Friday, October 31, 2008

Quincy Jones says Vote!

.
One of Bronzeville's favorite musical heroes, 
Quincy Jones encourages all to get out and vote on November 4th.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What time is it? It's Nation time!....

Such moments... 
from the sadness of Jennifer Hudson's tragic family circumstances to the rising spirit of the Obama campaign...
But we can and we must seize the moment to make changes in ourselves and in our lifestyles. 

"We must be the change we wish to see in the world." - Ghandi

So much to ponder on the eve of a new beginning. 
Bronzevillian spirits must come together in prayer to change our lifestyles across America... 
to begin to refocus on education and re-committing ourselves to taking  responsibility for ourselves, our families and our communities.  

We must cease the celebration and comittment 
to being Bu-shetto 
celebrating  ignorant, penitentary-bound and dangerous lifestyles, 
be they in fashion, music, movies, bad language or thuggish behaviors 
and calling it our culture !  
It spits on the graves of our ancestors!

It is  time to honor our ancestors who fought and died for our ability to vote or be educated, 
to be able to read!  
Those acts need to be celebrated with a recommitment to excellence, achievement, mastery of our skills coupled with a willingness to be a part of the nation and the world's future innovations in science, economics, health, medicine and the arts. 
Barack and Michelle Obama have reset the bar of educational achievement not in a elitist way but with the understanding of the struggles of everyday folk as well.

"Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X

We must learn new languages, learn to travel and  begin to become educated about other nations around the globe.  For as we look at travels of Obama as he set on a country-wide and world wide  campaign tour, he has changed perceptions and broken stereotypes wherever he went. 
And the world has been loving it and him! 
His work speaks volumes and we must in our communities, rise to this  historic occasion to began to respect ourselves  as citizens.  
In our communities, homes and families, we have work to do.

"Up, you mighty race, accomplish what you will." - Marcus Garvey

We must consider that  as we have enjoyed the benefits of this nation, what we can do as citizens to contribute to making it a greater one.

"Ask not what the country can do for you but what you can do for your country" - JFK.

We can focus on leaving our  own racism and remnants of self-hatred in the past.... 
We can commit to making ourselves stop having a community that anguishes at the funerals of our children while ignoring the parts we play in their deaths. 
When we don't act as citizens to band with police to root out the drug dealers and criminal element that we know exists, what more can we expect? 
When we don't monitor our children or their lifestyles and begin to live as an example ourselves, why are we surprised when we hear our children curse, call each other the n... word and basically act as mirrors to the abberrant behaviors that we live and practice. 
As we  move to gentrify  (which means to improve and rennovate)  and rehab our homes and our communities, we must gentrify our inner selves as well.
Yes, children do as we do, not as we say..... 
so it's time for that hard look at that man and woman in the mirror.

As the world focuses its attention upon Obama and his potential leadership of America
the focus will expand to our communities as well. 
And as the world turns its attention upon us... what will they find?  
We can shape that answer. 
Be the Change.

Aki Antonia 10-08

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Carpe Diem!

12 days 2 go..... Carpe Diem!
For me... the wait is like labor... the contractions get harder and harder at the end
but it 's fine because it is the Birth of a New Nation.... 
the beginning of a new America..
the awakening from a long fitful sleep 
to the actualization of a multicultural, multiglobal Dream.
Barack Obama has not only practiced Carpe Diem 
but he has seized the moment in history... 
a profound moment of change
that resonates around the nation..... 
and around the world 
as loudly as the moment that was seized by Rosa Parks....

This is not a refusal to go to the the back of the bus,
but a profound moment to drive the bus 
into a new future for America and the world.

Aki Antonia - 10-22-08 c 2008 All rights reserved
Reprinted from my blog ONE NATION at:  http://obamainfo08.blogspot.com
ONE NATION is written to follow moments in the historic journey of  Senator Barack Obama.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Speaking 'bout the Blues..Lefty Dizz took me 2 School

by Aki Antonia
(click to enlarge photo)

Never used 2 really like the Blues. Thought they were 2 depressing.
All the songs sounded the same and it seemed like they were
all played in one key.
But what did I know?
I had never really listened 2 my own Blues inside.
Had tuned them out...
Had never really played the blues...
Had never really paid no dues...
Never really used to understand the Blues until I had the opportunity 2 interview Bluesman, Lefty Dizz for an article on the Blues in Jam Sessions Magazine.
He told me... one day the Blues was gonna sneak up on me and seep into my soul. Then I would really know how to play the Blues...
Then I would know how 2 play a solo that ment something.
Not just a bunch a notes played up against the right chords...
but a feeling.
He said the Blues is a feeling...

He talked about how he had sat with a young left handed guitarist named Jimi Hendrix and taught him a few things on the guitar..... Told me about how he would reverse his thinking 2 get low down and dirty on the left hand....
I got a chance to play with Dizz on a gig or two. Got the opportunity 2 jam with him and a guitarist friend, Dale Williams right there at the Checkerboard. What a joy! We were playin' the blues that night! He taught me 2 feel my way through. "Have a conversation with your melody. Make yo melody talk! He played me some examples all left handed and crazy.....
I swear the lines sounded just like English!

I learned 2 play my own blues.. to tell my own stories and 2 bend the notes in between...

Bamp! bampr! Bamp! Bamp!
Why u come home so late baby?
U might as well stay out all night long!
Why--aiiiii U stay out so late baby?!
U might as well stay out all night long.
Next time the sun catch u crying.
U gon' find out that I am gone."
AA lyrics c 2008

LC and Buddy Guy speak about the Checkerboard Lounge
Baby I'm Going Down to the Checkerboard!
Jam Sessions Interview
by Aki Antonia

I used to go in the Checkerboard on 43rd St. when Lefty Dizz was playing.
Yes, I remember Jr. Wells and Johnny Dollar would be hanging out and..........
Buddy Guy was always around lighting up the room with his big smile and his big sound.

One night in 1981.... the Rolling Stones... Lefty Dizz and Muddy Waters rolled into the Checkerboard and this is a little something from that night....
I was there! And they played the blues that night!
With Muddy in the House, class was over!
Yes, yes, yes!
AA100908