THE BALTIMORE BUTTERFLY

Image

Red Admiral butterfly

Butterflies are aplenty, but they are not butterflies at procreation, they are, eggs, larvae, pupae, the stages of metamorphosis, before the world beholds their beauty and magnificence, as adults. Many die during the process. Almost a simile for some babies born in the bellies of poverty- laden cities and towns, throughout the world.

The Baltimore Center Stage theater group has begun an artistic series, categorizing Baltimore as a “Butterfly”. I do not know which one is associated, but I believe THE ADMIRAL, would be appropriate. It has black wings, red bands and white spots. (Baltimore City, a truly multicolored community). 

The idea of the theater group is to foster togetherness, and this group believes, the arts community is uniquely qualified to create such a reality; to influence, politicians, businesses, and clergy. 

I watched the October 5th, 2020 presentation, featuring actress Nia June, Lisa McCray of Baltimore Beat, and musical artiste, Darius Christian. 

Several butterflies from all parts of Baltimore, including Howard County, read texts from famous writers and the many ways they experienced Baltimore.

The Red Admiral is one of the strongest butterflies; this human butterfly, a.k.a, composite butterfly, (Baltimore City) needs the right environment, and nutrition to reach its glory. 

Baltimore needs industries, business ownership, not only for some;- change of legislators and legislation,- for all the butterflies to survive, and live in a state of reasonable contentment. 

WHEN NAKED BREASTS ARE NOT FOR SEXUAL AROUSAL

Image

Images from the current BMA exhibition, A PERFECT POWER, Motherhood and African Art.

It has long been symbols of fertility, so much so that such  pictures became symbols of the African diaspora, birthing the phrase “mother Africa”. 

“Sweet mother I no go forget you” (Prince Nico Mbarga) 

European women visiting the continent, became jealous of the sinuous African women’s bodies, walking along the popular African beaches. They wanted to look tanned and shirtless, like the natives

The French went “buck wild” on the Caribbean beaches, and rudely envied the body population of Brazilian beaches, like “Ipanema”. 

One is not left aghast, in looking at an African woman with the bulge in her pregnant belly, or nursing her baby in public. In fact, in the industrial world, it became a landmark of independence, or revolution, when female celebrities began taking pictures of their naked bodies while pregnant, for the world to see. 

These everyday depictions of MOTHERHOOD have finally come to the Balitmore Museum of Art, in an exhibition entitled A PERFECT POWER. 

It is a collection of art from Central Africa, especially the Congo, and parts of Zambia. 

It is precious art, representing a time, when African men left home for the hunt, and mothers were home to do everything until their men returned. 

For Baltimore, it is the grand re-opening of the museum since the pandemic hit, and all went into lockdown. BLACK LIVES MATTER, is now draped along the front entranceway, and African masks are also what your eyes will behold as part of this exhibition, curated by Kevin Tervala. 

This is a test, especially for my male counterparts, of whether they can see this exhibition and be asexual. 

contributions-photo

NO, SHE DIDN’T

Image

Kim Klasik Billboard

IT HAS BEEN FULLY DOCUMENTED THAT THERE IS SYSTEMIC RACISM, in America.  

This is not new.  It references to the old tried and true, “divide and conquer”. The most enslaved race, not only in America, but the world, has been, the Noir, Negro, Black, African… with a suffix, i.e. Caribbean, American etc. 

Why was the house slave getting the hand –me-downs, and others, the left overs? The “house slave” was the snitch. (Django Unchained). Hence “black on black” crime has hundreds of years of history. 

In our lifetime here in the United States, Clarence Thomas (Supreme Court Justice) has merged into the tapestry of his master; and as we have to closer to the 2020 General Election, I watched with disgust Herschel Walker and Jim Brown, stand guard for “El Cid”, who occupies the WHITE HOUSE. 

KANYE WEST? Not enough space. 

Baltimore Md. Is primarily a black city, and filled with the two classes of blacks earlier described, but the women have escaped the classification, until now. 

There is a congressional seat to be filled, and a black woman affiliated with “El Cid” wants to occupy that seat. 

Outside of Baltimore are county suburbs, with names like Howard, Carroll, Frederick, Wicomico, where occupants live on large spreads of land with half a mile driveways. Blacks living in such spaces are rare. 

So, I am driving West on route 32, about to leave Howard and enter into Carroll, when sitting at the beginning of one of those driveways, is this massive billboard, with a black woman, as though she is an international model, shoulder length hair flying. WHAT??? 

