Once upon a poetry event, just before Saul Williams covered a Rakim song, he said, I'm not going to talk about Hip Hop, although I'd like to, instead, I'm going to toy around with evolving ideas. That practice informs my bloggery today. I don't want to write anything lengthy. Days 1-14 of BFM show I can write long. I want simply to say that I am interested in the way black women, the world 'round, relate to water. I have ideas about the way ...

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14 // Black Future Month // Love Transcends

Posted on February 14, 2012

A good deal of good folks transitioned to the other since this time last year. In my circle alone we've lost sisters, writing partners, best friends, children, mentors, and fathers. The time between this February and last have taken its toll on me. I don't think my grieving and coping mechanisms are all that evolved. I make art to deal. I'm dealing. There have also been a number of highly celebrated people who have transcended. They moved ...

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13 // Black Future Month // Chris Turner, Musician’s Musician

Posted on February 14, 2012

When I feel like existing on the short-sighted side of history, I joke that I was born 40 years too late. As much as I'm a Hip-Hop head, by virtue of timing, place and circumstance -- I feel like I'da been a better fit as a twenty-something in the late 50s, early 60s. I picture, me, front row, pining after Frankie Lymon. Me, front row, watching Fingertips for the first time by Little Stevie Wonder. Me, front row, when Bob and The Wailers were ...

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I held out as long as I could. I really did. But now I'm saying "uncle". It has been 12 days of Black Future Month-ing, and I have yet to talk about space travel. That goes against every fiber of my mathlete, meteorology summer camp, Great America Roller Coaster Tester squad, blue ribbon science fair geekery. Gimme a sec, lemme push my glasses back up my nose. Ahem. Space. The as yet undiscovered. The greatest equalizer, the yonder that ...

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I've been thinking about The Blues more than usual, lately. Been taken by the dry notes and stirred by the airy, breathy moments in between them. Been thinking about Houston and Cornelius and a roll call of unidentified bodies who struggled with their indigo, who let their cobalt get the best of them. For the future, I dream Black folks who look like themselves, who spell deeply on the nature around them, who sing songs to exorcise their ...

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Since Hova and Yeezy take the liberty of performing the track 13 times in a row, I don't mind doing two post in quick succession to think through it. Yesterday, I did a mashup of Baldwin's "Who's the Nigger" over the Niggas in Paris instrumental. Today it's a similar song. Before the album dropped, and we unanimously turned our gaze towards the throne, I saw the track listing. Niggas in Paris. (Excuse my french, but they're in France). I ...

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Theaster Gates is a conduit. One of those people who conducts. He carries energy most astutely, and when potential becomes kinetic, it's best to stand back. Sorta like how it's best to give impressionist art a few feet of distance. Again. This time simply. Theaster Gates makes art. and science. and philosophy. and pots. Theaster Gates is a phenomenal potter. He also designs sets. And mandalas. And sings the blues. And repurposes and resources ...

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The real attempt of this blog series, this whole Black Future Month campaign, is to try to kick start a conversation about the usefulness of this February tradition. If Black History Month is, as it can be, treated more as a holiday and less as a time for active engagement in historical study, a good deal of its potency rubs off. We wish each other a happy Black History Month, remind ourselves of a few rote anecdotes and regret to do the ...

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This is not a comparison post. I'm wary of that. I saw Alice Smith perform last night at Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles. The lady is a stunner. She's poised, graceful, down home, a little bit silly: a phenomenal voice at the onset of a tremendous career. Georgia raised, Brooklyn inhabitant, Alice Smith is the real deal. She's one album in, another's on the way. Her first opus "For Lovers, Dreamers and Me", stayed in heavy Nak rotation for most ...

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