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If You Ask Me, I'm Ready - Stephanie ReneeDec 1, 2013
Opening my arms and my heart to the next phase of whoever I am destined to be
I am no fan of Drake, at all. And while I embrace Alicia Keys as my sister in pink and green, I don't consider myself to be a champion for her musical stylings either. But I have a lot of love in my heart for their song, "Unthinkable."
With all of the debate raging on Black Twitter and out in the blogosphere about America's fascination with the slave era and African servitude through the ages, it is damn near revolutionary for any artist of color to sing about the courage it took for their parents to cross racial boundaries to find love, make babies and live life on their own terms. Sad that this could be true in the 21st Century. Or at all, really. But millennia after The Big Bang, after dinosaurs roamed the earth, after The Big Flood and continental shifts, it's still news for people to stand up for themselves and their right to be, despite reproach from society and the vast majority of people with whom you come into contact.
150 years after Gettysburg and the Emancipation Proclamation, and this is still news, folks. This is STILL a subject that strains friendships, causes children to be disowned, and provokes violence in some circles. It is time to heal.
We need healing from this, and so much more of what ails us as humanity. Esperanza Spalding is making big news for using her musical voice to speak up about the injustice of prisoners held indefinitely without trial at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Women in Saudi Arabia are still fighting for the right to vote and drive a car. Haitians are being denied their identity by the government of the Dominican Republic and they live on the same frikkin island! Drone strikes, phone taps, starvation and deep poverty. In 2013. Still.
On this World AIDS Day 2013, when 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV/AIDS and nearly 200,000 of them remain undiagnosed, it is a reminder that we have far bigger battles to wage than policing people's personal choices and politics. To do so requires courage and commitment. Too often we cop out of the right fight because it's difficult and will take longer than two minutes to overcome. But it is what we must do if we ever intend to see a brighter tomorrow, for ourselves or our children. We have to believe it can be better and then we have to live our lives in that practice. In action. Righteous rebellion. For the greater good.
I may have stumbled a few times in the past in pursuit of these ideals, but I'm feeling far more sure-footed these days.
Ready, willing and able. Now, let's get at it.
Here is last week's playlist:
- Vanguard - José James
- All Matter - Bilal
- What's Come Over Me - Amel Larrieux & Glenn Lewis
- Freedom (Black Bag Mix) - Panther Movie ST
- We Are America - Esperanza Spalding
- Azucar Negra - Célia Cruz
- Winter Wonderland - Emelie Sandé
- Beautiful Liar - Beyoncé & Shakira
- I Love My Hair - Sesame Street
- She Was Fly - Full Crate and Mar ft Eric Roberson
- We Gon' Use What We Got - Darnell Levine
- Yo Little Brother - Nolan Thomas
- Spirits In The Material World - The Police
- Unthinkable (I'm Ready) - Alicia Keys
- Caravan - Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro-Latin Orchestra
- Pep Vim & Verve - Jeff Vincent & Andy Paley
- Black Heaven - Maysa
- I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun - Nuyorican Soul ft Jocelyn Brown
- Red Black & Green - Roy Ayers
- Black Nile - Gregory Porter
- Black Child - Tonya Marie Evans
- For You - CJ Hilton ft Tank
- Silent Night - Sharon Bryant