JiCHO Presents: All Blood is Red (part II)—an International African Arts Movement (I Aam) Tribute to Black Lives.
Yes. Black lives matter. Yes, it needs to be said. From the USA (Fruitvale to Miami to Oakland to Los Angeles to Richmond to New York City) to Asia (Seoul, Korea) to the UK (Paris to London) to the Caribbean (St. Martin, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados) to the homeland (Cape Town, South Africa, Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria) and back to Ferguson again and again and again. Our Lives Matter. Particularly, NOW. We all agree. All around the world.
Video Published on Nov 24, 2014; Karen Seneferu of Black <3 Matters
The Global International African Arts Movement (Global I Aam) is maturing from words, vibes and ideas, a hope, and a disparate group of brilliant scholars, artisans and intellectuals into an international community of independent painters, sculptors, authors, performance artists, visionaries, futurists, filmmakers, poets and entrepreneurs and still it grows. The future begins NOW. Is it afro-futuristic? Our vision of who we are is unfettered by the constraints of Hollywood and it’s globalized and institutionalized racism. Yes—we be.
In New York:
“THERE IS ALWAYS THAT CONVERSATION OF HOME FOR US. AND WE HAVE AN ANSWER FOR THAT. THE THEME OF THIS YEAR’S BOOK FAIR IS GLOBAL I AAM. AS WE ALL ARE. THE BOOK FAIR GOING FORWARD WILL REFLECT THAT. THE BOOK FAIR WILL LOOK LIKE US FROM WHERE EVER WE HAIL FROM THE GLOBAL THAT WE ARE.” — Max Rodriguez, 2014 Harlem Book Fair (www.harlembookfair.com).
“HE AND I (MAX RODRIGUEZ) ARE ON THE SAME PAGE TO THINK IN TERMS OF GLOBAL I AAM. IT IS HOW I THINK. IT IS HOW MOST PEOPLE THINK AROUND ME. THAT IS HOW I THINK WE NEED TO THINK IN MORE A SYSTEMIC FASHION TO REACH MORE PEOPLE, TOUCH MORE PEOPLE AND ADVANCE OUR CULTURE AND HEAL THE WORLD REALLY. SO I CAN’T THINK OF IT (THE STATE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE) AS A SINGLE STATE. IT IS THE WORLD OF STORY TELLING BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT IT IS ABOUT.” — Malaika Adero, former Senior Editor of Atria Books and current editor and founder of Homeslice Magazine (homeslicemag.com) at the 2014 Harlem Book Fair speaking about the state of African-American literature.
In San Francisco:
15 year old Osaze Senferu speaks in San Francisco at City Hall December on 27th – Black youths teaching about black youths.
The people are coming together, raising consciousness and elevating the battle to its highest form of artistic and peaceful protests and demonstrations around the globe.
We are one. Black. White. One mind. Asian. Latin. Conservative. Futuristic. One body. Woman. Man. Native born, foreign born. We are Africa. Progressive. Traditional. You can remove the African from Africa but it is impossible to take the Africa out of the African. We are all African. It is in the region of our souls. Anywhere that is black and proud. It is in our religion, it is in the rhythms. It is in our language. It is a global culture. Black artists. Black authors. Black ballers. Black minds. Black souls. Impossible to ignore. So lovely. So compelling. So NOW. And, yes, we be.
In Los Angeles:
Photo captured by Dawn Forbes at Millions March LA.
It is the djembe gospel blues jazz soul funk hip-hop rhythm embedded in our spirit that remembers, revives and resists. And through our pain and in our love, we all become one.
In St. Martin:
Shujah Alex Reiph, president and co-founder of the annual St. Martin Book Fair in the Caribbean could not agree more, “by globalizing the struggle is how we are going to be victorious, so we welcome the invitation to be part of the conversation.” Increasingly topical matters of innovation and African heritage have become commonplace throughout the Caribbean, including “Fish Fried Fridays” where discussions of Ferguson, Mike Brown and Eric Garner are discussed at SOS Radio events. Throughout 2014, SOS Radio took their popularity to streets and organized a series of public events and activities including the first St. Martin Soup festival, the End of Hurricane Season Thanksgiving Concert and Fish Fried Friday.
Yes, we struggle for the change of our collective future, to once and for all eradicate the toxic by products of slavery, racism and discrimination, from our global system. How will we do this? By respecting the environment. By looking out for one another. By safe guarding our health. By loving our children. By harmonizing. By being still. Going slow. By loving. By healing. Seeking resolution rather than painful recriminations. By listening. By addressing extraordinary pain and making loving provisions for our collective future. By respecting one another. A new movement for a new era. Yes, we can or, rather… Yes! We be, we be.
This is the Global I Aam. Yes, all blood is red.
