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1 year ago

8 note(s)



Found on the afrofuturist weeksvILLe puMzI X sound collage.

These lyrics are off the space funk album Sons of the Gods by Ripple from 1977.  This title song is a great funk manifesto sung with strong voices of harmony, guttural yelps, scatting, echoplexxed and flanged within a 9:10 composition.  It is an exodus song written by rare groove master Charles Earland.  From Earland’s imagination, we can visualize the crisis of celestial battle addressed in this funk epic.  The lyrics read like a dystopian period of war, spacecraft in the form of a mothership and the wish of a faithful commander awaiting rescue from the Gods.  The commander puts prayer on the hope that these Sons will not be deserted.  I believe this rescue is also deliverance.  The song is asking “dear God, please give us favor”, in space. 

SONS OF THE GODS youtube vid

Lyrics

Don’t you desert me, no.

Sons of the Gods, y’all.

Well, I know this old world is at an end;

there’s nothing left but the sun.

And I hope you’ll let me board the mothership

Oh! Sons of the Gods.  Don’t you desert me, no.

And I hope and I pray you come back and save me one day.

Sons of the Gods. Thunder and lightning.

The day will come, and there’ll be wars everywhere,

and they will spread through the land.

So, dear God won’t you give us a hand.

I’ll be obliged to command.

I hope and I pray you come back and save me one day.

Oh! Sons of the Gods.  Don’t you desert me, no.

Sons of the Gods, y’all.

from Sons of the Gods - Ripple (Salsoul), 1977, LP.

(Charles Earland) Betty Earland Music, c/o A.G.Ac>, New York, NY (BMI)

©1977



for @ingridlafleur.

.

2 years ago

21 note(s)

Various 1st issues in the Archival Directions collection.

The first edition of any publication will inevitably capture the nostalgia of the very beginnings of the literary endeavor.  In most cases, the aesthetic of the publication changes over time.  An editorial slant may even come into focus as more editions accumulate.  Nevertheless, the FIRST edition says something unique about the ambition wrapped up in between those two covers.

I hold these firsts in high regards.  A few of the publications are now defunct.  One publication series is shown here in its entirety.  For a broader look into the firsts in the independent and commercial magazine world, take a glance here: http://www.premiereissues.com/index.php

(Source: arcdirect)

2 years ago

1 note(s)

Robert Newman, creative director extraordinaire

When I caught wind of the Newmanology tumblr site, I was struck aesthetically by each beautiful selection.  I was reminded of how attractive popular Black culture (magazines, advertisements, etc.) is, from a design standpoint.  Then I discovered Newmanology’s curator is Robert Newman, creative director of Reader’s Digest.  Ironically, the blog is no where near as mainstream as Reader’s Digest.  The tumblr site contains examples of appealing designwork that I imagine Newman deems exceptional with an undeniable nod to African-Americana. 

I was astounded to discover that Newman was also the designer of 1990’s progressive Village Voice.  I’ve preserved numerous Village Voice articles from my high school years, intrigued by the journalism as much as the layout. Take a look at what a design veteran shares on tumblr.

newmanology.tumblr.com

twitter: @Newmanology

facebook.com/newmanology

2 years ago

11 note(s)

High Quality
from my collection:
GLOWCHILD - A BELATED BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE TO RUBY DEE, OCTOBER 27, 2011
Though known as a celebrated actress/activist, Ruby’s earliest interest in the arts was through her poetry, which was published in the Amsterdam News.
Ruby Dee’s 1st book publication as author/editor is GLOWCHILD and OTHER POEMS from 1972.
John Henrik Clarke, editor of Freedomways, was instrumental in reacquainting Ruby with her long time passion for poetry through this editorship opportunity.
The book includes poems from junior high and high school students in Ruby’s neighborhood, New Rochelle, alongside poems by herself, John Henrik Clarke, Abiodun Oyewole, Margaret Burroughs et al.
Glowchild was later made into a young audience TV special, Today is Ours.  Harry Belafonte , young writers included in the book and the entire Davis family contributed creative skills to the production.
The Third Press, publisher of Glowchild, also published Katherine Dunham, Chinua Achebe, Angela Davis and many others throughout the 70’s & 80’s.
Joseph Okpaku, owner of The Third Press, is currently a renowned player in the realm of African telecommunications development.
Dee, Ruby. Glowchild, and Other Poems. New York: Third Press, Joseph Okpaku Pub. Co, 1972. Print.

from my collection:

GLOWCHILD - A BELATED BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE TO RUBY DEE, OCTOBER 27, 2011

