School of Human Development in Dublin Urban Art Beat

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School of Human Development

Urban Art Beat Project
Urban Art Beat Project

On Monday the 12th March the School of Human Devlopment hosted the co-directors of the Urban Art Beat Project from New York, who offered a workshop on their unique style of critical revolutionary hip hop pedagogy. Rosa and Spirit introduced members of the HD School to the creative educational work they do with young Black and Latino men through the medium of music, spoken work and hip hop. The workshop which lasted two hours was part of our research and preparation for a School's celebration of the 50th anniversary of the publication of the ground-breaking educational work by Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed to be held next October.

The participants (not all present here) explored praxis, challenges, and the relation between the new black art movement and possibilities for transformation in the communities where they work in the US and in a number of centres in Europe. The School members also explored the challenges involved in engaging with radical pedagogies and practices from within their own disciplines and practices. The experience was inspiring and full of hope and love.

Zembylas following in the Freirean and emancipatory tradition calls us to as educators to engage in a "Revolution of Love"! This is the spirit of Urban Art Beat.

15th March, 2018

Centenary of the Russian Revolution

Centenary of the Russian Revolution
(October 2017) 

"One Hundred Years"―Poem by Steve Bloom

Click here for the text of the poem

We are debuting  this poem on October 7, 2017, as part of a collaborative on-line project with the following websites around the world:; Links, AustraliaInternational Viewpoint; Ecosocialist Horizons; Lalit, Mauritius;  Radical Socialist, India Socialist Party, Sweden Jozi Book Fair, South Africa janinebooth.comWorkers Liberty, Britain Marxist Study Group, NamibiaSolidarity, USA.




'Belly of the beast': former inmates hail New York plan to close Rikers Island jail

click here to learn about our campaign to bring hip hop art and healing to Rikers. Urban Art Beat and a new black arts movement have a team of dedicated mentors raising our own funds to bring ourselves and critical revolutionary hip hop pedagogy directly to an LGBTQ youth house on site.

'Belly of the beast': former inmates hail New York plan to close Rikers Island jail

Campaigners say the correctional complex is a blight on the city and now the mayor agrees, planning to shutter the prison in a 10-year process

Rikers has its own place in the history of racism in America.
Rikers has its own place in the history of racism in America. Photograph: Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press

When Vidal Guzman ended up at the notorious Rikers Island jail in New York, he underwent a transformation.

“I had to become someone I was not,” he said. “I had no idea a place in my city could be so harsh and so violent. Getting into vicious fights was part of everyday life, part of survival, there were fights over everything – a phone, food, something small you owned. I’ve seen people get badly cut, and often the guards let it happen.”

Rikers has been nicknamed Gladiator School, Torture Island, the Guantánamo of New York and, in summertime, the Oven. Temperatures rocket inside the concrete and metal buildings, which stink of human excretions and the garbage landfill they were built on in the 1930s.

When New York City mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday his intention to close down the infamous institution, Guzman, who is now 25 having entered Rikers as a teenager, told the Guardian he cried with relief.

“Being there was the saddest thing in my whole life,” he said. “You can’t take away its past and what it’s done to me, and others. It destroys people and their families. But I was happy to hear the news.”

De Blasio warned that shutting down Rikers will take 10 years, gave few details about how it would be accomplished, and could not guarantee success even if he achieves re-election in November.

The jail complex, on an isolated island in the river between the Bronx and Queens, is one of the largest, most stubborn sores on America’s blighted criminal justice landscape. It has an appalling history of abuse – by corrections officers on inmates and by inmates on each other and on guards.

Around 80% of the 10,000 inmates are merely awaiting trial, having been denied bail or having been unable to afford it. Many are never convicted.

The most notorious case in the jail’s recent history involved 16-year-old Kalief Browder, who spent three years at Rikers Island after being accused of stealing a small backpack. The charge was eventually dismissed.

Browder was beaten by officers and inmates, as shown in disturbing footage from surveillance cameras, obtained by the New Yorker. In 2015, two years after his release, Browder killed himself.

In September 2016, six former officers were convicted of beating an inmate to a pulp because he had dared to look one of them in the eye. In late 2014, the federal government sued the city over what prosecutors called a “pervasive and deep-seated culture of violence” against adolescent inmates.

Many jails and prisons are violent, but Guzman said Rikers was in a league of its own.
 Many jails and prisons are violent, but Guzman said Rikers was in a league of its own. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Many jails and prisons are violent, but Guzman said Rikers was in a league of its own. He ended up in a medium security prison upstate, sentenced for robbery and drug offenses. He felt safer there, he said, than he had at Rikers.

“I was with men doing 25 years to life and it was nowhere near as dangerous as Rikers, where the violence just feels so ingrained in the culture and you are scared the whole time,” he said.

The violence just feels so ingrained in the culture and you are scared the whole time

Vidal Guzman

‘One way in, one way off’

Psychologically damaged and carrying a criminal record, Guzman struggled to adjust to freedom. He now works as a community organizer in Harlem for the campaign group

Glenn Martin, the founder of CloseRikers and also a former inmate, said many of the physical characteristics of Rikers Island exacerbate its problems.

“It’s only a few hundred feet from La Guardia’s runways and the jails are flat and linear,” he said, “which means corrections officers can’t always see what’s going on or have to run down long piers to break up a fight – and that’s dangerous for both officers and inmates.”

Until 1966, prisoners were brought to Rikers by ferry. Then a bridge was built linking the island to Queens. The site is awkward to reach and feels remote, Martin said.

“Just one way on, one way off. It’s extremely isolated, with a history of abuse. Most New Yorkers will never visit Rikers and it all sends a message that the people stuck out there have no value.”

Most New Yorkers will never visit Rikers and it all sends a message that the people stuck out there have no value

Glenn Martin

The jail complex can hold 15,000 to 17,000 inmates, although the population has been shrinking in recent years amidst falling crime and moves away from mass incarceration.

De Blasio’s plan involves halving the number of inmates and guards and building five small new prisons, one in each city borough, to replace the Rikers monolith. It is the first time in the jail’s history that the city has adopted a policy to close it, de Blasio said, despite years of scandals.

The announcement came ahead of the expected presentation on Sunday of a report from an expert panel that was expected to recommend a similar plan to phase it out.

The city has been sued countless times over abuse of inmates at Rikers.
 The city has been sued countless times over abuse of inmates at Rikers. Photograph: Seth Wenig/Associated Press

In the past, the mayor was skeptical of the viability of plans to close the place, and some community groups have expressed opposition to having new jails built in their neighborhoods.

On Friday Robert Gangi, a mayoral contender and head of the Police Reform Organizing Project, said the city should spend any spare money on education instead.

“We oppose allocating hundreds of millions to build new jails,” Gangi said.

‘A Lord of the Flies atmosphere’

The city has been sued countless times over abuse of inmates at Rikers, ranging from overly aggressive strip searching to mistreating mentally ill inmates with lengthy stretches in solitary confinement. Some, dying in excruciating pain, have been ignored.

In 2014, officers allowed Jerome Murdough to “bake to death” in an overheated cell. In 2012, Jason Echevarria died after consuming a toxic soap ball. He suffered in agony as officer Terrence Pendergrass, who was later punished with five years in prison, refused to call for help.

Martin said Rikers was disproportionately filled with black and Latino men and women, who make up 89% of the inmate population. The island has its own place in the history of racism in America.

In 1884 it was sold to the city by the Riker family, Dutch immigrants who had owned it since the 17th century. In the early 19th century, Richard Riker was a powerful magistrate notorious for declaring African Americans to be fugitive slaves and summarily dispatching them to the South, in a manner similar to that depicted in the Oscar-winning film 12 Years A Slave.

From the 1920s, the island was used as a garbage dump. Some argue it then became a dumping ground for humans.

“So many thousands and thousands of New Yorkers have churned through this human grist mill,” Martin said. “It’s the belly of the beast. Many are never convicted of anything and those that are should be given the opportunity to repair the harm they have done to society while maintaining their dignity.”

Held at Rikers when he was 16, Martin, who is now 46, was stabbed four times by fellow inmates in what he described as “a Lord of the Flies atmosphere” that was tolerated by the authorities. He went to a prison upstate, for armed robbery. He agreed with Guzman – he felt much safer there than at Rikers.

The best chance of succeeding in closing Rikers, he said, was for the city to speed up its notoriously-clogged criminal justice system and increase the use of rehabilitation and non-custodial sentences, reducing the incarcerated population while protecting public safety.

He commended De Blasio for his plan, albeit that it is very belated, he said. But he remains to be convinced that the mayor can pull it off.

“The devil is in the detail,” Martin said. “Is the mayor prepared to spend the huge political and financial capital that it will take to get this done?”

Say It Loud: 9 Black Women in the Black Power Movement Everyone Should Know




by Melody Blossom

This semester, I was part of a course that focused on radical women in social movements. We studied the Black Power Movement, the Black Panther Party (BPP), and the involvement of women during this time.

The Black Panther Party, founded in the 1960s, was notorious for being a revolutionary organization that fought for the liberation of Blacks in the United States. With the brilliant activists, community organizers, writers, and thinkers who graced its membership, the BPP is primarily regarded as a male-dominated space and projected itself as such. However, like in most revolutionary movements, there were many women who served important and influential roles. These women made sure they occupied leadership positions, and implemented programs that were vital to the success of the Party and the overall uplifting of the Black community. They also called out sexism within the BPP, never afraid to make their presence known as women. 

However, their faces seldom grace historical narratives about the Black Panther Party. This list is meant to shine some light on a handful of these women. Although women initially occupied few formal governance positions within the BPP, they played strategic roles as male leadership of the party increasingly faced political repression, incarceration, or exile. With information from the article, "Engendering the Black Freedom Struggle Revolutionary Black Womanhood and the Black Panther Party in the Bay Area, California" and other sources, we look at their contributions below.

1. Kathleen Cleaver

Kathleen Cleaver, like many female revolutionaries, had been exposed to many international experiences during her involvement with the Black Panthers. She joined the foreign service and was able to travel to countries such as Sierra Leone, Liberia, India, and the Philippines. She later returned to the United States and attended Barnard College, where she became more involved in the Civil Rights Movement. She then left college to work full-time for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Within a year in the SNCC, she met Eldridge Cleaver, whom she married. They would both join the Black Panther Party, with Kathleen becoming the BPP's National Communications Secretary and helping to organize the campaign to get party leader Huey P. Newton released from prison. She was also the first woman to be appointed to the Black Panther’s Central Committee. Kathleen ended up fleeing to Mexico and later Algeria with her husband. Upon returning to the U.S., she later divorced her husband and currently teaches at Yale University.

2. Angela Davis

Angela Davis is one of the most well-known female members of the Black Panther Party, having joined for a short period after she noticed the party’s sexist practices. Objecting to the misogyny and chauvinism she experienced in the organization, Angela Davis then pursued her activism as a member of the Che-Lumumba Club, an all-black faction of the Communist Party in Los Angeles. In 1969 the California Board of Regents and Governor Reagan fired her from the faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles because of her Communist affiliation—despite the fact that Davis was regarded as an unbiased and popular teacher among her students. After strong protests from her pupils and fellow faculty members, she was reinstated by court order. Nonetheless, the Board did not renew her contract in 1970, claiming her unfinished dissertation and her radical political activism with the Soledad Brothers as their reasons. Davis continues to be regarded as a preeminent activist, writer, professor, and leader for civil rights and prison reform.

3. Assata Shakur

Many have heard the story of legendary Assata Shakur through Common’s “A Song for Assata.” However, many don’t know that revolutionary Shakur was an influential part of the Black Panther Party. In Assata: An Autobiography, she gives a clear depiction of her life and the circumstances that led to her seeking political asylum in Cuba. Upon being convicted for the shooting death of a New Jersey state trooper, Shakur was imprisoned, despite being acquitted of all charges. In 1979, she escaped and fled to Cuba. During her time with the Black Panther Party, she contributed significantly to development of the Free Breakfast Program, spreading awareness through writing about the party to potential allies, and working to empower members of the Black community overall. She played an instrumental part in both the New York and Oakland chapters of BPP. Shakur was also well-known for being one of the few unmarried women Black Panthers. She continues to live in Cuba today.

4. Elaine Brown

Throughout the last four decades, Elaine Brown has been committed to and organized significant efforts toward effecting progressive change in the United States. During her time in the Black Panther Party, she helped organize the Free Breakfast Program in Los Angeles and edited the Party’s newspapers. She also ran for public office in Oakland in 1973 and 1975, representing the BPP. She would eventually gain a leadership role within the Party as chairwoman from 1974 – 1977. Brown continues her activism work today, with much of her recent efforts focusing on radical reform of the criminal justice system. Brown has written and edited numerous articles and books, as well as lectured widely on university and college campuses about prison reform and the injustices within the prison system. She is regarded by many as a reliable expert on the criminal justice system. In 2007, she announced her bid as a 2008 Presidential Election candidate for the Green Party. She continues to write, speak, and lead programs about prison reform today.

5. Barbara Easley

Barbara Easley-Cox was not initially a member of the Black Panther Party when she began working with them as a student at San Francisco State University. She became more closely affiliated with the Party due to her husband, Donald Cox, and contributed to the advancement of Party goals during the 1960s. She and her husband were leaders of the Oakland Chapter of the Black Panther Party and also worked in the New York and Philadelphia chapters. She also helped spread the reach of the Black Panther Party internationally—first moving to Algiers and then to Korea. Upon her return to the U.S., she moved to Philadelphia, focused on community development work, and later retired as a social worker. She continues to live in Philadelphia, where she consults and volunteers in various community-based capacities.

6. Charlotte Hill O’Neal

Charlotte Hill O’Neal joined the Black Panther Party at age 18 and was a member of the BPP’s chapter in Kansas City. Along with her husband, Pete O’Neal, she played a key role in the organization. Eventually, she and her husband fled the United States, after being accused of transporting guns across state lines. She moved to Tanzania, and helped her husband launch the United Africa Alliance Community Center, an arts-based community development organization. O’Neal continues her community empowerment work as a poet, musician, and visual artist.

7. Tarika Matilaba

Tarika Matilaba is known as as the first woman who demanded to have space for black women in the Black Panther Party. Growing up in Oakland, she experienced a number of injustices in the city: its post World War II decline, high rates of unemployment, lack of affordable housing, and other socioeconomic issues that impacted Black people. It is said that at age 16, Matilaba walked into the Black Panther office in Oakland and demanded that she not only be made a member of the party, but she demanded that she be given a gun as well. Prior to joining the Black Panthers, she held several leadership roles, including being a student leader at Oakland Technical High School. During her time at Oakland Tech, she was one of the first students to petition for a black history club and proudly wore her natural hair in an afro. As a Black Panther, she took on many roles, including writing editorials and drawing over 40 political cartoons. Many male Black Panther members respected her, due to her strong presence.

8. Judy Hart

Judy Hart was a student leader at Oakland City College and later San Francisco State University, where she met Black Panther Party leaders Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. She was initially drawn to the Black Panthers because of their fight to end police brutality. With her leadership experience through San Francisco State’s Black Student Union, she felt she could contribute something worthwhile to her community by joining the Black Panther Party and working for them full-time. She became editor-in-chief of the BPP International Newsletter and also worked on the Black Panther Free Breakfast Program. In 1969, she became the youngest faculty member of the nation’s first black studies program at San Francisco State University. Since then, she has written a number of plays and novels. She has also taught writing on college campuses in New Jersey and the San Francisco Bay Area.

9. Chaka Khan

Popular musician and performer Chaka Khan was also a member of the Black Panther Party. Born in 1953 as Yvette Marie Stevens, she joined the Chicago chapter of the Party in 1969 and worked with the Free Breakfast Program. During this time, she took on a new name, Chaka Adunne Aduffe Yemoja Hodarhi Karifi, and dropped out of high school. In the 1970s, she began to focus on her music career, joining the R&B and funk band, Rufus. The band was later renamed Rufus and Chaka, before Chaka Khan began her career as a successful solo artist in the 1980s. 

Melody Blossom enjoys documenting stories of female revolutionaries. 



A Young Radical’s View of Marriage

A Young Radical’s View of Marriage

A University of Michigan study[1] found that becoming a wife creates seven added hours of housework per week for women. For men, housework decreases by one hour per week after marriage. Another way to say this is that gender roles some like to claim are dead are in fact alive and well. The study took a "nationally representative" sample of couples (including, presumably, some who believed they were flouting the division of labor) and relied on time-diary data from 2005.

      Beyond household chores, radicals have objected to marriage on multiple fronts and for obvious reasons. For Emma Goldman, the institution of marriage crippled women in the same way that capitalism crippled men: "It is like that other paternal arrangement —capitalism," she wrote in the essay "Marriage and Love," published in the 1917 collection Anarchism and Other Essays. Capitalism "robs man of his birthright, stunts his growth, poisons his body, keeps him in ignorance, in poverty and dependence, and then institutes charities that thrive on the last vestige of man's self-respect," she wrote. And marriage does the same to women, all under the guise of protecting them.

      "The institution of marriage makes a parasite of woman, an absolute dependent," wrote Goldman. "It incapacitates her for life's struggle, annihilates her social consciousness, paralyzes her imagination, and then imposes its gracious protection, which is in reality a snare, a travesty on human character."

