Haiti: 4 Years After

Yes Mi Irieites,

Today, 12th January 2014, marks the 4th anniversary since the earthquake struck Haiti, killing more that 250,000 people and leaving over a million still homeless.

So far, out of the $9 billion US, that was promised by the “International Community,” only a small portion has been bestowed to the country, of which a good percentage of that went towards  emergency aid as oppose to reconstruction.   If it was not for the tremendous effort of the late Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Australia and the many small business’ coming from out of America, that have volunteered their services, Haiti would still be in the quagmire just as the day the catastrophe to place.  So President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Lamothe, still have a lot on their plates serving the almost 500 tent camps scattered all over the stricken vicinity.  Please excuse me for any countries that have made major contributions that I have not listed or we are not aware about.  It would be good if you the fans can give me an update on that.

4haiti

As you already know, that we have been supportive of the situation ever since by donating a song we wrote immediately after the incident while recording in Jamaica called, “Hold On [4 Haiti].“  This we’ve awarded as a digital download to raise funds for Partners In Health (PIH) to erect solar panels by S.E.L.F (Solar Electric Light Fund).  We were fortunate enough to perform in Haiti 2 years ago and visit one of the hospitals being supplied, 2 hours north of the capital, Port au Prince.

We thank you for being part of this…

R.I.P. Amiri Baraka: The Optimistic Revolutionary

“I believe you have to be true to people. You have to be writing something that people understand but, at the same time, something that’s profound enough to have meaning past, say, the six o’clock news.” - Amiri Baraka

Here, Mi Irieites, is a short list of his works; check Blues People if you have not already.

Born in 1934 in Newark, New Jersey, Amiri Baraka (Le Roi Jones) gained international stature as a poet, dramatist, essayist, and political activist. He became a leader in the Black Arts Movement in the 1960s. Much of his work considers the political situation of people of color in capitalist America.

R.I.P., brave soul, for speaking when most held their tongues. Our condolences to your loved ones and all who knew you as a friend.  In controversy you still made us think. Most of all, you were an optimistic revolutionary.

At the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean there’s a
railroad made of human bones.

Black ivory
Black ivory

from Wise, Why’s, Y’z (Africa Section)

In Memoriam: Faybiene Miranda

Hail Mi Irieites,

The Steel Pulse Family is consumed with sadness to learn of the tragic loss of Faybiene Miranda, the dear wife of our dear brother Cliff ‘Moonie’ Pusey.

mirandamoonie

Few could compare to her. She stood for all that is good – the love of words, education, meaning and yes, the future. She was a true revolutionary – full of love and hope for the next generation.  She was the godmother of my daughter – Shashamane.

Moonie, we can’t begin to imagine what you are feeling, but let us share our heart-felt condolences.

Take a few minutes, Mi Irieietes, to listen:

An Interview: http://www.reggae-vibes.com/concert/fmiranda/fmiranda.htm

Prophecy – her song was banned in Jamaica: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-phUA8P1wuw

UPDATE:

A Poem for My Godmother by Shashamane

You were my godmother
The one God chose for me
You brought kindness
And compassion.

You are my definition
Of perfection
My explanation of
Flawlessness

You will always be
My jewel and treasure,
My universe, My all;
My Godmother!

So inspirational
With little effort
A marvellous poet
A wonderful woman

My Godmother
Good mother
Grandmother
Great and adoptive mother to all

Because of you,
I will now find
New territories of
Self-discovery.

Sandy Hook Elementary Remembered

Mi Irieites,

Once again our prayers go out to the parents, friends and family of those that were brutally murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a year ago yesterday, in Newtown, CT.  We know this is a very touchy and delicate moment for you all as we approach this festive season.

The killing of the innocents continues. Keep Strong and let’s hope mankind can see reason, and that someday politicians put the safety of people ahead of profits for the industries of death and destruction.

Kenya at 50

Yes Mi Irieites,
KenyaflagThis day 12th Dec, 2013 the Diaspora also commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Independence of Kenya.

Kenya was declared a colony by the British in 1920 but was actually a so-called protectorate since 1895. From the very beginning the British had difficulties occupying this vast country in Africa that had millions of acres of prime fertile land.  As a matter of fact the first commissioner of British East Africa, Arthur Hardringe, stated at one point that “These people must learn submission by bullets.”

So from time to time there were revolts and insurrections, but the most memorable ones were that of the Kenya Land and Freedom Army (KLFA), better known as the Mau Mau, lead by Dedan Kimathi Waciuri.  This resistance group was seen as terrorists by the acting government.  And like our Jamaican National hero, Paul Bogle, Dedan was finally caught and hanged and placed in an unmarked grave in 1957.  Today he is revered as Kenya’s national hero.

The struggle continued with Jomo Kenyatta who took up the mantle to liberate Kenya.  In 1953, Kenyatta, better known as “The Burning Spear,” from whom the reggae legend Winston Rodney, took his name, was sentenced to 7 years in prison accused of being the leader of the Mau Mau.  This trial, where he was accused along with 5 others called the “Kapenguria Six” created a lot of media interest at that time.  Kenyatta was released in 1959 and went on to be the first Prime Minister and President Kenya in 1963.

May I say thanks to the efforts of the Kenyan people, in particular those from the Kikuyu tribe, Dedan Kimathi and the original Burning Spear himself, who we recognise as the “Founding Father of Kenya” to make all this possible.

“Radical to the bone”…….. Born Fe Rebel.

Centennial: Emperor Menelik II, Emperor of Ethiopia

Emperor Menelik II.png
100 years ago on December 12, 1913 Emperor Menelik II, Emperor of Ethiopia passed from the Earth. Emperor Menelik II, baptized as Sahle Maryam, was Negus of Shewa, then Nəgusä Nägäst of Ethiopia from 1889 until his passing.

COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM De slag bij Adua TMnr 5956-2.jpgEmperor Menelik II gained great fame and respect for defeating the Italian colonizers. The Battle of Adwa (also known as Adowa, or sometimes by the Italian name Adua) was fought on 1 March 1896 between the Ethiopian Empire  and the Kingdom of Italy near the town of Adwa, Ethiopia. It was the climactic battle of the First Italo-Ethiopian War, securing Ethiopian sovereignty.

Unfortunately, he was also the first black African King to engage in slavery of white European war captives held as slaves inside Ethiopia.

After defeating the Italians, Emperor Menelik II also expanded his kingdom to include areas that were previously not a part of his kingdom. He was also passionate about modernizing Ethiopia and introduced several western technologies to the country. After his transition, he was succeeded by his eldest daughter Empress Zewditu I.