“As a young man growing up in Ghana, there is always fear of what the future would be like for me. And I strongly believe every youth in America feels the same. Because of these shootings, a lot of young people are hiding their talents. They fear to launch out and make good use of what they have got. That should not be the case. Everyone has the freedom to decide what their lives would be. I believe that we should love one another, because love will take us to places that hatred has no idea. Don’t kill somebody with the thought that you will stay alive forever. Anyone who doesn’t love has no clear-cut understanding of what freedom really is.”
—Richard Paa Kofi Botchwey is author of That Thing in My Soup and The Tale of an Orphan: A Lesson to Learn
Global I Aam Co-founder and Jicho.co Editor in Chief Marvin L. Mills II reflects on the vigil & demonstration he helped organize in South Korea, for Mike Brown, justice, and a better world.
“As I stood there, taking in those spirited folks’ energies as they held signs up, some of them white, some black, some from France, some from the USA—even met a young lady from South Africa—there began to rise in me this familiar sense, this comfort. I suppose it was the peace that comes during struggle. Even within the reverberations of injustice we can experience a form or rest.”
We gathered to remember Mike Brown and too many other fallen to thoroughly name. But, the truth is, we also gathered for ourselves. There is a significant foreigner population here in Korea, including a nominal amount of black folk, and especially for those of us having to witness on television the events happening in our place of birth, the USA, we yearned to connect with people back home, wanted to stand up in this space and time of history, believed that the message of justice, an end to all racism and ‘black lives matter’ needed to be expressed even on the Korean peninsula (Korea has its share of injustice and racism too, to be sure). So, both ‘foreigner’ and Korean alike joined together, in solidarity.
I stood there in front of those in attendance, leading out in chants of ‘black lives matter’ and ‘justice for all’ and ‘end all racism’. I tell myself, speak louder, speak louder. Use your gut. Give them the bass. I say to myself, look at them in their eyes when you chant your chant, look at them in the eyes when you chant your chant. You really mean this. Because you want them all to feel this. I tell myself, this moment is forever now, for we have carved out space to build a reality that rests within our minds, a manifestation of true belief, a manifestation of the love we have for young Mike Brown (deceased) as well as the numerous people killed by police brutality.
What we dream of is happening now. At the innermost core of our desires, when we come together to rage against the machine of racism and injustice, to do 4 minutes of silence to think about the 4 hours Mike Brown’s body was left in the street after he was killed. What we dream of is happening now.
This is the art of struggle.
Previous generations have fought for civil rights, marching from Selma to Alabama; fighting to abolish Apartheid and here we all are again. And again and again. They are generations of warrior gentlemen and ladies. Let the soldiers lay down their arms. You could make a case that since the Terrorism of Slavery, the war against racism and its ensuing cold wars of Discrimination and Racism have been some of the longest wars in world history. However, we have all advanced to NOW. Enough guns policemen. Stop shooting our children.
We are soldiers of peace – Generation X, Millenials and Digitals, soldiers of love.
Do you understand? Love and Peace, NOW.
Yes, we be. “Global I Aam. Global I Am.
NOW, I Am.
* The tributes within this piece are a dedicated to Oscar Grant, Treyvon Marton, Andy Lopez, Alejandro Nieto, Renisha McBride, Akai Gurley, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamar Rice and hundreds of children and innocents who have been murdered by racist law enforcement, so called security guards and other vigilantes- the innocents who have been damaged by the wickedness of the system.*
In 2015, Global I Aam will host events throughout 2015 globally, including Los Angeles Southwest College (LASC) and the summer Harlem Book Fair (HBF) July 17th and 18th at Columbia University and Shomburg Museum in Harlem. Google, “Global I Aam”, “Jicho” and “Global International African Arts Movement” to find out more. You can also find us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/68497427593/), Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/DuboisDeux/global-i-aam-international-african-arts-movement/)
www.jicho.co . Jicho means “eye” in Swahili. Jicho delivers the ‘perspective’ of the global African diaspora, its art, stories, and ideas.
Special thank you to M-Miss Mahop for her contributions to this tribute from Paris which were not ready at the time of publication; also the Senferu family who continue to exemplify the Global I Aam, dedicating their lives to the community, art and struggle.
Patrick A. Howell is an award-winning banker, entrepreneur and writer who lives with his wife and son in Carlsbad, Calif. He is a frequent contributing writer to MyBrownBaby, TheGoodmenProject, Magnanimity, The Black Book Review, Opportunist Magazine and other topical blogs and e-zines, and has co-authored with Marvin L. Mills II the concept “Global I AAM” as representative of the Global International African Arts Movement. Both Howell’s book, “Yes, We Be,” and the magazine, Jicho.co, will be published by Howell Media Inc. in 2015. Check him out on, Spotify, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest or Tweet him at @PatrickAnthony.