Thursday, 27 October 2016

Draft of the Beatle’s John Lennon’s historic November 1969 letter to Queen Elizabeth II of England renouncing his MBE knighthood in protest against British role in Igbo genocide appears in Liverpool (England) car boot auction!

(John Lennon:... medal is sent back to Buckingham Palace, London, 25 November 1969)
FWD: The Telegraph reporters,  John Lennon letter to the Queen explaining return of MBE valued at £60,000 after being found in car boot sale, The Telegraph, London, 27 October 2016

A LETTER WRITTEN BY John Lennon to the Queen explaining why he returned his MBE has been valued at £60,000, say auctioneers.

The note remains in royal archives but a version of the letter was brought along by a member of the public to a memorabilia event in Liverpool on Wednesday.

The person, who wishes to remain anonymous, assumed it was a copy and said they found it tucked away inside the sleeve of a record contained in a collection of 45rpm singles they bought for £10 at a car boot sale 20 years ago.

Recently unearthed in the owner’s attic, the letter has been described as an “incredible find” by Darren Julien of Los Angeles-based Julien’s Auctions who believes it may be the original letter.

Mr Julien has a theory that Lennon’s letter was a draft version that he never sent to the Queen because the ink in the signature had been smudged.

He said: “If you’re writing to the Queen, you want the letter to look pretty perfect, you don’t want the ink to be smudged. This suggests that he wrote a second version of the letter, which was the one that was actually sent to the Queen.

“We’ll be doing some further research but this could be the Beatles find of the year. There is no doubt that the handwriting is definitely that of John Lennon.”

The letter (draft)

In his letter, Lennon wrote: “Your Majesty I am returning this MBE in protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against Cold Turkey slipping down the chart.

“With love John Lennon

“John Lennon of Bag.”
The letter was one of a number of items belonging to members of the public that were valued during the memorabilia day at The Beatles Story exhibition at the city’s Albert Dock. 

Martin King, of The Beatles Story, said: “This is an absolute gem and we are thrilled to have seen a piece of memorabilia with such historical significance. Ironically, 26th October was the day that The Beatles received their MBEs from The Queen so it’s quite fitting that the letter was brought into us on the exact same date many years later.”

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Lest we forget: The Igbo, vanguard outreaches, Nigeria – circ. 1934-29 May 1966

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

THE IGBO WERE ONE of the very few constituent nations in what was Nigeria, prior to 29 May 1966 – launch date of the Igbo genocide carried out by Nigeria and Britain, who understood, fully, the immense liberatory possibilities ushered in by 1 October 1960 (presumed, scheduled date of termination of 100 years of the British conquest and occupation of these southwestcentral states and peoples of Africa) and the interlocking challenges of the vast reconstructionary work required for state and societal transformation in the aftermath of foreign occupation.

Vanguard
The Igbo had the most robust economy in the country in their east region homeland, supplied the country with its leading writers, artists and scholars, supplied the country’s top universities with its vice-chancellors (president/rector) and leading professors and scientists, supplied the country with its first indigenous university (the prestigious university at Nsukka where, at its Enuugwu medical school, the first open-heart surgery in southwestcentral Africa was successfully performed on 1 February 1974), supplied the country with its leading and most spirited African World theorists, philosophers and practitioners, supplied the country with its top diplomats, supplied the country’s leading secondary schools/high schools with its head teachers and administrators, supplied the country with its top bureaucrats, supplied the country with its leading businesspeople, supplied the country with an educated, top-rated professional officers-corps for its military and police forces, supplied the country with its leading sportspersons, essentially and effectively worked the country’s rail, postal, telegraphic, power, shipping and aviation services to quality standards not seen since in Nigeria … And they were surely aware of the vicissitudes engendered by this historic age precisely because the Igbo nation played the vanguardist role in the freeing of Nigeria from Britain, beginning from the mid-1930s.

