Category Archives: Politics

September 11 Rememberances

Greetings once again, Mi Irieites.

Today, September 11, 2014 holds many anniversaries, of which the more recently commonly known and remembered is the destruction of almost 3,000 people in the World Trade Centre, back in 2001, thirteen years ago.

But there has been much more events that have took place on this day.

To begin with, may I say, “Happy New Year” to all Ethiopians at home and abroad. I trust your days be prosperous and fruitful towards yourselves, the rest of Africa and the world.

Let’s not forget Peter Tosh who lost his life this day, 27 years ago. We cannot afford to lose his message of freedom in this day and age.

If you are biblically inclined and thirst for knowledge, well, this was also the day the prophet John The Baptist was beheaded. His teachings were as sweet as the honey he ate.

Least we not forget, Steve Bantu Biko, who should be proclaimed a National Hero of the New South Africa, for it was this day also, back in 1977, that he was brutally tortured and killed in the fight for freedom. Today, I present to you the beginnings of a portrait of this “Legendary Lionheart.”

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 10.48.25 AM

And while we are on the subject of South Africa; last and by no means least, this day September 11th 2014 shall be remembered in my mind as the day Oscar Pistorius gets an acquittal for the homicide of model Reeva Steencamp. Yes, the man walks (no pun intended). The world never ceases to amaze me.

Scotland will be proclaimed independent any day now, but we must not forget the efforts of another rebel eight centuries ago, William “Braveheart,” Wallace, whose conquest at the Battle of Stirling Bridge made him a household name among the British. That conquest took place on this day as well.

Like I said, it’s Love and Justice Thru Music.

The March Goes On

Greetings Mi Irieites,

Today, 28th August 2014 is the 1st anniversary of the 50th anniversary “March On Washington,” initially orchestrated by Dr Martin Luther King.  I was proud to make my exodus to be present at the occasion.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 4.36.05 PM

But what is equally as significant is that today is also the anniversary of the killing of Emmett Till (25th July 1941-28th Aug 1955), which took place almost 60 years ago.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 4.33.01 PM

Emmett, who was barely age 14 coming from Chicago, spent only a week in Money, Mississippi when he was murdered by a group of extremists that owned a local grocery store.  His alleged crime was that he “whistled at a white woman,” who was one of the store owners.

Although several lynching and brutal murders took place over the years prior to this incident, it was the barbaric torture and ultimate shooting of this youngster that had us all from the Diaspora, looking in the direction of seeking Justice for any unjustifiable slayings of black youths, especially when perpetuated on “racist grounds.”

We are living in times where history has no reason to be repeating itself.

In the meantime, we lift our “crowns and hats” to George Jackson, whose anniversary killing was exactly a week ago (21st August 1971).

It’s “Love And Justice thru Music.”

Marcus Garvey: Blessed!

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 11.49.15 AM

Yes Mi Irieites,

It was exactly a year ago I made my first visit to the headquarters and home (53 Talgarth Rd), of the Right Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey. Today on the 127th anniversary of his birth, I extended my tribute by paying a visit to the house where he was actually born, in St Ann’s Bay, Jamaica.

This pilgrimage was enlightening. I am still amazed that it was from here in JA where this man, who is now such a powerful icon, started his journey from humble beginnings, and then went on to shake up and wake up the Diaspora. So much similarities to John the Baptist.  But unlike John, he was allowed to keep his head.

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 11.48.48 AM

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 11.49.03 AM

So as we Rally Round the Red, Gold, Black and Green, let us think of all the soldiers along the way that have created a path for us to continue to walk with our heads high through the gates of freedom.

Bless!

H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie I – Earthstrong Thanks & Praise

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 3.56.51 PM

Born on July 23, 1892, Ejersa Goro, Ethiopia, H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie is a continual inspiration for Steel Pulse and millions around the globe.  We search for the truth and hunger for justice in his name.  To commemorate  His Majesty’s birthday, LIFE presents photos from H.I.M.’s  historic 1966 trip to the Caribbean.

The Lion of Judah breaks every chain.

Selah.

 

Commemorations and Livications

Yes Mi Irieites,

Today we commemorate the 25th anniversary of the release of one of Spike Lee’s most recognized movies, “Do The Right Thing.”

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 9.49.05 AM

Spike has been known for several films throughout the years that have enlightened the world on the racial divide in the USA. He depicts stories and experiences that are timeless and remain current –  just look at  the everyday news incidents of today.

