Monday, June 29, 2009

N.E.R.D. get the plug pulled on them at the Glastonbury Festival (UK)

Summer news. The organisers of Glastonbury Festival pulled the sound on N.E.R.D. The band were an half hour late starting their performance (June 26). But band leader Pharrell Williams told the audiance the band would play the full set. That didn't happend. Read the full story here

N.E.R.D is an American rock, funk and hip hop band of Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo. The Glastonbury Festival in the UK is the biggest outdoor festival in the world.

N.E.R.D made a video about the economic crises called Sooner or Later. The sound is so European.

Sooner or later

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ital food: Eating vegetarian like a Rasta man

In urban city life vegetarian food with a touch of spirituality is seen as food for tree huggers only. But vegetarian Ital food of Rastafarian roughnecks of Jamaica is – of course – a different story.

Since I watched the video of London chef Hassan Defour going back to his Caribbean food roots and meeting Rasta farmer Iral Axum, I am interested in being a little bit green.

So what is Ital food? Is is just health food or more?
Ital is a term used by Rastas, derivated from "vital", who means a natural and sane way of life. One aspect of Ital is the Ital food: because the body is a temple, you should not eat unpure food. Also you must take care of your body, cause it is Jah creation.

Ital is generally a vegan diet, even if some Rastas eat fish. Some prohibit salt, some not.

In all cases, Ital prohibits pork, preservatives, chemical ingredients.
Ingredients have to be the most natural possible.

In Jamaica, Ital cooking is most often inspired from Indian and African cooking. But lot of recipes can be "Italized" if prepared only with vegetables and natural ingredients. (Rasta meal.)

The video

See more videos at UK

In the video Iral made a shake called ‘Live forage’, it's made of:
Raw oats
Sesame seed
Pumpkin seed

(It tastes very sweet!)

To end, some recipes links and comments

Ital on Wikipedia

Earthcultureroots - 24 Ital recipes from a Yard man (Jamaican). But there is much more to see on the site Earth Culture Roots

Rastafarism - More then ital 10 recipes, information about Rastafarism and a dictionary of Rasta slang.

Jamaican Vegetarian Food…Ital! Jamaican-recipes - 5 Ital recipes, some anecdotes and Rasta wisdom from a Jamaican

The Rasta Cookbook: Vegetarian Cuisine Eaten With the Salt of the Earth

The dread library "Ital is Vital"- A long interesting story about Ital food with recipes from The Rasta Cookbook. If you want check out the recipes first, go the last page and scroll up!

The reggae vibe - 1 recipe! Ital stew

Rastaseed – information about the Ital ingredients

Dem belly full: the evolution of ital food - An article about the Ital eating habits of Bob Marley

Where's the Revolution? - A vegetarian food experience in the Caribbean

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson is dead

Michael Jackson, the show-stopping singer whose best-selling albums -- including "Off the Wall," "Thriller" and "Bad" -- and electrifying stage presence made him one of the most popular artists of all time has died. Michael Jackson, August 29 1958 – June 25 2009, became 50.

Rest in peace and thanks for the music and the memories.

This is my pick too.

Man In The Mirror 2

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dutch commemoration of the abolition of slavery in Amsterdam

On July 1, 2009, the Dutch institute for slavery history, NiNsee, will organise for the eighth consecutive year the National Memorial of the Dutch Slavery Past. On July 1, 1863 slavery was abolished in the former Dutch colonies of Suriname and Netherlands Antilles. Thus ended a period of more than 200 years of slavery in the colonies. This part of Keti Koti (broken chains) includes the formal commemoration at the monument in the Oosterpark in Amsterdam.

This memorial has now developed into a ceremony with speeches by ministers on behalf of the government, the mayor of Amsterdam, representatives of the Ghanaian, Surinamese, Antillean and Aruban governments. The ceremony will begin at 10:45 to 12:30, from 14:30 to 18:30 there will be live performances

Keti Koti program Amsterdam (Dutch)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sade prepares comeback after nine years

Sony records reports that Sade is working on the release to the long-awaited follow-up to 2000s “Lover’s Rock.”

According to Sony Sade is in the studio now, with plans to release an album by the end 2009. A source from the label told Billboard, “She is in the studio and the album will come when it is ready. You don’t wait for years for one and then rush it.”

Sade became famous with the album Diamond Life in 1984. With songs as Smooth Operator, Cherish The Day en Your Love Is King.

In 2002 Sade received the title Officer of the Order of the British Empire, she dedicated the title to all Afro-British woman.

The Sweetest Taboo (Diamond Life, 1984), performed live in 2001.

By your side (Lovers Rock, 2000), performed live in 2001.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Esperanza Spalding on tour in Europe 2009

American Jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding will be touring Europe from July 7th to August 8th 2009. She will be in France (Vannes Jazz Festival), Portugal, The Netherlands (North Sea Jazz), Spain, Italy (Venice Jazz Festival)and Germany (KulturArena).