It is precisely in response to this defining Igbo role in this very strategic region of Africa that the Anglo-Nigeria empire struck back most gruesomely with the genocide, begun on Sunday 29 May 1966.
(Alice Coltrane Quartet, “Lord, help me to be” [personnel: Coltrane, piano; Pharoah Sanders, tenor saxophone;  Jimmy Garrison, bass; Ben Riley, drums; recorded: Coltrane home studio, Dix Hills, New York, US, 29 January 1968]) 
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94th birthday of Ruby Dee

(Born 27 October 1922, Cleveland, Ohio, US)
Celebrated award-winning actress and freedom proponent who continues to work till her 90th birthday – with signature film performances which include The Jackie Robinson Story (1950), Edge of a City (1957), The Raisin in the Sun (1961), Gone are the Days (1963), The Incident (1967), Peyton Place (television: 1968-1969), Roots – The Next Generation (television: 1979), I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (television: 1979), With Ossie and Ruby! (television: 1980-1982), Go Tell It on the Mountain (television: 1985), Do the Right Thing (1989), Jungle Fever (1991), Their Eyes were watching God (television: 2005), American Gangster (2007)
(Alice Coltrane Trio, “Lovely sky boat” [personnel: Coltrane, harp;  Jimmy Garrison, bass; Rashied Ali, drums; recorded: Coltrane home studio, Dix Hills, New York, US, 6 June 1968]) 
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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

65th birthday of Catherine Acholonu

(Born 26 October 1951, Orlu, Biafra)
Prolific and indefatigable scholar on Igbo origins and civilisation and relationship with neighbouring states and peoples and rest of the world
(Alice Coltrane Trio, “Turiya and Ramakrishna” [personnel: Coltrane, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Ben Riley, drums; recorded: Coltrane home studio, Dix Hills, New York, US, 26 January 1970]) 
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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

In a sentence or two, what is the singular achievement of the Biafra freedom movement during this past year (15 October 2015-15 October 2016) of the detention of Nnamdi Kanu by the Nigeria genocidist regime?

(Nnamdi Kanu: ... leader of Indigenous People of Biafra and freedom broadcaster, Radio Biafra)
At a stroke, the Biafran resistance has abolished that contrived “fear” always generated hitherto by the genocidists and their allies especially in academia and media (particularly those emplaced in the Lagos-Ibadan [west Nigeria] conurbation) of regime threats to “relaunch” the Igbo genocide full scale to thwart any “escalation” in the manifestation and drive for freedom by the freedom movement. This is indeed extraordinary.
(Alice Coltrane Quartet, “Lord, help me to be” [personnel: Coltrane, piano; Pharoah Sanders, tenor saxophone;  Jimmy Garrison, bass; Ben Riley, drums; recorded: Coltrane home studio, Dix Hills, New York, US, 29 January 1968]) 
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Friday, 21 October 2016

Rebirth: “I am because I am free; I am free because I am”

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

WHY AND HOW DOES a state exist to dominate, exploit, and, in cases such as NigeriaRwanda, the Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for instance, embark on a mission to destroy some of its constituent nations or peoples? 15 million Africans have been murdered in the genocides in these foursome states and in other wars elsewhere in Africa between 1966 and 2016. As most people know, the states that Europe created in Africa, in the aftermath of its leaders’ infamous November 1884-February 1885 Berlin-conquest conference, cannot lead African peoples to the reconstructive changes they deeply yearn for after the tragic history of centuries of conquest and occupation.

Create own state now
Such changes were and never are the mission of these states but instruments to expropriate and despoil Africa by the conquest in perpetuity. This is the “curse” of Berlin. But, thankfully, just as in Berlin, states are not a gift from the gods but relationships painstakingly formulated and constructed by groups of human beings on planet earth to pursue aspirations and interests envisioned and articulated by these same human beings. For the Igbo, Darfuri, and all other peoples presently besieged by the haematophagous monster of a state emplaced, the message on the unfurled banner for their freedom march couldn’t be more confident and focused: “I am because I am free; I am free because I am”. Create your own state today. This right is inalienable. Now is the time!