Well done, Spike for waking up the world and letting us all be aware that the planet will one day grind to a halt without Universal Love.

This is also the 15th anniversary, since the death of Zimbabwe’s national hero, Joshua Nkomo; the man that might have made a difference in the southern African country’s future.

In regards to other special events: Mike Tyson’s birthday is today. You should go out and read his awesome autobiography: Undisputed Truth.

Also our dear friend and business associate, Cassandra Goins, “Happy Birthday,” girl.

And last but by no means least, Sister Faybienne Miranda, whose earth day is today but passed late last year. Protection to you family continually, dear.

Farewell Mother Sister

Hail Mi Irieites,

Let’s take a minute to pause and remember Ruby Dee – civil rights activist first and actress second.

Dee and her late husband Ozzie Davis were well-known civil rights activists.  She was a member of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the NAACP, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Delta Sigma Theta sorority and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Both Dee and Davis were both friends of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, with Davis giving the eulogy at Malcolm X’s funeral in 1965. In 1970, she won the Frederick Douglass Award from the New York Urban League. In 1999, Dee and Davis were arrested at the headquarters of the New York Police Department, protesting the police shooting of Amadou Diallo.

Steel Pulse were honored to share a moment where our lives intersected – through Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing.

Bless you Mother Sister… R.I.P.

 

Farewell, Dr. Maya Angelou

Hail Mi Irieites,

As we celebrate the life of Dr. Maya Angelou, we must cherish her strength, her voice, and her commitment to justice.  The news of her death was, in her own words, “expected, but still unwelcome.”

And so it is with all leaders of the Earth. Their passing leaves a hole in the world, one that is never quite filled.

The title of her most famous work -  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings comes from a poem by Paul Dunbar, the son of parents who had known the injustice of slavery:

I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,
When he beats his bars and would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings –
I know why the caged bird sings.

It is easy to let the desperate troubles of the world drag us down, but Dr. Angelou is an inspiration for us all to never get weary – doing Jah Work.

Here she is with Malcolm-X in Ghana all those years ago:

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 3.59.14 PM

And here are a few quotes from this Queen of the Arts:

  • “I still get excited about any human being speaking or singing.”
  • “There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you.”
  • “Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”
  •  “When I am writing, I am trying to find out who I am, who we are, what we’re capable of, how we feel, how we lose and stand up, and go on from darkness into darkness. I’m trying for that. But I’m also trying for the language. I’m trying to see how it can really sound.”
  • “The main thing in one’s own private world is to try to laugh as much as you cry.”
  • “All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, which tells us that we are all more alike than we are unalike.”
  • “The best candy shop a child can be left alone in is the library.”
  • “I make writing as much a part of my life as I do eating or listening to music.”
  • “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
  • “If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love.”

We were truly blessed to have had her here fighting for us all.  The caged bird is free at last.  Farewell, and rise!

A Portrait of Malcolm X on his 89th Earthday

malcolmbydavid

Yes Mi Irieites,

Here it is as promised, a portrait of Malcolm X, finished in time for what would have been his 89th birthday. If you have been following this, I had put up the preliminary sketch Feb 21st 2014 and did promise to have something presentable for this day.

I know I will get a few slagging offs from those who are defensive about this individual, but that is how life rolls sometimes. Just enjoy that I’m enjoying getting into other areas in my leisure time.

“Put away the misconception
That he came to teach us hate
So wake up from your sleep and slumber
Wake up before its too late”

In the meantime, Steel Pulse gives a shout to others born on this day May 19th: Grace Jones and Rohan “The Coffee Man” Marley.

And guess who I shall be painting next…

Bless!

R.I.P. Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Hail Mi Irieites,

Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 7.51.29 AM

Sometimes the art of the writer creates a world bigger, bolder, and brighter than the one we live in.  Such was the case with Gabriel Garcia Marquez – the Colombian exile who was first a journalist and then one of the greatest writers who ever lived.  What impresses me most is his commitment to the truth and speaking the truth for all.  It was Marquez who said that he wanted governments to care about poor people, and that was what he was looking at when he evaluated a nation’s soul.  He made friends in high and low places, uniting people across the planet through the shared love of his art. That was his greatest achievement, and that is what artists have always aspired to. You will live forever, Gabo.

Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 7.52.00 AM

Here is the last fragment from One Hundred Years of Solitude: “… races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth.”

I confess I must read more of his work, as should we all. “Love and justice through literature” – that was Marquez.