Embracing The Retro in Retrograde
Oct 27, 2013

Putting the Sankofa principle to work, as we press forward

As the calendar prepares to move from my beloved Libra season into the holidays, we're dealing with the final Mercury Retrograde of 2013. Some people see this time as supremely bothersome, but I am embracing the idea of slowing down a bit and embracing the reality of revision and reflection as we cruise to the year's end.

Maybe my welcome approach to this phenomenon is because I'm a 70s & 80s baby. There was something profoundly electric about that period of Black culture in America. Between the boldness of "Black Is Beautiful" and the unapologetic outspokenness of early hiphop, I am a big fan of most things retro. I'm not trying to go as far back as colonialist Africa or New World slavery, but I do appreciate having a moment to review significant lessons of our more recent past as we make plans for future progress. I'm incredibly thankful for, and proud of, the team we have at WURD and the "get it done" attitude we operate under on a daily basis. It doesn't get much more retro than the heyday of Black AM radio, but we're reconceiving our approach to information and cultural delivery that respects our beginnings, but absolutely stretches that awareness into a more contemporary consciousness.

Several of my friends are waging philosophical protests against the film "12 Years A Slave," which opened in major markets this weekend, because they do not appreciate what appears to be a recent surge in media that focuses on historical Black servitude. I hear that, but I disagree with the premise. 12 Years A Slave is not the same as The Help, Django or even The Butler. It's drawn from memoir, rooted in freedom and self-actualization, and directed by a Black man with a stated commitment to realism rather than sensationalism. I see nothing but positives in the act of looking back in history to remember your dignity and your power.

So during this retrograde, I'm calling on the spirits of Tubman and Hurston, a dash of Ida B Wells, with splashes of Kizzy and Coffy mixed in. I want all of that fierce, intelligent womanhood to guide my thoughts and steps, as I prepare to strut into my next what-will-be. Bad, bold, and beautiful, baby. Can you dig it?

Here is last week's playlist: