December 14, 2006

Diggin' in the Crates: OUR History in the Making.

Louis Armstrong - (What Did I Do To Be So) Black and Blue (
Joe Budden - The Future (download/stream)

History isn't just what happened. History is the way you say it. What you leave out. What you include. The tone of your voice. The adjectives. Do you remember your 5th grade civics and history class? You'll be doing everyone a favor if you don't.

American history is European history is McGraw-Hill and Prentice-Hall. Peep this excerpt from the
NY Times:

"Behind the dusty stools and the old towels, under the broken telephones and the picture frames, amid the spider webs, sits one of the country’s most important collections of artifacts devoted to the history of African-Americans. "

History isn't just what happened. History is what supremacy wants you to remember. Supremacy will provide you with a foundation, if it so chooses.

History, our history, lays in a man's garage. One of the greatest collections of African American artifacts, books, and documents is lying in Avery Clayton's basement. Over the years, his mother, a university librarian, collected these treasures (I gotta question, Why the eff is a university gettin' rid of this stuff? Supremacy runs deep.). In her memory, Avery is trying to find a permanent home for her collection, which includes first-edition Langston Hughes novels and George Carver. If history is forgotten, did it ever happen? If a book isn't read, does it exist?

At least, Avery didn't sell OUR legacy to the
highest bidder. If history can be bought and sold, did it really happen?

What makes this story even more shameful, Avery is spending his own money renting an abandoned courthouse to display his mother's priceless collection, OUR history. No Smithsonian. No American Museum of Natural History. No government-funded grant. Just Avery. Not even an Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson came out from their hiding spots.

History is more than just what happened. Eff what you heard: The
Harlem Renaissance is the real estate boom takin' over this city, one neighborhood at a time. History is for sale. You buyin'?

Music is our reminder that history is ours. We can choose to remember it, any way we please. We can tell our own stories, any way we please. Music: the original Wikipedia.

Major props to Biochemical Slang reader cb4 for the mixtape.

The N-Word Mixtape, Part 2 (alternate link 1, alternative link 2)

Bob Marley – Buffalo Solider
Bob Marley – Slave Driver
KRS-One – House Ni**as
Dead Prez – I’m An African
Eric B & Rakim – In The Ghetto
James Brown – Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud
Jeru The Damaja – The Frustrated Ni**a
Jimmy Cliff – I’ve Been Dead 400 Years
Jungle Brothers & Q-Tip – Black Is Black
King Sun – Be Black
O.C., Chubb Rock & Jeru The Damaja – Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers
Peter Tosh – African
Poor Righteous Teachers – Speaking Upon A Blackman
Positively Black – Nightmare On America Street
Public Enemy – By The Time I Get To Arizona
Public Enemy – I Don’t Wanna Be Called Yo Ni**a
Ras Kass – Nature Of The Threat


Anonymous Anonymous said...

that mixtape is ill and Im appreciating all the history drops as always...good shit man.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous CB4 said...

Good stuff...
Avery and his mother (Mayme) are heros in their own right... preserving the history that no one else wanted.

A quote from this,1,900605,full.story?ctrack=1&cset=true
"For four decades [Mayme Clayton] prowled garage sales, flea markets, attics, used-book stores, even dumps. From these waste heaps of memory, the soft-spoken librarian rescued thousands of rare and unusual books, movies, sound recordings, photographs, letters and ephemera, much of it dating to the slavery era."

And as it turned out, the KRS track "House Ni**as" fits perfectly with this post... listen to the very start of it, about libraries.

Great post as usual Vik!


4:10 PM  
Blogger vik said...

@weiss - glad ya dig the writin. you've been on point with your lists at your site.

give props to cb4 for the mix.

@cb4 - thanks again for the music.

damn.....history is what we wanna hear.


5:31 PM  
Anonymous dp said...

I see you out there and I feel you out there (no Richard Simmons boyshorts)

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

History happens over and over again for as long as there are pigheaded little boys and girls that refuse to learn it.

11:36 PM  

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