Challege to the genocidists of Africa: Break up the barrel & blade for the slaughter 
Let Africa’s constituent peoples or nations unleash at once a dazzling contest of creativity and progress, a continuing mutual bombardment, sharing, and transformation of ideas and streams of possibilities, akin to what the world has seen in south and southeast Asia and elsewhere in the world in the past 40 years – not the “Berlin-state”-programmed seasons of 50 years of mass murdering, pillaging, nihilism, particularly in the genocidist lairs called Nigeria, the Sudan... “Let the kite perch and let the eagle perch, too. If one says no to the other, let their wing break”.

Most surely, now is the time to embark on this rebirth, this beginning for peoples in Africa.
(The New York Contemporary Five plays “Sound barrier” [personnel: Archie Shepp, tenor saxophone; Don Cherry, pocket trumpet; John Tchicai, alto saxophone; Don Moore, bass; JC Moses, drums; recorded: live, Jazzhus Montmarte, Copenhagen, Denmark, 15 November 1963])
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99th birthday of Dizzy Gillespie

(Born 21 October 1917, Cheraw, South Carolina, US)
VIRTUOSO TRUMPETER who, with alto saxophonist Charlie Parker, plays a vanguard role in the bebop revolution in jazz in the 1940s/early 1950s and whose creative genius has influenced a stretch of trumpet luminaries subsequently: Fats Navarro, Miles Davis, Clifford Brown,  Booker Little, Donald Bryd, Kenny Dorham, Lee Morgan,  Art Farmer, Clarence Shaw, Richard Williams, Nat Adderley, Ted Curson, Johnny Coles, Woody Shaw, Lester Bowie, Don Cherry, Alan Shorter, Donald Ayler Dizzy Reece, Freddie Hubbard, Jon Faddis, Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard
(Charlie Parker Quintet plays Tadd Dameron’s classic composition, “Hot House” [personnel: Parker, alto saxophone; Gillespie, trumpet; Dick Hyman, piano; Sandy Block, bass; Charlie Smith, drums; recorded: Dumont Television Studios, New York, US, 24 February 1952])
(The Giants of Jazz, Live album, Copenhagen [personnel: Gillespie, trumpet; Kai Winding, trombone; Sonny Stitt, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone; Thelonious Monk, piano; Al McKibbon, bass; Art Blakey, drums; recorded: live, Tivoli, Copenhagen, Denmark, 9 November 1971])
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Thursday, 20 October 2016

Even the conqueror regime is honest enough, right from the outset, about the entrenched differences in the key sociological and historical markers of the constituent peoples in the contraption that it knows exists soley for its optimum expropriation indefinitely

(Hugh Clifford)
IN DECEMBER 1920, Hugh Clifford, the British conquest and occupation governor in Nigeria, makes the following contribution to a “Legislative Council Debate, Lagos”:
[Nigeria is a] collection of Independent … States, separated from one another by great distances, by differences of history and traditions and by … racial … political, social and religious barrier.[1]
Today, Thursday 20 October 2016, 96 years on, would Hugh Clifford conceivably make these same assertions? If so, why? If not, why not?
(The New York Contemporary Five plays Don Cherry’s composition, “Consequences” [personnel: Archie Shepp, tenor saxophone; Cherry, pocket trumpet; John Tchicai, alto saxophone; Don Moore, bass; JC Moses, drums; recorded: live, Jazzhus Montmarte, Copenhagen, Denmark, 15 November 1963])
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[1]Quoted in George CE Enyoazu, “Sovereign National Conference – Will the people have their say at last?”, African Democrat, 30 October 2013.

