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(written 2003)

"There are negroes who will never fight for freedom. There are negroes who will seek profit for themselves from the struggle. There are even some negroes who will cooperate with their oppressors. The hammer blows of discrimination, poverty and segregation must warp and corrupt some. No one can pretend that because a people may be oppressed, every individual member is virtuous and worthy."
xxxxxxx— Martin Luther King, Jr.

[Also read, The Power In A Name: When Called Upon By Someone Else]

First, let me say this... I am an extremist. Although we live in a society with other ethnicities including europeanz, there is no reason why we Afrikanz should allow them to join with us in everything we do. Can't we Afrikanz have at least ONE thing for us without YT bein' there?!!? So before you pass judgment, ask yourself, why iz it that everytime we have a function, there's at least one european amongst us?!

I write this piece in the spirit of author/historian/activist's Del Jones (Ancestor), and Drs. Franess Cress-Welsing and Neilly Fuller as well as the innumerable millionz of Afrikanz who perished during the Middle Passage, correctly called the Maangamizi — many mistakenly call it the Maafa not knowing this word is of arabic origin and we should all know the arabz have been just as, if not more involved in the enslavement and degredation of the Diaspora!

This piece stemz from a 2003 experience I had at the annual tribute to our Ancestorz who endured the Maangamizi held at Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York. I awoke to the vybrating heat of Ra (the Sun), with the sound of birdz spittin' the word for their flock. I arose still emitting high frequency charges from the subliminal movienite I attended the nite before. Needless to say, I was ready for what the day was to bring me...

I linked up with my comradz and ventured to Coney Island to pay respect to those Ancestorz who were physically sacrificed during the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean several hundred yearz ago. Little did I know my day would awaken me to somethin' just as, if not more vital than celebrating our Ancestorz...

Upon reachin' the beach, I saw from afar a mighty red, black and green flag waving, serving as the welcoming spot for the congregation. It was nothin' but luv, hugz, poundz and handshakes as I merged with the frequency. After watchin' a few poets spit wordz of truth on our legacy, I ventured toward the water.

" ...[T]hey further consolidate white nationalism under 'The New World Order.' They're talented in disrupting, destroying and dismantling other cultures. This fact has never been truly dealt with. In fact, they propagate that the highest achievement to reach for is global integration, while making it impossible to obtain."
xxxxxxx— Del Jones, Culture Bandits

As I began my trek from the boardwalk down to the edge of the North Atlantic, I thought my eyes were seein' white spots, because as I drew closer to the drummerz circle—where a congregation of Afrikanz were dancing and chanting encircling a collage of Afrikan drummerz, I saw a not so pleasant site... WHITE PEOPLE! YT to the left of me, YT to my right, sprinkled throughout! Some with djembe drumz, and many dressed in Afrikan garb?!

I've notice over the yearz, just like gentrification (whites moving into black neighborhoodz), europeanz have been showin' up in large numberz at events that are blatantly (and should be) exclusively for Afrikanz. Even at my magazine's 10th Year/100th Issue celebration a few came (they didn't get in though!) Dam yo, cain't Afrikanz have just one thing exclusively for ourselves without YT showin' up?!!? But this was only the beginning...

My spirit changed, it went from homage to defense-mode. I suddenly felt our culture was subtly bein' subdued and attacked and as alwayz, we were too asleep to recognize it! I've found this tolerance to be accepted amongst all events created around Afrikan celebrationz across the country. Over the past year or so, I started to realize a lot of our Elderz are passing on to the next level of life, therefore makin' us next in line in the realm of the heirz of our legacy, so it was not a coincidence that my vybe turned to "battle-and-protect" mode.

As the apparent distaste was evident on my face, a couple of my comradz spoke and grimaced as well, speakin' under their breath about the -ish we were witnessing. I was vexed and even after a couple agreed with facial nodz of "I know, this is wack, but don't let it stress you," I chose to let it stress me! As stolen descendants from Afrika, we were out there paying homage to our Ancestorz and the very descendants of the culprits responsible for this tragedy flocked amongst us willingly and practically impersonating us! They might as well been Al Jolson in Blackface 'cause this certainly was turning into a Minstrel Show, yo! Our culture was under attack and somethin' had to be done!