      Engels wrote in The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State that the monogamous family and its marriage ties, "based on the supremacy of the man," were created for the secure transfer of property rights — the "express purpose" of such ties was to "produce children of undisputed paternity; such paternity is demanded because these children are later to come into their father’s property." Both land and wealth were primarily exchanged through marriage as far back as there are writer records.[2]

      For proof that the connection between marriage and property — and the notion of wives as property of men — is still alive, albeit in mutated form, we need look no further than pop artist Beyoncé’s recent hit "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" and its refrain: "If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it." Accompanied by sporty dance moves and intended as a ballad of female empowerment, the message is nonetheless a regressive one: that a man can stake a claim on a woman through marriage, if he has the financial capital to do so.

      Feminists, certainly, have had their objections to marriage, not merely for the extra housework it creates. Marlene Dixon called the institution of marriage "the chief vehicle for the perpetuation of the oppression of women."[3] Betty Freidan wrote in the feminist classic The Feminine Mystique that marriage stunted the mental growth of middle-class housewives. Simone de Beauvoir had no use for marriage, writing in the hallmark The Second Sex that "Marriage is obscene in principle insofar as it transforms into rights and duties those mutual relations which should be founded on a spontaneous urge."[4]

      Then there is the fact that non-heterosexual couples cannot marry in the majority of places in the United States. While conservatives argue against same-sex marriage on the basis of "tradition," historians such as Nancy Cott have noted that change is the only true tradition in the history of marriage, which has fluctuated according to evolving views on race, sex, and religion. For Cott, the exclusion of same-sex couples conflicts with a historical trend toward gender equality in marriage.[5]

      Among people who can and do marry, data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention show for every two couples who married, one got divorced in 2009.

      In fact, marriage appears to be failing as a model for many families. According to an analysis of 2000 Census data by the group Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice, only 22.4 percent of households included a married heterosexual couple with biological offspring. That group has used such data to reframe "family values," expand the conservative definition of "family" and promote policies that support all families.[6]

      Marriage also appears to be more popular among whites, leading some writers, including Joy Jones in an infamous 2006 Washington Post piece, to suggest that "Marriage is for white people." A study of 2007 Census data showed 80 percent of white, non-Hispanic family groups and 82 percent of Asian family groups were married couples, while such couples composed only 45 percent of black family groups and 65 percent of Hispanic family groups. Black feminists have argued that economic inequalities rooted in racism and slavery are partly to blame for the gap. Add to that the fact that one in nine black men ages 20-34 are incarcerated (compared to 1 in 30 men overall in the same category) and the likelihood of black women finding partners of the same race decreases substantially.[7]

      But that has not stopped critics from alternately blaming black men and black women for not marrying. The Wedded Bliss Foundation, for example, creator of the event Black Marriage Day, encourages marriage as a stabilizing force for the black community and a way to reduce single parenthood, telling black women — in language eerily similar to the what 1950s magazines told white, middle-class housewives — that "Marriage is the best environment for a woman to be all she can be."[8]

      Marriage is a vehicle through which the state regulates which pairings are acceptable — as we saw with the historical criminalization of mixed-race marriages — and which people are fit to raise families — as we see with the modern attempts to ban gay marriage and prohibit gay families from adopting children. Throughout history, marriage has been used as a way for the state to regulate bodies and sexualities, determining which people are fit to marry, disenfranchising people of color, and punishing women from lower classes who did not or could not fit the mold of the acceptable wife. The criminalization of mixed-race marriage continues in a certain way, as the state regulates marriages between immigrants and residents, deciding which couples have the legitimate right to live together on U.S. soil. Marriage is one of the most personal and prevalent ways the state involves itself in the private lives of people.

      So what possible good can marriage offer a young person with political convictions? Tax incentives, for a start. A chance at a ceremony paid for by other people and attended by loved ones who support the union. An easy way to inform strangers of the status of one’s heart. A cascade of domestic implements related to cooking, cleaning, and keeping house. But is that worth entering an institution that is imbued with sexism, racism, state control, and social privilege, and potentially taking on an extra seven hours a week of housework?

Such questions weigh on my mind as I reach the age where people I know are actually entering the "obscene" and crippling institution.

      Years ago, when I first registered for the social media website Facebook, it was routine for people to virtually "marry" close friends by selecting a friend’s name on the profile section dedicated to relationship status. By elevating close female friendships over any potential marriage bonds, my friends and I mocked the institution of marriage and played with gender norms, albeit in a superficial way. Despite being in a real-life, heterosexual partnership, I remain "engaged" to a college friend on Facebook, a status that has recently caused confusion among family and friends, who have begun to notice that I am now out of college and at the age when I might marry. This, I think, marks a significant milestone.

      For me, the question of whether to marry is tied to the larger issue of how fully to embrace other institutional privileges. For example, I can afford to own a car, but does that necessarily mean I should buy one, and thus support environmental degradation and foreign wars fought for oil? For those of us who choose to live in civilization — and even, I would imagine, for those who live off-the-grid and use bicycles for transportation and rainwater for sustenance — these questions connect the personal to the political. How does one balance personal happiness with the struggle for collective liberation?

      Like the choice to own a car, marriage is a personal decision connected to the oppression of others. If I choose to get married, am I turning my back on friends and comrades in same-sex relationships who never can?[9] Am I supporting an unequal institution imbued with racism and misogyny? Am I committing to extra hours of dish-washing and floor-mopping? Marriage, it should be noted, is less practically useful than a car. One can certainly get around in society without it, albeit with fewer economic benefits.

      Just as some educators may choose public-school teaching in order to reform the system from inside, some radicals may seize the opportunity to reform marriage, to create their own, more-balanced reality within the institution. Yet what the University of Michigan study seems to suggest is that gender roles do in fact still govern relationships, even, perhaps, for progressive couples who may believe they are equally dividing housework. The difficulty of balancing family with work — a balance all "modern" women are expected to accomplish with grace — is a daunting prospect for me, and one that I believe has driven my early attempts to decide on a career quickly. So far, my like-minded partner and I do a pretty good job of balancing housework chores. But if we were to keep track of our hours doing housework, as the couples in the study did, I wonder if we would be surprised by what we discovered.

      Some couples — including one I know well — have chosen to hold commitment ceremonies, which are like weddings minus the wedding. There is no exchanging of rings, changing of names or signing of government paperwork, and the lack of tax benefits is balanced by the benefit of — well, not having to be married.

      Still, plenty of modern-day radicals and feminists do choose to marry, and some have inspired quite a backlash in the process. Jessica Valenti, founder of the blog Feministing, has written about her marriage ceremony, where she skipped the white dress, had both parents walk her down the aisle, kept her last name and confidently entered what she believed would be an equal partnership.[10] But when her wedding was featured in the New York Times Style section, feminists and misogynists clambered over each other in their haste to call Valenti a hypocrite. Perhaps more than anything else, that debate revealed that today’s feminists are conflicted about marriage (and that today’s sexists are enabled by the Internet). Many young feminists, myself included, are internally conflicted over the prospect of marrying.

      Personally, I like the idea of having a public ceremony — minus the religious trappings — where I declare my love for my partner in front of those I care about, and then we eat cake. I even like the idea of both of us being dressed up when we do this. But, particularly with the divorce rate as high as it is, I don’t feel eager to enter an institution that I associate with social inequality and housework. In my foggy vision of the future, my partner and I stand before a gathering of family and friends and recite love poems or self-made vows, then share a meal with people we love. At some point, maybe, there is dancing, which, unlike marriage, Emma Goldman might have appreciated. Then we move on with our equal and independent lives, with some commitment to togetherness and chore-sharing. It’s a simple idea, and one more ancient than the origin of property rights. Best of all, it means I don’t have to dump my friend on Facebook.

Category: Gender & Gender Politics -    Location: United States    Whole Number: 51   


maroon leadership in response to Fidel

maroon leadership.

it'll be a testament to our historical memory banks to see if we can fill our minds with the deposited ideas of Fidel. as generations pass, what will our youth remember. our society is crippled and enabled by symbolism, conquistador reminders of who's street this is?, what monument is claimed? what named coined this or that foundation/institution? 
even pass this dimension. a soul like Fidel challenges us to revolutionize our minds. remember not to forget. our purpose, beyond the naming and celebratory figure. behind the ideology.

on the other hand. i was seduced by Malcolm. the X. the black shirts. spike lee. the black arts. this allowed me to hear public enemy. feel a pulse. connect with a soundtrack, an image, a taste, an icon of revolution. it was never watered down no matter how diluted some attempts were at assassinating a charismatic character.

today, you will not see me wearing a Fidel shirt, or Malcolm per say with that same desire to "represent". it is etched in the fabric of my being. within the colour of my ideology and ontology. yet, that process of evolution was a necessary step for now. i only hope that our youth 7 generations ahead have exercised the imagination and quest for knowledge enough to want to explore and find that memory. that history for herstory. that journey of a revolutionary, for revolution.

A New Black Arts Movement #anewblackartsmovement

Government will prohibit naming of streets or monuments after Fidel Castro in keeping with his desire to stop a personality cult developing

People pay homage to the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro on Saturday night during the last ceremony before his burial in Santiago.
 People pay homage to the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro on Saturday night during the last ceremony before his burial in Santiago. Photograph: Yamil Lage/AFP/Getty Images

Cuban President Raúl Castro said on Saturday his government would prohibit the naming of streets or public monuments after his brother Fidel in keeping with the former leader’s desire to avoid developing a personality cult.

The younger Castro told a crowd gathered to pay homage to Fidel Castro in the eastern city of Santiago that the country’s National Assembly would pass in its next session a law fulfilling his brother’s desire that, “once dead, his name and likeness would never be used on institutions, streets, parks or other public sites, and that busts, statutes or other forms of tribute would never be erected”.

Fidel Castro, who died on 25 November aged 90, kept his name off public sites during his time in office because he said he wanted to avoid the development of a cult of personality. In contrast, the images of his fellow revolutionary fighters Camilo Cienfuegos and Ernesto “Che” Guevara have become common across Cuba in the decades since their deaths.

Raúl Castro spoke at the end of a second massive rally in honor of Fidel as Cuba neared the end of its nine-day public mourning. Castro’s ashes arrived on Saturday afternoon in Santiago, ending a four-day journey across Cuba that began after a rally in Havana’s Plaza de la Revolución.

Thousands of people welcomed the leader’s remains to shouts of “Fidel! I am Fidel!” Then hundreds of thousands gathered in Santiago’s Plaza de la Revolución on Saturday night, cheering speeches by the heads of state-run groups of small farmers, women, revolutionary veterans and neighborhood watch committee members.

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 South American leaders join Cuban mourners to send off Fidel Castro

The event was attended by the Bolivian president, Evo Morales, Nicaraguan leader Daniel Ortega and Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, along with former Brazilian presidents Dilma Rousseff and Lula da Silva.

Castro’s ashes will be interred on Sunday morning in Santiago’s Santa Ifigenia cemetery, ending the official mourning period.

Mourning for Castro has reached peaks of near-religious public adulation across Cuba since his death, particularly in rural eastern Cuba. Huge crowds have been shouting his name and lining the roads to salute the funeral procession carrying his ashes from Havana to Santiago.

the colour of ideology

it is more evolved to discuss the colour of your ideology than the colour of your skin. throughout your lifetimes, it is unrealistic to know or even believe what you were then in relation to who you have become to appear now. i can admire your pigmentation, your melanin and respect your lack thereof. for my eyes (all three of them), the evolution of your soul is of more significance. so let us evolve through a maroon ideology to determine whether the colour of your skin is relevant towards prefiguring a new society. i've seen many shades of black in my current lifetime and a generation before (El Hajj Malik El Shabazz to Barack Hussein Obama and many in between and beyond). rhetorics do not impress me. are you on the side of pachamama kahèsëna hàki mother earth (all living and non living beings) and humanity? this is a colour i can assess. 
from a revolutionary matriarchy black indigenous maroon
A New Black Arts Movement

a resistance grows in brooklyn…and the many worlds

peace and unconditional revolutionary love 

a resistance grows in brooklyn…and the many worlds

resistance hasn’t the privilege of rest.

she speaks through the wind. traveling at the pace of a snail with the urgency of a panther.

as disappointing as it all may appear, no matter the expectations, 

as revolutionaries we should expect but one thing - and that is to be disappointed.

this can be an uncomfortable reality however comfort breeds ignorance and naivety. comfort lulls us to an apathetic sleep or a reactionary blow. neither strong enough to nurture resistance. it is with our discomfort we challenge, ask questions, experiment with solutions. we as revolutionaries have been born to uncomfortable situations and times. 

it is not our job to make sense of stupidity. it is our position to prefigure another way. these times are senseless and cannot be justified by neither logic nor intuition, science or soul yet they can be remedied by the combination of the two.

we are gearing toward unleashing operation soul force.

this propels our strategy with the fire of disappointments.

our sessions and gatherings must be intensified as a means of defense and partaking in the offensive. we should preserve what we hold dear - our values and principles from revolutionary matriarchy, mother earth centeredness, maroon leadership, indigeneity to art equivalent to politics. 

protect them.

at the same time attacking this systemic illness that plagues our communities with sickness and dis-ease. our sessions and direct action can not only bandaid but also heal.

to heal we must bring out the witch doctors within us all. this takes practice and study. our praxis is the true testament of our power and execution. 

resistance does grow. she grows within us. she can grow with the direction and nurture of revolutionary matriarchy or the confusion of other ism’s that ask for a seat at the table or the compromise of our integrity, it is dependent upon you.

will you water your resistance with us to make this uncomfortable reality obsolete and irrelevant? will you weigh down your resistance with complaints and cripple the growth of a new? how do you share your struggle and document your legacy for the liberation of all?

we never admit to having the way, the answer, we only commit to create another way, another world. it is not only possible, it is happening. do not be disillusioned by the context of their conversation for many voices are already missing in this dialogue. we connect with the unheard voices throughout the world and we are finding our conclusions share similar solutions as we are growing to share a similar history. we are committed to our herstory of resistance. 

i am honored to grow our resistance alongside a world of truths.

i am honored to be on the side of herstory that yells Ya Basta! All Power to The People! Existence is Resistance! and the People United Will Never Be Defeated!. 

rest up, bless up. our journey is long, yet our walk colorful. 

together we paint a picture, a picture that inspires the imagination to envision a revolution from the dedication of an unorthodox and vibrant resistance. a resistance that is nurtured by unconditional revolutionary love.

may your formation remain your last name and may our legacy connect.

thank you for your heart, thank you for your soul, thank you for your continued work.

stay light, keep creative, remain free

i write this to you in the middle of our tour connecting with youth, revolutionaries and formations on the other side of the world i was born to in this lifetime. 



a new black arts movement

.) stay light keep creative remain free 

(. spiritchild 

freedom singer
revolutionary matriarchal maroon
a new black arts movement 
VP Universal Zulu Nation Bk Noble Chapter 9

black gold blue gold part 2 2016 reflections

first workshop today with youth in prison in Belgium. no other place i'd rather set off this tour. from our Ed Unit of A New Black Arts Movement the Urban Art Beat wing, prefiguring our presence at Rikers to now here. makes sense. what doesn't make too much sense are the uncomfortable parallels of reality. today's population, "youth of color" i don't use this term, however to unify and relate. some could say or would say oppressed youth. these are maroon youth. specifically from Morocco, Iraq, Cape Verde, Slovakia etc. not an anglo european serving time that we have encountered in this facility. sounds like home. a few of the youth asked me today "would i be accepted if i went to New York" (being that they were or would be identified as muslim. what? i told them brother, my brother. everyone of you in this space are welcomed. we/us. you look like our community therefore you are. we do not see those differences as problematic. we see those differences as common in our place of growing and being. it is those with institutional power that would discriminate and give you a hard time. you will not find these sentiments where i stay. that is my international word. they smiled and we continued.
the deeper concern for me, why does this excite me. why did i look forward to this workshop more than most i've done? why, when touring the most unfortunate, uncomfortable, unappreciated spaces and places i dive into, i cherish the most? i love my people. i love this work. i do not want this to continue, so why look forward.
the reality of purpose.
thank you for your connections, translations and facilitation Dorien De Vidts. for seeing where we need to be continuously and keeping our tours unorthodox, funky and keeping our middle finger up to the systems that oppress the divinity within us all.

honor indigenous peoples month, honor 7


Rise In Power Majesty

peace and unconditional revolutionary love

i don't have answers only more questions. it is hard to accept, it is difficult to believe, it is unbelievable to process. a brilliant energetic and vibrant being. a truth. a light. a gemini twin ;). a fire untamed. a comrade. fierce warrior emcee. a revolutionary that stood for what he cared for and urged others to fight. a rebel rouser. a beautiful. challenging challenger. champion of self. our friend. our voice. our leader among leaders of movements. too much and not enough to say. love, light, healing power to the family, to friends, to lovers, to enemies. we continue to love you.

from Daniel Majesty Sanchez sister
To all of Daniel's friends, fans and followers,
I am his sister.
It saddens me to report that Danny passed away in Las Vegas, on Tuesday October 4th. 
At this time we do not have much information and we are trying the process this. 
I will post more details in the future.
If you have anything you can share with me about his last days in Vegas I would appreciate the information.
Not sure how he would have wanted the news to be shared, but this is the best I can do.
I love you Danny!

indigeneity, practice 7. 7 generations before and ahead, from the ancestors to our youth. this month we are humbled and honored to have intentional dedication and appreciation for indigenous peoples throughout the world. we are also thankful to continue on our black gold blue gold tour part 2 through europa to connect with our comrades, allies and peoples from the diaspora to continue our necessary revolutionary works. thank you Dorien for keeping our international mission and vision part of the plan and strategy to mobilize and decolonize. please contact Dorien for booking and tour dates/schedule (oct 23-nov 20th) .

the black gold blue gold album is growing along with our little one souel. an ep version will be traveling with us throughout this upcoming tour and released in the states upon our return. its a spiritual soulful revolutionary journey through sound space solutions continium. lets harvest.


