"When Nina sang about strange fruit, she was talking about a lynching…of Black people. When Black rappers say Fuck the Police, they speak to a state system of lynching…Black people. Your pain and isolation, however real it may be, is not the same as being Black. Your self-adoption into hip hop and djembe drumming and spoken word, makes our art forms all about you. You, however well meaning, have stolen Black labour and invention and used it for your own purpose. It warps the medium and changes the message, the magic, the healing."
“I’m interested in the discovery and play between what is revealed and what is hidden. I’m also interested in exploring how the use of masks echoes the greater tension between the contingent and ephemeral self and our society, between the viewer and the viewed. It presents emphatically that what we see is always ghosted by what is concealed.” - Gordon Skinner
Gordon Skinner | Fotolia
Gordon Skinner | Wise Noble
Gordon Skinner | Jester of Gohar
women’s storytelling music from central sudan
Sajjad Musa | Untold
Sajjad Musa | Manufactured Landscapes
Sajjad Musa | There Are No Children Here
“The human subject is the most important thing. My work is abstract in the sense of having been designed and composed, but it is not abstract in the sense of having no human content…. I want to communicate. I want the idea to strike right away.” - Jacob Lawrence
Jacob Lawrence | This is Harlem | 1943
Jacob Lawrence | Panel no. 57 from the series ‘Migration’ | 1940-1941
Jacob Lawerence | Confrontation at the Bridge from the series “Not Songs of Loyalty Alone: The Struggle for Personal Freedom’ | 1975
"Black August Hip Hop Project (2010), a documentary directed by writer and filmmaker dream hampton in association with Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, is intended to raise awareness about political prisoners in the United States and abroad. The documentary features interviews with intellectuals and social activists such as Assata Shakur, as well as performances by Hip-Hop artists such as Talib Kweli, Mos Def, David Banner, Dead Pres, and Common. Shot in the span of ten years, Black August Hip-Hop Project takes us to New York City, Cuba, and South Africa."
Who are you, i am asked
If i give a name
It only tells what i am called
Having had many names
It still does not say
Who or what i am
To the oppressed i am the angel of deliverance
To the oppressor i am the angel of destruction
So who i am
Depends on who you are….
I am from the kinds of weeds that root in order to grow, pulled out by the tendrils in their heads. I am from core of earth.
I am from yesterday, the day before and the day before that one know me as now but everyday after sees me as gone.
I am from skies that don’t rain, collecting thunder like bowling balls of truth, ready to speak only when they grow too heavy for clouds.
I am from lions that have whimpers for roars, and trees that move only when the sun whispers their name. I am from camels, too tired to grow thirsty carrying bundles of homes built from clay.
I am from myths and folk lore, stories and love, all the things no one speaks of. I’m from words on page, shiny and grey, the curves of lines under the flap of that last pull out scrap.
I am from conversations In the middle of the night, hushed tones and dreams that rest on the shoulders of slumbering daughters. I am the sister of hope, the brother of fear, and auntie to needs and wants. I am from wishes.
I am from my ayeeyo, and hers, and the one before her too. I am from the heart of civil war, guns and bombs, children and songs. I am from poetry and poverty, locked together as drowning ships. I am from my hooyo, nine months of caresses from her womb.
I am from anger, bubbling and fierce. I am from ocean and seas, movement and motionless. I am from thirty days of moon shine upon the tide, wicked in its pull. I am from shame.
I am from heart, broken and healed, inside and outside chest. I am from lungs, breathless. I am from skin.
I am from the moments just before tears and the sigh of a last goodbye. I am from the inside of a double dutch rope, the last surah in the Quran. I am from faith.
I am from my aabo, planes flown without emergency systems and sixteen year old boys with dreams that don’t include death. I am from the back of a red dust covered truck, carrying three children, two parents and enough prayers to fill buckets made of loneliness.
I am from everything and nothing locked in the space between…