I tried envisioning what our Ancestorz woulda thought had they seen what we were allowing. Even though we were from various tribes on those ships, we understood one universal thought... we were bein' held against our will and it was these pale-skinned europeanz responsible! The rage that must've ran through their veinz long ago — seein' their mates, daughterz, sonz, brotherz, sisterz and elderz chained up and stuffed inside the bottom of the box like luggage on a Greyhound bus; watchin' countless Afrikanz, tied to large stones and dragged off the side of the ship, left as shark bate; the chopping off of limbz, armz and handz, the castration of the Elderz; all this used to instill fear so there'd be no uprising on the ships, and the trail of blood visually seen in the sea, the stench of death, mixed with a concoction of fear, not knowin' if you'd be the next example — began to race through my veinz. What would they do if they saw us appearing to let them be amongst us in remembrance of their tragedy? There is no mistake in my mind they would attack them 'pon sight!!

While there, there was one situation where an inebriated white female that walked in and out of the circle, botherin' Afrikanz left and right, yet everyone seemed to ignore her. Now, this woman was already possessed by "spirits" (be it drugz or alcohol), so I looked at her as an immediate threat to the vybe we were tryin' to build and honor! I noticed her peripherally from my left. I watched as she walked up to each Afrikan tryin' to get close and probably speak some nonsense. And of course, I was in her path. As each Afrikan stepped aside ignoring her, passing her off to the next like a hot potato, she began to walk towardz me.

I said to myself, "I ain't movin'! I'm not going to yield to this wicked spirit!" Sure enough, she came up to me and began to slur somethin' to me. I told her simply not to speak to me and to keep it movin'. Of course, as with any wicked spirit, they don't back down easily. So this woman continues to walk closer to me and this time, in front of me! Before she could utter another syllable, I raised my voice on purpose, "Yo, get the [Expletive] away from me!" I said it loud thinkin' otherz would see that you can tell YT what you really feelin'. But I was faced with a dilemma, see, she STILL didn't move!

She took another step toward me, this time she was inside my circle, about a foot or two in front of me. Initially, I felt I was within' my rights to check her chin, but instead, I mooshed her in the face, pushing her backward. She regrouped and began to walk toward me again, I clutched my fist, ready to defend myself, she saw and began walking away callin' me everything in the book, of course except the 'N' word (no matter how high or drunk she was, she wasn't that high to know she better not say that!).

After the small victory, I thought maybe the next Afrikan would be just as adamant as the woman continued to approach another Afrikan a few steps away. To no avail, I found no one took such action. Everyone else pretty much tolerated her presence by ignoring her. This is where I believe the mistake is made.

See, as we continue to ignore YT as they come to our sacred events, they seem to get the notion they are welcome. Although the consensus (based on facial gestures) seemz we do not want them here, very few-to-none, dare do or say something about it.

I can recall yearz back when I first noticed YT comin' to Coney Island for the ceremony. At first they stood on the outside of circle, as if they knew they could not just walk up and join the festivities. Nowadayz, they're wearin' garb, leading chants and even dancing in front of the drummerz, while we watch and do nothing. If we keep this up, in the next couple of yearz, they will be numerically the majority at our tribute! Now how backwardz is that?! A majority white collage of people payin' homage to our Ancestorz?!

Don't believe YT would try to take over? Need we yet another lesson?! Have not the theft of jazz, rock & roll, and their current takeover of urban lifestyle serve as evidence?! Makes me wonder if they'd actually be thankin' our Ancestorz for makin' it over here, for had they not, they wouldn't have the wealth they've had since colonization! But it didn't stop there...

As individualz made peace with our Ancestorz in their own way — some standing along the shoreline gazing out as far as the eye could reach, otherz dancing, as well as some standing in peace, praying — I noticed there were several white photographerz taking pictures. There were some amateur photographerz, but there also were, what looked to be, professionalz.

What really got me vexed was when I saw an entire film crew zoom in on many of us as we "ignored" the oppressorz descendants capture us on film — without permission, mind you! I mean, they brought out the big cameras as well as large stage lights! But this wasn't no fashion shoot, these were Afrikanz tryin' to have a moment with our Ancestorz, this didn't need to be filmed. What, they gonna put it on DVD and sell it back to us or somethin'?!

Standing next to a female friend of mine, our jawz dropped as we both uttered, "What da F___?!" These hedz are takin' pictures and filming, disturbing our vybration, without even askin' us if we mind! No one, I mean, NO ONE said a word to them, yet you'd see a look of displeasure on many faces. It was then that my friend was like, "yo, handle that!" It was as if Queen Tiye had summoned me for a mission. She emphasized, "that's what we need you Brothaz to do... defend us!" I realized, up until that point I was doin' exactly what everyone else was... NOTHING! Without hesitation, I headed directly toward the cameraman.