Oct 11th 7pm

Hosted by Arts For Art / Vision, and part of the Evolving: Raza y Resistencia / Race & Resistance festival, the Afro Yaqui Music Collective is honored to be a part of a concert to think beyond the spectre of Columbus as we celebrate the 7th generational conciousness and activism of First peoples. Gizelxanath will be sharing the music of Toztil (Mayan) and Nahutual cultures in order to affect change here and now. With special performances by Spiritchild XspiritMental, Kento Iwasaki, Julian Litwack, Quincy Saul, Alfredo Colón, Dan Kurfirst, Samuel Okoh-Boateng, and Ben Barson.

Admission is $15.

El Taller Latino Americano

215 E 99th St, New York, New York
Oct 16th 4pm

Join & Watch as we liberate ourselves from Euro-centric oppression and unmasking false identities given to us from the people who stole our humanity.

The show will be split up into Art/HipHop/Yoga. These components helped me on my journey to learn more about myself and my culture. 

$10 donation - Youth Free, No one turned away. 

Proceeds go towards mentoring incarcerated LGBTQ youth on Rikers Island.

Medicine Show Theatre

549 W 52nd St, Fl 3rd, New York, New York 10019
October 18th 630pm

ShoutHouse is a chamber orchestra of classical, hip-hop, and jazz musicians. They strive to create a platform for talented artists from any background to express themselves on one stage. By focusing on telling a story through notes, structures, and words, they hope to achieve a new form of expression that reconnects thoughtful, powerful music with a widespread audience.

Tuesday, OCTOBER 18 at 6:30PM

CARNEGIE HILL CONCERTS at Church of the Advent Hope

111 East 87th St. (at Park Avenue)


A suggested donation $20 for adults and $10 for students and seniors will go entirely to support the sponsorship of a refugee family by series organizers.

More information:


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                                          Oct 20th 330p

it’s time to set off our monthly open soul (mic) share season! 

In honor of Mass Incarceration Awareness Month AND a tribute to October (22): International Day Against Police Brutality. We come together to STOP THE COPS! 

Join us Oct 20th 330p to x’press, x’emplify, x’spirit’ment.
all city, all youth, all arts. each month featuring mentors and youth. dj XspiritMental (soul selector spirit) on decks.

In the face of Oppression from the state, we ask, "What gets You Free!?" 

come, bring friends, bring youth, bring yourself. read a poem, something you're working on, freestyle over our beats, or bring a finished song! For the youth, by the youth! 

This month, Featuring Bed-Stuy youth from Unity Prep (thanks to the super talented Teaching Artist Jessie Davis!! 

We are hiphop culture! eliminate the hate with liberated space.

Dixon Place

161 Chrystie St, New York, New York 10002


Oct 22nd 12pm

October 22, 2016: 21st National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation

Saturday, 10/22
12:00PM assemble in front of the Harlem State Office Building at 163 W. 125th Street on the corner of Adam Clayton Powell for a rally and a march
(A/B/C/D/2/3 trains to 125th Street)

A Stolen Lives Induction Ceremony in Harlem will follow. More details TBA.

October 22nd is a day that people around the nation have mobilized every year since 1996 for a National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. It is crucial that we bring forward a powerful National Day of Protest in cities and towns across the U.S. to challenge the ongoing violence against the people. This October 22nd, stand with thousands across the country to express our collective outrage, creativity, and resistance in response to the crimes of this system. On October 22nd, WEAR BLACK, FIGHT BACK!

JOIN US if there is already an October 22nd event in your area. CREATE one if you are in an area where there is currently no group organizing. For listings of activities in your area, check the website


Oct 27th 16hr Europe tour date

'The art of emcee'ing' door spiritchild
revolutionaire artiest (emcee, producer, dj) uit New York 
black gold blue gold tour 2016 pt.2

Deze workshop toont je een weg om verder te gaan dan stijl en vorm en echt als water te zijn met jouw flow, van pen tot optreden tot product. 
* Hoe kan je structuur en concepten transformeren tot een complete creatieve compositie? 
* Hoe kan je de kunst van het freestylen en vertellen van verhalen beheersen en een vakkundig optreden geven dat je volledig lichaam en het publiek betrekt? 
* Hoe kan je jouw artistieke identiteit uitbouwen en koesteren?
Voor de artiest die wil groeien in de kunst van het emcee’en door praktische, hands-on tips over het schrijven tot het brengen en het creëren van een artistieke gemeenschap. 

Meer over spiritchild: 

Als revolutionaire artiest uit the South Bronx doorheen Brooklyn, gebruikt spiritchild kunst om een culturele revolutie te cultiveren doorheen de wereld. De eclectische en experimentele fusie van ‘true school’ hip hop, funk, electronica en jazz van deze artiest blijft de grenzen doorbreken van de muziek scène. spiritchild brengt de frequencies over van J Dilla die thee drinkt met Sun Ra, schildert de silhouetten van Nina Simone en remixt El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz ook gekend als Malcolm X. Niemand deelt tijd en ruimte zonder geraakt te worden in lichaam, geest, hart en ziel.

Als solo artiest, sinds 1992 en als ritmisch dichter van de hip hop fusie band Mental Notes , sinds 1999, gebruikt spiritchild muziek om conversaties te openen en tot actie aan te zetten rond sociale en milieurechtvaardigheid. Naast het uitbrengen van verschillende solo albums en band opnames, had spiritchild de eer om samen te werken met een waaier aan artiesten van de revolutionaire ‘spoken word’ activisten The Last Poets, Amiri Baraka, grammy award genomineerde Maya Azucena, Les Nubians, The Coup, Dead Prez tot Brooklyn's Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra. 

Bijdragen tot de muzikale en sociale hartslag van jongeren is de kern van het levenswerk van deze artiest. Als programmaleider en consultant voor Art Start en Urban Art Beat, internationale pedagoog en spreker heeft spiritchild uitgebreid ervaring in het ontwikkelen en leiden van workshops en programma’s rond hip hop pedagogie, songwriting and artiestontwikkeling. Hij is tevens de bedenker van het internationale hip hop gemeenschapsprogramma ‘The c.i.p.h.e.r.’ dat erkend en ondersteund is door het ‘Erasmus+ youth in action programma’ van de Europese Commissie. 


thank you for all of your ongoing support throughout these years of xspiritmental vibrations, x'sploration, x'pressions. it is because of you we travel, it is for you we create, it is the reason we revolutionize. all works can be found at the following:

spiritchild on itunes here    mental notes on itunes here

dj sets and songs


.) stay light keep creative remain free 
(. spiritchild
freedom singer
revolutionary matriarchal maroon




I hope you found peace.

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thank you pedagoddesses and pedagods

peace and unconditional revolutionary love

give thanks to our community of pedagoddesses and pedagods. it is due to you, who make it happen everyday. the reason we exist, create and prefigure a new society. the reason we study, construct and decolonize ourselves, the mind, the body then our surroundings and loved ones. the purpose. the reason we love. give thanks for your presence, vibrations and intention for last night's partyraiser to get our critical revolutionary hip hop pedagogy to Rikers for this fall. without you, we are a minute short of soon. with you, we are sustainably maroon. the list would include many, all and those not on this book of faces. however in these past few weeks, i've witness your miracles of power to influence books and legacies to be ;). from the south bronx to south africa our visions crosses continents, eliminates the illusions of borders and connects souls. keep lighting your candles, keep sparking your flames. the likes and thank you's are in the work you do, no need for response. it is with utmost respect peace and unconditional revolutionary love we greet you from cyberspaces to your hearts, minds and souls most intimate spaces. that is more important. that you feel where we are coming from and what we are saying to you in the now and beyond. #criticalrevolutionaryhiphoppedagogy #anewblackartsmovement#urbanartbeat Urban Art Beat A New Black Arts Movement
Norma Lynch Rosa Bettina Mayteana Morales Rae Maxwell Raydar Ellis Sam Sellers Illspokinn James Phaseone Yeah Mikal Lee Libby Mislan 
Dorien De Vidts Nejma Shea Signe Harriday Ziedah Diata Monique Scott Lisa Podell Lauren Kelly Benson Napoleon Da Legend Karim Bourhane Vitamin Da Governor Nelson Chiefsixnine Seda Latonica Readdy Ti Knoepfel Ren AnReKae Medina Fabian Farbeon Saucedo Ben Barson Quincy Saul Maya Azucena Gus Gauntlett Chelsea Gregory Jake Rich Dramatic Dyalekt Pamela Capalad Kushner Hannah Immerman Johanna De Los Santos Kee-Jay SwiftSwiss Chris Charlotte Hill O'Neal Tomas Vanderbeke Olad Aden Joe Bliese Ras Benard Benzima Woria Zulu Mc M'Afrika Anele Le Space Rachida Aziz

Danette Chavis Kilusan Bautista Lisa Russell Jessica Habie Jessica-Patrice Dorsey Coulter Norma Lynch Mariella Ella Ella David Nudelman Kathie Cheng Nicholas Heyward Ashley Lauren Hamilton Kahlil Khan David Garcia-Rosen Dequi Kioni-sadiki Oja Soundtwista Yogi GuyCatalina Gibb Rukia Lumumba Luke Nephew Peace Poet PeAbraham Velazquez Jr. Frank Antonio López Luke Aidger Patterson Shalau Baban Joschi Fabian Chantal Yancey Daniel Majesty Sanchez Zahemah Browne Benu Ma'atJana Lynne Umipig Julien A. Terrell Kêêgom May Manuela Picq Taleigh Bicicleta Ivanka Mariposa Čonková Anna Oravcova Metoděj Constantine Terry Lewis


 Susan Hwang Fred Ho Amiri Baraka Heather DayHeather Day Chcmc Dorothy Lee Augustina Warton Jake Lefco Miky HustlesPrince Akeem Young Michael Rebel Diaz Hasan Salaam Cspinfilms Chris Gman Iz Balleto Moira Meltzer-Cohen Marisol Maddox Brooke ReynoldsChristian Ver Halen Walidah Imarisha Rosa Clemente

apparently we know too many good people for just one go of a tag. ;) we love you all, in all you do and that you are in everything you bring. keep shinning your being of light.

september brings summer beauty...extended

peace and unconditional revolutionary love


give thanks to all the support and love, a fully report/update regarding our summer happenings will follow before the next month's newsletter. in the meantime as we set out for our continuation of our tour 'black gold blue gold 2016' please email manager Dorien for details (tour dates through Europe Oct 22-Nov18, Belgium Netherlands Germany, US Sept 1- Oct 20 then Nov 19- Jan 1)

for now, we have some exciting events for september. please do join us. i'll be djing a benefit party for our formation Urban Art Beat to teach, learn and share hip hop workshops at Rikers. please follow links below and check us out even if you can't attend tomorrow nights house party (saturday 9/10). performing with an unorthodox live ensemble tonight 9/9. pouring libations and spinning for our next soul session a new black arts movement presents revolutionary matriachy beyond Woman-Centric 9/18. and last but never least, peforming a benefit for our elder and political prisoner Leonard Peltier 9/24.  and everyday growing baby as baby grows me ;). love you all.

tonight 9/9

i'll be featured again with this amazing ochestra of an ensemble. our timing is unorthodox and flow liquid fire. 

join the fb event here

ShoutHouse kicks off their 2016-17 season with CROSSCURRENT, an unprecedented interdisciplinary collaboration. NYC's only classical/hip-hop/jazz orchestra will be joined by both classical and hip-hop dancers, as well as MCs Nuri نوري Hazzard and Spiritchild, in performing works byWhitney GeorgeMichael LaurelloJesse Greenberg, and a world premiere by ShoutHouse music director Will Healy

Tickets available online: or at the door (link above) - $15 ($10 Students)


tomorrow night Saturday 9/10 - the last summer dance party of '16

Come dance party build celebrate with us!!

join the fb event here

$10 gets you in, $15 gets you a keg cup! Completely affordable bar available as well! Volunteers needed! Work the door, clean a little, or sling some drinks for a shift and get in for free! 

Did we mention the DJs?! We have some powerhouse talent and players!! Rabbi Darkside! Raydar Ellis! FXWRK!! Spiritchild! And More!! The dance floor will be off the hook! Perfect place to dance your way into the new "school year."

Now- most importantly- why raise funds? Like, what SPECIFICALLY will your donations be going towards? I'm glad you asked! 

We're here to serve the youth and that costs money! We live and love Hiphop and serve through our Critical Revolutionary Hiphop Pedagogy, so what better way to raise funds than a good old fashioned house party?! 

This year is bringing some exciting new possibilities. In addition to finishing up funding for our completely free, dinner included, intensive Summer Camp for Social Justice in which the youth have a week to write, practice, and perform a song about the important topic or community issue of their choice, we're looking ahead. 

Urban Art Beat has been invited to provide programming for incarcerated youth at Rikers Island. One of the most notorious jails in a country full of notorious jails is giving us an opportunity to serve. Fervent opponents of the School to Prison Pipeline, we want to get in there and empower! We want youth in the system to know its not the end for them and that there are opportunities and power to be found in their own voices! 

But we need your help. Riker's certainly ain't paying for it. We need to cover costs associated with this program. 

So come! Dance! Imbibe! Support! And let's party while we raise enough to serve at Rikers in addition to the schools, after school programs, and community organizations where we already serve!

if you are unable to attend yet still want to donate towards our critical revolutionary hip hop pedagogy work in Rikers purchase a UAB VIP ticket here


a new black arts movement presents our monthly soul sessions series

a new black arts movement presents: beyond being “woman-centric” revolutionary matriarchy

join the fb event here
beyond being “woman-centric”, a revolutionary matriarch calls for the elimination of gender as a social construction all together. to be matri (mother) centric is to place value on the universal conditions of nurturance, education, healing, sustainability, etc. the development of a healthy society should not be marginalized by gender and its social/behavioral implications. we are to take responsibility for these essential values of development as a society. we are to undo hetero-normative patriarchy while working to re-socialize men as mothers.

revolutionary matriarchy is not a mirror of patriarchy- but it’s opposite.

adapted from F.Ho.

Showing excerpts from "Amor Puro y Duro" (Love Hard and Pure), a documentary in progress by Catherine Gund & Daresha Kyi, an evocative, thought-provoking journey through the iconoclastic life of game-changing artist Chavela Vargas. Centered around neverbefore-
seen interview footage of Chavela shot 20 years before her death in 2012, and guided by the stories in
Chavela’s songs, and the myths and tales others have told about her – as well as those she spread about herself –
the film weaves an arresting portrait of a woman who dared to dress, speak, sing, and dream her unique life into being.

Performances by:
Dequi Kioni-sadiki
Régine Bellinger
Queen Nejma Nefertiti & Susana Nieto
and more...

Live painting by Michelle Sutherland (BK)

Date: September 18th
Time: 4pm - 7pm

***Meditation worksop by Lauren Kelly Benson. We will learn to heal our own traumas and those of our ancesstresses***

Place: Bailey's Cafe
324 Malcolm X Blvd
Brooklyn, NY 

Entry: $10 donation - no one turned away
youth are always free
there will be food and refreshments available for purchase


A New Black Arts Movement is painting a new aesthetic, one in which we liberate ourselves from our oppressors. A New Black Arts Movement supports all indigenous struggles for self-defense and self-determination. A New Black Arts Movement acknowledges that all love is revolutionary, and we prefigure a new society in which all love is celebrated and accepted. We imagine a world in which heteronormative, monogamous love and the nuclear family model are not the social norm, and we celebrate freedom, love, equality, and justice. 

A New Black Arts Movement acknowledges that in order for liberation, true and revolutionary education must be celebrated and accepted. We imagine a world where all children are afforded the quality education of the wealthy, where culture is at the forefront of lessons, and where children have the freedom to explore their skills and talents beyond teacher expectations. We prefigure a world where educational institutions are community spaces and where children are given the tools to change the society in which they live. 