If “esperanza” is the Spanish word for hope, then bassist, vocalist and composer Esperanza Spalding could not have been given a more fitting name at birth. Blessed with uncanny instrumental chops, a multi-lingual voice that is part angel and part siren, and a natural beauty that borders on the hypnotic, the 23-year-old prodigy-turned-pro might well be the hope for the future of jazz and instrumental music. (The Seattle Times.)

Spalding grew up in the King neighborhood of Portland (USA), Oregon, a neighborhood she herself describes as "ghetto" and "pretty scary." Her mother, who raised her and her brother as a single parent, was an independent, industrious woman. (read more @

Esperanza Spalding Myspace

Esperanza Spalding LIVE at The White House

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

African Americans versus Afro-Caribbean and African immigrants

A post about a flick called the 'The Neo African Americans' on the blog Shadow and Act, reminded me of an article about an African-American Harvard graduate who found out that a high percentage of 'blacks' on Harvard where from Africa and the Caribbean.

Since she was also the director of the American Association for Affirmative Action, she wanted to know how black immigrant students would fit in that goal of correcting American racial injustices.

In the story entitled 'Among Black Students, Many Immigrants' African-American students were quoted: " Last month, a Harvard Black Students Association message board asked, "When we use the term 'black community,' who is included in this description?" A lively debate ensued, with some posters complaining that African students were getting an admissions boost without having faced the historical suffering of U.S. blacks."

I think this will always be a problem. When the French NAACP, Le Cran, pushed for an investigation into the racial discrimination in France, immediately the French organisation of the French overseas departments (D’outre-mer) made the distinction that blacks from the French Caribbean Islands were different from blacks from Africa, because of their French status.

Maybe it’s time to look at what binds black people from the different countries. Is it race, skin colour, racism, being studied, music, sports, black experience, black men versus black women, slavery, colonialism, segregation, freedom, immigration, identity, selling out, bleaching, crime, ghetto, poverty, struggle, giving back, diaspora, rising, black history, Africa, Caribbean, US, Europe, dislocation, crises, war, Afro, protest, revolution, being the first … ? To be honest, I don’t know.

The documentary ' The Neo African Americans' shows the different shades of black. In a way, a cliché.

African American & Caribbean American​​​, a ​ conversation between African American vlogger Jouelzy​​​ and Hatian American Nathaly.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Why do black urban children in Amsterdam Bijlmer play classical music?

On June 11th black urban kids from the Amsterdam district Bijlmer in The Netherlands performed in the Amsterdam Concert Hall. In a orchestra they played on violins, tuba’s and bassoons. The idea is called the ‘Leerorkest’ (learning orchestra) and it’s a huge success.

Five years ago when the director of the local music school, Brazilian Marco de Sousa, started searching for a violin instructor he was asked: Why do you need a violin teacher in the Bijlmer? He replied, children's enthusiasm for something that they normally would never touch. Not because children are from Africa it means that they are more connected to a djembe then to a bassoon. Sousa:” Children have a different view. They choose for a bassoon because it’s funny and for a tuba because it’s big.”

In the Amsterdam Bijlmer children of three primary schools are getting music lessons on violins, tuba’s and bassoons. De Souza, saw that black children were not coming to the music school, so he decided to take the music school to them.

De Souza: "The number of children that attends the music school is very small. In Amsterdam only 4.5 percent of children attends a music school, in neighbourhoods such as the Bijlmer it’s about 2.7 percent. "De Souza know why:" Music costs money, books should be purchased, and a child must be brought and be picked up. " Many parents don’t want to make that effort.

Five years ago De Souza began a pilot with forty students, now four hundred children in the Bijlmer play a classical music instrument. The lessons are given in primary schools: "Everyone in the class chooses an instrument. Then the children get compulsory music lessons from a professional musician, one hour every week. Four years in school group five to eight." In the Netherlands it’s in the age from 8 to 12years old.

Child and instrument are carefully linked together. "We start with a visit of a rehearsal of Dutch Philharmonic Orchestra," says De Souza. This is followed by a workshop where children can speed date with a few instruments. After four months, the final choice is made.


In 2002 cellist Julian webber wrote in the Telegraph in the an article entitled 'Who says classical music is for whites only' that there will be no improvement in musical education until the myth that classical music is white, middle-class and elitist has been debunked.

Webber: “What chance does a young British black child have of coming to know classical music? In many urban primary schools, they would be lucky to find two sides of a triangle in a back cupboard.

It may seem an obvious question, but how can anyone like any kind of music if they never hear it? White people decided that they liked MOBO - music of black origin - (jazz, rock and roll, r'n'b) because they had easy access to it - and they particularly liked it when it was "legitimised" by one of their own colour. To interest black people in classical music, we need more young black role models like the organist and conductor Wayne Marshall. Our present system is not designed to produce them.”


