Tag: throwback

Throwback: Happy 94th Birthday, B.B. King!

JOVM celebrates what would have been B.B. King’s 94th birthday.

On the evening of September 11, 2005, I returned home from a day job working as an Editorial Assistant at a small, Midtown Manhattan-based, family-owned book publisher of bilingual dictionaries and phrasebooks and international cuisine cookbook to my father cooking and playing John Coltrane‘s A Love Supreme.

My father was a very troubled man with whom I had a uneasy and difficult relationship for a significant portion of my life. But for some reason, playing Coltrane’s gorgeous and meditative opus on a day of such horror and terror seems like a fitting response. And it’s quickly become an annual tradition for me.

As always cherish life — especially today.

Throwback: Mos Def “Umi Says”/Black Lives Always Matter

I’m going to make a confession here that will seem rather obvious: the last few months I’ve felt especially angry, exhausted and demoralized. I saw another brother gunned down out by the police on TV. There were replays and commentary as if it were like a key play of a big ballgame. Some of the brilliant commentary included demonizing an imperfect human, who may have done stupid and illegal things when he was younger — or asking why he didn’t comply with the cops and a bunch of other insanely dumb things, 

People in the poor bastard’s town protested. Racist lunatics from his state and elsewhere came into town with assault rifles to “protect property and lives” but they were actually fueling more discord and chaos. Worst yet, one of these racist idiots, shot and wounded protestors and the cops let him walk on by, get into his car and leave the state. I’ve seen articles sympathizing with this guy who hurt and killed people instead of  empathizing with the poor bastard’s kids who saw their daddy get shot in the back seven times.

I’m proud of the NBA teams that refused to play games last night. I personally hope that they just shut down the rest of the season. We all need to focus on social justice and getting these people to stop killing us.  

Yet again, it’s necessary to post one of my favorite Mos Def songs, off an album I turn to whenever racism and injustice seems to hurt me to my very core — “Umi Says,” off Black on Both Sides. As the song says in its refrain “I want my Black people to be free. . .” 

All black live smatter. All the time. Every single day.