I asked him who gave him authority to come out here and film us without asking permission. He was shook, 'cause obviously he (1) didn't expect anybody to say something and/or (2) he probably thought every Black person wants to be on tv or print! Afterall, if you ask them, we were born to entertain!

Again, I made a point to be loud, loud enough that otherz would hear, so that they would no longer fear! After makin' a scene, I was approached by Muriel A. Stockdale, producer and director of New York Spirit. I directed the same question to her regarding her authority. I made it known that we all did not feel comfortable with them bein' here filming without asking and not knowing what the footage would be used for. With her fake soft-spoken, "I-don't-mean-to-harm" voice, she stated she had gotten permission from the creator and promoter of the Tribute to the Ancestorz, Tony Akeem.

Shocked that Bro. Akeem would have this entire white crew out here instead of an Afrikan one, she further stated she thought he made us all aware they'd be there, which I find would be impossible unless you disclosed this on the flyer (which it wasn't). She explained she was using the footage as a documentary on the different wayz people in New York worship and practice their spiritual belief system. THIS WASN'T ABOUT ANY BELIEFS! WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR ANCESTORZ IS A FACT NOT BELIEF; THIS WAS A HISTORICAL TRAGEDY OUR PEOPLE FACED! And as enlightening as her project may have sounded, their presence should not have been there, so in a borderline non-threatening way, I let her know it and advised her to leave.

Within a couple minutes, they packed up and left. Right after, several Brothaz walked up to me sayin' how they felt the same way, that they shouldn't have been here. I thought to myself, "well then, why didn't y'all say somethin'?!" But I couldn't be mad at 'em 'cause before my sista friend checked me, I was doin' the very same thing they were!

This made me immediately think about the 3-point program the elite white supremacist's put out during the 1960s. They noted that (with '3' being the highest and most threatening) any organization ran by men received 1-point; any organization ran by men AND women received 2 -points; and any organization ran by women received 3-points!!

It took an Afrikan woman to make me realize that we Afrikanz (men especially) need to standup and be the protector and defenderz of our culture we're supposed to be!! No longer should we hold our tongues when we plan events for our people. Today YT wearz clothes the way we do, try to act and speak the way we do, sleep with our women and men, and try to sing and dance to our music; again I ask, can't we Afrikanz have at least ONE thing exclusively for ourselves?! This will only happen once we demand it!

An important note for any of caucasian descent: if you wants to atone for what your foreparents did to us, you need not do it with us. You should have your own ceremony amongst yourselves, one-on-one with your ancestorz dishonoring the horrendous deedz they did across the globe! (although I seriously doubt this will ever happen!)

When Afrikan people decide to 'Never Forget' as the so-called Jew does, we will no longer allow them to be amongst us.

If you'd like to follow up on the status of the white group who were filming the tribute to our Ancestorz at Coney Island, the contact person is Muriel A. Stockdale, Director/ Producer of New York Spirit, Manech Ibar and Casey Fitzpatrick. Muriel can be reached at 810 Broadway, NYC 10003, (212)475.1875 | email:

In invite you to swarm them with questionz of their intentionz with the footage they captured. What do they intend to do with the profits, are they receiving some kind of funding/corporate support, and if so, how do they plan on compensating those used in the footage (without permission) as well as donating proceedz toward a monument honoring the millionz of unknown victimz whose bones are still at the bottom of the Atlantic!

As the next generation of vanguardz to the Afrikan legacy, we must overstand that if we continue to stand idle, YT will continue to colonize our culture just as they colonized Afrika.


[NOTE: To date, we were unable to get a response from Bro. Hakeem. We will surely post his reply if he respondz. If you'd like to contact him, his office number is (718)270.4902. There's one question you could ask him, why didn't he get a group of Afrikan videographerz to document this monumental occasion instead for ourselves??]

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• Brotha first let me commend you on your courage to emancipate and display your inevitable reaction to white supremacy. We brothas must understand our reaction to white supremacy needs to be expressed more and not relegated to stress that we must internalize and not deal with head up. i am proud and inspired by your actions. however, i believe we as a people have once again been duped! we have been tricked to commemorate the white man tricking us into being held as slaves for 2 1/2 years after slavery was supposed to be abolished! that is what juneteenth is all about when you look at the history of the celebration. we are celebrating the white man getting over on us for another 2 1/2 years of slavery after the emancipation proclamation. we are not commemorating the tragedy of the middle passage, that sacred day has not been implemented as far as i know. juneteenth was never about shedding light on the atrocities of slavery. It has always been a "celebration" for Black folks that did not know slavery was over 2 1/2 years ago because the beast never intended for them/us to ever be free to begin with. keep up the fight brotha! you have inspired more people than you will ever know. one love, tc
xxxxxxxxxxPosted by ( on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 1:46 PM

