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A Luta Continua (The Struggle Continues)Jun 30, 2013
Celebrating independence, but recognizing that the fight goes on
Half of 2013 is over, folks, and we are here on the verge of the final holiday of the summer season before Labor Day marks the end of the extended fun and back to business. Of course, Independence Day is a bitterweet commemoration for all people of color--indigenous and immigrant. All of the red, white and blue, stars and stripes, firework-laced patriotism reminds us too much of invasion, captivity, genocide, and the empty rhetoric that reads beautifully on America's founding documents. Here in Philadelphia, there is an even sharper sting to this holiday, as we can now visit the historical site where George Washington kept his slaves, in the shadows of Independence Hall, The Liberty Bell and the much more modern National Constitution Center. How do YOU define irony?
There are some people who ride hard for July 4, our cousins who are a little too convinced that they have overcome America's adversity and are above the fray at the bottom. Those people who paid little attention to the flurry of decisions that poured out of The Supreme Court's chambers last week, who look at you with a blank stare at the mere mention of the Voting Rights Act. I mean...between the 15th Amendment and the Emancipation Proclamation, black folks have been free for quite a while now, and those who are still struggling are just lazy and looking for a handout, right? While I enjoy the social nature of the holiday BBQs and cocktail parties, I do my damnedest NOT to engage those folks in any political conversation. Short-sightedness and flat-out ignorance of current events doesn't go well with margaritas and potato salad. I save that for the airwaves. For you all.
So...I hope you do have a great time with your extra day or hours off from work, with your loved ones and closest buds. But I also hope that you'll take in at least a few moments of news and public affairs coverage as well. Because while you're out partying, there are some folks hard at work trying to erode and undermine the liberties that your ancestors fought for, inch by inch or all at once in greedy chunks. And while you tune out the noise, 2013 can go back to looking like 1953 in a flash. Party cautiously, friends, and keep one good eye open. But it's not a matter of if they come for you in the night. They're already on the way. You've got to be ready for battle.
Here is last week's playlist:
- Summertime - Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
- Afraid - Amel Larrieux
- Sweet Kiss - Navasha Daya
- More To Life - Fertile Ground ft Maysa
- Pretty Brown Skin - Roy Ayers
- Don't Shoot Me - Take 6
- In A Sentimental Mood - Phyllis Hyman
- Ridin' The Rails - kd lang ft Take 6
- In The Heat of The Night - Ray Charles
- Feels Like Heaven - Kenny Vaughan & The Art of Love
- Welcome - Marc Dorsey
- Transient - Gaelle
- Easy Street - Georgie Fame
- Make Sure You're Sure - Stevie Wonder
- The Moment - Fertile Ground
P.S. A special THANK YOU to everyone who came out to our first-ever Diggin' In The Crates session at Warmdaddy's. Your feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we're working on scheduling another one before the summer is out. Kepp an eye out for further details.
And a special Rest In Peace to legendary athlete and martial arts actor Jim Kelly, who passed away on June 29. His kickass attitude seemed like the perfect avatar for this week's blog.