Sunday, 17 December 2017

100th birthday of Kenneth Onwuka Dike

(Born 17 December 1917, Oka, Biafra)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

HISTORIAN, okaa amalu, doyen of the Reconstructionary School of African Historical Studies in the aftermath of 400 years of the pan-European enslavement, dispersal, conquest and occupation of the African World: lays the foundation of this restoration of the African as subject and agency in history in the 1956 publication of his classic, Trade and Politics in the Niger Delta, 1830-1885, inaugurates a stretch of an encompassing African heritage archive and becomes the first African vice-chancellor (president/rector) of the University of Ibadan, and later, 1966-1970, travels the world as one of the envoys of eminent and resolute Biafran intellectuals who campaigns tirelessly against the Igbo genocide (phases I-III) waged by Hausa-Fulani/islamist-led Nigeria and its suzerain state Britain, under the premiership of Harold Wilson, in which 3.1 million Igbo people (25 per cent of this nation’s population) are murdered between 29 May 1966 and 12 January 1970 in this foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa
(Eric Dolphy Quartet, “Softly as in a morning sunrise” [personnel: Dolphy, bass clarinet; Herbie Hancock, piano; Eddie Khan, bass; JC Moses, drums; recorded: live, University of Illinoi, 10 March 1963])
Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe

Saturday, 16 December 2017

72nd birthday of Tony Williams

(Born 12 December 1945, Chicago,US)
BRILLIANT DRUMMER, composer and bandleader, child prodigy who, in 1963, just 17, joins the Miles Davis Second Great Quintet (full personnel: Davis, trumpet; Wayne Shorter, tenor saxophone; Herbie Hancock, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Williams, drums)
(1. Tony Williams Quartet, “Extras” [personnel: Williams, drums; Wayne Shorter, tenor saxophone {takes first tenor solo}; Sam Rivers, tenor saxophone {takes second tenor solo}; Gary Peacock, bass; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 12 August 1965])
(2. Tony Williams Quartet, “Tee” [personnel and recording details as in 1 above with tenor solo: Wayne Shorter])
(3. Tony Williams Quartet, “Love song” [personnel and recording details as in 1 above with tenor solo by Sam Rivers; piano solos in all selected compositions are of course by Herbie Hancock and the bass’s is by Gary Peacock])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

“Tribe” and “tribes” and genocidist Nigeria


Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

IN STRIKING contrast to the name Biafra which rattles the sensibilities of the leadership of the Hausa-Fulani/islamist-led genocidist Nigeria so irredeemably (http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/blog-post.html), 
the notorious epithet, “tribe”, is arguably this grouping’s most enduring mantra. Even though “tribe” has no meaning in any African language, it is invoked by regime spokespersons with such relish as part of its broader historical anti-African worldview, particularly its visceral hostility to African agency which includes its opposition to the restoration-of-African-independence (in this southwestcentral Africa region) from the British conquest and occupation. The Igbo led this freedom movement during 1930s-October 1960 and, pointedly, if not predictably in response, the grouping launched the Igbo genocide with full British involvement.

It should be obvious that there is, in fact, no “tribe” or its plural “tribes” in genocidist Nigeria nor indeed anywhere else in Africa; definitely, not in Biafra.

AS in the rest of the world, there are peoples or nations in Africa: Igbo people or Igbo nation, Gĩkũyũ people or Gĩkũyũ nation, Wolof people or Wolof nation, Ndebele people or Ndebele nation, Herero people or Herero nation, Tiv people or Tiv nation, Kanuri people or Kanuri nation, Bini people or Bini nation, Luo people or Luo nation, Akan people or Akan nation, etc., etc. Elsewhere in the world, for instance, there are Scottish people or Scottish nation, Catalonian people or Catalonian nation, Welsh people or Welsh nation, Kurdish people or Kurdish nation... Each and every people or nation, whatever their size, wherever found in the world, has a profoundly layered history that embodies and projects its inheritance.