The idea of music education in primary schools isn't new. In Germany it's called 'Jedem Kind ein Instrument' (An Instrument for Every Child).

Keeping it real?

You may ask why black children are learning classical music? We have are own music tradition. So why can’t they play Caribbean or African music or just rap. From a black socio political point of view you may even think it looks like an attempt to ‘civilize’ black children with Bach.

In an interview award winning Dutch Black Cellist Steven Bourne was asked why he played chello. “ My parents, who are from Surinam Caribbean origin, just wanted me get to get in touch with other cultures. They listen to Caribbean music, but they also liked classical music. “ Bourne is the 19 year old winner of the Avond van de Jonge musicus (Evening of the young musician) of 2008. His sister is also a talented piano player.

But the real answer came from the young musicians of the Leerorkest. “You just feel terrific when you play contrabass. Because this is biggest instrument of the orchestra. “ And, "I feel the music. And I realise that I can do that."

Classical music is not Hip Hop or pop, but for black kids it’s a way to look beyond of what is perceived to be black. And maybe that's a part of growing up in Europe.

Read the article Daten met een tuba (Dutch)

See Steven en Daniëlle Bourne play sonate for cello and piano of Debussy, lente, sostenuto e molto risoluto.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Singer Juliana de Aquino dies in Air France plain crash

The blog Afro Brazil America reported that the Brazilian musical singer Juliana de Aquino is one of victems of the flight 447 Air France disaster. Since 2003 she lived in Germany, where she had a succesfull music career

Born on the 2nd of march in Brasilia- Brasil. Juliana de Aquino started at the age of 4 her musical education. She studied piano at IMDF, musical singing with maestro Marconi Araujo and classical singing with Aeda Moreira and at Universidade de Brasília. She also took part at singing workshops with Richard Lissemore and acting workshops with Steve Markusfeld.

After playing many roles in Brasil, Juliana de Aquino had the opportunite to take part at the german production of " The Lion King" in Hamburg from 2003 till 2007.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

French black soldiers excluded in ‘whites only’ liberation of Paris

Remember the old world war II pictures of the liberation of Paris in 1944, and troops marching on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées Paris? There were no black soldiers there. They should have marched in Paris, but papers unearthed by the BBC reveal that British and American commanders ensured that the liberation of Paris on 25 August 1944 was seen as a "whites only" victory.

It’s the story Tirailleurs Senegalais (Senegalees Riflemen). The BBC's Document programme has seen evidence that black colonial soldiers - who made up around two-thirds of Free French forces - were deliberately removed from the unit that led the Allied advance into the French capital.

By the time France fell in June 1940, 17,000 of its black, mainly Tirailleurs Senegalais lay dead. Many of them were simply shot where they stood soon after surrendering to German troops who often regarded them as sub-human savages.

Their chance for revenge came in August 1944 as Allied troops prepared to retake Paris. But despite their overwhelming numbers, they were not to get it.

The leader of the Free French forces, Charles de Gaulle, made it clear that he wanted his Frenchmen to lead the liberation of Paris.

American General Frederick Morgan Allied High Command agreed, but only on one condition: De Gaulle's division must not contain any black soldiers.

Because the French couldn’t form an all white division, they filled the gaps with soldiers from parts of North Africa and the Middle East.

Leopold Sedar Senghor, who in 1960 became the first President of independent Senegal, had served in the Tirailleurs Senegalais and was a POW during WWII. He wrote the poem "Slam par Manu", which is cited in video below

The Tirailleurs Senegalais also occupied the German Rhineland after World war I. Their mixed German children, known as the Rhineland children, fell victim to the Nazi regime.

The story of the Tirailleurs Senegalais is a constant reminder that black history is everywhere.

Paris liberation made 'whites only'
The tirailleursafricains blog

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fela Kuti art exposition in London

Album sleeves, Pop Art and Fela Kuti, that's the theme of the art exposition that will start from Mon 8 June to Mon 6 July. Place, London UK.

It's the exposition of artist Lemi Ghariokwu’s who's colourful paintings were found wrapped around the music of Nigeria’s most charismatic and notorious musician, Fela Kuti. Lemi’s distinctive images of Africa – angry, sexy, cheeky, righteous – were known and owned by hundreds of thousands of people across three continents.

This new exhibition brings together the best of Lemi’s work and reveals how creative and repressive movements in 1970’s Lagos helped give birth to the Afrobeat phenomenon.

Art's Own Kind, the Blog about the expo. With interesting information about Fela Kuti.

The Fela Kuti project

Fela Kuti = Black President

Friday, June 5, 2009

Obama visits the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany

President Obama says the Buchenwald concentration camp "is the ultimate rebuke" to those who deny the Holocaust.