  • Though known as a celebrated actress/activist, Ruby’s earliest interest in the arts was through her poetry, which was published in the Amsterdam News.
  • Ruby Dee’s 1st book publication as author/editor is GLOWCHILD and OTHER POEMS from 1972.
  • John Henrik Clarke, editor of Freedomways, was instrumental in reacquainting Ruby with her long time passion for poetry through this editorship opportunity.
  • The book includes poems from junior high and high school students in Ruby’s neighborhood, New Rochelle, alongside poems by herself, John Henrik Clarke, Abiodun Oyewole, Margaret Burroughs et al.
  • Glowchild was later made into a young audience TV special, Today is OursHarry Belafonte , young writers included in the book and the entire Davis family contributed creative skills to the production.
  • The Third Press, publisher of Glowchild, also published Katherine Dunham, Chinua Achebe, Angela Davis and many others throughout the 70’s & 80’s.
  • Joseph Okpaku, owner of The Third Press, is currently a renowned player in the realm of African telecommunications development.

Dee, Ruby. Glowchild, and Other Poems. New York: Third Press, Joseph Okpaku Pub. Co, 1972. Print.

2 years ago

7 note(s)

Growing up in New York at just about any time will afford any of its natives the opportunity to witness the unthinkable. By no design of his own did an adolescent KRS-ONE place himself in close proximity to the birthplace of hip-hop in the 70’s. Nor could any Ebbetts Field stadium-goer predict the raw talent arriving in the 40’s in J-Rob.

fela soul mixtape download & the 1991 backstory of my two favorite musicians

My NY heydays gave me an awesome urban vantage point to soak up the significant cultural happenings between 1988, my junior year at Brooklyn Technical High School and 1993, the year I left NY to attend Clark Atlanta University. Then, New York had plenty nightlife offerings that were thriving, before the cabaret law enforcement by Mayor Giuliani put the squeeze on bars and clubs where dancing took place. The hotspots I remember hanging at included Mars, Red Zone, Roxy, Ritz, and Wetlands.

One night stands out as completely phenomenal. July 15, 1991, I partied like a maniac at two amazing live shows. One uptown, one midtown. I saw Fela Kuti and Egypt 80 at the historic Apollo Theater and then saw De La Soul at the Ritz. After 20 years, I still savor the amazing experience I had.

In 1991, Fela Kuti was constantly being talked about in the circles I ran in. Fela’s albums could be found by the discerning collector in select vinyl diggers’ shops around the city. I even remember buying one from a cat on the street in Harlem one day. I’ve collected a dozen of these original pressings and enjoyed the visual content as much as the funky mega-songs on wax. But albums couldn’t really prepare me for Fela in the flesh.

Circumstance had set the stage for Fela to light his New York audience up. The year before, the New York African diasporic community was invigorated by two major events involving radical African figures. The US tour of formerly imprisoned ANC leader Nelson Mandela passed through Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn and was met by throngs of people celebrating freedom, many demanding divestiture of corporate money from South Africa’s apartheid regime. Approximately a month later and in the same neighborhood, Fela was the featured act, who put on a provocative show at the Afrikan Street Festival, which struck a high mark for the legacy of the Festival’s diasporic performance productions and which is recounted by the festival producer, K. Mensah Wali. So when Fela’s tickets for the Apollo Theater went on sale, my girlfriend & I jumped at the chance to see him.

This would be my 1st time entering the legendary Apollo Theater, which I remember being much smaller in person than on TV. Like Fela’s tunes go, his live set was a long, build-up of funky, multilayered Afro-groove scripted with enormous horn & keyboard solos. His dancers were an affair! Arms, heads, hips and colors rhythmically flailing everywhere. But one of the focal points became the huge carved out log/gbedu drum that set the bass foundation for much of the musical groove-riding that happened on stage. Oh, and did I mention that Roy Ayers make an appearance on vibes?! New York Times did when they reviewed the Fela show.

Fela planned to groove ALL night, but we had to head downtown for part 2 of our evening. As a young adult, De La Soul’s influence on me was profound; I was a complete convert to the D.A.I.S.Y. Age. This show was the album release kickoff for the much anticipated De La Soul is Dead sophomore LP. The Native Tongues movement was at its peak. Leaders of the New School dropped their debut LP, A Future Without a Past two weeks prior. The Ritz was packed and I remember seeing Angelo from Fishbone strutting outside with cane in hand. De La performed an energetic set of new joints that would later become classics, A Rollerskating Jam Named “Saturdays”, Ring, Ring, Ring and the 3 Feet High material. Priceless! De La Soul’s performance that night was later judged by Spin Magazine’s Scott Poulson-Bryant in the ‘Year in Review’ issue as among the best performances of the year!

