The REAL Black Panthers

A lot of young folks nowdays don’t really understand what the Black Panthers were – and what they really stood for.

There is even an imitation “Panther Party” of about 10 whack jobs who have captured conservative media imagination – and not much else. According to conservatives the appearance of two of these guys on the street outside of a polling place in 2008 constituted “voter fraud” and was directly responsible for a black man being elected President. In a conservative world where 1 black person on a street corner is “trouble”, 2 is a “conspiracy”, and 3 is a “riot” – the emergence of half a dozen black “militants” is cause for 24×7 wall-to-wall fearmongering. “The Nigras is out to get ya!”

Like a lot of the folks involved in the 60′s struggles, the author of this piece evolved. Jamal Joseph is now a Professor – but he maintains his activism.

Black Panthers, Guns and Star Trek

I was 15 years old when I walked into a Black Panther office and asked for a gun so I could kill a white man.

It was 1968, Dr. King had been murdered. Ghettoes across America were going up in riots and flames and I was a fatherless, angry man child who had been called “nigger” and smacked around by white cops a few too many times.

I was an honor student, a choir boy and a member of the N.A.A.C.P. youth council. My adoptive grandmother, “Noonie”, did her best as a single parent to instill her Baptist Church rooted values of “love they neighbor.” I dreamed of college, becoming a lawyer or in moments of liberated imagination a star ship commander like Captain Kirk from my favorite TV show Star Trek.

I worked part time as a stock and delivery boy at the supermarket so that Noonie wouldn’t have to give me allowance from her tight income that was a combination of social security and part time housekeeping work. I would sweep, mop and vacuum so that Noonie would not have to do anymore bending or scrubbing when she pulled her tired, body up the stairs to our second floor apartment.

jamal josephNoonie and I were close. I loved and respected her. But she was 70 and I was 15 — and the hip, cool path to manhood was on the streets. The Bronx and Harlem street corners I passed and sometimes hung out on had gangs, drugs, craps games, fights, hustlers, foxy ladies and patrolling cops that had to be eluded even when you were doing no wrong. The teens and men who held court there were living examples of how to walk, talk, swagger and fight your way into the manhood ranking system of being a “cool”, “bad” or “crazy dude” — which was highest honor.

The corners also had “warrior prophets” who talked about Black pride, progress and revolution. Some would be respected “bad” and “crazy” dudes who had gone to prison or to the Vietnam War and came back with something they called “Black Consciousness.” They critiqued drugs, hustling and violence as tools of oppression. They not only gave the corner contrast — they gave it context, and I was fascinated!

The evening news was filled with images of civil rights marchers and anti war protestors being beaten and tear gassed by Cops and National Guard Troops. Black Militant leaders like H.Rap Brown would appear on the news urging armed self defense and revolution. The Afros, dashikis and denim jackets the militants wore became the style of the day from schools to the street corners. We wore our Afros and dashikis to church, marches and N.A.A.C.P. meetings. The elders frowned but tolerated us with memories of the “wild styles” they wore when they were young. Continue reading

Black Liberation Army Hijacker Caught After 40 Years

Considering the number of active criminals in the US – Sans the murder conviction, I’m not sure why spending time and resource chasing this guy down in Portugal after 40 years makes much sense (Where in the world is D.B. Cooper?)…

George Wright

Fugitive in hijacking case caught after 40-year hunt

Reporting from New York— The FBI agents wore swimsuits — the better to ensure they were unarmed as they delivered $1 million in cash to the hijackers. The criminals wore beatific looks, traveled with young children and were “polite as possible,” a passenger on the ill-fated Delta flight recalled at the time.

For one man, it was the perfect crime — for nearly 40 years.

But on Tuesday, the FBI said it had caught up with the last hijacker, a convicted killer named George Wright who had escaped from prison in 1970 and resurfaced two years later when he joined members of a radical black nationalist group in forcing the jet to fly to Algeria.

Wright, now 68, was picked up outside his home in Portugal as he headed to a neighborhood cafe, said Michael Schroeder, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service in New Jersey.

“Can you imagine?” Schroeder said, envisioning Wright’s surprise when Portuguese police, who had Wright under surveillance and were working in collaboration with U.S. officials, captured the fugitive. Continue reading

Sly Stone Homeless

Sly smoked all the money…

Homeless Sly Stone Living in Camper, Still Recording Music

Sly Stone

Sad news out of today’s New York Post: Sly Stone, the mastermind behind the legendary psychedelic soul-funk outfit Sly & the Family Stone, has been reduced to living in a van in Los Angeles, eating meals given to him by a retired couple.

As the Post reports, the musician born Sylvester Stewart has been plagued by drug abuse and bad financial decisions. Back in the ’80s, he sold Michael Jackson his publishing rights for $1 million, and last year, he filed a $50 million lawsuit against manager Jerry Goldstein, who he claims cheated him out of two decades of royalty payments. Earlier this year, he was arrested for possession of freebase cocaine.

Since his heyday in the late ’60s and early ’70s — when he scored hits with such songs as ‘Everyday People’ and ‘Family Affair’ — Stone has been one of music’s most notorious recluses. After a performance in 1987, he disappeared from the public eye, resurfacing 19 years later for a brief, head-scratching cameo at a 2006 Grammy tribute. He toured Europe the following year, but according to the Post, he’s now a “disheveled, paranoid” shell of his former self.

On the bright side, Stone has been recording new music, and while he’s hesitant to trust managers or record labels, there’s still a chance his new songs will see the light of day.

“My music is a format that will encourage you to have a song you won’t forget,” he told the Post. “That’s why I got so much money, that there are so many people around, and that’s why I am in court. Millions of dollars!”

“But now please tell everybody, please, to give me a job, play my music,” he added. “I’m tired of all this s–t, man.”

Sly Stone… Back?

New Album From Sly Stone: 'I'm Back!'Psychedelic funkmeister Sly Stone – Formerly of Sly and the Family Stone is back with his first album in over 25 years… This time on Cleopatra Records. Stone’s last release was in 1982.

Let’s hope in the intervening 29 years, that if he decides to take this show on the  road – he’s learned to show up at concerts where he’s supposed to play.

New Album From Sly Stone: ‘I’m Back!’

Psychedelic-funk powerhouse Sly Stone is back with his 13th studio album, I’m Back! Family and Friends. His latest album features collaborations with rock heavyweights like Bootsy Collins and the Door’s Ray Manzarek, as well as re-recorded Sly and the Family Stone hits, such as “Family Affair” and “Everyday People.” Sly also recorded three new tracks for his first studio album in about two decades.

Apparently the new Doo'!

I’m Back! Family and Friends is Sly Stone’s first album since he moved from his major recording label to Los Angeles’ indie label Cleopatra Records. I’m Back! Family and Friends comes out Aug. 16.

A little advice for our misguided President -

Ball and Chain

Some fun here! Got into a discussion today about 60′s music. Somehow, on YouTube, looking up a song, I came up with this -

Big Momma Thornton wrote this song …

Then I remembered Janis Joplin also tore this song up in her interpretation at Monterey Pop in ’67 -

This version by Etta James -

Funny thing is, Janis did it in respect for Big Momma… And Etta did it in salute to Janis.

 

Time Warp – Protest From the 60′s

A group called Black is Back proves that radicalism isn’t dead in the black community – although it may have been asleep for a few decades.The US swings from left to right and back again about every 20 years. Could this movement presage a general leftward trend? Or are these some folks that just never got over the 60′s? Dang! I gotta find that box I put my black beret and “Power to the People” T Shirt in back in the 60′s!

black is back

"Black is Back" Demonstration in Washington

African-Americans slam Obama in White House protest

WASHINGTON — Decrying Barack Obama as “white power in black face,” hundreds of African-Americans marched on the White House Saturday to protest policies of the first black US president, and demand that he bring US troops home.

More than 200 people gathered for the first public demonstration by African Americans against the Obama administration since his historic inauguration in January, and slammed the president for continuing what they described as Washington’s “imperialist” agenda around the world.

“We recognize that Barack Hussein Obama is white power in black face,” civil rights activist Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black is Back coalition which arranged the protest, called into a megaphone as the group marched outside the mansion’s gates. Continue reading

Best Slow Jams – 60′s

Lets get this one started with The Dells -

The Dells again -

Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 133 other followers