Dehistoricisation

This is the background or context that helps to elucidate the contemporary use of the tag, “tribe”, in genocidist Nigeria and indeed anywhere else on earth. “Tribe” is a racist Western anthropological/sociological categorisation of African peoples/nations and others elsewhere that pan-European World conquered and occupied, beginning in the 15th century CE. It is essentially a conqueror-epithet aimed chiefly to dehistoricise or deny the history of these hitherto subjugated peoples as a means of “rationalising” the conquest while simultaneously privileging the concocted state-name (“Nigeria”, “Niger”, “Gold Coast”,  “Rhodesia”, “Côte d’Ivoire”, “Upper Volta”, “Guinea-R”, “Guinea-S”,  “Guinea-T”...) it has imposed on the peoples’ states or homelands in the wake of the conquest (at times the occupation mischievously but incorrectly interchanges its designation of its concocted, imposed name on the peoples with the term “the nation”!).

CONSEQUENTLY, “tribe” is often employed in uncritical academia and media as a weapon to demonise these peoples. This is why, in its rampant usage, no one in their right mind would dare refer to 5 million Scots as “tribe” or 7.5 million Catalans as “tribe”, whilst, for example, cavalierly categorising the 25 million Oromo or 20 million Amhara as “tribe”. Nothing but geographical emplacements (namely, Scots and Catalans are peoples in Europe; Oromo and Amhara are peoples in Africa) dictate the choice made in these last four classifications, underlying its sheer racist tract.
(John Coltrane & Don Cherry, “Focus on sanity” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; Cherry, pocket trumpet; Percy Heath, bass; Ed Blackwell, drums; recorded: Atlantic Studios, New York, US, 28 June/8 July 1960])
Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe


Friday, 15 December 2017

86th birthday of Dannie Richmond

(Born 15 December 1931, New York, United States)
MULTIFACETED drummer who, in 1957, joins the jazz workshop of brilliant bassist, cellist and composer Charles Mingus (ensemble often varying from a quintet, sextet, octet and dectet) and both embark on one of the most enduring and resourceful artistic collaborations of recent times, recording over 30 albums in 22 years involving several influential instrumentalists in the repertoire, including, especially, multiinstrumentalist Eric Dolphy
(Charles Mingus Sextet, “So long Eric” [Mingus, bass; Johnny Coles, trumpet; Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone; Clifford Jordan, tenor saxophone; Jaki Byard, piano; Dannie Richmond, drums; recorded: live, University Aula, Oslo, 12 April 1964])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Africa: Snippet of the Arab/islamist conquest and occupation – in retrieval and consequences


Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

WITHIN 70 years of the Arab/islamist conquest and seizure of Kemet, or “ancient” Egypt, the great African civilisation on the continent’s northeast and on the Mediterranean, in 642 CE, these conqueror forces from west Asia extended their territorial march across Africa westward, stretching onto the northwest Atlantic coast (the so-called Maghreb). Indeed by 705 CE, these invaders had taken over one-third of Africa – from the northwest Atlantic coast to the Red Sea (Indian Ocean). Soon after, an expeditionary force from the occupation’s base in the “Maghreb” attacked the westcentral Atlantic coast kingdom of Ghana (situated around contemporary Sénégal/Gambia/Guinea-Bissau/Mali/Mauritania) ravaging, pillaging and occupying.

De-Africanisation

The trend and consequences of these invasions on the continent were seismically devastating: overruns and takeovers of states, enslavements and exportations of peoples, serial pillage of phenomenal treasures, simultaneous islamisation/Arabisation and targeted and insistent de-Africanisation of the expansive, variegated cultural heritage of these regions of Africa. The Arab/islamist invasion inaugurated 1200 (0ne thousand two hundred) years of the enslavement of African peoples which extended to the east, central and southern Africa.

IN EFFECT, the Arab/islamist occupation of Africa constitutes the catastrophic relay race of invasion whose baton the Arab/islamists would hand over to Europe, beginning 15th century CE.
(Alice Coltrane Quintet “Blue Nile” [personnel: Coltrane, harp; Joe Henderson, alto flute, Pharoah Sanders, alto flute; Ron Carter, bass; Ben Riley, drums; recorded: Coltrane home studios, Dix Hills, New York, US, 26 January 1970])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Monday, 11 December 2017