• Growing up as an African American drummer here in the US, I have witnessed that kind of activity even amongst ourselves. I have been told by other drummers that when they were coming up through the ranks and learning the craft, they were told by their teachers (Afro Cubans, Africans) that they are not to show or teach these things to white people, but if you do, water it down. Don't show them the real shit! These same teachers (including the Africans) began to contradict themselves and started teaching YT, more and more. I am not sure if they were teaching the watered down shit or not but maybe it was also a matter of "YT is willing to pay". I have always know that this was not their culture and always very resistant to want to participate in any activity that involves YT and drumming. I totally agree with you.

The pictures looks like the white folks got a hold of some Ghanaian drums and probably were taught a little Ghanaian style drumming. This is a very typical trend that has been going on for quite a few years. YT is actually saying that "We will go to Africa and learn a little about African culture, buy some drums and come back to the US and throw it into the face of the African American", thinking that it makes them authentic or we (who are not thinking and don't know anything about African culture) are not. Maybe some of us are not authentic because we have sold our culture out to the point where there is nothing left (another reason for keeping and developing our culture to ourselves). So when I saw the picture, it was nothing new to me. You are one of the first (maybe non-drummer) that I have come across that has mentioned this. Another excellent case in point is how YT has accepted the spread of the steel band culture into the Universities and Colleges across American. Most, if not all of the University steel bands are composed of white students. Most of the instructors are Trinidadian though. I could list some detailed cases but I don't want to be too long winded.
xxxxxxxxxxPosted by David Wilson (David on Wednesday, June 11, 2008 at 1:49 PM

• You've made a number of credible points. I have many thoughts regarding the use of expressions emanating from Black culture being used against the same (such as gangsta rap), and further appropriation of cultural expression that has garnered wealth for non-Black people (yts) as well un-discerning Black people. In the case of gangsta rap, it instructed the descendants of Afrikan (African) slaves on self-annihilation. The rappers had no concern for its destructive content and were only [saw] its potential for lining their own pockets. What about Black pirates? The style continues to be embraced by European capitalists who still make a great deal of money from it (gangsta rapping and ghetto culture), albeit derived from a differently complexioned source.

The unfortunate thing in all of this is that many black youth and others lost their lives because of the attrocious behavior patterns that are upheld in that type of banter. I suppose the point that I'm making is that we (Afrikans) have carved out a dangerous place for ourselves. We don't speak out on atrocity; we just sort of co-exist with it. We don't attempt to plan a better way of being, we just sort of go with the flow of what's currently happening (yourself in the case of the sister having to TELL you to do something and further, why didn't she DO something more than tell you?).

Black youth have traditionally driven popular culture. One unfortunate thing is that it goes unchecked (such as gangsta rap). Where are [the] responsible role models? The other is that Black youth are generally penalized for their raw, creative expression (profiled, arrested, denied an education, and generally ostracized). Then, three or four years later, yt youth acquire a reasonable amount of skill in the creative expression, enabling them to (appropriate) take charge of it (using what they've learned to star in commercials, produce their own groups centered around the creative expression, make a great deal of money on this now socially acceptable mode of behavior). They don't get profiled, arrested, denied an education and generally ostracized. When they take charge, it is considered clever. So what else is new?

As you imply in your article, Black people really need to STOP and take stock of our condition. After taking a look at what's really driving our lives, a course must be chartered and action taken. This leaf on the wind thing is kind of old is quite inadequate. Time for positive and productive CHANGE. The GHETTO needs to become proactive; that is, become intelligent, enlightened and EVOLVE. PEACE Trying to be with you..
xxxxxxxxxxPosted by on Wednesday, June 11, 2008 at 1:22 PM

• I LOVE YOUR Pieces!!!! Especially the one back about the Sean Bell Rallies and getting arrested. Your thoughts are so right, exact, on point, etc. I know arguments can be made about freedom to access, public space, civil disobediance, (RE: the Sean Bell community getting arrested nonsense), but when it comes down to it, really real, I feel and I know many others probably feel exactly as you wrote. Maybe folks will start to straigthen up their backs. One.
xxxxxxxxxxPosted by Miles McAfee ( on Wednesday, June 11, 2008 at 11:08 AM

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