I DROVE HALF A MILE, then made a U turn. I had to see this for myself, to confirm I was not dreaming. I was not. A picture of KIM KLACIK! 

Okay, we know why the black men sold out, and they are in the derisive bracket, now the women are joining them? 

In the echo of Leslie Bricusse, “Stop the world, I Want to Get Off!” 

CALLING ON YOUR ANCESTORS

Image

Jazz vocalist and composer Akua Allrich

Of all the races on earth, the main race to call on their ancestors, incessantly in song, is the African. Why? 

Undoubtedly, the richest continent in the world with raw materials, Africa, with diamonds, gold, manganese, precious stones, oil, cocoa, copper, and human muscle. Then why are the majority inhabitants, so poor? Africa is not that far from the GARDEN OF EDEN, where the first man Adam lived in paradise!

The Arabs and the European nations, have some of those precious materials, but not like Africa, and the African climate made it easier to get. Records show that Africans, like indigenous Indians, are tribal, making them vulnerable to deceit. Leaders dominated the majority (and still do), thus the invaders from other continents, once their fabrications overwhelmed the leadership, tribes were overrun. In pain the tribal followers had no hope but to cry out to their deities for help. The muscle of slavery was the gold, the stock market, exported across the Atlantic. Africans sang for salvation, as they were beaten, and thrown across the bows and sterns of boats; sold by their tribal leaders, four hundred years ago. Now the Chinese are invading. 

In North America, the whaling cry got morphed into commercialized Blues, Jazz, and negro spirituals. In the Caribbean, the additions were Calypso and Reggae. 

Today, John Legend (an African American songwriter/performer) enjoined with the new Black genre, Hip-Hop, as exemplified in Common,( a well-known hip-hopper) have produced “GLORY”. (Best Original Song, 87th Academy Awards-2015) 

One day when the glory comes, it will be ours”; the opening words. 

Akua ALLRICH, this week, (9/21/2020) was given the space to make her cry, at the Baltimore Museum of Art. I watched: 

“One day, we’ll cry for glory, …when the war is won,…we’ll cry GLORY, Oh, GLORY”! ..ONE DAYYYYYY!

A HOUSE ON SAND CANNOT STAND

Image

Art work by Kid Balloon

There is no dispute to the above statement. History has recorded the thousands of homes and families washed away by torrents of rain and water, leaving unbelievable devastation for the annals of history documentarians. Those who suffered most were black and brown people.

When Europeans came to the American continent, their eyes of greed opened up. Land was in abundance, and temperatures were moderate; not as cold with blizzards as in Europe. The indigenous Indians refused to work for “the invaders”, thus the alternative was to import the scum from prisons to work in building wealth for the plantation owners. It did not work. Most of the prisoners could not handle heat and the field work; many got sick and had to be hospitalized. The owners were building “on sand”. 

How were the “white” plantation owners going to get their harvest back to Europe, and the economic capitals of the world? The only human being to fit the task, was the black African. 

So, for 400 years, Africans were shipped across the Atlantic, and treated as farm animals to create wealth for the white plantocracy. The African had a dollar figure, less that “the master’s horse”.  He was America’s ROCK, on which America built its house. The African black, was rock, not sand. 

The African man never got his “40 acres and a mule” promised him by President Abraham Lincoln. After Lincoln was assassinated, white America took that away from him. “Plantation owners” who own the stock market, run the Justice Department, the military, the Christian ministry, and the Police, each, had a foot “on the African man’s neck”, preventing him from breathing; and then, one of them died, GEORGE FLOYD. It became the stick that broke the camel’s back. The rock was moving away from the house. The house was losing its foundation!

BLACK LIVES MATTER!  became the cry. The plantation owners’ children joined the protest. I drove through lilly white neiborhood’s, where before now, such signs would never have graced the well-manicured lawns. On Friday August 21, 2020, Baltimore MD., gave permission to paint the 400 block of East Fayette Street, in front of City Hall… BLACK LIVES MATTER. 

IT IS TIME FOR THE BUILDERS OF THE HOUSE TO LIVE AS EQUALS.

Carnival Without Pan

Carnival… a time when all mankind attending express camaraderie, oneness. I kiss you, you kiss me, the excesses might alarm the onlooker, with bodies of all sizes, exposing their bulges and blotches. Some almost get naked, close to being charged with indecent exposure. 

Brazilian Carnival Queen Nayara Justino

 Caribbean sugar cane juice produces the best rum in the world; the masses participating in Carnival imbibe to a level of almost deliriousness.  

This festival is of European Christian origin, brought by the colonizers to the Caribbean and South America. The African slaves having been indoctrinated about Easter being symbolic of the rise of Christ, were told they could celebrate to that Tuesday, for the next day Wednesday and six weeks thereafter, fasting from sinful actions until Easter. Church on Sunday, Monday fly kites, indicative of Jesus on his way to heaven. 

Africans are inherently musical: wood flutes, skin drums, bare foot dancing. Music, and scripture, kept them starting a revolution every day. 

Apart from picking cotton, and working in the sugar cane fields, oil was discovered by the white carpetbaggers; this oil had to be shipped in steel drums. The African living in Trinidad and Tobago (an oil producing territory) discovered he could fine tune a steel drum to play musical notes; his white masters were playing on violins and other string and wind instruments. In no time he was able to compose a complete orchestra using steel drums. What better to showcase his unique invention but at Carnival. 

It became so imperative, that if there was no “pan” music, there was no carnival, throughout the Caribbean. 

The Caribbean “heart and soul” “the black slave”, brought Carnival to North America. “We” have dashed the colonial baggage, no “lent” … just “fun”; and the only time we can do this in cold North America, is Summer. 

“Wha happen boy, no pan music this year?” to use a Caribbean parlance. The pandemic (Corona virus) No “wining” no “twerking”; social distancing. I can’t French kiss you, you can’t French kiss me; but we can do it viral! 

Baltimore MD. Had its first viral Carnival. Carnival without “pan”. 

“KING LEAR” ON REWIND

Joseph Marcell, as King Lear on London stage. (Formerly of THE FRESH PRINCE of BEL AIR)

Oligarchy. What is it? From the internet: “Oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power rests with a small number of people. These people may be distinguished by nobility, wealth, education, corporate, religious, political, or military control”. 

Have we seen it here in Baltimore Maryland? Yes, we have, especially in the political arena, even among African American families. 

From a Biblical perspective, Eli was the high priest of Shiloh (Book of Judges, Holy Bible). He looked the “other way” while his sons Hophni and Phineas, engaged in abuses of power; their end was tragic. 

400 years ago, William Shakespeare penned King Lear, and opined Lear’s intent to split the English kingdom among his three daughters and their husbands, as he aged. (Dementia?) Shakespeare who hobnobbed among the elite had an insight to this oligarchy. Later Great Britain created a parliamentary system, with a House of Lords, equivalent to the United States Senate, and a House of Commons, the American answer being, Congress. 

Throughout the years of human existence, the oligarchy, A.K.A “the one percent” according to United States Senator Bernie Sanders, has found ways of repeating the mistakes of King Lear, even to the point where heads of these oligarchies tried to maneuver the political landscape, to keep their families as heads of the spheres of influence. 

Fidel Castro of Cuba, did not give the rulership to the people, but installed his brother Raul. Alberto Fujimori of Peru, from public records, escaped to Japan, after embezzling the country, and using death squads to silence his enemies. 

African leaders do not read Shakespeare. It is a continent rife with oligarchs. Teodorin Obiang, is an oil rich family from Equatorial Guinea. The Obiangs, is black Africa’s answer to the Saudis, of Saudi Arabia. 

Why is this my focus today. Theatre of War, invited me along with many others to watch King Lear, and comment on its relevance to us today. I have already established Lear’s oligarchy behavior. He ended up in filth and animals, living in the wild. Most oligarchs look like skeletons as they arrive at the end of their lives. Modern day LEAR’s engage in Ponzi schemes, bribe to get their dimwitted children into private schools; and discriminate profusely against people of color. Many are dying from the figurative COVID-19 virus (their losses on the stock market). Unlike the Pharaohs of EGYPT, they do not want to take their ill-gained riches with them to the AFTER LIFE

BE LEERY (Leary) of Oligarchs!

CITIZENS OF MODERN THEBES

“Here I am myself,.. you all know me; the world knows my fame: I am OEDIPUS!” 

Oedipus, by Linda Mota

(Oedipus by Linda Mota)

What do scholars say of him, a Greek King of 400 B.C.E? He is chronicled as being confident, interrogative, a bully, demanding, and a liar.

He lived up to his name, OEDIPUS TYRANNUS.

It is profoundly interesting to what sunset such a man would experience: glory; a whaling of the people of THEBES for his passing, or burning effigies of him?