Obama visited the Nazi camp where 56,000 people died. He toured the memorial with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and survivor and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel. They laid roses at a memorial.

Obama said people today have a duty to confront those who deny such concentration camps existed.

Obama told reporters that his great-uncle helped liberate a nearby satellite camp, Ohrdruf, just days before other U.S. Army units overran Buchenwald. Obama says his great-uncle returned from war and was unable to speak of the horrible scene.

Obama says the victims and the perpetrators of the camp alike were humans and everyone must stand guard against a repeat.

On the Afro-German blog Black NRW you can find some interesting video's and links about that part of German history - Präsident Obama Rede in der Gedenkstätte Buchenwald am 5. Juni 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Onyewu wants ‘public excuses’ from Van Damme for racist insults

Oguchi Onyewu is an American soccerplayer who plays for the Belgian prime league club Standard Liège. Jelle Van Damme is a Belgian player who plays for the other big Belgian club, RSC Anderlecht. Oguchi Onyewu lodged a complaint against Jelle Van Damme for racial insults on the soccer field. This a sad first one for Belgium. On the 21sty of May during a match between RSC Anderlecht and Standard Liège Jelle Van damme called Onyewu ‘dirty monkey’ a first time, ‘monkey’ a second time and ‘keep crying monkey’ a third time during the competition.

Although Onyewu brought it to the attention of the referee, the referee decided not to react and asked Onyewu to keep on playing. After the match Onyewu said that since he has been playing in Belgiulm it was the first time he was confronted with such blatant racism. He told journalists he wouldn’t let it happen again. Eventually Oguchi Onyewu lodged a complaint against Jelle Van Damme.

According to Jelle Van Damme Onyewu also insulted him by several times repeating ‘sale Flamand’ (this means literally ‘dirty Fleming’ , hence has an insulting connotation in Belgian French). However, Jelle Van Damme didn’t want to confirm what he said on the soccer field and commented that it didn’t matter. According to Van damme during a match worse things may be said as emotions run high, players should be able to handle this things and put them behind them once the game is over.

Onyewu is going further anyway. According to Belgian law racist insults are illegal and therefore a penal offence. Onyewu says he is not lodging a complaint for himself alone but for all black players who may be confronted with racism on the soccer field. He wants to show a strong signal against the banality of racism in soccer competitions.

Van Damme risks a fine of maximum 2500 euros and even an effective imprisonment from 8 days to 2 months. For Onyewu public excuses are good enough. If Jelle Van Damme publicly apologizes for his racist comments Onyewu says not to go further with a trial.

In France, recently a soccer player from an amateur team in Northern France has been convicted for racism. This was a first time in France. On the 23rd of February 23 year old Maxence Cavalcante made racist comments against Senegalese player Makam Traoré. The judge convicted him to 100 hours of forced labour, a fine of 1500 euros to pay to the victim and 200 euros to pay to the League against Racism.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Street dance group Diversity beats Susan Boyle (UK)

Street dance group diversity has won the contest 'Britain’s got talent'. In the final they beat world's favourite Susan Boyle with a very creative dance act. Diversity is a troupe from East London - 11 boys aged 13 to 25 - and is head by 20-year-old choreographer Ashley Banjo. Banjo is the son of ex–ballet dancer Danielle Banjo and Nigerian ex-boxer Funso Banjo.

The dance group Flawles didn't make it to the final, but there where just as good. According the British newspaper Telegraph both dance groups brought street dance to the mainstream in the UK.

According to the Telegraph both Diversity and Flawless emphasise the value of hard work, dedication and cultivating their talent. They also hope to inspire others to dance, to fulfil their potential. As Anthony Duncan of Flawless puts it: "A lot of people don't dream any more. For so many young people, everything is today and tomorrow and that's it. There's nothing for them to attain. We want to put that back into people's lives."

Check out the video's of Flawless and the Dutch Groove Kings who competed in the Holland's got Talent contest.


In the Holland's got Talent contest, Groove Kings became third

Groove Kings semi final

German street renamed after poetess May Ayim

A Berlin street is renamed after the internationally renowned Afro-German poetess, educationist and inhabitant of Kreuzberg, May Ayim (1960-1996). Ayim fought against ongoing racism in Germany and was active in the women’s movement, she continously highlighted Germany’s forgotten colonial past. “This renaming also challenges people to deal with the close connection between colonialism and racism”, says Luise Steinwachs of Tanzania Network (TNW). “The renaming of Gröbenufer into May-Ayim-Ufer will not make the topic of colonialism disappear from the map”, emphasizes Joshua Kwesi Aikins from the Black organisation ISD, “but rather it provides a change of perspective in remembrance.”

Read the full story on Der Schwarze blog: Berlin-Kreuzberg, re-naming of street in May-Ayim-Ufer
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...