It’s been a while since I talked about news around the world, but I saw this video which ticked me off so much that I just have to talk bout it.
There’s a British company called Timbuktu who had the temerity to trademark the word “Yoruba”. For those who don’t know any thing about that word, it refers to an actual African ethnic group and language associated with Nigeria, Benin, and Togo although Nigeria has a huge Yoruba population. Some famous people of that ethnicity involve actor John Boyega, basketball player Hakeem Olajuwon, and rapper Wale to name a few. The Nigerian community got infuriated by this trademark controversy and rightfully so. They were raising awareness to this issue. Also, am I the only one who noticed that this company is named after the famous Malian city?
This is just blatant cultural appropriation and I hope Timbuktu gets enough pressure to drop the trademark. I never bought anything from them and I hope there’s a giant boycott against them for what they did. What’s up with these companies trademarking African things? You have this recent case, Louis Vuitton making “luxury” Maasai cloths, and (I will not stop repeating this example because this company deserves the smoke) Disney freaking trademarking the phrase “Hakuna Matata”! These corporations need to stop doing this and I hope people stop buying their things. Think about it, they trademarked the name of an ethnic group consisting of millions of people around the world and not just in Western Africa. How would people react if Timbuktu or any company trademarked the name(s) of another ethnic group such as Irish Travelers, Sicilians, or Ashkenazim? I’m sure there would be even more outrage if anyone dared to do so. Nobody should be turning ethnicities into intellectual property.
The fact that people tell me that cultural appropriation isn’t bad or doesn’t exist is just idiotic because they never had to deal with their heritage being slighted in the least.
I really need to decompress with the stress in my life as well as finding out about atrocities not talked about in the history books that I was unaware about. This doesn’t mean I’m apathetic. I can only take so much morbidity at a time. Come on, people. I’m a human being, you know. I thought I would switch this up with some interesting videos involving a theme song, a Burundian band, and an interview.
Those of you who follow one of my other blogs where I cover film, documentary, and anime reviews, I recently covered the Canadian/Japanese/Argentinean series Cybersix on there. I remember watching that show on Fox Kids when I was in elementary school (wow, does that give away my age or what?). The theme song was something I remembered back then and I re-discovered this show on RetroCrush of all places! I was gobsmacked that this obscure cartoon can be streamed for free legally online and that they would play all 13 episodes there. The theme song was handled by Canadian jazz/pop singer Coral Egan and this song really gets stuck in your head. I think they should give Cybersix a remake with a longer storyline. It’s also a breath of fresh air seeing a superheroine who ISN’T Marvel or DC for a change.
I know gospel isn’t everyone’s thing. I respect that. Recently, I got into Bukuru Celestin who is a Burundian musician who’s currently based in America. I first heard of him due to his collab EP with jazz band Snarky Puppy. Apparently, he also has a gospel band side project called Buja Praise. They incorporate songs in English, Kirundi, and Swahili with some African rhythms mixed with Western instrumentation. They have a great sound and certainly don’t sound like the typical K-Love fair. Of course, the title of this song got my attention for obvious reasons (don’t lie, you were thinking the same thing), but it is a completely different song. I also got to message them the other day. Yes, I brought up THAT controversy and they think a certain mouse trademarking that phrase is so stupid and they’re going to keep on singing this song. Good on you, Buja Praise! Way to do your best to preserve the Swahili-phone cultures even if that language isn’t the main one in Burundi (Kirundi is the #1 language there). I wonder how fans of that particular movie franchise would feel knowing this song exists…
I usually don’t put podcast interviews on here, but this snippet was very fascinating. David Francisco is a Portuguese wrestler currently living in England and he interviews Alexander Roth who is a Black British wrestler. They discuss the Everything Patterned show at Wrestling Resurgence. Some of you may remember me talking about this show a couple of years ago which was a Black History Month event in England (context: October is BHM in the UK and not February like in America). Alexander Roth and David Francisco talk about the impact of this indie BritWres show and what it meant for positive representation in the wrestling scene. It was very insightful with Roth talking about being in that show in tag team action and how it inspired others in ways he would’ve never expected. I did like his experience in this event and how he was floored with the social media response as well as getting a message from America of all places. His comment about humans being the only creatures who “beef over” skin color unlike snakes, lions, leopards, etc. with his analogy. This form of entertainment and athleticism isn’t for everyone obviously, but give this a listen. Also, Everything Patterned was SO much better than anything I’ve seen in WWE or AEW. Just saying.
Today marks an entire century after one of the biggest racial massacres happened in America. The sad part is most people didn’t learn about this event in school.
Feel free to check the link in the post for more information especially with the recent news about the survivors speaking trying to get the government to recognize this event.
For those that don’t know, I’m referring to the Black Wall Street Massacre. This involves a neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma called the Greenwood District. Side Note: Greenwood is what the G means in The GAP Band who are from that same city. The thing is that in the 1910s-1921, Greenwood was a Black-only area due to segregation and Jim Crow. However, this Black enclave consisted of businesspeople, doctors, lawyers, etc. It got the nickname of Black Wall Street because Black people were making Wall Street money at the time. This was due to them starting their own businesses as well as getting into the oil business which was booming at the time in the Sooner State. Crime was negligible at worst, a dollar could circulate 100 times in the community before exiting Greenwood, and some of these businesses involved grocery stores, banks, jewelry stores, fashion boutiques, hospitals, and other establishments. You even had people moving from as far as New York City and Chicago just to live in this neighborhood.
