Freedom Friday: The Global Citizen Edition

Hello Good People!

UPDATE:  I am glad to hear that Beyonce donated the payment to perform for the Gadhafi family to Haiti relief efforts last year.  I hope the other artists will follow her lead.  Here and here.  Now she needs to do something about those pictures.

So I know you have heard about Beyonce in black face in honor of Fela Kuti and her African roots in a Paris fashion magazine. *smh*  It also has come out that Beyonce was paid by the Gadhafi family for private performances.  I believe that these incidents are indications of a lack understanding/ knowledge of our history.

As the adage says, if you don’t know your history, you are doomed to repeat it.  This is why we still see blackface images in the 21st century.  The Boo, who is African, felt that the image perpetuates the stereotype that all Africans are dark skinned.  She could have well-represented her African roots in her own skin color.  I believe the best thing she could do to honor Fela Kuti and her African heritage is to learn about the topics.  Pick up a book or even watch a documentary.  Or at least have an assistant do the research and give you a debrief. SHEESH!  Is it art? Is it offensive? Depending on who you ask, it is one or the other.   I just feel this could have been a great opportunity to bridge and represent the African diaspora in a more powerful and positive way to the world.  Beyonce should have declined the black face.

Now I was taken aback about her performance for Gadhafi’s son.  It is well documented that Gadhafi and his family flaunt their wealth while ruling Libya under a dictatorship.   Now, I will give Beyonce some credit.  Maybe she performed when Libya’s good standing was restored under President Bush, and then US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice became the first Secretary of State to visited Libya since 1953.  And there are others who have applauded Gadhafi as a African leader who promotes pan-Africanism.  So as you see, this isn’t a black or white situation, which is why I believe Beyonce was just ill-advised.

Again, I believe this situation is indicative of a broader problem for Americans.  We don’t know our history.  Honestly, do you know why the people are protesting in the Middle East and North Africa?  Why unions are protesting in Wisconsin and Ohio?  How many of us know what are the top current events in the world?  Or maybe you just don’t care?  This is unfortunate because this impacts all of us.  And when you do start to care, it will be too late because politicians will have already made their decisions with little feedback from the people they represent.

I long to see a coalition of entertainers united for a cause producing thought-provoking songs  and mobilization such as “Self-Destruction“, “Revolution“, or “Sun City“.  Or more entertainers to speak up about issues impacting our country. However, I digress.

Unfortunately, we don’t look at ourselves as participants in the larger world.  Our world vision goes as far as our immediate circle and our block.  If we begin to learn our history, we can begin to view ourselves as global citizens.  We also will have a better understanding of our selves and the world around us.

How do you see yourself in your community, in your country and in your world?

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Put the finishing touches to the end of your work week with some soul at the newest happy hour to hit D.C., The Park Unplugged. Showcasing the nation’s best-selling artists, this week The Park Unplugged features neo-soul leading man Jesse Boykins III performing with the Sound of the City band.  Alsofeaturing sounds by Bronx native and former rapper/producer,  DJ D-Nice.

Friday, February 25

The Park

920 14th St NW

Show starts at 7PM

RSVP here

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Friday, February 25

LIV

2001 11th St NW

9PM

10 bucks

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Poet, playwright and activist Amiri Baraka will be at LIV this evening.  Baraka, born in 1934, in Newark, New Jersey, USA, is the author of over 40 books of essays, poems, drama, and music history and criticism, a poet icon and revolutionary political activist who has recited poetry and lectured on cultural and political issues extensively in the USA, the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe.

Friday, February 25

Bohemian Caverns

2001 11th St NW

2 shows… starts at 8:30PM and 10:30PM

Get tickets here.

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Intersections kicks off another year today.  Intersections, an arts festival at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington DC, features visual art, film screenings, literary readings and dance, musical and dramatic productions by more than 30 artists and cultural institutions. Check out the line-up and tickets here.

February 25 – March 13

Atlas Performing Arts Center

1333 H St NW

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In anticipation of the Oscars, AMC Theatres will host their annual Best Picture Showcase offering guests the opportunity to experience the movies nominated for the Best Picture Oscar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The 10 movies nominated for Best Picture will be shown on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011 at more than 113 theatres across the country. Select theatres will host a 24-hour movie marathon where guests can watch all 10 movies in one sitting! 

The nominees are: BLACK SWAN, THE FIGHTER, INCEPTION, THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, THE KING’S SPEECH, 127 HOURS, THE SOCIAL NETWORK, TOY STORY 3, TRUE GRIT and WINTER’S BONE.

Saturday, February 26
Select AMC Movie Theaters
  • AMC Hoffman Center 22
  • AMC Potomac Mills 18
  • AMC Loews Rio Cinemas 18
  • AMC Loews Shirlington 7

24-Hour Marathon

  • AMC Loews Georgetown 14

The Academy Awards® will be presented on Sunday, Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center® and televised live on ABC.

To purchase passes for the AMC Best Picture Showcase, visit here

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Tonight, enjoy some delicious tea and a book discussion on The Black History of the White House by Clarence Lusane.  In this unprecedented work, Clarence Lusane presents a comprehensive history of the White House from an African American perspective, illuminating the central role it has played in advancing, thwarting or simply ignoring efforts to achieve equal rights for all. Here are the stories of those who were forced to work on the construction of the mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and the determined leaders who pressured U.S. presidents to outlaw slavery, White House slaves and servants who went on to write books, Secret Service agents harassed by racist peers, Washington insiders who rose to the highest levels of power, the black artists and intellectuals invited to the White House, community leaders who waged presidential campaigns, and many others. Juxtaposing significant events in White House history with the ongoing struggle for civil rights, Clarence Lusane makes plain that the White House has always been a prism through which to view the social struggles and progress of black Americans.

Saturday, February 26

SiTea

6902 4th St NW

7-9PM

Free

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I think this is going to be a blast!  Salt-N-Pepa are repping for the old school set in 2011 and commemorating the 25th anniversary of their 1986 debut Hot, Cool, & Vicious.  The tour has a star-studded roster of veterans including Kurtis Blow, Doug E. Fresh, MC Lyte, Slick Rick, Whodini, Kool Moe Dee, Rob Base, Naughty By Nature, and Biz Markie.

Saturday, February 26

DAR Constitution Hall

1776 D St NW

8PM

Get tickets here

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Another session of the highly-anticipated People’s Party entitled AXEL F: Jheri Curl Funk and Champagne Soul 1975-1985.  There was an overwhelming response last January for the kick-off party with folks in full 80’s regalia and spirits high. Be sure to wear your curl caps!  On deck,  DJs Jahsonic, Stylus and Adrian Loving.

Saturday, February 26

LIV

2001 11th St NW

9PM

Free

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This sista can flow!   SA-ROC, originally from Washington D.C. and now residing in Atlanta, represents all that hip-hop is missing especially the intelligent and hard-core feminine principle in these mediocre times in hip-hop music. SA-ROC recently released her full length project entitled, JOURNEY OF THE STARSEED, produced by SOL MESSIAH (dead prez, nappy roots, jay z, talib kweli). Theatre, video, dance, visual art, beats, rhymes, and tasty vegan cuisine will make this a night to remember!

Sunday, February 27

Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint

916 G  St NW

5PM

Get tickets here.

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At COMMUNITY SERVICE with DJs Underdog & i:Wah, the music is an uplifting torrent of new “House”, mixed in with a more than generous serving of Soulful House, Afrobeat, Electronic Dance, Coupe Decale, Samba, Zouk, Disco, Fete, JuJu, Fania, Afro Drumming and much more. Filling the groove and moving you into the after future of “the dance”.

Sunday, February 27

Patty Boom Boom

1359 U St NW

8PM

Free

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