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Wednesday, 19 October 2016

72nd birthday of Peter Tosh

(Born 19 October 1944, Grange Hill, Jamaica)
Celebrated self-developed musician and Rastafarian who plays a seminal role, beginning in the 1960s, to transform reggae, Jamaica-originated music genre, into an international cultural movement engaged in opposition to centuries of African peoples’ subjugation and all other forms of oppression, and for the promotion of a fairer, equal forms of human relations across the board, offering his prodigious compositional output to the goal, especially: “Get up, Stand up”, “400 years”, “Equal rights”, “Love”, “No sympathy”, “Mama Africa”, “No nuclear war”, “Africa”, “African”, “Here comes the sun”, “Sun valley”, “Creation”, “Oppressor man”, “(You gotta walk and) don’t look back”, “Vampire”, “Apartheid”, “Why must I cry?”, “Go tell it on the mountain”, “You can’t fool me again”, “Keep on moving”
(Peter Tosh: ..“400 years”, 1975)
400 YEARS (400 years, 400 years. Wo-o-o-o)
And it’s the same –
The same (wo-o-o-o) philosophy
I’ve said it’s four hundred years;
(400 years, 400 years. Wo-o-o-o, wo-o-o-o)
Look, how long (wo-o-o-o)
And the people they (wo-o-o-o) still can’t see
Why do they fight against the poor youth of today?
And without these youths, they would be gone –
All gone astray

Come on, let’s make a move:
(make a move, make a move. Wo-o-o-o, wo-o-o-o)
I can (wo-o-o-o) see time (wo-o-o-o) - time has come
And if-a fools don’t see
(fools don’t see, fools don’t see. Wo-o-o-o)
I can’t save the youth:
The youth (wo-o-o-o) is gonna be strong
So, won’t you come with me;
I’ll take you to a land of liberty
Where we can live – live a good, good life
And be free

Look how long: 400 years, (400 years, 400 years) –
Way too long! (wo-o-o-o)
That’s the reason my people (wo-o-o-o) - my people can’t see
Said, it’s four hundred long years – (400 years, 400 years. Wo-o-o-o)
Give me patience (wo-o-o-o) – same philosophy
It’s been 400 years, (400 years, 400 years)
Wait so long! Wo-o-o-o, wo-o-o-o
How long? 400 long, long years
(lyrics: “400 years”)
(Peter Tosh: ... “Oppressor man”, 1977)
(Peter Tosh and 14-piece band, “Get up, Stand up” [Tosh and Bob Marley composition]; recorded: Randy’s Studio, Kingston, Jamaica, 1977)
GET UP, stand up
Stand up for your rights
Get up, stand up
Don’t give up the fight

Get up, stand up
Stand up for your rights
Get up, stand up

Don’t give up the fight

You, preacher man, don’t tell me
Heaven is under the earth
You, a duppy and you don’t know
What life is really worth

It's not all that glitter is gold
And half the story has never been told
So now we see the light
We gonna stand up for your rights, come on

Get up, stand up
Stand up for your rights
Get up, stand up
Don’t give up the fight

Get up, stand up
Stand up for your rights
Get up, stand up
Don’t give up the fight

’Cause you know most people think
A great God will come from the skies
Take away everything
And left everybody dry

But if you know what life is worth
Then you would look for yours on earth
And now you see the light
We gonna stand up for your rights

Get up, stand up
Stand up for your rights
Get up, stand up
Don’t give up the fight

Get up, stand up
Stand up for your rights
Get up, stand up
Don’t give up the fight

We’re sick and tired of this game of technology
Humbly asking Jesus for his mercy
We know and we know and understand
Almighty Jah is a living man

You fool some people sometimes
But you can’t fool all the people all the time
And now we see the light
We gonna stand up for our rights

Get up, stand up
Stand up for your rights
Get up, stand up
Don’t give up the fight

Get up, stand up
Stand up for your rights
Get up, stand up
Don’t give up the fight
(lyrics: “Get up, stand up”)

