Black Future Month // 2-28-11 // You are #blackfuture
Posted on February 28, 2011
Okay. So, I did my best.
Tried to give you a good cross section of some of my favorite folks – scientists, chefs, farmers, and yes, a musician here or there. I agonized some days to write the exact right words, other days I struggled to get any words down on paper (or rather up, in pixel), but you feel me. And though I did my darndest, I’ll be darned if I ain’t leave some folks out. Hundreds of folks I just couldn’t squeeze in. Five I planned on getting up, but couldn’t in time. Forgive me. Here they are in no particular order:
One. Tiffany “T Gooch” Gouche – Producer and Vocalist, Inglewood, CA
Tiff’s the leading lady of WoodWorks — an Inglewood based collaborative squad. We featured her fam, Park Circle, a few weeks back, and I wanted to make sure the extremely talented woman of the squad got her well deserved shine. If I were to pair her with a predecessor, it’d have to be Sheila E, for certain. Both are skilled across a few different instruments, take prominent roles in mostly male crews, and hail from exceedingly musical families.
I Can’t Touch the Water, T Gooch on vocals.
Two. Justin “Skywalker1nine” Bullard, Emcee.
My cousin. Easily my biggest daily supporter in Southern California. Engaged Father. Prayerful Christian. Nasty Battle Champ. Fan of animated film. He’s been producing short videos to plug his EP, out in a few weeks. If I were to pair him with anyone, it’d have to be our grandfather, David Hodge. Take Justin, subtract the rap battles, add a few church choir competitions, and there you have our late grandpops. Here’s Skywalker One Nine’s latest video:
Three. The ART of Teknique, Dancers
One of those youtube sensations that popped up on everyone’s page this month. When I looked close at one of the videos though, I noticed that one of these brown young men was rocking the Pinoy flag on his shirt. I hit up the homie @BambuDePistola and asked if we somehow knew these young phenoms of the parque. Of course we do. Of course they’re from Sacramento. Beyond the dancing, I’m including them for the ease of their cross cultural collaboration. Honestly, #blackfuture is bound to be this kolor brown — built in love and shared resources between black and Pinoy community. Shouts to T.A.T. and to their mentors in dance and rhythm, ever increasing the reach of #blackfuture and diaspora. Guess I’ll pair em with Rock Steady Crew, for that same cross-cultural collaboration, brought forth by each respective era’s youngest practicioners of Hip Hop.
Four. Jasmine Elizabeth Johnson, Scholar.
Jasmine is amazing. She got a brief shout-out on Valentine’s day. And then a few that were a little less than covert over the course of the month. I’m not trying to bust her out, but because I know that she’ll soon be as celebrated as she ought to be, I’d feel remiss if we didn’t give the future Dr. Johnson her propers. She’s a phenomenal scholar, who’s done most of her work under the auspices of UC Berkeley, but has also been in residence at NYU and Columbia in the last calendar year. When Jasmine presented at Show and Prove, NYU’s first symposium on Hip Hop Studies, she spoke on “What the Balance Held: Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu’s Negotiation of Black Motherhood in the Public Sphere”. Ill, right? Yeah. I promise you you’re going to buy her book. Very soon. If I were to pair her with anyone, I’d be torn between her grandmother, Dr. Raye Richardson (co-founder of Marcus Books, the nation’s oldest Black owned bookstore and printing press), and one of Jasmine’s academic mentors – a tenured professor, educational policy changer and diviner Dr. VèVè Clark, who joined the ancestors in 2007. Jasmine carries their legacies well, tucked somewhere in her everlasting smile.
Dear reader. It has been my pleasure to have rocked with you for these 28 days of looking at #blackfuture. I know that you are young, gifted, powerful beyond measure, sometimes other-ed and often overlooked. Today I acknowledge you, and the contribution you are already making to our incredible future. I hope to sometime soon, sit with you for a spell, watch you do your thing on stage, debate theorem, ride shotgun, watch your films, read your articles or perhaps crunch code with you (I see you Pimp C++). I’m glad to be of your generation. You do me so proud, even when so much of the world doubts your inherent acumen for all of this. But you laugh, and eat well, and grow strong.
Here’s two last media clips.
One, cause I think it’s bad luck to end February without it. and I know it’s been done before. Sue me.
Donny Hathaway sings “Young, Gifted and Black” Live.
And one for good measure.
Lupe Fiasco’s “All Black Everything”.
But come back soon, though. On March 1st, Thickwit continues our in-depth coverage of the whole wide world.