“Visually, Badu is presented in a series of photographs in which she sports a hat as well as hair of varying lengths. “The Learning Curve” was also accompanied by a segment called “Hair Wars: Vibe Takes a Look at Badu’s Most Famous Dos and Don’ts.” This segment is pretty mindless, and typically so. Still, it makes Badu’s point about how “saviors” are identified by appearance, not substance; how “certain” people want the look of “consciousness,” the “trend” of it, rather than what would be the substance of “consciousness” itself; and how completely unconscious the “conscious” are about their routine notions of consciousness, musical and non-musical.”
Queens of Consciousness & Sex-Radicalism in Hip-Hop: On Erykah Badu & The Notorious K.I.M. by Greg Thomas
The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol. 1 no. 7 (2007)
“Sociologists have frequently observed that governments use punishment primarily as a tool of social control, and thus the extent or severity of punishment is often unrelated to the actual crime patterns. Mass incarceration of people of color is designed to warehouse a population deemed disposable—unnecessary to the function of the new global economy.”
“One senior member of a leading national magazine when asked how someone could pay the bills to affording life in New York while working a full-time internship famously told us that if we couldn’t pull an unpaid internship off, then we didn’t want to succeed badly enough. When we asked how he pulled it off, he told us about how he lived in his parents’ spare apartment upstate while working his internship.”
I have been saying this to Himchi. The more I job hunt, the more I think that unpaid internships are criminal.
This is a good article.
My litmus test
For any civilization is
How many Walmarts
are in your city?
Kanye West is white America’s worst nightmare. Because as much as one may attempt to dismiss him — by calling him an asshole or classless or deranged or various other adjectives that fill the comment sections of literally every article about him — you still have to turn on your regularly scheduled late night comedy program and stare him in the face. You can’t avoid Kanye. He’s made very sure of that.
Kanye is not a “new slave” in the same sense as the victims of the prison industrial complex, but he is still trapped in a world that expects him to not only be complicit with the struggle of his people, but to be appreciative that he is not one of them. And on top of all that, while he gets to exist in the world of the 1%, having the money and signifiers of success still aren’t enough to make his (white) 1% peers actually even respect him.
The ideals of Public Enemy are as relevant today as they were in the 80s, but hip-hop was nowhere near as dominant and omnipresent a cultural force as it is at this moment; to compare the reach of their messages is silly. Upper-middle class white families did not have to deal with Public Enemy if they didn’t want to. Similarly with politically-minded “noise rap” artists that have been name-dropped in reviews of Kanye’s new material — it’s all well and good for Death Grips and Blackie and even Killer Mike to espouse similar messages and sounds (and honestly, the sonic qualities of “New Slaves” and “Black Skinhead” are hardly at the top of the list of why they’re important), but none of them have anywhere near the amount of visibility and influence as Kanye, even if they did hit it first.
People in current positions of comfort and stability are so willing to dismiss the transgressive thoughts of an angry black man that they will use any convenient excuse to diminish from them; if someone says something that makes you uncomfortable, why not immediately change the subject to his girlfriend’s ass or that time he yelled at a papparazzi or that time he got drunk and embarrassed a white girl? When was it exactly that Kanye shifted, in the eyes of the mainstream, from lovable polo-wearing backpacker to perpetually and unanimously An Asshole? When, precisely, did everything he said get immediately categorized as a “rant” or “controversial” regardless of the actual content? I want to say it was around the time when he said that George Bush didn’t care about black people on live tv. Hmm. Odd.”
That time when bell hooks read Madonna for filth and the kids rejoiced in celebration.
Click to read about Ruby Corado, the trans Latina who started Casa Ruby a community centre serving the LGBT Latin@ community.
On Sep 13, 1944, a princess from India lay dead at Dachau concentration camp. She had been tortured by the Nazis, then shot in the head. Her name was Noor Inayat Khan. The Germans knew her only as Nora Baker, a British spy who had gone into occupied France using the code name Madeline. She carried her transmitter from safe house to safe house with the Gestapo trailing her, providing communications for her Resistance unit.
Oh my God, yes. Let’s talk about Noor Inayat Khan.
- Wireless operators in France had a life expectancy of six weeks. Noor was actively transmitting for over three times as long.
- While she was in France, every other wireless operator in her network was slowly picked off until she was the last radio link between London and Paris. It was “the most dangerous and important post in France”.
- She was offered a way back to Britain and refused.
- In fact, in her transmissions to London, she once said that she was having the time of her life, and thanked them for giving her the opportunity to do this.
- She was captured by the Gestapo, but never gave up: she made three attempt escapes. One involved asking to take a bath, insisting on being allowed to close the door to preserve her modesty, and then clambering onto the roof of the Gestapo HQ in Paris.
- Her last word before being shot was, “Liberté!”
The term BAMF was coined for such persons.