79th birthday of McCoy Tyner

(Born 11 December 1938, Philadelphia, United States)
ONE OF THE most influential pianists of the 20th century, occupies the piano chair of the classic John Coltrane Quartet (full personnel: Coltrane, tenor and soprano saxophones; Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums), 1960-1965, and subsequently records own key signature albums (The Real McCoyTime for TynerExtensionsTender MomentsSaharaBlues for Coltraneplays John Coltrane at The Village VanguardRemembering JohnRevelationsInfinity44th Street SuiteIlluminationsExpansionsLive in WarsawRound MidnightSoliloquyplays Duke EllingtonToday and TomorrowNights of Ballads and BluesLove and PeaceLand of the Giants) in varying group contexts such as trios, quartets, quintets, sextets, nonets, big band, solo
(McCoy Tyner Quartet“Blues on the corner” [personnel: Tyner, piano; Joe Henderson, tenor saxophoneRon Carter, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 21 April 1967]) 
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Sunday, 10 December 2017

92nd birthday of Jimmy Smith

(Born 8 December 1925, Norristown, Pennsylvania, US)
CELEBRATED inventive organist and prolific composer who significantly promotes the use of the Hammond B-3 organ as an instrument in jazz in the early 1950s and whose influence on subsequent organists in the repertoire has been immensely profound
(Jimmy Smith Trio, “The sermon” [personnel: Smith, organ; QuentinWarren, guitar; Billy Hart, drums; recorded: BBC TV, {?} 1964])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe 




Saturday, 9 December 2017

53rd anniversary of the recording of John Coltrane’s classic, A Love Supreme

(Recorded 9 Dec 1964, Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US)

A Love Supreme, a suite in four parts (“Acknowledgement”, “Resolution”, “Pursuance”, “Psalm”), is played here by the John Coltrane Quartet (personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums)

John Coltrane Quartet
(John Coltrane: tenor saxophone)
(McCoy Tyner: piano)
(Jimmy Garrison: bass)
(Elvin Jones: drums)

A Love Supreme

pt. I “Acknowledgement”
pt. II “Resolution”
pt. III “Pursuance”
 pt. IV “Psalm”
Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe

Friday, 8 December 2017

Thoughts for the weekend: Who is “person of colour”?


Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

WHO is this? Who indeed is “person of colour”? Would they also be termed “coloured person”? If not, why not?

No one should ever toy with their identity, their history – particularly African peoples, especially those domiciled in the pan-European World. Crucially, in this geographical space, as well as in the Arab World, the cardinal constructs of African identity have in the past been expunged in stretches of robust state/quasi-state programmes aimed primarily to deny or distort the saliency of the African presence.

This is why a person who presents themself, for instance, as African British, African American, African Caribbean, Igbo British, Ethiopian American, Congolese French, Biafran German, Jamaican Canadian, etc., etc., actuates a presence unmistakeably that references or resonates with history. In contrast, employing a dehistoricised expression/epithet in referencing someone, however expedient, even fanciful, questions that person’s presence and surely accelerates their slide to quite often tragic alienation.

ALWAYS insist on who you are. This is not the responsibility of somebody else’s.
(McCoy Tyner Quartet, “Contemplation” [personnel: Tyner, piano; Joe Henderson, tenor saxophoneRon Carter, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 21 April 1967])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

At long last… Nana Akufo-Addo, president of Ghana, sets the pace for the African peoples’ position in relation to the pan-European World during this joint press conference in Accra, Ghana (Tuesday 5 December 2017), with Emmanuel Marcon, the visiting French president – 61 years after the beginning of the so-called African restoration of independence in the Sudan … Marcon appears disconcerted as Akufo-Addo makes his speech…

 (Nana Akufo-Addo)
(President Nana Akufo-Addo delivers his historic speech in Accra at joint news conference with visiting French President Emmanuel Marcon, Tuesday 5 December 2017)
Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe


Statues of ideas

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

THE RECENT comical if not bizzare assemblage of appointments by the overseer regime in Owere, Imo, east Biafra region, must not mask a salient characteristic of an occupation enterprise by a conqueror force, particularly the genocidist’s. It is to entrench lilliputians on the ground to police the occupation as part of expanding even further the parameters of the genocidist drive.

Lilliputians-of-occupation

In this land of enriched statutes of ideas and transformations that elevated Biafra to Africa’s most dynamic economy prior to the genocide, launched by Hausa-Fulani/islamist-led Nigeria and Britain on 29 May 1966, the lilliputians of the occupation are designed by the génocidaires to destroy the critical milestones of a people’s history. These lead murderers of Africans in Africa since the 1900s are desperate indeed
(http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/the-catastrophe-that-is-genocidist.html).

They do know, though, that Biafrans are solidly knowledgeable of their history and that the days of this occupation and season of the little, petty personages of vile enforcers are coming to an end. Biafra, the pearl of African affirmation, is defiantly on the way back.