He ultimately suffered from a self-inflicted wound to his eyes, and rode off into exile with his daughter ANTIGONE. He no doubt died unceremoniously.

I have just succinctly summarized a play by the Greek poet Sophocles. This play had a virtual presentation on Thursday May 7th, 2020. Plays are picked to confront social issues affecting current communities. This one was chosen to promote discussion of the pandemic engulfing us today. The city of Thebes was once faced with a plague, and no one but OEDIPUS, was able to save it. The panelist discussion following the play, concentrated on COVID-19 (CORONA-VIRUS) as a modern-day equivalent of a plague; affecting us, the modern day residents THEBES.

OUR savior, is a combination of nurses, EMT s, doctors, first respondents, and a host of volunteers. No one man.

I see more to the play. The opening quote of this article, is parallel to something we have all heard coming out of a modern leader who is 6’ 3” 243 pounds, overusing the catch words “terrific…tremendous!”; sexual proclivities in his profile.

“LOL”, Oedipus, was also accused of sexual misconduct!!!

Our world of THEBES, (7.8 billion people) is not confined to 50 states, but as combined, it is looked upon as the epicenter for relief.

 November 2020 could see OEDIPUS, and his daughter ride into eternal exile.

 

 

 

 

THE COLOR of GINGER

andie musik, santiago

4 of the colors of Ginger, at An die musik.

It’s a root, and at first, it appears brown in color. Wash it a little, there appears the beginning of a yellow hue, and a little redness may show up. 

Red ginger though, is a flower, not the root. Some men fall deeply in love with “red heads” even describe them as “ginger red foxes”. It’s that red flower…endorphins catalyst. 

“ROOTS”, whenever audible, is often linked to the black man, and invariably its referencing the musical atmosphere, connoting the “BLUES” .

Hence when a “roots” artist is in performance, no one really knows the “hue” of his/her tone until the recital is heard or seen in total. 

I have never heard of JOEL SANTIAGO until last week, and that he and his group play Haitian music! So, I streamed An die Musik on Charles Street Baltimore Md. 

I was hearing Zouk, KompaBoleros, Reggae, all, as expected,.. the African diaspora roots landscape. Then I began to hear some whistling. This was not the traditional Roy Rogers of the Western Movies whistling; it was the kind I grew up with, often heard done by street corner singers, or men having had “the happy experience”, where they saw the skies open, and like Tarzan, were beating their chests in exultation! 

 

But no one way singing!  Where then was this whistling coming from?

From the guitar of JOSEPH “Fan Fan”  LEWIS. So melodious, he made the guitar behave like a violin in serenade. 

He is no doubt, brown ginger color,… and in love with his red head, the guitar. 

(An die Musik continues to stream throughout this pandemic period, it costs less than a cup of coffee, at your high end coffee house). 

contributions-photo

 

 

 

“WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?”

Why did you sign that contract? Now you are unhappy. Did you have to say yes to your daughter marrying that guy !?  The job you had did not pay well, you jumped ship, and after a few months, you are unemployed.  

You know you did not do it for love. She was not that good, and less adequate!  

 What made you choose him, looks, what about substance? 

You knew the pastor was a voyeur, you left him and joined a church with a petrophile as leader, and now, you are following one who shockingly, is a pedophile! 

Politically, before today, you joined the Pan-African movement, was overjoyed to be alive to see America’s first black President, Barack Obama.  

Thereafter you stayed home in 2016. Your friends like Jim Brown and Steve Harvey got excited about the man with carrot colored hair, who promised more money in “your pockets” and better health care, and now the pandemic has hit, African American leaders are repeating what Africans have always done, sell their own to the money men. And there is another set of elections coming up, a bunch of repeats running, and I know, you are emotional, instead of thoughtful.

It is the repeat of the Pied Piper, who not only took the rats, but the children as well; the Jewish High Priest who opted for Barabbas and not Jesus. Maybe I should research whether Judas Iscariot, was a man of color, as Nimrod was. 

contributions-photo

WHERE WE STAND, is the current Baltimore Center Stage play. At the end of the play, all the above emotions and more, were popping through my veins. This play took me from the land of the Pharaohs right to today in America, especially Baltimore, Md. The foreigners saw more value in what the Africans had, than the Africans themselves. 

“Who the hell are you?” is not just a question emitted by actress DONETTA LAVINIA GRAYS, it could be used by each of us, for self-examination. 

 

See the play, send me your comments: businesswithosworld@outlook.com