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Culture, healing, politics and bullshit - Not necessarily in that order

The general, socio-political and very personal rantings and ravings of a hip hop head from the hood hustling for change... Of himself.

You all know me and are aware that I am unable to remain silent. At times to be silent is to lie. For silence can be interpreted as acquiescence.
—Miguel de Unamuno


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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Recognize.

39 years ago today a 39 year old man was killed on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.

This wasn't just any 39 year old man. I know that you know this.

You do know this, or have you forgotten? You probably forgot. It's cool though, I know you got work and the kids and traffic and classes and thangs. Plus right now you're probably trying to score tickets to that new family flick that opens tonight starring 'Amerikkka's Most Wanted', Don Mega.

Or you were probably mourning the loss of Coach Rob... Didn't get that news either, huh?

On my way down to Texas I spent a day in Memphis. This was mere weeks ago and I just didn't have the time to get over there to the motel. Funny thing, when I got to Houston the first program I watched on TV was a documentary of Memphis and it covered the significance of that place and what happened in detail.

I'm glad I didn't go that day. My heart was too heavy.

In a day and age where we get too important for the good of everyone else by way of duty, responsibility and vanity we tend to forget to respect the architects. In this day and age where policing of ourselves is at an all time low, we seem to forget the events that shaped the way things are now and how good we actually have it.

Because we have it good and we need to let the world know by not removing the tag...

Maybe Aaron McGruder was correct in his assessment of our levels of what is important to us and how we respect the past. Maybe we do belittle other folks' fortunes to make our shit smell that much sweeter.

Maybe.

I come from Chicago where there are still vacant lots and abandoned buildings that once stood proud over the streets of the city of wind until, dare I call it an 'event' happened 39 years ago that destroyed them all and ran away even the red liners, land stealers and slum brokers.

They still haven't come back and those areas are still broken. Maybe some of those places are beyond repair. I was riding through Houston yesterday all air conditioned when I happened on a few of the wards here. I imagine that there are a few spots in that vast space of a shanty town where our people stay that was destroyed in the riots that haven't been rebuilt as well.

Almost made me cry until I thought:

Forget this. I know. Some of us know. Hell, we all should know. What makes anything else more important that rebuilding this?

Then I remembered that it starts at home.

Most of you will read this from your CRT at work. Some will get this feed via your wi-fi connection. Some of you will continue duties and responsibilities and then read this in the dead of night, the day will pass that ass up and you still probably won't realize that just 39 years ago we tore some shit up in an attempt to blow off steam, vent hundreds of years of frustration, mourn the loss of a point of light and try to find a way to get free while the so-called authority dug through the rubble. On the other side of those buildings and vacant lots we fail to rebuild. How far have we really come seeing as most of us either have really truly forgotten, haven't been taught or plum just don't care?

You better recognize.

8 comments:

T. S. Snowden said...

okay, this is something serious. Damn, if this was just 39 years ago and I am 35 then why havent I seen or been apart of the rebuild until now? There is both recognition and shame in my statement because I know that WE care. I know that WE want better for our up and comers, I also know that we are made lame and apathetic by our lack of direction and disorganization. Cohesion is our great failing.
I have no intention of ending this year or any of my future years as I ended my last one of mediocre efforts and half-assed activity. Hopefully WE all will do our part to pick US up and dust US off and build OUR spaces and mindsets back to their former majesty or better.

Excellent food for thought! Keep it coming...

Anonymous said...

This has been heavy on my mind all day. I can't even put it into words ...

Thanks for doing it for me.

aquababie said...

i second what chele said. thanks again hassan...

TrinaBeingTrina said...

I must admit that I too was not aware until my child brought it to my attention. I know that's sad. But you are so right, we need to recognize.

Luke Cage said...

Brotha Hassan. I was sending this link and sharing it with folks who weren't in the know yesterday. http://www.thekingcenter.org/

One of the best of it's kind out there. Goes hand in hand with this post. Kudos.

Nika Laqui said...

EEEEEEE!!!!

You really put yo foot in this one....

Moving...
Thought Provoking...
Compelling....

Siskel and Ebert give it 2 thumbs up!!!!

*lol*

LadyLee said...

Well said, Hassan...

I thought about that day. My best friend even made a short pilgrimage up to Memphis and took her kids there to the museum for Spring break...

But thanks for this post. It has me thinking...

Cashana said...

Thanks for making us remember. Very well said.