THE SCHOOLS’ curricula and the dramatic arts and other sites of creativity in Biafra on the morrow of the restoration-of-independence will surely contend with the evolving encyclopaedic material that references this tragic epoch of Igbo history in its entirety.
(John Coltrane Quartet, “Lonnie’s lament” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood, Cliff, NJ, US, 27 April 1964])

Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe
            



Monday, 4 December 2017

Igbo people survived


Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

Survivors

IT IS INDEED an extraordinary survival story of history that someone that goes by the name Obiageli, Nkechi, Chinyere, Ifeoma, Amaechi, Nwakaego, Ngozi, Chinelo, Ada, Uzo, Chibundu, Nkemdilim, Chukwuka, Okwuonicha, Chikwendu, Ogonna, Nwafo, Ikechukwu, Onwuatuegwu, Chukwuemeka, Onyekachi, Nnadozie, Okonkwo, Chido, Okafo, Chikwendu, Nkeiiru, Ifeyinwa, Nkemakolam, Ikenga, Uchendu, Okeenwa, Nwaoyiri, Okonta, Ukpabi, Amaka, Kanu, Ofokaaja, Nnamdi, Mbazulike, Chukwuma, Kanayo, Ndukaeze, Chidi, Kamene, Nneka, Onyeka, Osita, Kalu, Ifekandu, Obioma, Chioma, Ndubuisi…  actually walks the face of the earth, today, having survived this programmed sentence of death by Anglo-Nigeria genocidists beginning on 29 May 1966 and through to 12 January 1970 (phases I-III of the genocide). The genocidists murdered the grisly total of 3.1 million Igbo or 25 per cent of this nation
s population during the period. Additionally, they have murdered tens of thousands of Igbo since 13 January 1970 as the genocide continues unrelentingly (phase IV)...

None of the lead génocidaires of this genocide – Harold WilsonBenjamin AdekunleOlusegun ObasanjoObafemi AwolowoAllison AyidaIbrahim HarunaTony EnaharoYakubu DanjumaYakubu GowonJeremiah UseniOluwole Rotimi… – reckoned in their dire prognosis of the outcome of the 44 months of Igbo slaughtering they directed and executed that the Igbo stood a chance of surviving. Harold Wilson, then British prime minister who chiefly coordinated the genocide from the comfort of his offices and residence at 10 Downing Street, London, 3000 miles away from Biafra, had notoriously set the pace for his fellows on what he saw as the future of the Igbo when he informed Clyde Ferguson, the United States state department special coordinator for relief to Biafra, that he, Harold Wilson, “would accept a half million dead Biafrans if that was what it took” Nigeria to destroy the Igbo resistance to the genocide (Roger MorrisUncertain Greatness: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy, 1977: 122). 

BY SURVIVING the genocide, the Igbo have not only dramatically repudiated this vile Wilsonian logic of Igbo mass slaughter, but they are poised today, 51 years later, as the Biafra freedom movement has grown inexorably, to resume the interrupted construction of their beloved state of Biafra – the Land of the Rising Sun.
(John Coltrane Quartet, “Out of this world” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 19 June 1962])
Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

102nd birthday of Billy Strayhorn

(Born 29 November 1915, Dayton, Ohio, US)
RENOWNED composer, pianist and arranger whose near 30 years (1938-1967) of collaborative work with composer, pianist and bandleader Duke Ellington has been the focus of expansive recordings, research and publications
(Charles Mingus Sextet, featuring Eric Dolphy, plays the Billy Strayhorn classic, “Take the ‘A’ train” [Mingus, bass; Johnny Coles, trumpet; Dolphy, bass clarinet; Clifford Jordan, tenor saxophone; Jaki Byard, piano; Dannie Richmond, drums; recorded: live, University Aula, Oslo, 12 April 1964])
(Joe Henderson Quintet plays the Billy Strayhorn classic, “Johnny come lately” [personnel: Henderson, tenor saxophone; Wynton Marsalis, trumpet; Stephen Scott, piano; Christian McBride, bass; Gregory Hutchinson, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood, Cliffs, NJ, US,  3-8 September 1991])
(John Coltrane Quintet plays the Billy Strayhorn classic, “Lush life” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; Donald Bryd, trumpet; Red Garland, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Louis Hayes, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, US, 10 January 1958)
Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe

111th birthday of the venerable Akanu Ibiam

(Born 29 November 1906, Unwana, Biafra)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

AFFABLE physician, erudite theologian, principled statesperson, works for 30 years in the Church of Scotland/Presbyterian Church rural medical programme in central and east regions of Biafra and who, in August 1967, returns to Queen Elizabeth II of England the three insignias of knighthood (OBEKBEKCMG) conferred on him by both her and her father, King George VI,  in protest against the central role being played by Britain in the perpetration of the Igbo genocide, the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, when it and its Hausa-Fulani/islamist-led client state Nigeria murder 3.1 million Igbo people, 25 per cent of this nation’s population, between 29 May 1966 and 12 January 1970 (phases I-III of the genocide).
Dr Ibiam’s towering position against the Igbo genocide is a challenge particularly to those clusters of the Igbo intelligentsia, especially in the diaspora, who have exercised a mortifying silence over the existential emergency that the Igbo face, currently, as the genocidists pursue phase-IV of the slaughtering … It is also a reminder of how deeply embedded British involvement in the execution of the genocide is as shown in that historic August 1967 letter of Dr Ibiam’s to Queen Elizabeth II in which he renounces the awarded 3-set knighthood from the English crown (see excerpts of letter below) and illustrated further by the calculated indifference of the Church of England to the genocide. 

Church of England

SINCE NOVEMBER 2015, during the course of the génocidaire Muhammadu Buhari regime in Nigeria (http://re-thinkingafrica.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/herbert-ekwe-ekwe-it-is-indeed.html), over 2000 Igbo have been murdered in expanded scorched earth campaigns by its military/adjunct Fulani militia across Biafra. Sixty per cent of these murders have occurred in Onicha and neighbouring towns and villages, southwest Biafra, which are all located in the Onicha diocese of the Anglican communion, part of the Church of England, one of this denomination’s largest population districts in the world. Neither the Church of England nor its head, Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, who has known Muhammadu Buhari personally since the former worked in the petroleum oil industry in Nigeria in the early 1980s, has condemned any of these Igbo slaughters of the past two years or offered public condolences to the aggrieved and traumatised Anglican communion congregants...

(Paragraphs 14-20 of Dr Ibiam’s letter to Queen Elizabeth II of England, August 1967)

...

YOUR MAJESTY, the British officials in Nigeria are fully aware of all these. They know that we are injured and deeply grieved people and had been cruelly treated by our erstwhile fellow citizens of Federal Republic of Nigeria. The British officials not only knew the crux of the matter, but they also encouraged Northern Nigeria to carry out and execute their nefarious plan against us. They are angry with Biafra because Biafra categorically refused to remain as part of the Nigeria federation and political unit only to be trampled upon, discriminated against and hated, ruthlessly exploited and denied her rights and privileges, and slaughtered whenever it suited the whims and caprices of the favoured people of Northern Nigeria. To add insult to injury, Your Majesty’s Britannic Government, instead of being neutral in our quarrels or finding ways and means to mediate and bring peace to the two countries, has now taken it upon herself to supply military aid to Nigeria to help them defeat and subjugate Biafra.

It is simply staggering for a Christian country like Britain to help a Moslem country militarily to crush another Christian country like Biafra. This is just too much for me, Your Gracious Majesty, this act of unfriendliness and treachery by the British Government towards the people of Republic of Biafra who, as Eastern Nigerians, had so much regard for Britain and British people.

In the circumstance, Your Majesty, I no longer wish to wear the garb of the British Knighthood. British fair play, British justice, and the Englishman’s word of honour which Biafra loved so much and cherished have become meaningless to Biafrans in general and to me in particular. Christian Britain has shamelessly let down Christian Biafra.

I love the Republic of Biafra very dearly and pray that, by grace of God, she may remain and continue to grow and live and always act like a truly Christian country for all times.