With this phenomenal night permanently embedded in my mind, imagine my excitement when I discovered Gummy Soul’s FELA SOUL mixtape. It is so much more that just a few mashups of instrumentals and acapellas. Full-on soulful productions are here that give these music pioneers the chance to really play together any time you choose to press play.

2 years ago

15 note(s)

From my collection:

QSL card from the Afro-American C.B. Club, Inc. of Birmingham, AL, 1964.

QSL card from the Afro-American C.B. Club, Inc. of Birmingham, AL, 1964.  CB communication across 814 miles between Frank AFRO Mosley, Birmingham, AL and Ted & Berta Roger, Wichita, KS.

The QSL card is a means for two CB operators to keep in touch after initial radio communication is made.  CB radio access, like AM/FM radio, is based on operators tuning into a common radio frequency.  The QSL card documents the radio frequency, date of contact, type of transreceiver, type of antenna, etc.  A QSL card collection for the active CB operator represents a Rolodex of CB contacts.



Recent scholarship on Black CB community:

Art M. Blake. "Audible Citizenship and Audiomobility: Race, Technology, and CB Radio." American Quarterly 63.3 (2011): 531-553. Project MUSE. Web. 29 Sep. 2011.

Abstract:

In the mid-1970s, the press and popular culture represented the era’s craze for citizens band (CB) radio, a simple two-way radio communications device, as limited to white Americans. In fact, CB radio had thrived in African American communities since the early 1960s. But African Americans used CB in a different manner and for different purposes than their white counterparts. This article argues that black CB use developed in response to the racial politics of the postwar period concerning meaningful desegregation and full citizenship. The emergence of a distinct black CB culture by the 1970s epitomizes how black use of CB, as a form of “audiomobility,” circumvented white prohibitions against black mobility and audibility, denied white assumptions of technical and verbal superiority, as well as internal black class politics about “sounding black.” From these origins, as an audiomobility network counteracting racism directly and indirectly, black CB evolved into an intra-racial competitive arena, a technocultural practice suited only to the audibly toughest competitors. Black CB’s historical significance rests in its functioning as a nexus for, and challenge to, various histories: of the politics of black speech and oral culture; of the role of radio programming in the creation of black cultural identity; of race and technology. Through research in newspapers and periodicals, interviews with participants, and close listening to recordings, I argue that black CBers built on an already existing black aural public sphere and adapted CB technology to combine with that aural-oral sphere to create a technologically-mediated community based on perceived audible racial identity.

CB interview and audio clips.

2 years ago

3 note(s)

During the next few weeks I will highlight some of the audio elements that make up weeksvILLe puMzI X, an afrofuturist/black speculation fiction themed sound collage.  Each of the production’s sound elements was placed to create a sense of thematic significance.  In the case of Secret Wars, Pt. 2 & Superfly Meets Shaft, popular fictional characters, Marvel Comics and blaxploitation superheroes, cameo in my sound narrative to show how far and near the black speculative imagination has taken us.  Apart from their conventional existence as comic/fantasy icons, these characters are re-contextualized in these two songs in a parallel Afrofuturist universe.

Rapper vs. Mutant / Superfly meets Shaft - Popular fictional characters reworked thru the Afrofuturist/BSF lens

From outer space or the imagination of rapper The Last Emperor from Philly comes Secret Wars, Pt. 2, a hip-hop spoof of Marvel Comics' paradigm-altered crossover series of the same name from 1984.  This epic song clocks in at 9:36 and describes a lethal “animated hip-hop grudge match” between 20+ rappers and 20+ Marvel Comics characters that take place across the universe. 

Last Emperor elevates the style and story of his favorite rappers to supernatural effect by referencing the rapper’s lyrics within a science fiction landscape.  It is a full text of “Marvel Comics Street Lyrics” written with the precision and density to portray both superhero and rapper in an extended drama that true fans of either genre would adore. 

What’s more amazing is Last Emperor’s masterful performance of the song in lyrical, rhyme-style impersonation of his full team of misfits.  All details of mimicry are executed precisely, from Biggie’s vocal chunkiness to DMX’s bark and rasp.  He gives you some awesome moments with Tupac’s rebellious “Holla if you hear me,” and RZA’s alter-ego Bobby Digital energy beam blasts. 

Last Emperor pulls off well-organized wordplay in his storytelling verses.  One of his writing feats was the apropos use of brick in the hardrock battle between The Thing & Beanie Sigel.  On wax, much of Beanie Sigel’s persona centers on his tribulations while incarcerated or peddling illegal drugs.  For him, brick is a slang term for 2 lb 3 ¼ ounces of marijuana.  His thug hip-hop persona is conveyed in song through episodes of merciless murder and an underdog’s thirst for acquiring money by any means necessary. 

On the flip side, for Ben Grimm AKA The Thing, brick is the grotesque yet impervious form that his skin mutated into after astro-travel and accidental cosmic irradiation.  The Thing’s brick-like, hardened exterior became his greatest supernatural asset against any opponent.  Pitting these two particular husky characters against each other was genius on Last Emperor’s part.

Here’s the matchup for Secret Wars, Pt. 2

  • 1.  Last Emperor v. Stan Lee
  • 2.  RZA/Wu-Tang v. Captain America/Avengers
  • 3.  Ironman/Wu–Tang v. Red Skull bumrush
  • 4.  Masta Killa & Golden Arms v. Powerman & Iron Fist
  • 5.  Blade v. DMX
  • 6.  Eve/Ruff Ryders v. She-Hulk
  • 7.  Submariner v. Ludacris/Disturbing the Peace
  • 8.   Ludacris v. Thor bumrush
  • 9.  Fantastic Four v. Roc-a-fella
  • 10.  Jay-Z v. Mr. Fantastic Reed Richards
  • 11. Human Torch v. Memphis Bleek
  • 12.  Amil v. Invisible Girl
  • 13.  The Thing v. Beanie Sigel
  • 14.  Hob Goblin v. Freeway
  • 15.  Fat Joe v. Kingpin
  • 16.  Keith Murray/Death Squad v. Dr. Doom
  • 17.  Outsidas v. Alpha Flight
  • 18.  Yung Z v. Vindicator
  • 19.  Rah Digga v. Snowbird
  • 19.  Puck & Shaman v. Outsidaz
  • 20.  Pac Won v. Sasquatch
  • 21.  Punisher v. Sticky Fingaz
  • 22.  Colussus/X-Men v. Xhibit
  • 23.  Man v. Machine
  • 24.  Emimem v. Daredevil
  • 25.  Scorpio & Rhino v. Connivator & Rufus
  • 26.  Swifty McVeigh v. Mystero
  • 27.  Con Artist v. Chameleon
  • 28.  Bizarre v. The Blob
  • 29.  Biggie & Tupac v. Black Panther & Juggernaut

Another interpolation of the black fictional superhero narrative comes in the form of Dickie Goodman’s Superfly Meets Shaft 45rpm record from 1973.  What happens when you take TWO of the most powerful and controversial movie characters of the 70’s and combine them in a “hot off the press” comedic faux-news skit? 

Superfly Meets Shaft falls under the format of the break-in record, a cut n paste sound collage that uses bits and samples of other recorded music to break into  the narrator’s commentary creating satire and comedy.  Goodman sourced popular soul/R&B tunes to make this record popular and radio-friendly. 

The gist of the tune is that Shaft is caught in a compromising risque position with the President while investigating the whereabouts of a missing Superfly, last seen in Egypt with Mrs. Jones.  After the key witness is knocked off, chances of solving the investigation become slim.  The humor in the song to me is that Goodman diverts these two characters from the machismo-ist, power-stoked blaxploitation situation they are known for, into a further twisted comedy agenda. 

The break-in record is actually the earliest form of audio sampling of prerecorded material and had significant creative and legal ramifications as a pop culture production.  This tune charted at #31 and Goodman’s highest-charting break-in record, Flying Saucer topped at #3 in 1956.  Dickie Goodman was sued by 17 record companies for sampling on Flying Saucer and won the case on the basis that a new work of art could be created without copyright infringement when permissive and compensated use of prerecorded elements is agreed.

This style of sampling also shows up in early 80’s hip-hop music.  Double Dee & Steinski’s Lessons 1, 2 & 3 are more danceable versions of the break-in style, using all manner of sample sources from James Brown, Culture Club, Humphrey Bogart, The Supremes, Johnny Carson, and the list goes on.  The News Crew produced Special Bulletin, a break-in record more reminiscent of Goodman’s narrative style with its Reagan-era social commentary.