Our monthly Soul Sessions are community spaces where we connect, express, build and create. It is a prefigurative space where we cook wholesome foods, share our art, and encourage participation in art and a genderqueer clothing swap. This is a movement building off the original Black Arts Movement of the 1960's founded by Baba Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Maya Angelou, and our many other ancestors in the struggle for liberation. We honor all of our elders and our youth, together taking it to a new level with our principles. We are matriarchal, mother earth centered, and maroon nationality and identity. If you are serious about being a revolutionary... Read up. Be at the next Soul Sessions. And let's build. - See more at 


9/24 we'll be featured to benefit political prisoner Leonard Peltier

click here for further details


.) stay light keep creative remain free 

(. spiritchild 

freedom singer
revolutionary matriarchal maroon
a new black arts movement 
VP Universal Zulu Nation Bk Noble Chapter 9



join us this Saturday September 10th

if you are unable to physical join us, please donate a VIP ticket or two or three for Urban Art Beat's to work with our youth in Rikers 




black august

black august

remember not to forget. every day we remember not to forget. during the month of black august we concentrate and contribute towards this process of continuing a tradition of honoring our freedom warriors, victories, sacrifice and legacy.  “they can jail a revolutionary, but can’t jail the revolution” -Huey Newton. “you can kill a revolutionary, but you can never kill the revolution” – Fred Hampton

during the month of black august we fast, regroup, recenter, rejuvenate, reassess, revolutionize, remember, reignite, reawaken, revive, reconcile… from sun up to sun down or 8am to 8pm we eat nothing but knowledge, we exercise, we cleanse our bodies, we talk less to listen more, we study, we grow, we heal, we honor, we pour intentional libations for each day of remembrance and significance. we drink water. lots. to nourish and strength the soul with this powerful element. we do not intake anything toxic (drugs, alcohol etc).

i always say, if you are unable to join in this ritual as stated above you can still give up something during the month (sugar, coffee, sweets, cigarettes etc). its not how much or what you sacrifice, its the intention of your efforts and acknowledgements during the process.

so a new black arts movement invites you to join us for this black august to remember not to forget and keep the spirit of our ancestors and those behind enemy lines and exiled front and center of our minds and actions. below you will find a packet from MXGM that gives outlined dates of significance and purpose behind the month of black august.

we are revolutionaries because we love our people. we do this out of love and for the love of our people. for the liberation of our minds, bodies and souls from oppression and because we know another world is not only possible but happening throughout the continents. we have seen our communities throughout the world and know we are aligned with purpose and we are divine. we have seen our resilience throughout continents and know they cannot kill the spirit of our souls, the legacy of our blood. they jail us because they want to control us. they kill us because they fear us. remember not to forget an us before there was a them. remember who they are. remember we are not them. remember.

a new black arts movement

a letter from Assata

you can download the below packet of information via this link click here

de Blasio is an idiot and a coward

response to article in 

de Blasio is an idiot and a coward. after police turn their backs in protest twice during the eulogies delivered for the deaths of two police officers over a year ago. since, he's been catering to the biggest gang that exist in our time in new york streets with no accountability. and now you want to ensure even less accountability by providing them with "secrecy" with this Civil Rights Law 50-a, bullshit.

if you kill innocent people you deserve to have your name on blast. in fact we deserve and have a right to protest on your front lawn at your family outings, where your family works, where your children go to school providing the community with the information that their parent is a murderer (i know its quite traumatizing, imagine that...trauma). everywhere beside Union Square, 42nd and whatever locations other major district protesters use for visibility. fuck publicity. its time to make murderers uncomfortable and anyone who protects them uncomfortable. these so called politicians are supposed to be for the people, the police are for protecting property and the infrastructure/establishment. who is here to protect you/us if not for people like de Blasio, middle finger to you for real.

and the CCRB is joke. i'm not even going to comment on that major flaw on so called police accountability.
"Civilian complaints are another red flag. In New York City, they are confidential. But reports from the city's Civilian Complaint Review Board show 40 percent of the 35,000 officers on the force today have never been the subject of a citizen complaint. Another 20 percent have only one. Yet about 1,000 officers have 10 or more complaints. One has racked up 51 complaints." [source…/nypd-disciplinary-problems-linked-to-a…]

did you know about the NYPD’s Department Advocate’s Office (“DAO”) – the NYPD unit that prosecutes NYPD
disciplinary matters...(right) how about The police department’s own Internal Affairs Bureau (i hear you laughing)

and what of this one The Office of the Inspector General for the NYPD (OIG-NYPD), an independent police oversight office that is part of the Department of Investigation (DOI), was created by the New York City Council in 2013 to investigate, review, study, audit and make recommendations relating to the operations, policies, programs and practices of the NYPD. The goals of OIG-NYPD are to enhance the effectiveness of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), increase public safety, protect civil liberties and civil rights and increase the public's confidence in the police force, thus building stronger police-community relations. [source, they shit]

yeah and where's this guy, while the mayor gives unconditional support and protection for murders? "...Philip Eure became the first-ever inspector general for the NYPD, a position created in the wake of a high-profile court case over the force’s use of stop-and-frisk. The trial, which began in March 2013, galvanized public support for a city council bill that established the post." [source…/nypd-accountability_n_56306…]

don't drink the kool-aid. continue to find and define effective ways to be heard. if their response is more "measures" of accountability, they aren't hearing you. we are definitely not being heard when de Blasio pulls this stunt. we demand those records and if we don't get them, it is our duty to find ways to take them without the permission of the state. those records belong to us. the people are the judge jury and executioners if it must be so.
A New Black Arts Movement ‪#‎anewblackartsmovement‬

a new black arts movement news reported headlines May 21st

a new black arts movement news reported headlines May 21st
peace and unconditional revolutionary love
few headlines. we are revolutionaries, we study to inform our action, we act to validate our study. what's on your reading list?
CIA helped apartheid south africa imprison Nelson Mandela...figure that "It has long been suspected that the CIA played a role in the apartheid South Africa regime’s arrest and 27-year imprisonment of anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela. It has now been confirmed.Donald Rickard, a former U.S. vice-consul in Durban, South Africa who worked as a CIA agent, admitted that he tipped off the apartheid regime with Mandela’s location in 1962, the British media reported this week.Rickard said the U.S. helped arrest the anti-apartheid leader because he was “the world’s most dangerous communist outside of the Soviet Union.” The U.S. feared Mandela was about “to incite” a communist revolution against the apartheid regime, and could align with the Soviet Union." eyes on Brazil white supremacist patriarchs on the rise... "Brazil’s president says she has been deposed in a “coup,” as a dire political crisis is unfolding in the country. The Senate vice president also says the interim head of state has put the elected president “under siege” by the military.For weeks, the country’s right-wing opposition has waged a coordinated campaign against the left-wing President Dilma Rousseff.Although Rousseff has not been charged with a crime, Brazil’s legislature voted to suspend her from office over accusations that she tampered with government accounts in order to hide a budget shortfall — a non-impeachable offense that she says numerous other governments have done.Temer immediately replaced Rousseff’s progressive and diverse cabinet with right-wing, all-white, all-male members — the first time since 1979 that no women have served in Brazil’s presidential cabinet." “It seems to me that this interim and illegitimate government will be very conservative in every aspect, one of which is the fact that it is a government of white men, without blacks, in a country that in the last census in 2010 — and I think this is very important — more than 50 percent of the population self-identified as being of African origin,” Rousseff said. U.K gets black studies...congrats for getting up to speed for the 21st century, you're only a few days late to the party "Black studies is also vital because it not only aims to change the face but also the nature of universities. Any approach rooted in the experience of black populations will quickly realise the serious issues of discrimination and exclusion faced across the globe. We therefore cannot be content to gain access to academia and we have to ensure that black studies can be used to connect the university into the struggles to improve conditions in the wider society. Hare had the ambition that “black education would become an instrument for change”, focusing on not just understanding but overcoming the problems. Our black studies course will not only teach a broader range of knowledge, it will equip students to be engaged in organisations off campus that are at the frontline of working to deliver services and transform communities.Black studies is long overdue in British higher education and we invite you to join the movement to transform British higher education."
Sanders to be VP for Clinton? hmmm "It’s time to bury the hatchet, Democrats. Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders need to accept that Hillary Clinton has the nomination all but sewn up, and Clinton’s supporters need to stop counting delegates long enough to face the fact that Sanders won the policy debate, hands down. With the end of the primary season just weeks away, the two candidates need to brush themselves off, shake hands, and begin quietly preparing to take on Republican nominee Donald Trump together – with Clinton at the top of the ticket and Sanders as her running mate."
womyn being called crazy or let go in military who speak out about sexual abuse "The 124-page report, “Booted: Lack of Recourse for Wrongfully Discharged US Military Rape Survivors,” found that many rape victims suffering from trauma were unfairly discharged for a “personality disorder” or other mental health condition that makes them ineligible for benefits. Others were given “Other Than Honorable” discharges for misconduct related to the assault that shut them out of the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system and a broad range of educational and financial assistance. The consequences of having “bad paper” – any discharge other than “honorable” – or being labeled as having a “personality disorder” are far-reaching for veterans and their families, impacting employment, child custody, health care, disability payments, burial rights – virtually all aspects of life." natural vibes are back with mushrooms assisting in mental healthand marijuana substituting for dangerously prescribed opiates. It took 30 months to get the drug, which had to be specially packaged into capsules for the trial by a company which was required to get a licence to do so. All the regulatory approvals took 32 months, Nutt said. “It cost £1,500 to dose each person, when in a sane world it might cost £30.” "The researchers said they did not know whether the effect of the drug was caused by chemical changes in the brain or whether the psychedelic experience, which people describe as spiritual or mystical, gives them a new perspective. Either way, they said psilocybin offered hope for those who had been depressed for an average of 18 years - the majority of the volunteers had been depressed most of their lives." "Monroe’s physicians had prescribed him oxycodone, and although his body needed relief from severe pain, the side effects of the painkiller were horrible. He felt like a “zombie” – sluggish, lethargic and always in a fog. He avoided developing a dangerous opioid addiction, but many other athletes, particularly professional football players, are not so lucky.That’s why Monroe has become an unlikely advocate for medical marijuana, an alternative painkiller that the National Football League continues to ban despite growing evidence that cannabis is significantly safer than opioids, could reduce opioid dependence and could even diminish the long-term effects of brain injuries.In March, Monroe became the first active NFL player to openly call for the use of cannabinoids to treat chronic pain and sports injuries, and this month he escalated his campaign with the launch of a personal website dedicated to the cause and an $80,000 donation to medical marijuana researchers.""Studies have also demonstrated that cannabis is safe and effective for treating chronic pain – without serious side effects – and that states with medical marijuana have lower opioid overdose mortality rates than states that still outlaw pot.Also of note is research suggesting that cannabidiol, a cannabis component, can act as a short-term “neuroprotective”, meaning marijuana could potentially help protect players from a brain disease that afflicts many in the NFL." "After years of relentless growth, the number of opioid prescriptions in the United States is finally falling, the first sustained drop since OxyContin hit the market in 1996.For much of the past two decades, doctors were writing so many prescriptions for the powerful opioid painkillers that, in recent years, there have been enough for every American adult to have a bottle. But for each of the past three years — 2013, 2014 and 2015 — prescriptions have declined, a review of several sources of data shows."In the past, prescribing of opioids was limited, often aimed at the pain that comes after surgery or with terminal illnesses like cancer. But it took off in the 1990s, as drug companies and medical experts argued that opioids could be used to treat chronic conditions like back pain without addicting patients. Medical residents began learning that pain was the “fifth vital sign” — a body function to be assessed after temperature, heart rate, respiration rate and blood pressure — and that opioids could help mitigate it safely. Sales of the drugs exploded, rising to nearly $10 billion in 2015, from $1 billion in 1992, according to IMS." 5 lessons America has failed to learn from the Iraq War It’s a Limited Mission — POOF!No Boots on the Ground — POOF!We’re Winning — POOF!It’s Up to the Iraqis — POOF!Same Leadership, Same Results — POOF!
Sanders said to release Oscar Lopez if he becomes president "I say to President Obama: Let him out! Free Oscar Lopez Rivera. He has done his time. He must be given a chance to enjoy his freedom as we enjoy our own.And if you do not do this, I will. Oscar Lopez Rivera’s incarceration violates the principles of justice, democracy, and respect for human rights. To keep him in prison for such a long time is wrong.As president, I will pardon Oscar Lopez Rivera and allow him to return to Puerto Rico as soon as possible. He has been in solitary confinement long enough."
tylenol makes you less empathetic to others pain “These findings suggest other people’s pain doesn’t seem as big of a deal to you when you’ve taken acetaminophen,” said co-author Dominik Mischowski. “Acetaminophen can reduce empathy as well as serve as a painkiller.”In two double-blind studies, the researchers measured the reactions of subjects “reading physical or social pain scenarios, witnessing ostracism in the lab, or visualizing another study participant receiving painful noise blasts,” finding that the group given acetaminophen were less likely to experience “perceived pain, personal distress, and empathic concern.”
nanoparticles in your baby's formula "The good news is that, according to preliminary studies from ASU researchers, hydroxyapatite needles don’t last long in the digestive system.This research is still being reviewed for publication. But early indications are that as soon as the needle-like nanoparticles hit the highly acidic fluid in the stomach, they begin to dissolve. So fast in fact, that by the time they leave the stomach – an exceedingly hostile environment – they are no longer the nanoparticles they started out as."

bell hooks vs. Beyoncé: "One of Beyoncé’s most noted critics of late has been famed feminist scholar bell hooks. A legend in the world of feminism, hooks has devoted her career to writing, speaking and educating about the intersections of race, class and gender, focusing on how these intersecting identities influence oppression. As a black woman with expertise in gender studies and how the images of women, notably black women, influence our experiences, Dr. hooks is most certainly qualified to critique how the superstar’s art affects women. And the influence that comes with Beyoncé’s position as one of the most prolific entertainers of our time has the side effect, however unfair, of opening her up to public scrutiny. Yet while hooks’ discussions of the singer’s power and how she wields it are expected and perhaps even warranted, when shielded by reverence the feminist giant continues not only to analyze but target Beyoncé, with a passionate, often hypocritical contempt that reduces what should be thought-provoking evaluations to social media fodder and anecdotal evidence of women’s propensity for spite.
Dr. hooks’ brutal criticism of Beyoncé was first widely noted when she participated in a panel discussion in May 2014. Of Knowles, hooks first proclaimed, “…I don’t think you can separate her class power and the wealth, from people’s fascination with her. That here is a young, black woman who is so incredibly wealthy….” She further mused, “One could argue, even more than her body, it’s what that body stands for — the body of desire fulfilled, that is wealth, fame, celebrity, all the things that so many people in our culture are lusting for, wanting.” But the hardest blow came when hooks labeled Beyoncé’s influence on not only “anti-feminist,” but “assaulting” and “terrorist.”"
who rules the world "States, of course, have complex internal structures, and the choices and decisions of the political leadership are heavily influenced by internal concentrations of power, while the general population is often marginalized. That is true even for the more democratic societies, and obviously for others. We cannot gain a realistic understanding of who rules the world while ignoring the “masters of mankind”, as Adam Smith called them: in his day, the merchants and manufacturers of England; in ours, multinational conglomerates, huge financial institutions, retail empires and the like.Still following Smith, it is also wise to attend to the “vile maxim” to which the “masters of mankind” are dedicated: “All for ourselves and nothing for other people” – a doctrine known otherwise as bitter and incessant class war, often one-sided, much to the detriment of the people of the home country and the world."
.) stay light stay creative (. spiritchild
freedom singera new black arts movement VP Universal Zulu Nation Bk Noble Chapter 9

few headlines may 13

few headlines may 13 2016
peace and unconditional revolutionary love
few headlines
we are revolutionaries, we study to inform our action, we act to validate our study.
what's on your reading list?
Zimmerman auctioning gun that killed Trayvon Martin
Brazil's first female president impeachment
Monsanto coming through.
watch yourselves and babies when playing in city parks, research... .) stay light stay creative (. spiritchild
freedom singer a new black arts movement VP Universal Zulu Nation Bk Noble Chapter 9

music creates us...october updates



peace and unconditional revolutionary love


thank you for continuing this journey of a new black arts movement with us.  below goes for all mediums channeled by the higher force energy.  see you throughout the universe more specifically join us this weekend for the seeds of change conference, or next weekend to Minnesota at the Resistance and Rebellion conference, a soul session perhaps lead by our youth of a new black arts movement, or back to Europe for another roots rhythm and revolution tour producing youth exchanges through The c.i.p.h.e.r.

allow music to create you

I tour and create to spread messages of another way. ways beyond industry boxes and packaged pattern thoughts conceived and constructed by manipulated media in the form of "music". what is sold to you as music is nothing more music than produced monsanto organic foods being "food". music is food. food for the soul. what is given reproduces assembly lines manufactured regurgitation resembling factory model education brought to you boxed and delivered by Prussia.

I'm not here to only fight the industry. that would be suicide. an energy battling a force such as the prison military industrial complex. I would lose before entering the battle field. I chose not to only fight, instead continue to build and create this other way, still willing and prepared to defend beyond any means necessary to all means essential. the intrinsic nature and value of such a force cannot be simplified and defined by the limitations of vocabulary to perpetuate isms and games of war.

this is force. I've seen the power of what the usage of "100%" of our brains can do. I'm not impressed. I challenge myself and others to tap into a spiritual force with our creations that knows not the language of science and exceeds any scale of measure fathomed by our analysis.
do not attempt to create music. instead allow the energy to paint you a picture of the moment that foretells yet a significant glimpse of our salvation and conversation with a necessary and essential power.

with peace and unconditional revolutionary love

 sept 30th

Oct 9-11th

peace, honored to provide sonic vibrations and revolutionary sounds to this conference weekend Oct9-11. building upon our eco-socialist/mother earth centeredness, one of our most regarded tenants of a new black arts movement.
if you are interested in attending please inbox me. 
The live-streamed food justice portion of the conference Seeds of Change: Cultivating the Commons | October 9-11, 2015 will be available online from Oct. 11- Nov. 11, 2015. This will feature a panel discussion and speakers including: Vandana Shiva, Ken Greene, Tasha Bowens Blair, Will Allen, Jalal Akbar Sabur, Winona LaDuke Honor the Earth, Robert Backus. Music bySpiritchild and Decora Poet‪#‎OCSL‬ ‪#‎seedingchange‬ ‪#‎foodjustice‬ A New Black Arts Movement Movement in Motion UZN Chapter 9- Noble 9 Zuluz‪#‎anewblackartsmovement‬ Marisol Maddox Soul Squad Information Board‪#‎soulsquad‬

Oct 17

Resistance and Rebellion is a day-long international convening exploring the role of art in revolution.

