Wednesday, September 19, 2007

all of us, dressed in black

i got an email from stephen this afternoon, telling me that black folk all over the country are going to wear black tomorrow. (needless to say, i've got just the dress.) there is to be a march and a rally in jena, louisana -- and the organizers asked that everyone who couldn't attend dress in this way, as a show of solidarity for the jena six.

every black anybody that i contacted already knew all about it. unbelievable, the way forwarding email amongst us nowadays is basically like beating the african drum to pass along pertinent information. its moments like this one when i can't help but think that, in spite of what the media says -- and in spite of what we tell ourselves -- we really are much stronger and more unified than we seem to be able to grasp.

okay, i have to say it: all these bling-bling african-american millionaire knuckleheads out here on shows like mtv cribs bragging about their solid gold toilets and the swans in their expansive backyard ponds and all the tacky crap in their 50 room mansion and whatnot -- and who steps up with a $10,000 donation for the defense fund? david freakin' bowie. what's sad is that his gesture is probably all that most people know about what's happened.

i'm sure that a lot of people think that it's business as usual in the south -- like racism lives down there and no place else. sean bell would disagree, if he could. so would yusef hawkins. and amadou diallo. one would think that in these media saturated times, we'd be hearing all about the jena six. believe me, the world is watching -- and reporting -- even if most americans don't know anything about it yet.

no one will ever be able to convince me that there aren't two countries called america: one for white people and another for everybody else. we can drink from the same water fountain, we can use the same public toilets, but we can't get the same level of justice. now, that's progress.

well. if you want to protest tomorrow, here's a few suggestions:
  1. wear black. because absolutely everyone should.
  2. register to vote -- and then when the next election rolls around, get out of the house and do it, no matter what.
  3. sign the petition to the louisana governor
  4. sign the petition to the justice department
  5. call your congressperson. seriously, ring their phone all the way off the hook -- because this whole situation is nuts, and no one with any real degree of authority seems to care.
  6. better yet, email them.
  7. make a donation, if you've got it like that.
  8. and last but not least, mychal bell has been in jail for no reason since 2006, so if you've got the time (and an SASE), write him a letter
and if you want to know what the deal is, this video pretty much sums it up.

1 comment:

AJ Muhammad said...

I have a new found respect for David Bowie. I am not surprised that it is has not been reported as to whether or not if rich, Black artists/athletes have donated anything. Except for the usual suspects (Harry Belafonte or Danny Glover etc.) no other Black celebrities or artists/athletes seem to have a social/political conscience. It's pathetic. I read that there were supposed to be performances at the Jena rally and you know that it's jacked up that the biggest music artist was Lyfe Jennings. Fortunately we don't have get cues from Black celebrities to protest and show our outrage at racism and inequality because otherwise we would really in more trouble than we are now!

Still waiting for your post about performing at UpSouth. You know that Aaron Davis Hall/Harlem Stage is your second home... Got to see Renee in Color Purple in Chicago and she and the rest of the company were great!