Finally an Official Holiday, But There Should Be More (Juneteenth)

Tomorrow would be the first time it became federal

This 2nd Independence Day of sorts had every right to be known

156 years too long

For all to know about that important day

The papers were signed and the calendars will have it for future generations

While a federal holiday was a good gesture

Bigotry didn’t and wouldn’t stop there

The hatred towards those descended from the emancipated was still at a fever pitch

The denials of American history become stronger

Attempting to burn the books despite the net existing

Was freedom truly free?

Was there a pure jubilation in sight?

After the last one was found in Galveston all this time

Would “All people are created equal” actually mean what is says on paper?

Plica Vocalis Retribution

They wanted the purest silence

24 karat taciturn acoustics

Whenever the “wrong” kind of male voice is spotted in earshot

Not a raised one or a defiant one

Just existing made them inflamed

Vying for the erasure for the crime of just being

Excuses compound together

Under the subterfuge of azure eyes

The extraction happened

No contract, warnings, or potions

Yet chaining the vocal cords

The desire to bring it back scorched brightly

Once the morales lower than Mariana’s Trench were in sight

Diving towards a thousand fathoms

Where no one can hear anyone scream

Vocal larceny was at it’s peak

And it was a challenge to get it back

How dare they rob the sound

Once the voice would be retrieved

Only a more aggressive homage to a devil ray mage crafted by the Rising Sun

Yet transplanted from a Nordic kingdom would suffice for them

The thievery guild will be repaid in kind

Forever the muted scourges

Writhing without sound

As bodies dissolve into foam

On the acidic ocean they created

Such retribution was a primal scream

When the thieves became infautated by their romance of one person’s silence

Trademarking “Yoruba”? Shame on you, Timbuktu (the UK company)!

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.

Some Music and a Podcast Interview: Cybersix, Buja Praise, and Alexander Roth

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.

Obscured Atrocities

Sometimes I want to burn my diploma and degree

When the autodidact grabbed the driver seat

History was redacted and crossed out

Before excavating began

Gasps were emitted

When the bodies and blood were revealed

The horrors became more gross

As the tales came from my own home country

Tulsa, Rosewood, Natchez, and so many more

The brutality came to light without me being in a classroom

Mass murders and unfettered violence

As the perpetrators were never held to account

Worse yet, encouraged to inflict as much suffering as possible

The so-called third world jumps out of their collective seats

While telling this side of the hemisphere how they can’t talk

Prepare to stare at the kettle

See the planks through the blindfolds

These noses should be lowered

To smell the carnage that was once buried

As the innocents scream from beyond the afterlife

100 Years Later…Never Forget Black Wall Street!

https://www.oklahoman.com/story/news/2021/05/26/tulsa-race-massacre-survivors-reparations-black-wall-street/4947306001/

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.