 The convening will bring together contemporary artists, activists, critics, and writers to discuss the application of art and culture and their effects on movements for liberation. Looking at the future of resistance through the lens of history from rebellions to Black Lives Matter to uprisings in the streets, the convening will create a space for discovery and collaboration.

Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs - Cowles Auditorium 
301 19th Ave S 
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Saturday, October 17, 2015 from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM (CDT)

spiritchild will be on a panel representing a new black arts movement discussing the work.

Oct 18th 

A new black arts movement presents powerpalooza: A celebration of freedom! Join us for music, dance, art and much more. There will be food and drinks. This soul session is family friendly and youth led.
Oct. 18th
At Casa de Sou(e)l
724 Empire Blvd
$5 Suggested Donation, $10 includes a plate of food.
Youth are free.
This Soul Session will end in a dance party!

Oct 27 - Nov 17 roots rhythm and revolution European Tour part II

Locations and dates of the tour: European Tour 2015 pt.2 : 28th of October - 15th of November 2015 :

28/10/2015 – 1/11/2015: Belgium

2/11/2015 – 7/11/2015: Germany - Berlin - The c.i.p.h.e.r. (international Hip Hop project)

8/11/2015 – 15/11/2015: Belgium

Dorien De Vidts

+32 486 954475

love you

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september shared selections; soul sessions; souel soothing sounds



peace and unconditional revolutionary love


thank you for your continuing and growing support.  our summer has been beyond revolutionary with the birth our young souel (thank you to all who contributed to our "it takes a village to raise a child", because of you we had a successful and joyful home birth supported and surrounded by comrades and family), conducting trainings on Critical Revolutionary Hip Hop Pedagogy for the revolutionary mentors and teaching artist of our formation Urban Art Beat, soul sessions tributing Black August and revolutionary legends at our casa del sou(e)l, the birth of our international project lead by Dorien De Vidts entitled The "c.i.p.h.e.r" (community international progressing hip hop evolutions and revolutions) throughout the Netherlands, Belgium & Germany phase 1..., setting off more youth work with new sites spreading love the critical revolutionary hip hop way ;). 

the c.i.p.h.e.r imagethe c.i.p.h.e.rbelow is better articulated by the revolutionary matriarch, executive director of Urban Art Beat, visionary, commandante de mi corazon Ms K, Rosa Bettina.

see you all tomorrow for our commUniversity.

visit our updated store page at for new revolutionary books & cds

visit our tour page at to book a workshop/performance/dj/sound session

email me at spirit@urbanartbeat if you are a teacher/principal/parent who wants us to do revolutionary hip hop arts programming at your school with world renown and the most talented mentors in the NYC area.

.) stay light stay creative
(. spiritchild 

freedom singer

a new black arts movement 
VP Universal Zulu Nation Bk Noble Chapter 9 
Join us community, as we kick off the fall semester with renewed energy to transform our communities through our art!
Our mentors are ready for an incredible school year! 

August Professional Development
Critical Revolutionary
Hip Hop Pedagogy
Check out Rae's Photos here!


Much has changed since our last newsletter! Our teaching artist team is growing, both in numbers and in their Critical Revolutionary Hip Hop Pedagogy! We have new school sites that are excited to engage all of the elements of Hip Hop to enact change in their communities, AND even the name of our home base changed from Casa del Soul to Casa del Sou(e)l thanks to the incredible birth of one very influential lil' bambino.

(Photo credit
We will also be highlighting a youth each month! To kick it off we would like to back track to July and August and highlight two young people that really went above and beyond to use their art and their talent to shine light on social justice issues that effect our communities daily. We call them Artivists. 
June's rising leader is Tayanha Walcott. Tayanha a.k.a. The Hippie Philosopher, was in 7th grade, already a brilliant writer, singer, activist and performer, when she began coming to UAB workshops. Tayahna is consistently one of the youngest and most articulate emcees on any stage. She even records her own music.
July's "artivist' is Mike aka Polite. We were first wowed by Polite's passion, talent and content at last summer's Hip Hop Summer Camp, focusing on Gun Violence and Police Brutality. Just one year later he is transforming from participant to mentor! To end the summer, Polite also recruited his cousin to join our Professional Development, embodying the idea that we are a movement that grows stronger as we work together! 
This past summer they both were out "in the streets" performing in multiple locations. They represented at SOS's Anti-Gun Violence block party, their annual "Kingston Ave Festival", they performed at a new black arts movement's Youth Social Justice Expo and rocked a large (soaked) stage in Von King Park for the Peace thru Performance Festival. As a rising organizer, Polite was the main point of contact, handling all the logistics for UAB's performance at this event! The set he lined up was on point, energy and content wise, "You say you want to stop the violence? Then do something!" He is a man of his word.

Join Us in our Upcoming Events !
This fall we continue to engage, challenge and celebrate our youth, our educators, our teaching artists and greater community. COME to ONE, COME to ALL! Always family friendly.

1. This Sunday: a new black arts movement* presents"
Youth Leaders vs. The School to Prison Pipeline



Your voice is needed!


Sunday, Sept 20th 

3:30-4 Youth Open Mic 

4-6 pm

Casa del Sou(e)l

724 Empire Blvd, Brooklyn NY 11213 



Are you interested in education that focuses on change? Are you interested in disrupting the school to prison pipeline? Come listen to youth who are living it and organizations who are doing something about it! At this CommUniversity youth will speak on their experiences in revolutionary education settings. There will also be a panel discussion on developing youth leadership to combat the school to prison pipeline and other challenges facing young people

Panelists Include: Cory Greene: Co-Founder of How Our Lives Link Altogether! (H.O.L.L.A!) and formerly incarcerated community organizer, Stephanie Damon-Moore (,) Kimberly Adams (Educator and Activist), Rukia Lumumba (CCA, CASES),Youth from Freebrook Academy, MXGM's African Scouts, AND MORE!

* a new black arts movement is a formation made up of multiple organizations and revolutionaries dedicated to pre-figuring a new society. UAB is proud to be one of those dedicated organizations.

2. Tips on the Business of Being a Teaching Artist
Following Sunday's CommUniversity ...
Sunday 9/20 6:30-8p.m.
724 Empire Blvd. 

Build with Gustav Gauntlett about organizing your teaching artist FUN(d$).  From contracts, to invoices, taxes, and all that fun stuff that keeps us able to do the mentoring and womentoring we love to do.  This workshop is also a space to share our past, present, and future relationships with money and how we can best utilize this relationship to focus on the actions and people we love. 


3. And of course our we continue with our...

All Ages Open Mic Workshop

Thurs Sept 24th

Dixon Place Theater

161 Chrystie NY NY



Special guests from Australia's Music Industry College! Youth will be encouraged to share a piece they have been working on and give feedback to others as we foster in the next generation of mentors. Our September focus continues with Education and Youth Leadership and The School to Prison Pipeline.

These Open Mics are monthly! Join us Oct 15thand every third Thursday this fall! 


4. October's SOUL SESSION is
"Powerpaloosa- Celebrating our Power in The Fight for Freedom
Organized by the youth of A New Black Arts Movement

Sunday, October 18th 

4-6 pm

Casa del Sou(e)l

724 Empire Blvd, Brooklyn NY 11213 
Followed by a celebratory dance party Djed by spiritchild, Nzinga and Kai!

THANK YOU!! We are able to host these amazing events thanks to the continuous support of our community through donated funds, resources and hours of volunteer time! KEEP US GOING. If you can't make it to our events, please donate through our new and improved website! (Thanks Parul for the website)

Thanks to all of you for helping us transform our lives and the lives of the youth we reach!  


Your donations through NYFA are also tax deductible! The time is now! 



Our Open Mics support the critical mentorship of our youth! 

Dixon Place ! 
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Critical Revolutionary Hip Hop pedagogy video Belgium

roots rhythm revolution European Tour 2015 featuring by FlashMall" href="">WORKSHOPS, performances, djing and conversations.
Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany & Czech Republic.
contact management: Dorien De Vidts
+32 (0) 486954475

footage courtesy of LABO

summer rain

why stay dry when you can dance in the rain.
water your inner city blues.
shine out within.

what time is it?

i kept my watch programmed to military time
and missed the universe.

moon over me

i look forward to your moon.
shadowing existence.
breathing in and out, conducting the seas of your heart.
shadow over me.
shine upon me.
run your rivers deep enough to drown my insecurities.
i am a vulnerable strength snuggled in the warmth and glow of you.
moon over me.

the slaves that time forgot

The slaves that time forgot

  We've all been taught the horror's of the African slave trade. It's in all the school books and in plenty of Hollywood movies.
   But for some reason the largest group of slaves in the British Colonies in the 17th Century doesn't get mentioned at all: the Irish.

 Most people have heard of the Great Famine, which reduced the population of Ireland by around 25%.
   That pales in comparison to the disaster that England inflicted upon Ireland between 1641 and 1652, when the population of Ireland fell from 1,466,000 to 616,000.

  Then things got worse.

What to do with the Irish?

  From the Tudor reconquest of Ireland until Irish Independence in 1921, the English puzzled over the problem of what to do with all those Irish people.
   They were the wrong religion. They spoke the wrong language. But the big problem was that there were just too many of them.

  The English had been practicing a slow genocide against the Irish since Queen Elizabeth, but the Irish bred too fast and were tough to kill. On the other side of the Atlantic, there was a chronic labor shortage (because the local natives tended to die out too quickly in slavery conditions).
  Putting two and two together, King James I started sending Irish slaves to the new world.
  The first recorded sale of Irish slaves was to a settlement in the Amazon in 1612, seven years before the first African slaves arrived in Jamestown.

  The Proclamation of 1625 by James II made it official policy that all Irish political prisoners be transported to the West Indies and sold to English planters. Soon Irish slaves were the majority of slaves in the English colonies.

  In 1629 a large group of Irish men and women were sent to Guiana, and by 1632, Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat in the West Indies. By 1637 a census showed that 69% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves, which records show was a cause of concern to the English planters. But there were not enough political prisoners to supply the demand, so every petty infraction carried a sentence of transporting, and slaver gangs combed the country sides to kidnap enough people to fill out their quotas.
 The slavers were so full of zest that they sometimes grabbed non-Irishmen. On March 25, 1659, a petition was received in London claiming that 72 Englishmen were wrongly sold as slaves in Barbados, along with 200 Frenchmen and 7-8,000 Scots.
  So many Irish slaves were sent to Barbados, between 12,000 and 60,000, that the term "barbadosed" began to be used.
 By the 1630's, Ireland was the primary source of the English slave trade.

   And then disaster struck.


   After Oliver Cromwell defeated the royalists in the English Civil War, he turned to Ireland, who had allied themselves with the defeated royalists. What happened next could be consideredgenocide.
   The famine (caused by the English intentionally destroying foodstocks) and plague that followed Cromwell's massacres reduced the population of Ireland to around 40%.

  And then Cromwell got really nasty.
Anyone implicated in the rebellion had their land confiscated and was sold into slavery in the West Indies. Even catholic landowners who hadn't taken part of the rebellion had their land confiscated.
  Catholicism was outlawed and catholic priests were executed when found.
To top it off, he ordered the ethnic cleansing of Ireland east of Shannon in 1652. Soldiers were encouraged to kill any Irish who refused to relocate.

   Instead of trying to describe the horror, consider the words from the English State Papers in 1742.

 "In clearing the ground for the adventurers and soldiers (the English capitalists of that day)... To be transported to Barbados and the English plantations in America. It was a measure beneficial to Ireland, which was
thus relieved of a population that might trouble the planters; it was a benefit to the people removed, which might thus be made English and Christians ... a great benefit to the West India sugar planters, who desired men and boys for their bondsmen, and
the women and Irish girls... To solace them
 I can't help but notice that the exact same language and logic used to justify enslavement of the blacks was used to justify enslavement of the Irish.
   It is something for those who think slavery was simply a matter of skin color to consider.

  As for the Irish slaves, Cromwell specifically targeted Irish children.

 “During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In this decade, 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia. Another 30,000 Irish men and women were also transported and sold to the highest bidder. In 1656, [Oliver] Cromwell ordered that 2000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers.”
 For some reason, history likes to call these Irish slaves as 'indentured servants'. As if they were somehow considered better than African slaves. This can be considered an attempt at whitewashing the history of the Irish slave trade.
   There does exist indentured servitude where two parties sign a contract for a limited amount of time. This is not what happened to the Irish from 1625 onward. They were sold as slaves, pure and simple.
  In reality, they were considered by some to be even lower than the blacks.
“...the African slave trade was just beginning during this same period,” writes Martin. “It is well recorded that African slaves, not tainted with the stain of the hated Catholic theology and more expensive to purchase, were often treated far better than their Irish counterparts.”
     African slaves were still relatively new, and were expensive to transport such a long distance (50 sterling in the late 1600's). Irish slaves on the other hand, were relatively cheap in comparison (5 sterling).
  If a planter whipped or branded or beat an Irish slave to death, it was never a crime. A death was a monetary setback, but far cheaper than killing a more expensive African. The English masters quickly began breeding the Irish women for both their own personal pleasure and for greater profit. Children of slaves were themselves slaves, which increased the size of the master’s free workforce.
 Because Irish slaves were so much cheaper, the loss of investment from torturing and killing them was not considered an effective deterrent. In an ironic twist, this caused some to recommend importing African slaves instead for humanitarian reasons.
 Colonel William Brayne wrote to English authorities in 1656 urging the importation of Negro slaves on the grounds that, "as the planters would have to pay much more for them, they would have an interest in preserving their lives, which was wanting in the case of (Irish)...." many of whom, he charged, were killed by overwork and cruel treatment. African Negroes cost generally about 20 to 50 pounds Sterling, compared to 900 pounds of cotton (about 5 pounds Sterling) for an Irish. They were also more durable in the hot climate, and caused fewer problems. The biggest bonus with the Africans though, was they were NOT Catholic, and any heathen pagan was better than an Irish Papist.
"Truly, I have seen cruelty there done to servants as I did not think one Christian could have done to another."
  - Richard Ligon, 1657
  It's impossible to estimate the exact number of Irish sold into slavery during this period. More Irish slaves were sold in the American colonies between 1651 and 1660 than the entire free population of those colonies. In fact, more Irish were sold as slaves in the America's during the 17th Century than Africans.
   The typical death rate on the slave ships was around 37%.

  The Irish did often have one advantage over African slaves - most of the time their time in slavery was limited. They were often sold into slavery from 7 to 20 years, while the only way Africans could get out of slavery was to buy their freedom.

   While the number of Irish being sent into slavery dropped off considerably in the 1660's, it did not just end.
   After the Battle of the Boyne in 1691 there was another load of Irish slaves sent to the new world. Following the failure of the 1798 Irish Rebellion there were tens of thousands more Irish slaves.

  Interesting historical note: the last person killed at the Salem Witch Trials was Ann Glover. She and her husband had been shipped to Barbados as a slave in the 1650's. Her husband was killed there for refusing to renounce catholicism.
   In the 1680's she was working as a housekeeper in Salem. After some of the children she was caring for got sick she was accused of being a witch.
  At the trial they demanded she say the Lord's Prayer. She did so, but in Gaelic, because she didn't know English. She was then hung.

cell free

Been cell free since sept 2014. I've liberated my soul so that frequencies can travel beyond service bars. Started with liberation Sunday's (a day to unplug and be) first time is always difficult, some psychological demented delusional desire of a defined need.
I've noticed people have been still using the old method for me. if you need a dj, sound, production, workshop facilitator, live band, performer, comrade, cadre wink emoticon
See you in virtual worlds doppelgänger.
Destroy an empire, build relations.

Mar. 8, 1971: FBI’s COINTELPRO Exposed

we cannot change history. we can learn from him and grow his sons to be revolutionary matriarchs with knowledge of his intent and direction. -spirit

Mar. 8, 1971: FBI’s COINTELPRO Exposed


This picture is just one of thousands of the stories revealed.

On March 8, 1971, a cab driver, a day care provider, and two professors broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, and stolemore than 1,000 classified documents that they then mailed anonymously to several U.S. papers. They were members of the Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI. They selected the night of the “Fight of the Century,” the boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, when most people would be glued to their radios.

The documents revealed the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program—COINTELPRO—which was a series of covert, and often illegal, activity. The FBI conducted surveillance, infiltration, discreditation, and the disruption of domestic political organizations—including actions that led to murder. (Learn more about from Democracy Now!’s interview with three of the people who broke in.)

Here is just one of the documents:

On December 7, 1955 the FBI’s Mobile office began forwarding information on the bus boycott to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. The special agent in charge of the office reports that someone, probably a member of the Montgomery police department, had been assigned to find “derogatory information” about King.

The Citizen’s Commission members involved in the break-in were never caught nor revealed their names until 2014. In 2015, a documentary film1971, was released on the case.


International Womyn's Day

you were international before man announce his patriarchal ignorance.
i celebrate you 365 working towards a 180 building within 360's.

March is Revolutionary Matriarchy Month, Respect to the Queenz


peace and unconditional revolutionary love

you were international before man announce his patriarchal ignorance.
i celebrate you 365 working towards a 180 building within 360's.  happy revolutionary matriarchy month, every day is a valentine to the matriarchal divine design.        

we are currently booking a few more US dates on the Roots Rhythm Revolution Tour before the EU stretch late April 2015. to book a workshop, performance, dj at your school, club, community center, house party contact

song i released last month i ain't talking with you (know your rights cop watch)

get the lyrics and soundclip here; share with the youth.