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe


Tuesday, 18 October 2016

55th birthday of Wynton Marsalis

(Born 18 October 1961, New Orleans, US)
Stellar trumpeter and composer, band leader, distinguished educator, artistic director, Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York, US
(Wynton Marsalis Quintet, “Thick in the South” [personnel: Marsalis, trumpet; Joe Henderson, tenor saxophone; Marcus Roberts, piano; Bob Hurst, bass; Jeff “Tain” Watts, drums; recorded: BMG Studios, New York, US, {? ?} 1991])
(Wynton Marsalis Septet, “Black codes from the underground” [personnel: Marsalis, trumpet; Wycliffe Gordon, trombone; Wes Anderson, alto saxophone; Todd Williams, tenor saxophone; Marcus Roberts, piano; Reginald Veal, bass; Herlin Riley, drums; recorded: Berlin Jazzfest, Germany 3 November 1989])
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Monday, 17 October 2016

Rethinking Africa and these times


Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe


African World   history and geography

RETHINKING AFRICA focuses and discusses the multifaceted stream of socioeconomic and cultural heritage that encapsulates 6000 years of African history: from Kemet (“ancient Egypt”) to Biafra, from ancient Ghana (contemporary Sénégal, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, part of west Mali) to Gĩkũyũland and Ethiopia of east Africa, from the Atlas Mountains of the north to South Africa, from Canada and the United States to Uruguay and Brazil, from Panama/Jamaica/Haiti/Cuba across the Caribbean to Trinidad/St Lucia/St Kitts & Nevis/Barbados, from Colombia/Venezuela to Guyana/Surinam, from Britain/Europe to Australasia… 

Subject, agency, history

Rethinking Africa is a rigorously studious reference and dependable companion as ever. In Rethinking Africa, African World history is live, continuous, daily, now – not just seasonal! Visit Rethinking Africa daily, all year round, and explore its vast archive which includes commentaries, essays, reports/reviews of publications, conferences, seminars, debates, lectures, concerts, festivals...  and snap biographical sketches on persons and anniversaries of occurrences across the African World that are at once succinct profiles and earmarked opportunities for further reading, analysis, research: 

1. Here, the African, Africans   wherever they are in the world (African continent, African American, African British, African Caribbean, African Mexican, African Venezuelan, African French, African Brazilian, African Spanish, African Canadian, African Indian, African Portuguese, etc., etc), are subject and agency in history. African peoples are definitely not some racist epithets, tags and stereotyping often referenced cavalierly in the West and elsewhere as “ethnic”,  “ethnic minority”, “black and ethnic minority”, “coloured”/“n”/“t” and the threesome poisoned termsother linguistic derivatives, etc., etc. As many are surely aware, the myriads of these typologisations have been the hallmark of both European World and (earlier) Arab/muslim post-conquest sociological constructions to essentially dehistoricise and thus dehumanise African peoples.

2. Find out, for instance, why the survival of the Igbo people (southwestcentral Africa) from the three phases of the genocide of 29 May 1966-12 January 1970, the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, executed jointly by Nigeria and its suzerain state Britain (http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/phase-i-sunday-29-may-1966-30-march.html), is one of the most extraordinarily emancipatory developments of recent history. Indeed to understand the politics of the Igbo genocide and the politics of the “post”-Igbo genocide is to have an invaluable insight into the salient features and constitutive indices of politics across Africa in the past 50 years.  

3. Why are Nelson Mandela and Chinua Achebe the dual-colossi of 20th century/21st century African renaissance? 
(Nelson Mandela: ... Colossus)
(Chinua Achebe: ... Colossus)
4. As film director Steve McQueen and actor Chiwetel Ejiofor remind the world of the perspicuity of African resistance in the enslaved emplacements of the United States in 12 Years (2014), what does CLR James’s classic, Black Jacobins (1938), tell us about that historic African uprising in the west Caribbean of the late 18th century/early 19th century? Does Saint Domingue teach the world anything presently? What? What is the title of another classic on African enslavement in the Americas published in 1944 by the African Trinidadian historian, Eric Williams? What does Williams establish in this study?

5. What are James Baldwin’s and Toni Morrison’s contributions to African American letters and history? 

6. Why is Kenneth Onwuka Dike’s reconstructionary scholarship on African history so seminal? 

7. What does “civil war” really mean? (http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.com.br/2013/09/what-is-civil-war.html) and why is “sub-Sahara Africa such a repugnant racist epithet? Who employs “sub-Sahara Africa”? Why?  (http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.com.br/2013/06/still-read-or-hear-of-sub-sahara-africa.html

8. What epistemology does Flora Nwapa  inaugurate in 1966 when she publishes the novel, Efuru

9. What identical every day-used, important personal product does 20th century/21st century philosopher Cornel West share with men and women of Kemet – 5000 years ago? 

10. Why is the role of Cheikh Anta Diop’s near-40 years of scholarship on Kemet of such vital importance? 

11. How has agriculture played a crucial role in the development of African civilisations across the continent’s regions and epochs? 

12. What is the extent of the research and inventions of George Washington Carver to contemporary society, worldwide? 

13. What business does 20th continental African entrepreneur Louis-Philip Ojukwu share with 19th century African American entrepreneur Paul Cufee

14. What is the “Berlin-state” in Africa? Who are its beneficiaries? Why does the “Berlin-state” have no future for African peoples? What are the alternatives to this state? (http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/rethinking-state-in-africa-whose-state.html)

15. What compelling lessons on the African-in-the-world-today do we learn from the January 2015 Boko Haram (currently the world’s most ruthless terrorist organisation, according to the Institute of Economics & Peace [http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-17/global-terrorism-index-increase/6947200, accessed 7 December 2015])
islamist insurgent attack on Baga, northeast Nigeria, in which the group murdered 2000 townspeople? (http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/baga-paris-two-massacres-contrasting.html)

Preeminent African World intellectuals: Freedom

In a word, what is it about the African that is the central preoccupation in the lives and work of the following intellectuals? Olaudah Equiano, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Chinua Achebe, Ida B Wells, CLR James, Christopher Okigbo, Toni Morrison, Malcolm X, Léopold Sédar Senghor, James Baldwin, Louis Mbanefo, Alain Locke, Kenneth Onwuka Dike, Arthur Schomburg, WEB Du Bois, Duke Ellington, Sojourner Truth, Ignatius Sancho, Charlotte Gardens, Claude McKay, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Frederick Douglass, Mary Seacole, Daniel Hale Williams, Carter G Woodson, Patrice Lumumba, Edward Kamau Brathwaite, Eubie Blake, Maulana Karenga, Cheikh Anta Diop, Akanu Ibiam, Louis Armstrong, Flora Nwapa, Thelonious Monk, Théophile Obenga, Paul Robeson, Ann Petry, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Edward Wilmot Blyden, Amilcar Cabral, Langston Hughes, Tchicaya U Tam’si, Palmer Hayden, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Mordecai Wyatt Johnson, Horace Pipping, Nicolás Guillén, Aimé Césaire, Kwame Nkrumah, Margaret Danner, Ladipo Solanke, Frantz Fanon, Martin Delaney, Chike Obi, Dean Dixon, Ossie Davis, Julius Nyerere, Noble Lee Sissle, Felix Oragwu, Agostinho Neto, Charlie Parker, Bessie Head, Pius Okigbo, Ruby Dee, Maurice Bishop, Nikki Giovanni, Emmanuel Obiechina, Kofi Awoonor, Chancellor Williams, Léon-Gontran Damas, Gwendolyn Brooks, Percy Lavon Julian, Eric Williams, Mbonu Ojike, Mahaila Jackson, Charles Drew, Okot p’Bitek, Billie Holiday, George Lamming, Sterling Brown, Adiele Afigbo, George Russell, Arna Bontemps, Sydney Poitier, Margaret Walker, John Coltrane, Steve Biko, Era Bell Thomson, E Franklin Frazier, Alexander Animalu, Charles Mingus, Alioune Diop, George Bridgetower, Michael Echeruo, Ornette Coleman, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Don Cherry,  Constance Baker Motley, Stevie Wonder, Benedict Obumselu, Grace Ogot, Molefi Kete Asante, Ivan Van Sertima, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Countee Cullen, James Brown, Paul Revere Williams, Harriet Tubman, Ray Charles, Sonia Sanchez, George Washington Carver, Walter Rodney, JJ Johnson, Mariama Bâ, Paul Chambers, Cornel West, Bede Okigbo, Miles Davis, George James, Max Roach, John Henrik Clarke, Elvin Jones, Amiri Baraka, Ama Ata Aidoo, JC Moses,  McCoy Tyner, Peter Tosh,  Sonny Simmons, Andrew Hill, Ousmane Sembéne, Paule Marshall, Wynton Kelly, Adu Boahen, Eric Dolphy, John Tchicai, Obiora Udechukwu, Clifford Jordan, Jewel Plummer Cobb, Jaki Byard, Lerone Bennett, Prince Lasha, Mal Waldron, Abbey Lincoln, Danny Glover, Bob Marley, Horace Silver, Arthur Agwuncha Nwankwo, Oscar Peterson, Mariamba Ani, Dannie Richmond, Uzo Egonu, Eddie Khan, Gani Fawehinmi, Johnny Coles, Ayi Kwei Armah, Archie Shepp, Ifeanyi Menkiti, Richard Williams, Faye Harrison, Ihechukwu Madubuike, Ray Brown, Archie Mafeje, Ishmael Reed, Dudu Pukwana, Mĩcere Gĩthae Mũgo, Valentine Mudimbe, Wangari Maathai, Bob Marley, Simon Gikandi, Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Garrison, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Ed Thigpen, Carole Boyce Davies, Spike Lee, Zeal Onyia, Denzel Washington, Hilary Beckles, David Murray, Esiaba Irobi, Thomas Sankara, Rita Dove, Tony Medina: Freedom
(Max Roach Sextet, “Freedom day” [personnel: Roach, drums; Abbey Lincoln, vocals; Booker Little, trumpet; Julian Priester, trombone; Walter Benton, tenor saxophone; James Schenk, bass; recorded: Nola Penthouse Sound Studio, New York, US, 31 August/6 September 1960)
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88th birthday of Lerone Bennett

