Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ashy Wednesday

Courtesy Talya D.

Jane's Addiction - "Mountain Song" (mp3)
(Purchase here)

Beastie Boys - "A Year and A Day" (mp3)
(Peep Oh Word's fantastic recap of my favorite MCA track; purchase here)

Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions - "Keep On Pushing"
(Purchase here)

"The sustainability of social change movements... is not a function of personalities; it's a function of process and organization. And when we understand that, that is when we will really begin to put our house in order."
~ Bruce Gordon, State of Black America 2007 (via Notes, via Prometheus6)

Coming down the mountain, one of eight children, I found myself reconsidering opinions, cashing out, and tuning in. See, this President's Day weekend I traded two Jacksons (thanks again, bee) for minus 13 degrees and a break from the rat race. See what a little subzero weather and reduction of priorities to basic necessities can do for the soul? And Clemens had the gall to call Annie Sullivan a "miracle worker" ~ just give me the freeze...

While driving back to thoughts of a Swedish massage shower, I put it together with a fellow hiker: the multiplicity of identity, the length of the average modern resume, and the unimportance of ego. Case in point? Urban Word, an organization that may actually be about its constituency: the keeeds. By enabling, coordinating, and promoting the teenager's creative process, the organization takes direction from its own students. In order to have a future, the group recognizes it must be mutable and know when to let go.

Granted, UW is a small organization experiencing growing pains and adjusting accordingly. In other words, its size almost permits flexibility. So, imagine my exhilaration to return home and watch Bruce Gordon, President and CEO of NAACP since August 2005, articulate the same thought at the State of Black America conference. As Prometheus6 says, regardless of one's opinions of the man or his organization, you can't step to what he's saying:

Friends, this is real talk that applies to all of us. Awareness of action. Release of the self/ego. Consciousness of being. The danger of the Fuck You, Pay Me ethos is, well, you're telling someone to shut the eff up and pay you. Compensation trumping conversation. No conversation means no relationship. And without relationships, how are we to build that coalition to save our funky azzes? Fortunately, this paradigm is available to all from the top to the bottom. So even when George and Trent stray from the path to the promise land, that doesn't mean we have to sulk and gasface. People get ready, there's a meeting out yonder...

A couple shouts for the weekend:
  • The First M.E.E. (Media Expression Education) Festival runs from February 23 (tomorrow) to February 25. Lots of performance, including the annual slam at BAM on Saturday February 24, run by the aforementioned Urban Word folks. Also loads of workshops and panels, including "When the Gun Draws: Addressing the Epidemic of Gun Violence and the Propaganda Behind It." Simon says, "Attend!" because Pharaohe Monch will be on the panel (and dude has something to say on the topic):

    Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School (BCAM) Auditorium
    70 Tompkins Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11206
    Friday, February 23

  • The Fourth Annual NYC Grassroots Media Conference:
    Media and Movements Beyond Borders
    is poppin' on Saturday, February 24 over at the New School. Of note, "BGirls, Battles, & Breakin' Barriers: Young Women's Hip Hop Activism in Brazil and Beyond" is a session being co-led by Leah King from 10-11:30am that will melt your face. For full schedule, peep at the jump.

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