March 11th 2015 spiritchild with Shout House Orchestra at Dimenna Center 730pm


March 14th 2015 djsss special invite only soul selector appearance 10pm

March 14th 2015 spiritchild with Ben Barson at BRIC studios 6pm

March 15th 2015 a new black arts movement presents: commUniversity 3pm


March 15th 2015 spiritchild @ Bowery Poetry Club 1pm

March 17th 2015 djsss (spiritchild) at BREW 9pm FREE last monthly night till summer inshallah. please do come out and support to let them know you want us back. dance, chill, drink, feel, organize, build...


March 19th 2015 Urban Art Beat Youth Open Mic @ Dixon Place Theater 330pm


March 19th 2015 Justice For Kenny Lazon benefit @ The Silent Barn 630pm


March 21st 2015 Universal Zulu Nation Respect to the Queenz Vol 3 1pm



click for new music & videos

click here to visit our store (Tour Press Video)


stay light, stay creative

xspiritmental family


Gypsy Black Solidarity

what do you do when system you believe in does not believe in you and provides no haven for justice? "It seems that Slovak justice is unable to guarantee an effective access to justice even in the most prominent, unambiguous cases of cruel and inhuman treatment in our society. The courts have been unable to effectively protect citizens from serious misconduct by units of state repression such as the police, which I consider alarming." protect the youth by any means.…/slovakia-scandalous-verdict-acquits-p… 
Ivanka Mariposa Čonková Ivana Jirkova Anna Oravcova Metoděj Constantine
move with motion ‪#‎anewblackartsmovement‬ 
A New Black Arts Movement Movement in Motion UZN Chapter 9 - Noble 9 ZuluZ UZN Chapter 9- Noble 9 Zuluz

quoting Malcolm X

“And in my opinion, the young generation of whites, blacks, browns, whatever else there is, you’re living at a time of extremism, a time of revolution, a time when there’s got to be a change, people in power have misused it, and now there has to be a change. And a better world has to be built and the only way it’s going to be built is with extreme methods. And I, for one, will join in with anyone — I don’t care what color you are — as long as you want to change this miserable condition that exists on this earth.”
Malcolm X (El Hajj Malik El Shabazz), debate at Oxford University, December 3rd, 1964. join A New Black Arts Movement its beyond boxes and color lines. our next commUniversity will be March 15th

i still... remain

through all, i still.
waters change.
vibes remain.
the old self on the opposite side of tides.
may they rise and currents flow so passionately that i'm unable
to swim to the other side.
Oshun i invite you for this task,
to keep me on this new path.

february feels fly, freedom feels fine

peace and unconditional revolutionary love

few updates, short sweet and revolutionary like the month of February. we are currently booking nationally the roots rhythm revolution tour until April 24th then taking the tour back to Europe email for full package of workshops, presentation and performances (schools, community centers, universities, house parties, clubs - no spot to unorthodox to rock.) for inquires on tour dates throughout Europe please email +32 (0) 486 954475

peace and gratitude to akhi SenOne6 for featuring us on his tv show  by mm1501" href="#">check out the interview and support 


new song from the co co-intel mixcloud on youtube lyrics available at



we were able to set off the month with our brother Oja and the Diaspora Travels February 3rd for a Ayiti Benefit.  he and his crew is currently there doing amazing work around the Earthship.  more information can be found here below that beautiful photo: 


The Diaspora Travels: Haiti towards our second Trip Gearing up Crew
LOVE FEST!!  February edition of  Wildcard Tuesdays at Brew
February 15th a new black arts movement presents
featuring spiritchild, Prince Akeem.  Eco Music Big Band hosts this month's soul session with a liberating live jazz big band party.  get your tickets asap, space is limited.

february 17th djsss (spiritchild) xSpiritMentalsss tuesday's monthly session at Brew. this month featuring the legendary Swiss Chris

freedom feels fly

co co-intel i ain't talking with you



i don't talk with you...

you little stupid ass pig, i ain't talking with you.

you, you little dumb as pig i ain't talking with you.

i got a million trillion things i rather better do.

than to be talking with you, little stupid ass.

i don't say a word...i don't say a word to you fools or anyone in your crew

don't say a word to you pigs or anyone in your crew.


i heard you got a new mayor see you taking a pic,

but they all turn they backs and its making him sick.

whoop whoop, d's calling got us make the quick.

i'm a answer that shit like i don't talk with you.

pigs i got feelings to go, i swear i had it up to hear i got no ceilings to go.

i mean for real, fuck how you feel, 2 down still its no debt toward the bill, yeah.

and everyday i wake up celebrating shit, why?

cause i just dodged a bullet from a crazy pig, I.

stuck to my rights, thats what made this, cop watch monitor the pigs watch surveillance them kids.

i have a right to flip cams so i shoot back, they say move, i step back, play it cool don't stress that.

treat them like a wild do loose with no sudden moves, i'm a take badge numbers down street corners for proof.

live for making hoods no cop zones, they shot Bobby Hutton, with no clothes on.

guess that makes sense? get arrest or death but if they speak holla back with i don't talk with you...


you little stupid ass pig, i ain't talking with you.

you, you little dumb as pig i ain't talking with you.

i got a million trillion things i rather better do.

than to be talking with you, little stupid ass.

i don't say a word...i don't say a word to you fools or anyone in your crew

don't say a word to you pigs or anyone in your crew.

know your rights 4 quick tips

you have the right to observe, photograph, record and film police activities as long as you are a "reasonable distance" away.

cops don't have the right to search you on the street for evidence to justify arresting you. they never have the right to search or touch you inappropriately to determine your gender or sexually harass you.  in any case, don't try to physically stop a search. say out loud, "I DO NOT CONSENT TO THIS SEARCH!"

if you are detained or arrested by a police officer. don't tell them anything! say out loud, "I AM GOING TO REMAIN SLIENT. I WANT TO TALK TO AN ATTORNEY."


i got a new click that i got to thank god for,

i got a new grip that i got to thank the law for.

revolution pops needs to pop more, see we need a building and some land we can grow food for.

i swear i hear some new news clips everyday waking up.

it seems like nowadays everybody waking up.

that shit can break it down fine discipline worlds, i guess need some more killed system shake it up.

i guess drama makes for the best content, we will shoot back you can keep non-violence.

now we seeing more becoming conscious feel me when they ask join the movement don't forget to read the fine print.

life got me booking like a your library innovators labeled outkast cause i'm listening to elevators 

yeah i know that karma too real so i hope you doing cool.

but still silly ass pig i ain't talking with you...

little stupid ass, i talking

4 tip

if you are harassed by the police, remember identifying information such as the officers badge number, name and car number and the time and location, and write it down as soon as you can.  get medical attention if you need it and take pictures of any injuries.  

tips courtesy of the people's justice coalition 

music by Big Sean "I don't fuck with you" 

lyrics by spiritchild jan 15, 2015 xspiritmental

January thunders... a new black arts movement, commUniversity, prisoners of war, prefiguring a new s

peace and unconditional revolutionary love

recommended reading "we will shoot back" Akinyele Omowale Umoja.

just a reminder for the upcomings for the remainder of this month.  every 3rd black sunday a new black arts movement presents soul sessions at Casa Del Soul Jan 18th Know Your Roots; Know Your Rights. every 4th black sunday a new black arts movement presents: commUniversity. every 3rd tuesday a new black arts movement presents djsss revolutionary sound, dance, lounge parties at BREW. and more oh my ;)...  see you in the streets.

was djing with my comrades today at the Malcolm X Commemoration Committee 19th annual dinner tribute.  free the land, free all political prisoners, exchange with the youth.  fight to win. 

every 3rd black Sunday of the month a new black arts movement provides soul sessions for the community.  all ages and nationalities come to build, share, learn, listen, create, study, engage, prefigure a new society, eat, express, and be.

Jan 18th a new black arts movement presents

Know Your Roots; Know Your Rights

celebrating revolutionary education & the power of story telling

Sunday Jan 18th 2015
330pm - 6pm
casa del soul
724 empire blvd
brooklyn ny 11213

featuring workshops
Radical Pedagogy 
Self Defense & Revolutionary Matriarchy 
Storytelling for Social Change
Know Your Rights / CopWatch

Brought to you by:
Scientific Soul Sessions, Urban Art Beat, The Next Youth Coalition

$5 exchange
youth free
Urban Art Beat
A New Black Arts Movement
Spiritchild XspiritMental
Rosa Bettina


Jan 20th djsss @ BREW every 3rd Tuesday

i'll be back at BREW on the 1and2's selecting sounds and vibrations of a revolutionary colorful rainbow in motion.  honor the legacy of King and moving with the heat of Black Lives Matter.  also playing sounds that compliment the vibration of a movement that moves from saying "hands up don't shoot" to... "we will shoot back"

xspiritmental vibrations presents 

dj sss (spiritchild) live 
Every 3rd Tuesday (1/20, 2/17, 3/17...)
@ Brew 9pm
370 Tompkins, Brooklyn 

spinning some worldly sounds and bringing the funk all round. chill, dance, romance, drink, think, be...
featuring freestyle sessions, special guest performances and live musicians.
Spiritchild XspiritMental

spiritchild deejays/soul selects emotions. djsss (spiritchild) channels the mood, taps into the collective consciousness and evokes the feelings you desire. by redefining genres and expectations of what you are conditioned to hear, turning you on to new artists, new sounds and new waves. djsss introduces and remixes vibrations that resonate with the soul. from Funk, Hip Hop to the rhythms of South Africa, from Reggae to Eastern European Balkan sounds, from Afro Beat to ambient Lounge Music. let's flow on a musical world trip that stimulates you and everyone in the space to let go of inhibitions, dance like no one is watching and express yourself in complete freedom.


Jan 25th  a new black arts movement presents

commUniversity.  every 4th black sunday of the month at Casa Del Soul.  please RSVP to  this month will be our first gathering with a workshop on Hip Hop (the basics 101, a pedogogy of resistance and revolution).  we will also have a film screening.



Jan 17th

give thanks for everyone who joined us todayat MXCC.  it was an honor to dj and select sounds to compliment the families and political prisoners.   

Join Us On Saturday January 17, 2015 For:


In the Tradition
to the FAMILIES of our PP/POWs
Greetings Family,
Nineteen years ago, many of you responded to the collective call that we honor the Families of our PP/POWs for their generational sacrifices to the Black Freedom struggle. It is in that tradition that the Malcolm X Commemoration Committee is pleased to announce “In the Tradition,” our 19th Annual Dinner Tribute to the Families of our Political Prisoners & Prisoners of War.
This event, co-sponsored by the 1199 SEIU Activists, will be held on Saturday, January 17th, 2015 from 3pm-7pm with dinner served at 4pm and $10 validated parking available will take place at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Labor Center, 310 West 43rd Street (between 8th & 9th Ave) in Manhattan.
Our guest speakers and cultural presentations will be none other than our Beloved Iyaluua Ferguson and Amina Baraka, two radical Black womyn who have long stood “In the Tradition” of holding up half the revolutionary New Afrikan sky.
Iyaluua Ferguson is an educator, former Chair of the People’s Council of the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika, former exile, editor of “Nation Time,” co-author of “Herman Ferguson: An Unlikely Warrior, Evolution of a Black Nationalist Revolutionary” and founder of this Dinner Tribute. Amina Baraka is a legendary People’s poet, song stylist, member of the Communist Party, endorser of the Black Radical Congress, contributor to several anthologies and raised her son, Ras Baraka, to be the newly elected mayor of the city of Newark. MXCC is extremely proud and honored to welcome both these freedom fighting womyn as invited guests.
It is understatement to say that the past year has brought us many unexpected changes: the Transitions of our Beloved elders and co-founding members Yuri Kochiyama and Chairman Emeritus, Baba Herman Ferguson, radical poet activist Baba Amiri Baraka and the resignation of Mani Gilyard, our several years co-chair. Through it all, MXCC stands firm in our commitment to the work carried out by our revolutionary elders, and steadfast in solidarity with the sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, wives, grandchildren and Loved ones of our captured Freedom Fighters.

The theme “In the Tradition” is a reminder that the struggle for Black self-determination, justice and Liberation continues forward. We send this letter to invite a community of new family, friends and younger people, as we look forward to the continued support and participation of those who for close to two decades have helped us pay well-deserved tribute to our captured Freedom Fighters and their families.
Your Donation remains $40 in advance and $45 at the door with all proceeds going to the commissary accounts of PP/POWs represented by Family at the Dinner.
We ask that if you cannot attend to PLEASE MAKE A DONATION anyway, as this Dinner Tribute helps us absorb some of the financial costs the political imprisonment of their Loved ones places on our families.
On behalf of our PP/POWs and their Families, we say Asante Sana for making this annual fundraising event a valued community institution!!!!!
Let’s “Pick up the Work” to Educate, Agitate & Organize to
Free our Political Prisoners & Prisoners of War
Malcolm X Commemoration Committee
déqui kioni-sadiki

previous communique from early this month for those that missed the blast...


"To Win victory, To complete an objective, But not to follow through, Is a disastrous Waste." Sun Tzu The Art of War

these are the days of victory and unfortunate loses.  "No nation has ever benefited From a protracted war" - Sun Tzu.  we are at war, we have been for centuries. it may seem hard to conceptualize considering we have been enslaved only to be "freed" then enslaved again suffering from black codes to jim crow to stop and frisk.  you can call it genocide, occupation, an epedemic a pandemic or simply war.  you can feel the pressure of the state closing in, showing his true colours.  this is when we seize the time.  from Spain's new "Gag Law" (Ley Mordaza) to Brooklyn's resistance to continued police repression we fight a similar enemy. so "Know your enemy, Know yourself, and victory is never in doubt, Not in a hundred battles" - Sun Tzu.  and do not be fooled, when they in act in such a manner advance.  they are showing a need for control which means more repression will follow, but these are signs of generals with no confidence and fear will lead to their destruction along with our continued action.

2014 has blessed us with the freedom of Lynne Stewart, Eddie Conway, Sekou Odinga and the 3 that remained behind enemy lines of the Cuban 5 (Gerardo, Antonio & Ramon).  we still have u.s. held political prisoners, prisoners of war if you have forgotten... Maroon, Mumia, Abdullah Majid among countless of others too many to name here as well as the pressure from New Jersey State Troopers to FBI for the capture and return of our beloved Assata Shakur. 

after returning from Europe facilitating international/intergenerational workshops; repping the Universal Zulu Nation giving hip hop history/herstory workshops to repping Cop Watch facilitating Know Your Rights Workshops to repping Scientific Soul Sessions prefiguring a new society with praxis and training our comrades abroad with a new black arts movement as well as performing, djing... I'm happy to be continuing the tour and sharing the experiences and knowledge, tactics, stories and techniques stateside from Jan-April 23rd (back to Europe May-June 2015).

also excited to announce a new black arts movement presents our new international hip hop project facilitating youth dialogue through the power of hip hop from NYC, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Tanzania and more TBA.                    

visit xspiritmental for package and booking email (

Urban Art Beat is proud to announce that in 2015, world traveling freedom singer and revolutionary, spiritchild, will be joining our team as the Director of Partnerships, Programs and International Relations within our UAB International Design branch, expanding the worldview of our participants through the exchange of art, music, performance and revolutionary ideas! He will also be facilitating and building our much needed support base working with youth in prisons, detention facilities and alternative to incarceration programs as well as homeless youth throughout New York City, continuing his work and experience from Art Start.

January storms... year of the Queer, a new black arts movement, prefiguring a new society

peace and unconditional revolutionary love

"To Win victory, To complete an objective, But not to follow through, Is a disastrous Waste." Sun Tzu The Art of War

these are the days of victory and unfortunate loses.  "No nation has ever benefited From a protracted war" - Sun Tzu.  we are at war, we have been for centuries. it may seem hard to conceptualize considering we have been enslaved only to be "freed" then enslaved again suffering from black codes to jim crow to stop and frisk.  you can call it genocide, occupation, an epedemic a pandemic or simply war.  you can feel the pressure of the state closing in, showing his true colours.  this is when we seize the time.  from Spain's new "Gag Law" (Ley Mordaza) to Brooklyn's resistance to by mm1501" href="#">continued police repression we fight a similar enemy. so "Know your enemy, Know yourself, and victory is never in doubt, Not in a hundred battles" - Sun Tzu.  and do not be fooled, when they in act in such a manner advance.  they are showing a need for control which means more repression will follow, but these are signs of generals with no confidence and fear will lead to their destruction along with our continued action.

2014 has blessed us with the freedom of Lynne Stewart, Eddie Conway, Sekou Odinga and the 3 that remained behind enemy lines of the Cuban 5 (Gerardo, Antonio & Ramon).  we still have u.s. held political prisoners, prisoners of war if you have forgotten... Maroon, Mumia, Abdullah Majid among countless of others too many to name here as well as the pressure from New Jersey State Troopers to FBI for the capture and return of our beloved Assata Shakur. 

after returning from Europe facilitating international/intergenerational workshops; repping the Universal Zulu Nation giving hip hop history/herstory workshops to repping Cop Watch facilitating Know Your Rights Workshops to repping Scientific Soul Sessions prefiguring a new society with praxis and training our comrades abroad with a new black arts movement as well as performing, djing... I'm happy to be by mm1501" href="#">continuing the tour and sharing the experiences and knowledge, tactics, stories and techniques stateside from Jan-April 23rd (back to Europe May-June 2015).

also excited to announce a new black arts movement presents our new international hip hop project facilitating youth dialogue through the power of hip hop from NYC, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Tanzania and more TBA.                    

visit xspiritmental for package and booking email (

Urban Art Beat is proud to announce that in 2015, world traveling freedom singer and revolutionary, spiritchild, will be joining our team as the Director of Partnerships, by mm1501" href="#">Programs and International Relations within our UAB International Design branch, expanding the worldview of our participants through the exchange of art, music, performance and revolutionary ideas! He will also be facilitating and building our much needed support base working with youth in prisons, detention facilities and alternative to incarceration programs as well as homeless youth throughout New York City, continuing his work and experience from Art Start.

Jan 3rd

peace and unconditional revolutionary love party people
starting tonight and throughout 2015 more collaborations with the only Eco Music Big Band in the Northeast region and probably all of u.s. bringing you that political hip hop swing funk jazz.
this marks the year of the Queer, you'll be witnessing more collaborations with this amazing Eco-Music Big Band formation featuring SpiritchildAmanda RuzzaLarry Bustamante Nabaté IslesAdamAlbert Marquès and more. conducted and led by Marie Incontrera
listen to Cal Massey and overstand, that Hey Goddamit things are changing. 


every 3rd black Sunday of the month a new black arts movement provides soul sessions for the community.  all ages and nationalities come to build, share, learn, listen, create, study, engage, prefigure a new society, eat, express, and be.

Jan 18th a new black arts movement presents

Know Your Roots; Know Your Rights

celebrating revolutionary education & the power of story telling

Sunday Jan 18th 2015
330pm - 6pm
casa del soul
724 empire blvd
brooklyn ny 11213

featuring workshops
Radical Pedagogy 
Self Defense & Revolutionary Matriarchy 
Storytelling for Social Change
Know Your Rights / CopWatch

Brought to you by:
Scientific Soul Sessions, Urban Art Beat, The Next Youth Coalition

$5 exchange
youth free
Urban Art Beat
A New Black Arts Movement
Spiritchild XspiritMental
Rosa Bettina

black august 00

black August 00
it is done yet not forgotten. fasting and commemorating reminds me not to forget. this year has been the hardest yet most rewarding. I'm honored to share with my cadre and partners and both who taught me and reminded me everything. I intend to improve next year. I've gain victories and lost a bit. I allowed myself to loose one element of my fast which is to avoid boisterous behavior and keep focused to discipline my emotions. there is always work and I accept this challenge for next years fast to obtain a more holistic revolution. I love you. you are brave brilliant intelligent souls and through these hard times I value being above ground and winning with you all. la lucha siege. I'm with you whenever you need me for whatever is needed as long as it's for the people. 
‪#‎anewblackartsmovement‬ ‪#‎scientificsoulsessions‬ ‪#‎movementinmotion‬‪#‎zulunation‬

black august day 30

black August day 30
we've never been clearer, we've never been nearer. victory is most certainly certain.

kill the conqueror within and win the first battle. then let us meet in the playground. 
thank you George

black august day 29

black August day 29
developing revolutionaries IS my work.

what I do for money is beyond your pay grade 

black august day 28

black August day 28
just when I thought I've liberated myself from the matrix, I liberate myself from the matrix. 
freedom sings a remixed song. 
powerful black August to you all. a have a good day because everyday above ground is (as us revolutionaries say;)

leave your phone at home thursday's

peace and revolutionary greetings
today is leave your phone at home day. a universal campaign to bring awareness to one of the most precious elements in this galaxy...your soul. watch the world through your eyes not your with/at your device. 
every thursday starting now 

new black arts movement presents next event Aug 24th National Black theater

yes yes, you've been wondering. how is a movement in motion? what is a Maroon? whats this i hear about a new black arts movement? SSS? when did august become black? all of your questions, concerns and desires will be answered Aug 24th at the national black theater 7pm. for my pittsburgh crew we'll be there the night before aug 23rd. 
i have advance tickets to save you a few dollars. because we love you and understand the importance of this event. 

the first 5 to purchase tickets today I will personally get you a CD from our catalogue visit to see the albums available. 
the next 5 will receive a 2 free album download. 
from or 
the next 10 will receive a 1 album download from above.
the following 20 will receive a free album download 

inbox me and i'll show you how to get ticket today along with the special gift. this goes for my people outside of NYC as well. your ticket will sponsor someone and you'll still get the gift. win, win.

Black August Calendar & Info 2013


Movement In Motion

Black August

Calendar of Events 2013

for info on black august 


spiritchild & Mental Notes

Blue Note
Friday August 2nd 1230am
131 West 3rd street

Celebrating Black August 
Songs for Assata Shakur & Sekou Odinga

Yuki Ishiba (keys), Ramsey Jones (drums), Djibril (bass), spiritchild (vocals)

Maya Azucena, Akim Funk Buddha, Phase One, Marine Futin, Miky Hustles, Prince Akeem

Ben Barson (sax), Quincy Saul (clarinet), Ziedah Diata (visual arts), Cashel Campbell (dance)
words by 
Dequi of Sekou Odinga Defense Committee 
Brother Shep of BPP, PSP & Zulu Nation 

All Ages $10 cover  an xspiritmental vibration 

Movement In Motion presents...
Sunday, Aug 4th, 2013
 5pm – 7pm
 613 Jefferson Ave  
Stuyvesant & Lewis Ave
 Come celebrate and support Assata Shakur!

Learn, share, perform, and answer the question,
"How much does our art impact social change?".

All ages welcome

For more information contact






Movement 7" Creates Dirty Jazz Hip-Hop Music at Nublu Club in New York City

Nublu Club  
62 Avenue C, between 4/5th St.
New York, New York 10009
Saturday August 10th
Midnight and 2am
$10 Admission  
21 and over 

featuring Swiss Chris & spiritchild of Zulu Nation along with

Line-up for Movement 7:
Swiss Chris, Drums (co-founder)Jay Rodriquez, Horns 
piritchild, Poetry/Rhymes,   Dezron Douglas, Bass     
Kevin Njikam, Guitar (co-founder)




August 17th

The Coney Island Healing Arts Collective

Movement In Motion artist guerrilla performance


Location: 21st and the Boardwalk

poetry, rhymes, songs, sounds and vibrations of resistance


August 17th


performances by Zulu Nation, Movement In Motion, SSS band...


 This year participants will line up inside of Von King Park near the Lafayette and Tompkins Ave entrance. Starting at Lafayette and Tompkins ave We will walk to Marcus Garvey Blvd then make a right and proceed straight down Marcus Garvey Blvd to Fulton Street. At Fulton St the parade will turn Right pass through the busy intersection of Nostrand Ave and Fulton Street before ending at Franklin Avenue.





Black August D.C. Events 2013


For more information: or 
Also visit:

Black August Film Series at Sankofa, Every Wednesday at 6pm, $5 admission

Tune in to Voices With Vision every Tuesday at 10am and the Super Funky Soul Power Hourevery Friday at 11am on 89.3fm or stream at

August 1 – One man play, Jay Sun for President; Directed by John Johnson
Location: Anacostia Playhouse; 2020 Shannon Pl. SE (Behind the Big Chair), Time: Doors 7pm; House Open 7:30pm; Show 8pm

Welcome to the New World. Meet the New President.

August 3 - War Resister's League 90th Anniversary Conference; Political Prisoner Panel
Location: Georgetown University (37th & O St NW) Inter-Cultural Center, Room 205b
Time: 1-330pm
Cost: Free
More info: 
Political Prisoners: How people become political prisons: how do we support them? 

The workshop will focus on the forces that turned 3 people - Jihad AbdulMumit, Jericho Co-chair; Ramona Africa, Move; Cisco Torres, former political prisoner from SF - into Resistance Movement organizers against The War by Amerkia on People of Color in the 1970’s. There will be short presentations that discuss how theses forces were perceived and resisted by the panelists and their actions in response. The remainder of the time will be for discussion. Led by Paulette D'Auteuil from DC-Jericho.

August 7 – Wilmington 10; USA 10,000
Location: Sankofa Video & Books; 2714 Georgia Ave NW, Washington DC
Time: 6pm
Cost: $5

"Wilmington 10; USA 10,000" by Haile Gerima, looks at the case of nine black boys and men as well as one white woman held as political prisoners in the 1970's on trumped up charges designed to discourage their organizing in Wilmington, North Carolina.  Ben Chavis and icons such as Charles Cobb Sr. and the United Church of Christ are featured.  Includes Assata Shakur, and other political prisoners.

August 10 – Dr. CR Gibbs Annual Black August lecture “Let Your Motto Be Resistance”
Location: DC Public Library (TBD)
Time: Afternoon (TBD)
Cost: Free

This year, Professor Gibbs annual lecture will focus on the history of the effective use of the boycott for purposes of Black self-determination, liberation, and protest.

August 14 – Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary
Location: Sankofa Video & Books; 2714 Georgia Ave NW, Washington DC
Time: 6pm
Cost: $5

Before he was convicted of murdering a policeman in 1981 and sentenced to die, Mumia Abu-Jamal was a gifted journalist and brilliant writer. Now after more than 30 years in prison and despite attempts to silence him, Mumia is not only still alive but continuing to report, educate, provoke and inspire.
Stephen Vittoria's new feature documentary is an inspiring portrait of a man whom many consider America's most famous political prisoner - a man whose existence tests our beliefs about freedom of expression. Through prison interviews, archival footage, and dramatic readings, and aided by a potent chorus of voices including Cornel West, Alice Walker, Dick Gregory, Angela Davis, Amy Goodman and others, this riveting film explores Mumia's life before, during and after Death Row - revealing, in the words of Angela Davis, "the most eloquent and most powerful opponent of the death penalty in the world...the 21st Century Frederick Douglass."


August 21 – Herman’s House
Location: Sankofa Video & Books; 2714 Georgia Ave NW, Washington DC
Time: 6pm
Cost: $5

Herman Wallace may be the longest-serving prisoner in solitary confinement in the United States—he's spent more than 40 years in a 6-by-9-foot cell in Louisiana. Imprisoned in 1967 for a robbery he admits, he was subsequently sentenced to life for a killing he vehemently denies. Herman's House is a moving account of the remarkable expression his struggle found in an unusual project proposed by artist Jackie Sumell. Imagining Wallace's "dream home" began as a game and became an interrogation of justice and punishment in America. The film takes us inside the duo's unlikely 12-year friendship, revealing the transformative power of art.


August 28 – Free Angela Davis & All Political Prisoners
Location: Sankofa Video & Books; 2714 Georgia Ave NW, Washington DC
Time: 6pm
Cost: $5

Free Angela is a gripping historic account of the events that catapulted a young University of California philosophy professor into a controversial political icon in the turbulent late 1960’s. Angela Davis joins the Communist Party, protests with the Black Panthers, and becomes a principle spokesperson for the burgeoning prison reform movement. As a result, she finds herself Fighting to keep her job, and in the national media spotlight characterized by her many detractors as a dangerous subversive menace, and by her supporters as a strong leader challenging authority and boldly advocating for “Power to All People.”
It’s an edge-of-your seat thriller told for the first time by Angela and others who lived through the events firsthand. The interviews recount the politics that led her to challenge authority and spur a worldwide movement for her freedom that cemented Angela Davis, and her signature Afro hairstyle, as an iconic symbol of this still relevant political and social movement — the right to challenge the system.  You know her name. Now, you will finally know her story.


August 25 – Annual Black August book event
Maroon the Implacable: The Collected Writings of Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz
Location: Sankofa Video & Books; 2714 Georgia Ave NW, Washington DC
Time: 430pm
Cost: Free

Russell Maroon Shoatz is a political prisoner who has been held unjustly for over thirty years, including two decades in solitary confinement. He was active as a leader in the Black Liberation Movement in Philadelphia, both above and underground. His successful escapes from maximum-security prisons earned him the title “Maroon.” Despite the torture and deprivation that has been everyday life for Maroon over the last several decades, he has remained at the cutting edge of history through his writings. This is the first published collection of his accumulated written works, and also includes new essays written expressly for this volume.

This program will feature Russell Shoatz III on behalf of his father.

AUGUST (TBD) – Discussion on the Prison Labor Movement
Location: UDC Law School; 4240 Connecticut Ave
Time: 6pm
Cost: Free

This program will feature Donald F. Tibbs, JD/Phd of Drexel University Law School and author of the book From Black Power to Prison Power: The Making of Jones v. North Carolina Prisoners' Labor Union.  The book is a legal history of how the social and cultural history of the Black Power era connects to the legal history of the Prisoner’s Rights Movement; and what the Supreme Court did to eviscerate both.




Our comrades in North Carolina have put out a wonderful August PP poster Birthday list, Please use it and share widely,

Many thanks to them for their great  work.Paulette


Hello Friends and Comrades,

1) Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for August. As always,
please post this poster publicly and/or use it to start a card writing
night of your own. This month's poster is much less avant garde than last month's. Sorry.

Some News And Updates:

2) Sentencing for nine  NC Latin Kings and an associate tried as part of a criminal racketeering enterprise has been scheduled for the mid-August. Folks will be packing the court room for Jorge Cornell and his brother Russell Kilfoil on August 14th. More details to come. More information on the sentencing here.

3) The CA prison hunger strike is entering its fourth week. Check out the latest call out for support:
And a story about NC prisoners hunger striking in solidarity:

4) Lastly, here is a link to the latest Political Prisoner/Prisoner of War
every-other week update by the  NYC-Anarchist Black Cross. There are lots of important updates on many political prisoners.

Until Every Cage Is Empty,

The Chapel Hill Prison Books Collective



Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson

George Jackson


Table of Contents

George L. Jackson: September 23, 1941 — August 21, 1971

Page ix

Foreword by Jonathan Jackson, Jr.

Page xiii

Recent Letters and an Autobiography

Page [1]

Letters: 1964-1970

Page [35]

Back Matter

Page 331

Appendix: Introduction to the First Edition by Jean Genet

Page 331

To the Man-Child, Tall, evil, graceful, brighteyed, black man-child — Jonathan Peter Jackson — who died on August 7, 1970, courage in one hand, assault rifle in the other; my brother, comrade, friend — the true revolutionary, the black communist guerrilla in the highest state of development, he died on the trigger, scourge of the unrighteous, soldier of the people; to this terrible man-child and his wonderful mother Georgia Bea, to Angela Y. Davis, my tender experience, I dedicate this collection of letters; to the destruction of their enemies I dedicate my life.

George L. Jackson: September 23, 1941 — August 21, 1971

In 1960, at the age of eighteen, George Jackson was accused of stealing $70 from a gas station in Los Angeles. Though there was evidence of his innocence, his court-appointed lawyer maintained that because Jackson had a record (two previous instances of petty crime), he should plead guilty in exchange for a light sentence in the county jail. He did, and received an indeterminate sentence of one year to life. Jackson spent the next ten years in Soledad Prison, seven and a half of them in solitary confinement. Instead of succumbing to the dehumanization of prison existence, he transformed himself into the leading theoretician of the prison movement and a brilliant writer. Soledad Brother, which contains the letters that he wrote from 1964 to 1970, is his testament.

In his twenty-eighth year, Jackson and two other black inmates — Fleeta Drumgo and John Cluchette — were falsely accused of murdering a white prison guard. The guard was beaten to death on January 16, 1969, a few days after another white guard shot and killed three black inmates by firing from a tower into the courtyard. The accused men were brought in chains and shackles to two secret hearings in Salinas County. A third hearing was about to take place when John Cluchette managed to smuggle a note to his mother: "Help, I'm in trouble." With the aid of a state senator, his mother contacted a lawyer, and so commenced one of the most extensive legal defenses in U.S. history. According to their attorneys, Jackson, Drumgo, and Clutchette were charged with murder not because there was any substantial evidence of their guilt, but because they had been previously identified as black militants by the prison authorities. If convicted, they would face a mandatory death penalty under the California penal code. Within weeks, the case of the Soledad Brothers emerged as a political cause célèbre for all sorts of people demanding change at a time when every American institution was shaken by Black rebellions in more than one hundred cities and the mass movement against the Vietnam War.

August 7, 1970, just a few days after George Jackson was transferred to San Quentin, the case was catapulted to the forefront of national news when his brother, Jonathan, a seventeen-year-old high school student in Pasadena, staged a raid on the Marin County courthouse with a satchelful of handguns, an assault rifle, and a shotgun hidden under his coat. Educated into a political revolutionary by George, Jonathan invaded the court during a hearing for three black San Quentin inmates, not including his brother, and handed them weapons. As he left with the inmates and five hostages, including the judge, Jonathan demanded that the Soledad Brothers be released within thirty minutes. In the shootout that ensued, Jonathan was gunned down. Of Jonathan, George wrote, "He was free for a while. I guess that's more than most of us can expect."

Soledad Brother, which is dedicated to Jonathan Jackson, was released to critical acclaim in France and the United States, with an introduction by the renowned French dramatist Jean Genet, in the fall of 1970. Less than a year later and just two days before the opening of his trial, George Jackson was shot to death by a tower guard inside San Quentin Prison in a purported escape attempt. "No Black person," wrote James Baldwin, "will ever believe that George Jackson died the way they tell us he did."

Soledad Brother went on to become a classic of Black literature and political philosophy, selling more than 400,000 copies before it went out of print twenty years ago. Lawrence Hill Books is pleased to reissue this book and to add to it a Foreword by the author's nephew, Jonathan Jackson, Jr., who is a writer living in California.