Unfortunately, things became hostile in 1921. There was a false sexual assault allegation against a Black man by a Caucasian woman in an elevator which enabled there to be a mob who became deputized to ransack Greenwood. They were deputized, killed Black people, burned down businesses, looted whatever was there, and even bombarded Black Wall Street with an airplane to raze the community. Several people died even though they only reported over thirty in the news. However, there were mass graves revealed just a couple of years ago. No one was ever punished by this massacre and you even had Tulsans who’s families have been there for generations who didn’t even know about this atrocity happening.
I didn’t learn about this until about a couple of years after I graduated college in a DJ Vlad interview of Immortal Technique of all things (this is before I knew Vlad was a culture vulture, so please forgive me) mentioning it in passing. I didn’t get really in-depth with it until I saw the documentary Hate Crimes In the Heartland which features the remaining three survivors who are all now centenarians. My blood froze when one of the women who lived through that massacre said her mom saw these mobs wearing American flags while armed while telling her “Your country is shooting at you!” while breaking into tears. I strongly recommend anyone to watch this to really get details of Black Wall Street and how there needs to be justice and reconciliation.
Hearing about Black Wall Street was both fascinating in how the people thrived while establishing their own businesses while at the same time infuriating me with this gross racist injustice that happened. The stories of people owning their own airplanes, getting rich from their own means, and succeeding even in Jim Crow-era Oklahoma was inspiring. At the same time, hearing about this brutality made my blood boil. Keep in mind, the Black Wall Street Massacre was the FIRST airstrike on US soil. Unlike Pearl Harbor twenty years later the fact where a foreign country (Japan, obviously) attacked them, this was an attack by Americans to Americans. This piece of history also reveals racist hypocritical rhetoric that still happens to this day. The “bootstraps” argument is null and void. These people in Greenwood DID pick themselves up by their bootstraps, but their homes and businesses were razed. The complaint about people looting businesses during some of the BLM protests for example, falls flat (note: people shouldn’t be looting anyway) when a white mob looted and destroyed businesses and never got punished for their actions. This is still American history that needs to be talked about and taught. Tulsa wasn’t the only example (Slocum, TX and Rosewood come to mind) when it comes to these situations.
This didn’t even get mainstream attention to the best of my knowledge until the Watchman 2019 TV sequel of all things where it was a plot point in the show. You had people who thought it was wholly fictional until they did a basic Google search. One of my older paternal cousins didn’t even know about Black Wall Street until she saw the Watchman HBO show when she told me when we were on Zoom (she lives multiple states away from me). The other example I can think of even though this involves something very political was the backlash against Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa. It was originally going to be on Juneteenth until they changed the date due to the ramifications and symbolism of it being a double whammy of having an event on that holiday in the same city where this massacre happened. I was shocked that mainstream news channels talked about that even if it was brief when news broke out about the rally.
I thought this would be very important to share. People need to learn about this and other cases in this country. I want justice to prevail and for there to finally be healing going on. Several people regardless of race or ethnicity didn’t know about this until fairly recently. I’m not doing this to shame others. Is this an uncomfortable part of American history? Yes, and I don’t dispute that. I don’t want this history to repeat and I hate seeing racist hypocrisy going on in this country. There needs to be reconciliation. Never forget.
I really feel like talking about this subject again.
I’ve been subjected to fandom shaming multiple times in my life. One thing I sometimes did back then was to “hate” something just to spite the person who shamed me. It usually involved various bands or movies and I would tell them straight up “I no longer like the thing you made fun of me for.” just to get on their nerves. Sometimes it would be a temporary thing where I would like something again. I’ve never been able to get someone to stop liking something, but at most when I know I’m right about something I have made people not look at something the same way again especially if there’s something problematic about a fandom or a piece of media. The most successful attempt even though I was only passing information involved telling people about a VERY certain 2019 Netflix documentary covering a music plagiarism case. If you know me, you know exactly what it is, what song, who was involved in that court case, and what caused it to be the straw that broke the camel’s back which caused that lawsuit to happen. I think some of you will get the answer right. It certainly opened up some eyes and also further proved me right about what was associated with that case.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been losing hobbies. Some of it involves me growing out of certain interests, but other times I remembered being made fun of for certain interests where I just gave up. It really didn’t helped that I struggled with committing to certain activities when I was a lot younger even though there were other issues I was dealing with then. Part of me wondered what it would be like if I gave into temptation to get someone to stop liking something and how effective I could be at it. Conversely, I listened to a podcast where someone talked about how you have so many people online tearing others down (Twitter and YouTube being very specific examples in the conversation) and he wondered how anyone could get an enjoyment in doing so instead of doing something else like talking a walk outside for example. This felt like an angel and devil on my shoulder kind of thing where I think if I should verbally attack someone for their fandoms. I’m not going to pretend I’m a saint. There is a sliver of me wanting to do so as an indirect revenge against those who insulted me for having some hobbies. There are even times where I feel like I have to make pre-emptive self defense statements before I say why I like something by finding any counterarguments to defend what I have interests in. This even goes with some of my more serious interests, too.
Sorry for rambling. While there are bigger issues in the world, this is something that is still bothering me. Has anyone else had that issue with giving up certain interests because of fandom shaming or just getting older? Have you ever dealt with similar situations?