be much more selective in what they put out there. Leading by this example will make a difference in our youth's psyche. We already have proof of that. When Public Enemy and other rap groups wore the X caps and African medallions in the late 80s and early 90s, the masses followed their example, and the consciousness of the people grew.

4.Community Policing. All oppressed communities should adopt the Black Panther model of community policing. Police watch organizations like the Ella Baker Center in Oakland, CA have had success in keeping the police (who are sworn to protect and serve the community) accountable. On top of this, community policing will counter the power that destructive entities (violence, drugs, delinquencies) have on our community youth. Be visible and be engaged.

This list is a start. It is in no way definitive, but it will bring sustainable community change if each and every one of us acts on suggestions listed (and others). The reason I focus on sustainable change is because our history shows us that we are very capable of big movements (Abolition, U.N.I.A., Civil Rights, Black Power), but what we have not been able to do as yet is sustain these progressive movements. To sustain them, we need continual people power and community involvement. Micro level activism can off set macro level power imbalances.

Sustainable change will take more than just vision for a better tomorrow; it will take reconciliation with the past and acceptance of the present reality. The reality is that social structure rules our lives. And like the entire natural world, humans must adapt to survive whatever structural conditions they must bear, and today that entails an uneven distribution of resources where 6% control most and 94% have little. When we reconcile with this reality, we can move to build solutions, based on "what is" instead of "what ifs".

So while the Panthers tried to build consciousness they also served the community with hot meals and health care. Bob Marley inspired souljahs across the globe, but those in most need in his native country, he gave food and shelter to daily. It is the only way to liberation: people must live before they can grow in consciousness and self determination, and each of us can take these specific actions to help our fellow beings live, learn and grow, both physically and consciously. Through self determination, we can free ourselves from dependency on a system that has never, and will never, serve us well. So for the New Year, I offer this list of specific actions individuals and communities can adopt, and if we follow it and work together to build on it, we can finally move the crowd…to freedom. One love.

v One God! One Aim! One Destiny! –
Marcus Garvey and the UNIA

v Someday at Christmas, there'll be no wars....When we have learned what Christmas is for...When we have found what life's really worth, there'll be peace on Earth –
Stevie Wonder

I also really liked this article by my man Jeff Liles on the true death of the album. Jeff is one of my REAL FOLKS FOR REAL. So hit the link and give it a read.

Also I plan on doing a short, unexciting look back at 2006 before 2007 sometime. Also, tonight on Damage Control we will have a special James Brown tribute mix by DJ Chill and some other shit I am sure.


Blogger H. Lewis Smith said...

Los Angeles, CA., – H. Lewis Smith,author of Bury that Sucka and Founder/CEO of United Voices for a Common Cause,Inc. announces UVCC’s Benedict Arnold list as is so described:

Inaugural nominees: John Ridley, Daman Wayans

PURPOSE: No longer is it acceptable to trample upon the memories and honor of those who were tarred and feathered, burnt alive, castrated, hung, boiled alive, sodomized and tortured with hot pokers, disemboweled, unmercifully tortured in countless numbers of other ways, all in the name of the n-word simply because since the victims were considered to be a n***er it was okay to perform such atrocious, despicable acts. And yet as evil and heinous as these acts were there is something that transcends it and that is descendants of these canonized victims taking the word n***er and embracing it with tender loving care and using it endearingly and affectionately among them. How idiotic and moronic can this possibly be?

ELIGIBILILTY REQUIREMENTS: Consideration to be placed on the Benedict Arnold list is as follows: Blatantly showing by act and deeds a determination to undermine the African American community with a defiant public display and intent to use and promote usage of a word that is disrespectful, dishonorable to the memories of those who suffered physically, mentally and emotionally…the n-word.

Qualifiers of the Benedict Arnold list shall henceforth be looked upon as the village idiots of the community. To further clarify the criteria distinguishing who makes the list and who doesn’t among the proponents in favor of the word. It is not intended to try and nail everyone to the cross. It’s only when someone like a John Ridley or Daman Wayans who publicly…in a defiant, determined and perverse manner supports undermining the Black community by pledging allegiance to the n-word, then and only then will those names be added to the Benedict Arnold list.

In accordance with the aforementioned eligibility requirements the following have been found to be eligible to have their names placed on this list and why it is so moved.

JOHN RIDLEY as result of his verbal public defiance and insistence on referring to African Americans as the n-word and his writing of “Manifesto of Ascendancy of the Modern American N***er ” is hereby placed on the Benedict Arnold list.

DAMAN WAYANS as a result of his verbal public defiance and insistence on referring to African Americans as the n-word and his attempts in trying and still trying, though he has been turned down time and time again to register the name nigga as a trademark to be used as a marketable item for a clothesline and other marketable items, is hereby placed on the Benedict Arnold list.