I am, your Majesty

Yours Most Respectfully

(AKANU IBIAM)
(John Coltrane Quintet, “The believer” {composer: McCoy Tyner} [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; Donald Bryd, trumpet; Red Garland, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Louis Hayes, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, US, 10 January 1958)
Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe

Monday, 27 November 2017

75th birthday of Jimi Hendrix

(Born 27 November 1942, Seattle, US)
ARGUABLY the most creative and accomplished guitarist of all time; collaborates with fellow artist Joan Baein a historic concert at Steve Paul’s Scene, Manhattan, New York, 29 August 1968, where they both perform free in a concert of solidarity with the people of Biafra being subjected to the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa by Nigeria and its suzerain state Britain with Hendrix additionally offering a personal donation of US$500.00 to Biafra, US$3560.00 in today’s value
(Jimi Hendrix and Joan Baez in hearty conversation during intermission at the special Biafra concertNew York, 29 August 1968)
(The Jimi Hendrix Experience plays Hendrix’s exquisite blues composition, “Red house” [personnel: Hendrix, guitar; Noel Redding, bass; Mitch Mitchell, drums; recorded: live, The Northern California Folk-Rock Festival, Santa Clara, San Jose, California, US, 23-25 May 1969])
(The Jimi Hendrix Experience, “Hear my train a comin” {composer: Jimi Hendrix} [personnel as above, from film Jimi Hendrix, July 1973])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Sunday, 26 November 2017

220th birthday of Sojourner Truth

(B ?1797, Rifton, NY, US; dies 26 Nov 1883, Battle Creek, Mich, US)

CELEBRATED African American freedom exponent and campaigner for gender rights and equality whose historic address at the December 1851 Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio, entitled “Ain’t I a woman?”, has been anthologised copiously ever since:

Ain’t I a woman?

by Sojourner Truth

(delivered 1851 at the Women’s Convention, Akron, Ohio, United States)

WELL, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that ’twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what’s all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? (member of audience whispers, “intellect”) That’s it, honey. What’s that got to do with women’s rights or negroes’ rights? If my cup won’t hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

OBLIGED to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain’t got nothing more to say.
(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


Saturday, 25 November 2017

48th anniversary of John Lennon’s decision to return MBE knighthood medal to Queen Elizabeth II over Britain’s instrumental role in the perpetration of the Igbo genocide

(Medal is sent back to Buckingham Palace, London, 25 November 1969)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

ICONIC Beetle’s John Lennon sends back the 1965 MBE knighthood medal bestowed on him by Queen Elizabeth II of England over Britain’s instrumental role in the perpetration of the Igbo genocide with its client state’s Hausa-Fulani/islamist-led Nigeria in which 3.1 million Igbo people or 25 per cent of Igbo population are murdered between 29 May 1966 and 12 January 1970 (phases I-III) in the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa – 48 years after Lennon’s towering stand, Britain is deeply embedded in this most devastating, expansive, and longest genocide of contemporary history … It chiefly arms and provides robust political and diplomatic cover internationally to its Nigeria on-the-ground génocidaires who continue the slaughtering of Igbo people unrelentingly (phase-IV) in scorched earth military operations in Biafra they have occupied since 13 January 1970
(John Lennon, “Oh my love” [composers: John Lennon and Yoko Ono, 1971])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Friday, 24 November 2017

83rd birthday of Zeal Onyia

(Born 24 November 1934, Asaba, Biafra)
MASTERLY trumpeter, composer and public intellectual whose 1958 composition, the effervescent “Egwu jazz bu egwu Igbo” (“Jazz is Igbo music”), leads him to research Igbo contribution to the development of jazz whilst studying in Germany and the United States, and receives the highest accolade of his career when none other than Satchmo himself, Louis Armstrong, visiting Lagos, Nigeria, in 1961, and listening to Onyia play at Surulere stadium, inquires in that unmistakeably popsian voice, “Who is that hip cat?
(Zeal Onyia and band play “Money trouble” and  “Lumumba” – latter composition is in memory of  Patrice Lumumba, leader of the the Congolese restoration-of-independence movement and prime minister,  who had been brutally murdered on 17 January 1961 by an amalgam of the forces of the notorious pro-Belgian Congolese putschist Mobutu Sese Seko, a brigade of Belgian special forces and operatives of other West espionage services [recording details of this performance, including, especially, full band personnel, are unknown except that it was sometime in 1961].)
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

212th birthday of Mary Seacole

(Born 23 November 1805, Kingston, Jamaica)
Nurse extraordinaire, pioneering international humanitarian care practitioner in the Caribbean/central America and during the 1854-1856 war in the Crimea, Czarist Russia, author of the classic, The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands (1857)
(John Coltrane Quartet, “Chim chim cheree” [personnel: Coltrane, soprano saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 17 May 1965])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe