After posting the song “Q.U.E.E.N.” by Janelle Monae and Erykah Badu, and posting a video teaser, I couldn’t wait for the actual video to be released. These two amazing Black women are among my favorite artists. I’ve loved Erykah Badu since hearing “On & On” on an episode of New York Undercover in 1997. She had me at hello. I saw her in concert in South Florida in 2008; the best concert of my life. I’ve loved Janelle Monae since a friend sent me her “Tightrope” video a few years ago. I’m enthralled with her intelligence, talent, style, fashion and beauty.
The video for “Q.U.E.E.N.” is exquisite. Creative. Amazing visuals. Love the style and the fashion. Incredibly beautiful. I love the limited palette; the black, white, red, shades of grey and gold enthralls.
What really moves me is the combination of the visuals with the powerful lyrics. It’s everything. Some of my favorite lines include:
They call us dirty ‘cuz we break all your rules down…
This specifically makes me think of Black women rejecting controlling images (i.e. Jezebel, Sapphire, mammy) and embracing our full capacity to be dynamic, nuanced individuals, without boundaries and rules meant to control us.
Even if it makes others uncomfortable, I will love who I am.
Obvious as to why I would love this line. I also love Erykah’s line…
Here comes the freedom song, too strong we moving on…
And of course, there’s Janelle’s rap at the end, which I love. My favorite part of it:
Are we a lost generation of our people? Add us to equations but they’ll never make us equal. She who writes the movie owns the script and the sequel. So why ain’t the stealing of my rights made illegal? They keep us underground working hard for the greedy, but when it’s time pay they turn around and call us needy. My crown too heavy like the Queen Nefertiti. Gimme back my pyramid, I’m trying to free Kansas City. Mixing masterminds like your name Bernie Grundman. Well I’m gonna keep leading like a young Harriet Tubman. You can take my wings but I’m still goin’ fly. And even when you edit me the booty don’t lie.
Names We Call Home: Autobiography on Racial Identity edited by Becky Thompson and Sangeeta Tyagi
Names We Call Home is a ground-breaking collection of essays which articulate the dynamics of racial identity in contemporary society. The first volume of its kind, Names We Call Home offers autobiographical essays, poetry, and interviews to highlight the historical, social, and cultural influences that inform racial identity and make possible resistance to myriad forms of injustice.
coco chanel was a nazi
i say this with no hyperbole whatsoever
she literally worked for the nazis and benefitted from jewish shareholders in chanel being sent off to concentration camps when their share came into her possession
parisian consumers actually refused to buy a lot from her own ranges after 1940 because she was an infamous collaborator but british and american consumers kept on buying them and continue to glorify her
“And Shakur’s is not the only case of ongoing federal punishment of former black panthers. Perhaps the most telling example of all is the treatment of the “Angola 3.” As I noted earlier this year, former Black Panther Albert Woodfox, one of the “Angola 3,” has been in solitary confinement in Angola Prison for 40 years for the murder of a guard, despite the fact that evidence strongly suggests his innocence. Although a federal judge has overturned his conviction, Louisiana is likely to keep Woodfox locked up. He has been ordered free by a judge three times now, but remains behind bars. The only freed member of the three, Robert King, was released after 29 years in solitary confinement when his conviction was overturned in 2001. It remains the case to this day, as Mother Jones has reported, that inmates found in possession of Black Panther-related literature or imagery can been placed in solitary confinement. The reasoning is murky and prison officials point to gang activity as impetus to isolate inmates in possession of these artifacts. Critics of the sprawling U.S. prison system, however, have long highlighted how prison authorities react with draconian force to the slightest whiff of political organizing within prison gates — the sort of organizing for which panthers were famed. The possession of pictures of Assata Shakur has been used by prison authorities as evidence of gang involvement.”
May 3 2013
One day after the exiled former Black Panther Assata Shakur became the first woman named to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list, we’re joined by another legendary African-American activist, Angela Davis, as well as Shakur’s longtime attorney, Lennox Hinds. Davis, a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is the subject of the recent film, “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners.” She argues that the FBI’s latest move, much like its initial targeting of Shakur and other Black Panthers four decades ago, is politically motivated. “It seems to me that this act incorporates or reflects the very logic of terrorism,” Davis says. “I can’t help but think that it’s designed to frighten people who are involved in struggles today. Forty years ago seems like it was a long time ago. In the beginning of the 21st century, we’re still fighting around the very same issues — police violence, healthcare, education, people in prison.” A professor of criminal justice at Rutgers University, Hinds has represented Shakur since 1973. “This is a political act pushed by the state of New Jersey, by some members of Congress from Miami, and with the intent of putting pressure on the Cuban government and to inflame public opinion,” Hinds says. “There is no way to appeal someone being put on the terrorists list.”