A College Education

24 08 2008

Hello everybody.

I’d like you all to know that I’m writing this post from my dorm room at San Jose State University.  So, new “headquarters” i guess you could say.
The topic of this post is Revolution.

A few posts ago I wrote about neo-soul. I liked the jazz, I liked the hip hop, I like the subjects that these artists were singing about. And then I started to really listen to the words of the songs I was feeling myself most drawn to.

One such song is Revolution by Arrested Development:

Brothers and Sisters
Let me share with you some news
As I sit on my plush couch watching the news
There has been a rude awakening
That I have marched until my feet have bled;
And have rioted until they called the Feds
What’s left my conscience said?
What’s left my conscience said? GO!

As I look out my window I can see the little ones
Playing amongst each other with the water guns
In pure poverty
Generations of good people in cycles of poverty
It bothers me so I ask myself (I say)
Are you doing as much as you can for the struggle? (No)
Am I doing as much as I can for the struggle? (No)
Then why do I cry when my people are in trouble? (Yo!)
My ancestors slapped me in the face and said “GO!”
Harriet Tubman told me to get on up!
Marcus Garvey said to me, bro, you get on up!
My brother malcolm X, need I say more
It ain’t like we’ve never seen blood before,
Come on, let’s talk Revolution, now!

(Oh, my people say, oh my brothers say, oh my sisters say, HEY! Oh, my people
say/ come on let’s talk about a Re-volution)

I seen blood on one Malcolm as one shot him
I see tears, because now it seems we’ve forgot him
I’ve seen years of people struggling for a solution
Like restitution; excuses, no more no more confusion
Come on, come on, let’s talk right
Talk up talk up, but don’t talk up up all night
There’s got to be action if you want satisfaction
If not for yourself, for the young ones (the children!)
The US, the UN, we can’t allow ya—
to tellustthe kidinthegetto isnotasimportantasthiskidin Bosnia [sic]
I ain’t with it; just forget it
We can’t even debate if you don’t understand our situation
You don’t want us to go get a gun now
You don’t like to see people runnin’ around now, do ya?
Yet and still you want to live like ‘90210’, while we scream out “Yo FREEDOM”!
My grandmother has a goal we have wasted
You best acquire a taste for somethin’ you never tasted
So people, let us wear our pallets
it’s either the bullet or the ballot; come now

Revolution now, (repeat chorus)

Now see, I understand what my people have said
They tell me to FIGHT— fight for the answers to our dead
For Harriet Tubman, MOVE organization, David Walker, the Black Panthers
Kwame and Kuma, Marcus Garvey, Jane Pitman

Listen to it, if you can, its much more powerful audio-lly.  So, I was listening to this song and I realized, “Revolution? What does that all mean?” and I started to wonder.   And wondering led me to realize how very little I know about my heritage, culture, history, my people and all that they have been and done.  Sure, everyone knows Martin Luther King Jr. And some people know Malcolm X.  But I want to know more.
So I’ve decided to learn, to teach myself, to read. Brothers and Sisters, Rena Todd is no longer clueless and ignorant about how own history.
I’ve got a list of things to research, and luckly I’m a half a block away from an eight story library, so reading is what i’ll be doing for the next four years while i’m in college.  Also, I’d like to say that I feel I can never hope to be a true artist and express who I am if i never learn about who I really am.  So this learning is also an expression for me, an effort to better my art.

Here’s what I have so far, feel free to comment and add anything you think would be beneficial to someone looking to learn more in the way of black revolution.

Zami: A New Spelling of My Name
Audre Lorde
Dream Factory Deferred
Takeshia Brooks
The Color Purple
[its a shame i haven’t read this book.]
Alice Walker
Alex Haley
My Bondage, My Freedom
Frederick Douglass
Black Indians
William Loren Katz
Civilization or Barbarisms

Shiekh Anta Diop




One response

24 08 2008
R. Lee Gordon

Nice piece . . .

And when there is a revolution in education, we can and will create an evolution for our youth . . .

R. Lee Gordon
http://www.uniteedesign.com / http://www.betterdetroityouth.org

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