To learn more about United Voices for a Common Cause and to see how Paul Mooney is being recognized in a more positive fashion (he is the first inductee into the RICHARD PRYOR ROOM) please go to

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Disabled Hurricane Katrina Survivor / Dancer Performs In Katrina Play Jan 19th -21st in Baltimore, MD

Baltimore, Maryland December 28, 2006---Tiara Mone't King (Sunshine) a wheelchair bound double survivor of domestic Violence and hurricane Katrina Survivor will perform in the new multimedia Hip Hop Musical Katrina: A Whole Lotta Water. Tiara a former New Orleans resident and survivor from hurricane Katrina now relocated back in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland has been pegged for a role in the off Broadway production that is touring in Baltimore from January 19th To January 21st at the Rognel Heights Cultural Center located at 1200 Wicklow Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21229-1548. Said Tiara " I am happy to be back up on stage doing what I love, dancing and acting." The show times are 1/19/07 Friday 8 PM, 1/20/07 Saturday 1 PM "Special Youth show" reduced cost tickets for under 18, 1/20/07 Saturday 8 PM 1/21/07 Sunday 4 PM Special Dinner Theater/Fundraiser Tickets $50. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 866-811-4111 Ticket prices $20 To $30 except on 1/20/07, Special Youth rates at 1 PM show and dinner show on 1/21/07. Groups call 917 716-6635.

Tiara attended the Baltimore School for the Arts and did a summer stint at New York City's Alvin Ailey Summer Institute. She was brutally shot twice in 2004 in a domestic violence incident and suffered a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed from the upper waist down and confined to a wheelchair. One year later in 2005 she had to deal with the hurricane Katrina disaster and the lack of proper government response to it. Ordered to evacuate her home, she and her mother Cynthia were forced to separate from her father and her son Isaiah and resigned to live in shelters in Baton Rogue till they finally were able to get out and be reunited in Baltimore. Her supportive family has helped her endure these traumatic times. Emmitt Thrower the writer/producer/director/actor who cast Tiara is himself also disabled and a survivor of a brain stem stroke he suffered in 2001. He was wheelchair bound, unable to stand, speak, walk, eat, and eventually lost vision in his left eye. He fought back and was able to overcome his disabilities and again learn to walk, speak and become independent again. He then started his Non Profit Production Company Wabi Sabi Productions in 2005. It is based out of New York City. He also performs in the show. The music is written and performed by Harlem based Rap/Activist "Shakka" whose family is from Baton Rogue.

Katrina : A Whole Lotta Water explores the emotional, psychological, human rights, race, class, and gender issues affecting hurricane Katrina survivors. It is hoped that this play will keep them in the spotlight as this human drama continues to unfold in the gulf coast area. The play brings it all home straight to the heart, and that is the hope and intent of its creators.

Sitawi Jahi, the President and CEO of the Baltimore based Movements Unlimited Performing Arts Company and the co-producer of the Baltimore show, just returned home to Maryland from his first visit back to New Orleans since evacuating because of hurricane Katrina in 2005. He was disheartened by the lack of progress in returning former residents and families back home to rebuild. He stated " I am saddened by seeing so many people on the streets riding bikes just talking to themselves.They are emotionally bankrupt. It's bad". He said. "People are in dire need of help. The horrors of the devastation from Katrina is still there. It is unbelievable. There is no signs of a city recovering as of yet."

about Wabi Sabi Productions Inc

Wabi Sabi Production Inc. is a Not For profit corporation established in march 2005. It has a fiscal sponsor in Fractured Atlas. It is located in the Bronx NY and produces mostly out of Manhattan. They produce shows/videos/events and performances dealing with social, health and political community issues.


About Movements Unlimited Performing Arts Company Inc.

A non-profit 501 (c)3 Corporation. Their management team has over 60 years of operating experience in youth development. Movement Unlimited operates several programs in urban markets in the United States including New Orleans. Sitawi Kiongozi Jahi the President and his wife Cynthia Jasari Williams-Jahi the Founder are unique in that they themselves are former New Orleans residents and survivors of the hurricane Katrina disaster.

Contact New York

Wabi Sabi Productions Inc

Emmitt Thrower



phone: 917 716-6635

Contact Maryland

Movements Unlimited Performance Arts Company Inc.

Sitawi Kiongozi Jahi

443-573-5451 (Office & Video Phone)
410-800-3975 (Cell)




7:38 PM  
Blogger A.C. The Program Director *LBNF* KING said...

Open letter to Davey D in response to his so-called Year In Hiphop review:

Yo Davey...

Catch up with Hiphop.... You are talking about the music industry's imitation of Hiphop music and culture, it's called Rap music & culture... You are misrepresenting and misinterpreting the word Hiphop to the people who read your stuff, which is contributing the mass media's/the corporate structures rape and robbing of the original genuine art form... Please correct yourself to your readers... Stop playing along with the game, and respect the art, culture and movement of Hiphop by not fucking up it's identity and referring to imitation Hiphop as Hiphop...

I know this will fall on deaf eyes, but I can't hold it in... You're sleeping with the enemy, stabbing the culture, that you claim, in the back... You're playing a game with an art that saves people's lives ... It's a damned shame too... People actually think you are Hiphop.... I am not having it...

I don't care when or where, I will discuss your relativity to Hiphop with you face to face, man to man, in ANY PUBLIC platform... Please set up something, because I can't stand back and watch you plagiarize yourself as a part of Hiphop culture ANYMORE with bullshit like this being put out... Yeah I mean it, you are being a perpetrator, an industry whore, a plagiarist and an enemy to Hiphop when you misrepresent and misinterpret it to the people all over the world... Change your story to The Year In Rap and we have no problem... As long as you play the game with the word Hiphop, I am going to call you out for crimes against the culture...

I will call you out constantly if you don't set something up, and I hope that the Conspiracy Radio folks hurry and get me the tape of that interview with you and I, cuz I am going to put that out too... Bring it on Davey. You ain't Hiphop...


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