Read more

happy b'earthday Assata

happy b'earthday Assata. i love you. no matter what they say, feel or do. if loving you, cooking for you, reading with you, singing with you and dancing with you means Im aiding and abedding then continue to consider me an enemy to them and warrior for you. i will freedom sing until freedom is won. even then my freedom songs shall be sung. freedom, when she comes stays until you neglect her wisdom tongue. awaken.

after verdict

we fight for freedom with love, knowledge and necessary means. we have no choice. we are black brown oppressed nationalities. born into struggle. born beautiful born resilient. connected and conceived from the beat. the beat that pumps the hearts minds and souls. play that beat. rock on. hip hop and don't stop. before struggle your soul kissed the stars designed the pyramids channeled melody into wisdom. play that beat. make sure to break that beat. scratch that beat. remix that beat. re-imagine reconfigure reignite re...mind. i love you my people.

What Ever Happened to Hip Hop (Documentary)

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Stories of Struggle last night Black Panthers & Young Lords at John Jay report

yesterday was a most powerful gathering, discussion and vibration. 

much love to the students of John Jay College for hosting, Ken you lit the path to dialogue. 

honor and respect to Cleo Silvers (former Black Panther and Young Lord) along with Carlito Rovira (former Young Lord) for sharing their stories, strategies, difficulties and revolutionary love.  thank you to our youth who asked challenging questions and demanded answers for today while listening and learning from yesterday. 

a reminder to all you students of John Jay, throughout CUNY and through out the usa. if you are stuck as to what to do next, one suggestion is to make women and men like Cleo & Carlito honorary professors so that they could have a continuing presence in these higher learning institutions that they and many others have fought so hard for us to find a place in.  

see you in the streets tomorrow to stop the cops assemble 1pm on 138th & 3rd Avenue BX near the 6 train stop.  Unity March. 

happy b'earthday to the high priestess of soul, the one and only Nina Simone. rest in power El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. Art & Revolution. remember so as not to forget.

peace love unity work and having fun

palante siempre, all power to the people, through the people and for the people. 

spiritchild                                                                                                                                                                             UZN Chapter 9 Secretary





Greetings beautiful people

Summer update from the xspiritmental music family.  Thank you all who attended the Legendary Blue Note for our Electric Cinnamon Album release & back from Europe Summer 2012 tour.  We truly can not thank you enough for over 13 years of supporting the vibrations.  Thank you to Christian Ver Halen, Maya Azucena, Creative Maze (Berlin), Marine Futin and numerous other creative comrades for making music, collaborations and being.  You are all an inspiration. 

A few years ago to date I released Dark Matters a double album release commemorating the sounds of black august. Reflecting on this, I was on tour connecting and traveling through Europe for that month fasting, performing, learning and sharing.

This year I'm honored to remain grounded at home with the same passion, drive and commitment.  Working with the youth at Art Start from homeless shelters to youth formerly imprisoned and currently detained at detention centers.  This year I hope to work more closely with youth in prison and youth with no affiliation with NYC's homeless shelters or prisons that could get a little something something from hip hop pedagogy. 

The xspiritmental recording family has released Electric Cinnamon by spirit (Conceived, nurtured, mixed and mastered in Berlin. Electric Cinnamon is a 3 year journey produced by Creative Maze of Reality Check and written & performed by spiritchild of Mental Notes featuring special guest artists... Maya Azucena, Bahati Musik, Konta, Julia Amos, Kiko King, Mathieu Pe Trumpet. The project sets the mood of revolutionary sexual hip hop funk. The sound is warm and intimate allowing the listener to zone out, channel in and break free. The year of the album could time travel from the early 90's combining jazz keys upright bass grooves and J Dilla drum patterns. Its a revolutionary taking, love making body waking sensation.  Electric Cinnamon is that fire brown sugar.)

buy the album at CDBaby or purchase it on Itunes



be with the ones you love

kiss the mist within the drops of rain.
navigate your soul with the wind.
find home in a sky.
now is the greatest time to be alive.
tomorrow is never seen until yesterday is forgotten.
love the life you live, live the life you love
most importantly love the ones you're with, be with the ones you love.
airplane mode, don't be afraid to lock off communication.


The Incarceration Nation CBS news

they call it an epidemic, we know its a pandemic.  when mass media turns its blind eye on injustice, even still the numbers don't lie and they see quite a bit.  for the call break the walls & free them all, we still missing mainstream info on our political prisoners (former black panthers, young lords etc) - profiling/targeting/attacks on our Muslim brothers and sisters.  ahhhhhhh what a ways to travel along this white supremacy road, still i ride for freedom


ART START changing the lives of homeless, at-risk youth

ART START changing the lives of homeless, at-risk youth

ART START changing the lives of homeless, at-risk youth

Students of One Mic, a workshop within the ART START non-profit organization. (Photo: ART START)

Amid the skyscrapers, the traffic, and the harsh realities of New York City lies ART START, a nationally recognized, award-winning non-profit organization that uses art to nurture, transform, and save lives. Described as an escape for at-risk and homeless youth, the organization encourages students to immerse themselves in art to find their purpose, and to persevere through obstacles.

Musician Miky Solano, also known as Miky Hustles, is just one of the 11,000 youth who say ART START has changed their lives. He has been involved with ART START for the past three years.

"I never really knew what art was," he told theGrio. "I always thought it was just drawing or painting. Yet once I met some people that started teaching me what art really is, it changed my whole perspective on art. They told me that music is also a form of art and how you could express yourself, so since then it changed my whole perspective about art. I see life in a different way than I thought I would ever see [it]."

Before his involvement in ART START, the 21-year-old Solano said he had been incarcerated and was headed in the wrong direction.

"I was always getting in trouble or doing things that weren't appropriate," Solano said. "I was also always close-minded and never trying to explore or expand my knowledge on different things that were out there."

Once Solano was out of prison, he decided to make a change in his life after talking with one of his friends. "One of my friends had been incarcerated, and after that he was introduced to this program," he continued, "I had also been in the same predicament as my friend, and he knew that I wanted to get involved in music. So he told me to go one day, and I did."

Yet, Solano admitted that he was nervous about creating music since he never really knew how to make a song. However, once he started getting comfortable, he made his first musical piece.

"My first song ever was called H.O.P.E.," he asserted. "[The ART START facilitators] helped me a lot and helped me opened up my mind. I started thinking and talking about things that I had never talked about before, like politics, nature, conspiracies, government, [the] economy, astronomy and more. Through ART START, I've learned that you can speak your mind. I've also learned that there is more stuff out there that you can discover. Knowledge is infinite!"

To Solano, ART START has helped him fulfill his dream of sharing his music with the world. "My art is music," he said, "I've realized that the microphone is a powerful tool, because when I speak it gets recorded and goes into millions of peoples' ears. Whatever I am saying, someone can catch onto it and hopefully they understand what I'm saying, where I'm coming from, and how I see the world or life."

Solano is not the only person who has realized the power of art.

Author and researcher Mariah Buchanan has also discovered its power. In her book Educating Black Youth Moral Principles through Black Art, Buchanan asserts that after conducting a research study, she found that black students develop better morals and life perspectives through critically interpreting works of art created by black artists. Through the study, she found that art helped students gain moral integrity and purpose.

"Art depicts historical facts, cultural differences, and aesthetic values each of us may have," she wrote in her research paper, "Art can also foster a sense of identity through the interaction between the viewer and the work. This study will allow teachers another avenue to direct moral principles, which is a form of character education, by using art as a tool to do so. This study should, I believe, be investigated further because it will contribute to the overwhelming need in America to enhance the lives of black youth, because many are considered at risk."

Indeed, ART START is one organization whose facilitators are teaching art to its at-risk youth to encourage them to create better lives for themselves.


Billy Martin, also known as Spiritchild, is the current director of ART START's music program, One Mic. After being in the position for a year, he said that this is his dream job, as it compliments his life experiences.

"ART START has been an evolution of my life's work," Martin said, "I've always done workshops internationally and throughout the United States. However, through ART START I'm able to not only introduce concepts, but also to develop and nourish our participants for a longer moment in time. I've witnessed students gain a deeper understanding of self, and a holistic approach to being an artist and an individual in this world, from nutrition, to endless forms of expression like voice, production, instruments, and graffiti, to combating stereotypes and misogyny in hip hop."

ART START was established in the spring of 1991 after a small group of artists joined with homeless kids to make art in New York City.

Now, more than twenty years later, ART START has been recognized by celebrities and world leaders for its educators, who use creative arts to support and transform the lives of youth who seem to be going down the wrong path.

In fact, according to the directors of ART START, youth involved in the organization usually live in city shelters, on the streets, are involved in court cases, or are in rough family situations. The organization offers these young people workshops designed with a student-centered approach to education.

"Our workshops instill in our youth the confidence to appreciate who they already are and what they innately have to offer the world; then, to think critically, ask important questions, and pursue meaningful opportunities in life -- against all odds," Martin said, "While encouraging personal development on many levels, by using art and music projects and focusing on their outlet for expression, kids are free to build trusting relationships with our teaching artists."

Even though Tyrone Richards, also known as T Rich, just joined ART START last year, its One Mic Program has already changed his perspective.

"Without my art, which is my music, I would not be me," Richards said, "I would be lost in my own skin. Making music takes my pain away. I believe that art is powerful. Whether it's drawing art or making music, art it something that all people can relate to. I would tell kids or young adults to sign up for ART START to get better at their craft and to learn about themselves more."

Torey Baker, also known as Mad Bangers, also added that being involved with ART START helped him to stay out of trouble and to make something of his life. The twenty-year-old got involved with ART START and its One Mic program two years ago.

"ART START changed my life by keeping me focused on music," Baker told theGrio, "I have realized that art saves lives. Just to come to the program every Tuesday and Wednesday is great, especially since I get to be in a studio."

For Baker, ART START has created a positive ripple effect on his life by bringing positive people into his life. He noted that the organization has allowed him to not only meet more people, but also to have a greater sense of well-being.

"It not only changed my life, but it changed the lives of the people in my life," he said, "I would tell other youth to get involved with ART START, because it expands your mind and helps you explore more about life. It also gives you great opportunities and guidance in whatever you want to pursue in your life. You can collaborate with other people around the same age group and help out, which helps when you start meeting new people outside of ART START, because you are confident in yourself."

To help build students' confidence even more, Martin said he and other facilitators often take the students on trips to help educate them on different artworks, cultures, and people.

"Some of our students have never left New York City," he said, "Yet, in the past year we've traveled to Philly, upstate New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and other states to visit various higher learning institutions, participate in conferences, engage in workshops and performances, and have fun. A few of our participants are even currently learning some basic German to prepare them for their first international trip to Germany and the Czech Republic in the fall."

Leaders of ART START hope to encourage others to support their organization, so that more at-risk youth can use it to change their lives.

Indeed, as Solano looks back on his experiences at ART START, he said that he is motivated to help others realize that art can transform their circumstances.

"Art is powerful and magical, because through art anyone can take pieces and create a masterpiece," Solano, "I've always wondered why art is so big and important. However, I have realized that art is life. We live in it, and we are constantly surrounded by it."

spiritchild radio interview on Mental Notes & Politics

thank you to peter from Hamilton College Clinton, NY WHCL FM for the interview and thank you to Lisa Duggan for setting it up and Laila Murad for wake up support:).

spiritchild, as he is known, is a freedom singer from the south Bronx by way of Brooklyn, who uses the arts to cultivate a cultural revolution. He integrates activism and hip hop music production as the founder of the Movement In Motion Artist & Activist Collective.

Credits: The Wringer is a weekly program broadcast from Hamilton College with host Pete Bianco. It can be streamed live Wednesdays 8:00am-10:00am EST at

One Mic Flowcase Dec 14th 6pm-8pm @ 4 Food Cafe 40th & Madison

Art Start One Mic interview on Fox 5 featuring Miky & spiritchild

Check out one of our rising stars, Miky Hustles Miguel "Miky" Solano on Fox 5. Take a walk inside his mind, mind, mind, mind, mind...
get involved and volunteer with One Mic email
more than the music, the movement, we doing it...

Click on the 3rd and 4th video segments under the viewer to skip straight to the ART Start Johanna De Los Santos segment.

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Art Start program helped Miky Solano leave behind life of crime, find voice via music and rapping

Art Start program helped Miky Solano leave behind life of crime, find voice via music and rapping

Monday, October 24th 2011, 4:00 AM

Miky Solano, 20, an ex-youth offender from Gowanus, finds his voice as a rapper.
Jacob E. Osterhout for News
Miky Solano, 20, an ex-youth offender from Gowanus, finds his voice as a rapper.

Until recently, self-expression was never Miguel (Miky) Solano's strong point.

In fact, for much of his two decades, the only thing the Brooklyn native (who bears a striking resemblance to the rapper Big Pun) was good at was getting in trouble.

To be fair, growing up in a hard-scrabble part of Gowanus, trouble was easy to find.

Then Solano grabbed a microphone in an Art Start recording studio and suddenly he was Miky, a master freestyle artist who could put into verse the day-to-day challenges of a young man struggling to rise from the streets of Brooklyn.

"My high school wasn't teaching me anything, so I dropped out and got in trouble with the police," says Miky, describing his experience as a 15-year-old Mexican-American being arrested for possessing 90 bags of crack cocaine.

"I was looking at seven to 15 years in prison, but I was young and lucky, and only got probation."

That's when Miky discovered the One Mic recording workshop run by Art Start, a 20-year-old organization that offers art programs in homeless shelters and as part of alternative-to-incarceration programs throughout New York City.

With the motto "Art saves lives," Art Start believes that the creative process, be it musical or visual, has the capability to transform the lives of at-risk youth.

"This is a place for all of us to come and express ourselves," says Billy (Spiritchild) Martin, a spoken-word artist from the Bronx and One Mic program director. "Self-esteem and discipline is what we are aiming for. To have this communication through hip hop is very important, so that the students can share their life experiences."

By his own admission, the One Mic program, which has a rotating group of 15 students, has changed Miky's life, instilling in the 20-year-old a sense of confidence.

"The first time I came to the One Mic studio, I was real quiet because I didn't know anyone and I didn't really know what I was doing," says Miky. "I was interested in music and liked to create beats by banging on tables, but I didn't have the right equipment or anything. Then I slowly started to learn what I was doing."

Miky teamed with teaching artists like Spiritchild to learn how to expand his vocabulary and properly put together a song.
"I didn't know about song structure initially," recalls Miky. "I would just write a lot of words, sentences and rhymes. I didn't even know what a bar was. He pushed me to use more vocabulary, write in 16 bars and to actually have a logical flow to my lyrics."

Miky (c.) hangs out with his friends at the Art Start recordin studio in Manhattan. (Jacob E. Osterhout for News)


(Page 2 of 2)

Two years later, Miky, who earned his GED and has a day job at a funeral home in Brooklyn, attends the One Mic workshop twice a week for four hours and has recorded more than 20 songs.

"I don't know anywhere else where I can go and use a free studio," he says, noting that an equivalent studio would cost at least $60 an hour.

"It's a good studio, too. All the equipment is top of the line. I try to pass that appreciation along to the new people who come in."

It's not the product, however, but the process that Miky enjoys.

"I come not only for the studio, but the people, too," he says. "It's all about the music and exchanging ideas.
Everybody has a different talent. There's the producer who is good at making beats, the singer and the rapper, and it's important to work with them all."

Spiritchild nods in agreement, emphasizing that One Mic is not a talent contest.

"This is not an artist-development program," he says. "Not everybody here is trying to be a professional MC. Many just want to socialize and hang out and write. This is simply an opportunity to be heard."

In fact, Miky's big dream isn't even to become a rap star, although if it happened, he says, "I wouldn't complain."

Instead, he'd like to be a politician and help shape America's immigration policy, a very important issue for both of his parents, who immigrated from Mexico.

He believes participating in the One Mic program will help him accomplish those dreams by improving his focus and communication skills.

"Before One Mic, I wasn't committed to anything, really," he says. "Now I know I've got to get serious. Once I open up my mind, the songs just pour out of me. I have a clearer vision of what I want to be. This growing-up process can really help everybody."


To hear Miky rap, visit For more information on Art Start, visit

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BACK TO THE ROOTS TOUR w/ Evan Greer & spiritchild




E-mail: for booking info.

Black August xspiritmental jam session last show of the nyc summer

Black August xspiritmental jam session last show of the nyc summer

come check us out at our new local spot around the way. last show of the summer. we will host an xspiritmental session, musicians, poets, vocalist welcomed. free...

with special guest just announced SIMPLE ONE live from Berlin reality check crew

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Revolutionary Black August Greetings

what is black august, in brief -its a time of honoring and acknowledging liberation

International Hip Hop Youth Tour NYC-Germany

One Mic / Art Start & Movement In Motion presents
an International Opening Minds

all artist who come and sign up entry is free...
we mean artist very loosely ;).
all ages...

join us at the Brecht forum July 9th 7pm to celebrate our first ever
international movement in motion youth hip hop exchange
Carly Delight
Marine Futin (France)
Woodvalley Movement (Germany)
Mental Notes
Movement In Motion (international)
Cashel Sapphire (belly dancing)

please join us in welcoming our youth group from Marburg Germany with their stateside debut along with our youth group from one mic NYC in a series of hip hop, r&b and xspiritmental performances.
$5-10 donation

bar will be available (taleigh holding it down)

July 8th
Washington Square Park
featuring Woodvalley Movement (Germany), One Mic (NYC), spiritchild, K-Swift, Marine Futin (France), Movement In Motion (International)free

July 6th 7pm-8pm
5th street Avenue C, NYC
meet and greet and performances
featuring Woodvalley Movement (Germany)
One Mic (NYC)


spirit in Praha on Street Cipher Spin Radio live with wevebeenaround

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