2 years ago

10 note(s)

See the playlist for the Afrofuturist/Black speculative Fiction sound collage called

weeksvILLe puMzI X

http://soundcloud.com/arcdirect/weeksville-pumzi-x

the weeksvILLe puMzI X playlist

1. The Gravitational Pull of Her - DKD - Bitasweet/2000 Black - 2004
2. Tongues of Labyrinth Birth/Emergence Skit - Divine Styler - CBS - 1989
3. Runagate, Runagate - Roscoe Lee Browne & Ruby Dee - DST Telecommunications - 1975
4. Confessions of Nat Turner - Brock Peters - CMS - 1964
5. SLAAAAAVE - Grace Jones - ZTT - 1985
6. Runaway - Georgia Anne Muldrow - Animatedcartunes - 2009
7. Leaving this Planet - Charles Earland - Fantasy - 1974
8. Space Lady - Billy Cobham/George Duke Band - Atlantic - 1976
9. Sons of the Gods - Ripple - Salsoul - 1977
10. There’s A New World Coming - Bernice Reagon - Paredon - 1975
11. Slow Motion - Pole feat Fat Jon - Mute - 2003
12. In Time And Space - Last Poets - Blue Thumb - 1973
13. Tongues of Labyrinth - Divine Styler - CBS - 1989
14. Releasing Hypnotical Gases - Organized Konfusion - Hollywood BASIC - 1991
15. Invasion - Atmosfear - Discfunction - 1980
16. Planet Rock - Jason Moran - Blue Note - 2002
17. Space is the Place - Likwid Biskit - Kindred Spirits - 2003
18. Moonwalk - Larry Young’s Fuel - Arista - 1976 
19. Thoughts on Outer Space - Dick Gregory - Colpix - 1960
20. Interlude - Earth, Wind & Fire - CBS - 1973
21. Secret Wars - Last Emperor - Hi-Rise - 2003
22. Superfly meets Shaft - Dickie Goodman - Rainy Wednesday - 1973
23. Soul President - Afro-American Ensemble - GFS - 1972
24. The Spook Who Sat by the Door Radio Spot - Sam Greenlee - United Artists - 1973
25. Aurora - Novella Nelson - DST Telecommunications - 1975
26. Leroy Brown - ODB - ???
27. Landscapes in Alternative History - Vernon Reid & Bill Frisell - Minor Music - 1985
28. Thebes of the Hundred Gates - Sono Cairo Egyptian Organization of Antiquities - 1972
29. One Life, One Love - Hieroglyphics - Hiero Imperium - 1998
30. Snippet - KRS One - Jive - 1990

MORE TO COME.  STAY TUNED.

(Source: soundcloud.com)

2 years ago

3 note(s)

weeksvILLe puMzI X

image

image

CLICK HERE FOR AUDIO PLAYER http://soundcloud.com/arcdirect/weeksville-pumzi-x

weeksvILLe puMzI X : speculate BLACK acetate

a sound collage sourced from black wax dealing with AFROFUTURISM and BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION.

This sound collage was inspired by the screening of the sci-fi film Pumzi at Weeksville Historic Houses during the Summer of 2010.  That film imagines World War III, the Water War, and the beginnings of the Black character’s bold journey to a new fertile world.  It is executed with the inspiring cinematic excellence of a George Lucas film.  The vistas sighted in this film are breath-taking, the technology introduced in its water-depleted context is jolting.  The only disappointment about this production, born from the efforts of an up & coming Kenyan-born female filmmaker, is that it is less than 35 minutes long. 

The screening was part of Weeksville’s programming on Black Speculative Fiction and was accompanied by a discussion with writer Kiini Salaam and her reflections on studying under Octavia Butler, an award-winning Black sci-fi writer.  As expected , the discussion flared with enriching Q & A and Show & Tell and I introduced the mix, weeksvILLe puMzI X, that I played out as DJ/sound provider for the event.

I had been contemplating this mix for many years before the opportunity to play it at Weeksville on a beautiful summer evening amongst an audience of afrofuturism enthusiasts.  My intrigue with the concept of an imagined Black future peaked more than a decade ago, around the time Kodwo Eshun’s More Brilliant than the Sun was published.  The book plucked hyper theories on rhythm, psychoacoustics, and music culture from the ether and revealed memes that had never been synthesized in quite the same way before.  Or at least not in the same language that Eshun had invented.  Then, the Internet was much newer and the community, Afrofuturism, was listserving brainfood by Paul D. Miller, Alondra Nelson and others on the daily. 

The sounds found within this mix are all recorded moments on black vinyl.  Sources ranged all genres of music, spoken word, recorded skits, sound effects, historical dramatization, etc.  Each was recorded for widely differing purposes and audiences but are pieced together here to illustrate my Afrofuturist narrative. 

FOLLOW for now, MUCH more to come.

ENJOY!!

2 years ago

11 note(s)

High Quality
Celebrating one of the most ambitious minds of the 20th c. - Marcus Mosiah Garvey. He and the officers of the UNIA succeeded in creating a Black Zeitgeist of self-determination that resonated across the world. Some of the world’s most talented men and women of color united under the colors of Red, Black & Green to create the Universal Negro Improvement Association & African Communities League.
Membership card of the UNIA, Boston 1925
Throughout the first quarter of the 20th century, Boston was where a dynamic political/cultural voice was being heard. William Monroe Trotter and Rev. Matthew A. N. Shaw of the Twelfth Street Baptist Church promoted the National Equal Rights League’s one dollar donation campaign that supported a defense fund for victims of the race riots that swept the nation. As well, the UNIA’s religious catechism that elevated an image of a Black God was initiated in St. Bartholomew’s Church in Boston by Rev. George Alexander McGuire, future UNIA Chaplain. Garvey’s message & UNIA’s mission addressed the social needs(protection, fellowship, etc.) of Ms. Ellen Lyons, owner of this member’s card. My research on Ms. Lyons reveals that she was 33 years old when she paid the member’s dues and death tax in 1925. She had emigrated from England in 1915 among 12,000 Negroes from around the world. In fact, Boston held the 3rd largest US community of foreign-born Negroes then, which typically raised Garvey supporters. If she had not heard of Marcus Garvey back in England, Ms. Lyons may have attended his 1st Boston lecture in 1916.

Celebrating one of the most ambitious minds of the 20th c. - Marcus Mosiah Garvey. He and the officers of the UNIA succeeded in creating a Black Zeitgeist of self-determination that resonated across the world. Some of the world’s most talented men and women of color united under the colors of Red, Black & Green to create the Universal Negro Improvement Association & African Communities League.

Membership card of the UNIA, Boston 1925

Throughout the first quarter of the 20th century, Boston was where a dynamic political/cultural voice was being heard. William Monroe Trotter and Rev. Matthew A. N. Shaw of the Twelfth Street Baptist Church promoted the National Equal Rights League’s one dollar donation campaign that supported a defense fund for victims of the race riots that swept the nation. As well, the UNIA’s religious catechism that elevated an image of a Black God was initiated in St. Bartholomew’s Church in Boston by Rev. George Alexander McGuire, future UNIA Chaplain.

Garvey’s message & UNIA’s mission addressed the social needs(protection, fellowship, etc.) of Ms. Ellen Lyons, owner of this member’s card. My research on Ms. Lyons reveals that she was 33 years old when she paid the member’s dues and death tax in 1925. She had emigrated from England in 1915 among 12,000 Negroes from around the world. In fact, Boston held the 3rd largest US community of foreign-born Negroes then, which typically raised Garvey supporters. If she had not heard of Marcus Garvey back in England, Ms. Lyons may have attended his 1st Boston lecture in 1916.

2 years ago

1 note(s)

High Quality
The Cradle of Erotica, Allen Edwardes & R. E. L. Masters, Julian Press, 1963.
The sexual episodes and innuendos excavated directly from the canons of sensual literature through ancient times to the present era greatly problematize the normative, moralized stance on sexuality, religion, psychology and gender many tend to accept.  In other words, we’ve been freakin’ for a LONG time. 
The Cradle of Erotica, 1963
The authors reference numerous sacred texts(the Babylonian Talmud), love manuals(Ratirahasya), colonial documentation(L’Ethnologie du Sens Genitale), and other sources.  Though the book appears to be comprehensive as a source of first-hand knowledge of the most intimate aspects of human behavior, some of the evidence referenced here is embellished by ethnological self-awareness and the bias that would surface in scientific texts of the past centuries. 
Nevertheless, the 1963 book provides an intriguing look at sexuality across the Far and Middle East, India and Africa.  Beauty can be found in the Diwan or epic poetry of many of the Muslim writers. These authors expose the plethora of sexual practices and philosophies unique to the pre-modern Muslim world. One text evangelizes by describing the conversion of non-Muslim young women being easier after intercourse with a Muslim man.  Consider the sexual mores of the Chinese, said to be “famous for having love affairs with geese, the necks of which they are in the habit of cruelly wringing off at the moment of ejaculation, in order that they may get the pleasurable benefit of the anal sphincter’s last spasms in the victim.”  It makes me question the meaning of “choking the chicken”.  Drug use and fornication are married in many texts, ranging from opium, bhang, and hashish.  Additionally, other taboos such as prepubescent sex is described as a fairly common practice in the East. 
It’s all pretty wild! 

The Cradle of Erotica, Allen Edwardes & R. E. L. Masters, Julian Press, 1963.

The sexual episodes and innuendos excavated directly from the canons of sensual literature through ancient times to the present era greatly problematize the normative, moralized stance on sexuality, religion, psychology and gender many tend to accept.  In other words, we’ve been freakin’ for a LONG time. 

The Cradle of Erotica, 1963

The authors reference numerous sacred texts(the Babylonian Talmud), love manuals(Ratirahasya), colonial documentation(L’Ethnologie du Sens Genitale), and other sources.  Though the book appears to be comprehensive as a source of first-hand knowledge of the most intimate aspects of human behavior, some of the evidence referenced here is embellished by ethnological self-awareness and the bias that would surface in scientific texts of the past centuries. 

Nevertheless, the 1963 book provides an intriguing look at sexuality across the Far and Middle East, India and Africa.  Beauty can be found in the Diwan or epic poetry of many of the Muslim writers. These authors expose the plethora of sexual practices and philosophies unique to the pre-modern Muslim world. One text evangelizes by describing the conversion of non-Muslim young women being easier after intercourse with a Muslim man.  Consider the sexual mores of the Chinese, said to be “famous for having love affairs with geese, the necks of which they are in the habit of cruelly wringing off at the moment of ejaculation, in order that they may get the pleasurable benefit of the anal sphincter’s last spasms in the victim.”  It makes me question the meaning of “choking the chicken”.  Drug use and fornication are married in many texts, ranging from opium, bhang, and hashish.  Additionally, other taboos such as prepubescent sex is described as a fairly common practice in the East. 

It’s all pretty wild! 

2 years ago

3 note(s)

In memory of Tuskegee Airman Colonel Ernest Craigwell Jr.
Colonel Ernest Craigwell Jr. (October 24, 1926 - April 9, 2011)
Retired, US Air Force
Tuskegee Airman
Congressional Gold Medal of Honor Recipient
The Montgomery Examiner(Alabama) memorialized its exceptional resident with this article.
I had the pleasure of sitting next to Bro. Craigwell a few years ago at the Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School Reunion luncheon in Wash., DC. He was quite a personable gentleman. We talked about bicycling, which he did everyday and his Prius automobile among other things. Being a history buff, I was amazed that I was actually sitting next to a Tuskegee Airman. As a human being, I was delighted to share the company of an elder who was so vibrant. Col. Ernest Craigwell Jr. was a cadet training to become a Tuskegee Airman when this photo was taken during World War II. I offer my condolences to Bro. Craigwell’s family.

In memory of Tuskegee Airman Colonel Ernest Craigwell Jr.

Colonel Ernest Craigwell Jr. (October 24, 1926 - April 9, 2011)

Retired, US Air Force

Tuskegee Airman

Congressional Gold Medal of Honor Recipient

The Montgomery Examiner(Alabama) memorialized its exceptional resident with this article.

I had the pleasure of sitting next to Bro. Craigwell a few years ago at the Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School Reunion luncheon in Wash., DC. He was quite a personable gentleman. We talked about bicycling, which he did everyday and his Prius automobile among other things. Being a history buff, I was amazed that I was actually sitting next to a Tuskegee Airman. As a human being, I was delighted to share the company of an elder who was so vibrant. Col. Ernest Craigwell Jr. was a cadet training to become a Tuskegee Airman when this photo was taken during World War II. I offer my condolences to Bro. Craigwell’s family.

3 years ago

166 note(s)

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This is the rear cover of the April 1969 issue of Negro Digest.  A Johnson publication, Negro Digest, was an attempt to recreate a black Reader’s Digest.  Taking in a wide view of its publication history reveals that it may not have missed its mark.  The Negro Digest, later titled Black World, covered most of the pressing issues of the day throughout the 40’s and 70’s.  On this advertisement, the writer touches on the class differences within the Black community and prods class conscience with relentless sarcasm. 

This is the rear cover of the April 1969 issue of Negro Digest.  A Johnson publication, Negro Digest, was an attempt to recreate a black Reader’s Digest.  Taking in a wide view of its publication history reveals that it may not have missed its mark.  The Negro Digest, later titled Black World, covered most of the pressing issues of the day throughout the 40’s and 70’s.  On this advertisement, the writer touches on the class differences within the Black community and prods class conscience with relentless sarcasm. 

3 years ago

29 note(s)

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RIP MLK Jr.          Part 1      (see Part 2)On April 4, 1968, the world grieved over the news that  Martin Luther King Jr. had fallen from an assassin’s bullet in Memphis, Tennessee. Heroically, King and the Southern grassroots movement caused decades of change on national and international levels. Nevertheless, for many, this tragic event symbolized the waning results of non-violent civil action against racist oppression. Two weeks after King’s demise, this pamphlet was published by Mao Tse-Tung’s Communist Party of China in support of the “Afro-American Struggle Against Violent Repression.” The statement acknowledged the changing storm of Afro-American resistance against the political and economic crises, domestically (disenfranchisement) and abroad(imperialism). It also suggests that the black struggle shall merge with the workers’ struggle to defeat capitalist exploitation beyond racial boundaries.

RIP MLK Jr.          Part 1      (see Part 2)
On April 4, 1968, the world grieved over the news that Martin Luther King Jr. had fallen from an assassin’s bullet in Memphis, Tennessee. Heroically, King and the Southern grassroots movement caused decades of change on national and international levels. Nevertheless, for many, this tragic event symbolized the waning results of non-violent civil action against racist oppression.

Two weeks after King’s demise, this pamphlet was published by Mao Tse-Tung’s Communist Party of China in support of the “Afro-American Struggle Against Violent Repression.” The statement acknowledged the changing storm of Afro-American resistance against the political and economic crises, domestically (disenfranchisement) and abroad(imperialism). It also suggests that the black struggle shall merge with the workers’ struggle to defeat capitalist exploitation beyond racial boundaries.

3 years ago

4 note(s)

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In 1949, African-American muralists Hale Woodruff and Charles Alston completed two 16’ x 9’ murals titled “The Negro in California History: Settlement & Development”(pictured here) commissioned by the largest black-owned business in the West, Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company for its new headquarters.  At that time, GSMLIC had been servicing the African-American community for mortgages and estate planning for approx. 24 years and would eventually open offices across 14 states with more than $4 billion in policies.  The success of the company blossomed with the opening of its stunning Moderne headquarters, designed by African-American architect Paul Willliams, housing the beautiful murals seen by all who entered the building’s threshold.  
Currently, the murals & GSMLIC’s assets are at the center of an estate liquidation action that is being fought in the courts among the state historic preservation council, private developers, state insurance commissioner, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History & Culture and family & supporters of GSMLIC.  Below are links to some of the primary & secondary information involved in this court action that will determine the future of some of Black LA’s most significant cultural treasures.
LOS ANGELES CONSERVANCY’s FACEBOOK PAGE
INFORMATIVE LEGAL DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED TO CALIFORNIA CONSERVATION & LIQUIDATION OFFICE
SMITHSONIAN’S STATEMENT WITHDRAWING INITIAL BID FOR PURCHASE OF MURALS
GOLDEN STATE MUTUAL LEGACY FOUNDATION STATEMENT
1949 FILM EXCERPT OF MURALS BEING MOUNTED AND UNVEILED
GOLDEN STATE MUTUAL’S ART COLLECTION (TO BE LIQUIDATED)

In 1949, African-American muralists Hale Woodruff and Charles Alston completed two 16’ x 9’ murals titled “The Negro in California History: Settlement & Development”(pictured here) commissioned by the largest black-owned business in the West, Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company for its new headquarters.  At that time, GSMLIC had been servicing the African-American community for mortgages and estate planning for approx. 24 years and would eventually open offices across 14 states with more than $4 billion in policies.  The success of the company blossomed with the opening of its stunning Moderne headquarters, designed by African-American architect Paul Willliams, housing the beautiful murals seen by all who entered the building’s threshold.  

Currently, the murals & GSMLIC’s assets are at the center of an estate liquidation action that is being fought in the courts among the state historic preservation council, private developers, state insurance commissioner, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History & Culture and family & supporters of GSMLIC.  Below are links to some of the primary & secondary information involved in this court action that will determine the future of some of Black LA’s most significant cultural treasures.

LOS ANGELES CONSERVANCY’s FACEBOOK PAGE

INFORMATIVE LEGAL DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED TO CALIFORNIA CONSERVATION & LIQUIDATION OFFICE

SMITHSONIAN’S STATEMENT WITHDRAWING INITIAL BID FOR PURCHASE OF MURALS

GOLDEN STATE MUTUAL LEGACY FOUNDATION STATEMENT

1949 FILM EXCERPT OF MURALS BEING MOUNTED AND UNVEILED

GOLDEN STATE MUTUAL’S ART COLLECTION (TO BE LIQUIDATED)