(Born 17 October 1928, Clarksdale, Miss, US)
Distinguished journalist, essayist, editor and historian who has published prolifically on African American history with influential titles that include Before the Mayflower (1962), What Manner of Man (1964), Pioneers in Protest (1968), and Forced into Glory (2000)
(New York Art Quartet plays Charlie Parkers composition, “Mohawk” [personnel:  John Tchicai, alto saxophone; Roswell Rudd, trombone; Reggie Workman, bass; Milford Graves, drums; recorded: Nippon Phonogram, New York, US, 16 July 1965]) 
Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe

Saturday, 15 October 2016

78th birthday of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti

(Born 15 October 1938, Abeokuta, Nigeria)
Celebrated Afro-beat musician, bandleader and one of just a handful of Nigerian public figures, particularly in the Lagos and west region of Awolowoist/Awolowoid/Adekunleist agglomeration of Igbo genocide perpetrators and/or denialists, who consistently and unequivocally condemns the Igbo genocide (as he evocatively reminds the world in his authorised biography, Carlos MooreFela: The Bitch of a Life, Lawrence Hill, 2009: 47-49: “The Biafrans were right … That’s evident now … The I[g]bo were right … The Biafrans were f***ing right to secede...”), untiringly and expansive critic of regimes in post-Igbo genocide age-of-pestilence Nigeria, employing the expressive lyrics of his myriads of compositions and the operatic drive of his orchestra to assail genocidist sergeants and generals and corporals and colonels and financiers and politicians and their cohorts who control and wheel and deal in the kakistocratic lair that calls itself Nigeria
(Fela Ransome-Kuti and the Africa 70, “Everything Scatter” [recorded: LP Nigeria, Coconut PMLP1000, 1975])
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Friday, 14 October 2016

FWD: Berlin, Germany, Friday 14 October 2016 – When a news conference becomes a compulsory opportunity for innumerable tutorials/seminars/lectures/discourses/studies/essays...

(German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Muhammadu Buhari:... Berlin press conference, 14 October 2016)
*****BBC News, “Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari: My wife belongs to my kitchen”, London, Friday 14 October 2016, 

*****Link to question posed by a correspondent in German that elicited the Buhari response, as carried by the Die Welt newspaper, Berlin, 14 October 2016,

1st anniversary of the illegal detention of Nnamdi Kanu by genocidist Nigeria

(Nnamdi Kanu: ... leader of Indigenous People of Biafra and freedom broadcaster, Radio Biafra)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

IN THIS PAST YEAR, beginning from the 14 October 2015 illegal detention of Nnamdi Kanu by the Nigeria genocidist regime, the freedom movement of Biafra has made giant strides in its restoration-of-independence goal the likes of which the world hasn’t seen since the January 1970 end of phase-III/launch of phase-IV of the Igbo genocide when Nigeria and its suzerain state Britain murdered 3.1 million Igbo people or 25 per cent of this nation’s population. 

Contrary to regime expectation that Kanu’s incarceration would ground the resistance, the freedom movement has demonstrated its profoundly decentralised leadership capabilities which encapsulate multiple spaces in occupied Biafra, the contiguous diasporic territory of Nigeria, and the broader world-wide diaspora. 

The decentralised leadership has not only exerted a microscopic focus on the politics, security, legal and welfare dynamics of Kanu’s detention for the world’s apt attention but it has used the period to engage in the arduous labour of concientisation on Biafra in Biafra and elsewhere in the world. Consequently, at a stroke, the Biafran resistance has abolished that contrived “fear” always generated hitherto by the genocidists and their allies especially in academia and media (particularly those emplaced in the Lagos-Ibadan [Nigeria] conurbation) of regime threats to “relaunch” the Igbo genocide full scale to thwart any “escalation” in the manifestation and drive for freedom by the freedom movement. 

So, despite the sheer savagery of the regime’s military/Fulani militia murders of hundreds of Biafrans across Biafra since last October, Biafrans have emerged even more focused, steadfast, resilient. They have converted their strategic goal of independence restoration to a tactical tool which they employ almost effortlessly here and there with exponential impact locally and internationally. This is extraordinary. The Biafra Sun is on the ascent. Any referendum conducted in Biafra presently on the restoration-of-independence for this population of 50 million will result in a high 90 per cent score. Biafrans now dictate the terms of this long drawn-out journey. 

On Nnamdi Kanu, the regime must now know that it has no other credible option than release this exponent of freedom unconditionally. Biafrans are redefining the tenor of the march for freedom in Africa. And the freedom movement has done it, in the past 12 months, it should be stressed, without firing a shot – either in defence or offence.
(Sonny Rollins Trio, “The freedom suite” [personnel: Rollins, tenor saxophone; Oscar Pettiford, bass; Max Roach, drums; recorded: Riverside Records, New York, US, 7 March 1958])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe



Thursday, 13 October 2016

107th birthday of Art Tatum

(Born 13 October 1909, Toledo, Ohio, US)
Piano virtuoso, arguably the most influential jazz pianist in history
(Art Tatum Trio, “Blues in C” [personnel: Tatum, piano; Benny Carter, alto saxophone; Louie Bellson, drums; recorded: Pablo Group, New York, US, 25 June 1954])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

114th birthday of Arna Bontemps

(Born 13 October 1902, Alexandria, Louisiana, US)
Award-winning prolific poet, novelist, children’s writer, editor, biographer, historian, and librarian, whose work plays a cardinal role in the emergence of contemporary African American letters
(Andrew Hill Quartet, “Cantarnos” [personnel: Hill, piano; Joe Henderson, tenor saxophone;  Richard Davis, bass; Roy Haynes, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 8 November 1963]) 
Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe