Gil Scott-Heron "The Middle Of Your Day"

"where were you all morning? dodging life inside your heart never daring face to dangerthen attack right from the start go and tell your daddyhe was right in what he said 'cause the laws of independence don't apply until you're dead
and though you'd like him here to push you'cause you feel a need for help..."

Gil Scott-Heron "The Middle Of Your Day"

Pic: Martin Scorsese "taxi driver" (1976)
Source: blog "The Art of Memory"

Gil Scott-Heron R.I.P.

Gil Scott-Heron
(April 1, 1949 – May 27, 2011)

Peace Go With You Brother (As-Salaam-Alaikum)

Kenneth B. Clark (1914 – 2005)

Kenneth B. Clark
(July 14, 1914 – May 1, 2005)

- was African-American psychologist.
K.B.Clark and his wife founded the Northside Center for Child Development in Harlem and the organization Harlem Youth Opportunities Unlimited (HARYOU).

- They were known for their 1940s experiments using dolls to study children's attitudes about race.

- Doll experimentsThe Clarks' doll experiments grew out of Mamie Clark's master's degree thesis. They published three major papers between 1939 and 1940 on children's self perception related to race. Their studies found contrasts among children attending segregated schools in Washington, DC versus those in integrated schools in New York. They found that black children often preferred to play with white dolls over black; that, asked to fill in a human figure with the color of their own skin, they frequently chose a lighter shade than was accurate; and that the children gave the color "white" attributes such as good and pretty, but "black" was qualified as bad and ugly

- In 2006 filmmaker Kiri Davis recreated the doll study and documented it in a film entitled A Girl Like Me. Despite the many changes in some parts of society, Davis found the same results as did the Drs. Clark in their study of the late 1930s and early 1940s.

Girl Like Me

The Books on Malcolm X

Brother Malcolm, The Black Shining Prince, Malik El-Shabazz… many names but one person. There’s no doubt he’s one of the most important Afro-American, his autobiography is one of the ten most influential nonfiction books of the of 20th century. Malcolm’s words are very often misunderstood or misinterpreted and hatemongers try to depict him as a racist or extremist.

"Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention" Manning Marable (2011)

Hailed as "a masterpiece" (San Francisco Chronicle), the late Manning Marable's acclaimed biography of Malcolm X finally does justice to one of the most influential and controversial figures of twentieth-century American history. Filled with startling new information and shocking revelations, Malcolm X unfolds a sweeping story of race and class in America. Reaching into Malcolm's troubled youth, it traces a path from his parents' activism as followers of Marcus Garvey through his own work with the Nation of Islam and rise in the world of black nationalism, and culminates in the never-before-told true story of his assassination. Malcolm X is a stunning achievement, the definitive work on one of our greatest advocates for social change.

"The Autobiography of Malcolm X" Alex Haley (1965)

From hustling, drug addiction and armed violence in America's black ghettos Malcolm X turned, in a dramatic prison conversion, to the puritanical fervour of the Black Muslims. As their spokesman he became identified in the white press as a terrifying teacher of race hatred; but to his direct audience, the oppressed American blacks, he brought hope and self-respect. This autobiography (written with Alex Haley) reveals his quick-witted integrity, usually obscured by batteries of frenzied headlines, and the fierce idealism which led him to reject both liberal hypocrisies and black racialism.

"February 1965, THE FINAL SPEECHES: Malcolm X" Steve Clark (1992)

One of a series of volumes chronologically collecting speeches and interviews of Malcolm X, this volume contains 23 speeches and interviews from the final three weeks of his life before his assassination. Each speech or interview is preceded by a note providing pertinent historical and other contextual information. The appendix contains the text of the Basic Unity Program of the Organization of Afro-American Unity (founded by Malcolm in 1964), which was not drafted by Malcolm but was read and approved by him shortly before his death. This is a paperbound edition edited by Steve Clark originally published in 1992. (Annotation ©2010 Book News Inc. Portland, OR) 

"Remembering Malcolm" Benjamin Karim, Peter Skutches, David Gallen (1992)

For seven years Benjamin Karim asisted Malcom daily in his Muslim ministry at New York Mosque Number Seven. On a Sunday morning, outside Harlem´s Christian churches, he might go „fishing“ with Malcolm for converts to the Nation of Islam. Every Tuesday he diligently studied the natural sciences, current events, history, and geography in Malcolm´s class for assistant ministers.

"Malcolm X As They Knew Him" David Gallen (1992)

During his lifetime, the name Malcolm X was a lightning rod that electrified the black community. Now, thirty years after his death, we are still coming to grips with the complexity, and power of his message. In this fascinating volume, Malcolm X, the man and the leader, stands revealed in a shimmering mosaic of memories, interviews, insights, and appreciations by:

"By Any Means Necessary: Making of Malcolm X " Spike Lee and Ralph Wiley (1992)

The director of Do the Right Thing and Jungle Fever describes the troubles he encountered while making Malcolm X, a film based on the life of the slain African-American leader. Original.

Title: By Any Means Necessary: Making of Malcolm X
Authors: Malcolm X, Ralph Wiley, Spike Lee
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Year: 1992
Number of pages: 314

"On The Side Of My People: A Religious Life of Malcolm X" Louis A. DeCaro Jr (1996)

The mythic figure of Malcolm X conjures up a variety of images--black nationalist, extremist, civil rights leader, hero. But how often is Malcolm X understood as a religious leader, a man profoundly affected by his relationship with Allah?

"Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X " Michael Eric Dyson (1995)

Malcolm X's cultural rebirth--his improbable second coming--brims with irony. The nineties are marked by intense and often angry debates about racial authenticity and "selling out," and the participants in these debates--from politicians to filmmakers to rap artists--often draw on Malcolm's scorching rebukes to such moves. Meanwhile, Malcolm's "X" is marketed in countless business endeavors and is stylishly branded on baseball hats and T-shirts sported by every age, race, and gender.

"The Black Book: The True Political Philosophy of Malcolm X" Yussuf Naim Kly (1986)

This book provides the first comprehensive analysis of the political thought of the great African-American Muslim martyr, MALCOLM X. It is the first to illustrate the influence of his islamic faith and his international experience upon his constantly developing political vision.

"By Any Means Necessary " Malcolm X (1970)

I think the best way to describe this great book is a few excerpts.

"... by any means necessary. That's our motto. We want freedom by any means necessary. We want justice by any means necessary. We want equality by any means necessary."

"We won't organize any black man to be a Democrat or a Republican because both of them have sold us out."

"Those who claim to be enemies of the system were on their hands and knees waiting for [Democratic president] Johnson to get elected because he's supposed to be a man of peace; and he has troops invading the Congo [in Africa] right now and invading Saigon [Vietnam]...."

"This political, economic, and social system of America was produced from the enslavement of the black man and that particular system is capable only of reproducing that out of which itself was produced."

"No, you have got no friends in Washington, D.C.... You've got friends in Africa, friends in Asia, friends in Latin America."

"The Negro Protest" Kenneth B. Clark (1963)

The vivid conversations in The Negro Protest were conducted by Kenneth B. Clark, noted Negro pyschologist & author of Prejudice & Your Child, for National Educational Television & were produced by Henry Morgenthau with the staff of WGBH-TV in Cambridge, MA. For this book, Dr Clark has written a brief commentary on the interviews & the men he talked to.

"Malcolm X: The Last Speeches" Malcolm X, Bruce Perry (1969)

Speeches and interviews from the last two years of his life.

"Malcolm X Talks to Young People" Malcolm X (1965)

This expanded edition includes four talks and an interview given to young people in Ghana, the United Kingdom, and the United States in the last months of his life. Among the new material in this edition is the entire December 1964 debate presentation by Malcolm X at the Oxford Union in the United Kingdom, in print for the first time anywhere. The collection concludes with two memorial tributes by a young socialist leader to this great revolutionary, whose example and words continue to speak the truth for generation after generation of youth. With a new preface and an expanded photo display of 17 pages.

"Malcolm X: the man and his times" John Henrik Clarke (1969)

The full impact of Malcolm X, his personality and his mission come urgently to life in this definitive anthology of his writings, speeches and manifestos along with writings about him by an international group of African and African American scholars and activists.

"Malcolm X Speaks" Malcolm X, George Breitman (1965)

These are the major speeches made by Malcolm X during the last tumultuous eight months of his life. In this short period of time, his vision for abolishing racial inequality in the United States underwent a vast transformation. Breaking from the Black Muslims, he moved away from the black militarism prevalent in his earlier years only to be shot down by an assassin's bullet.

"Slovník spisovatelů: ASIE a AFRIKA" Díl I. + Díl. II.

Složitá národnostní, společenská a kulturní situace Orientu – jak tradičně nazýváme země Asie a Afriky – se nám často zdá neproniknutelná. Odděleni jazykovou bariérou a malou znalostí hospodářské a politické specifiky jejich vývoje vnímáme i literaturu těchto četných národů jednou jako celek, jindy zas jsme nakloněni vidět v některé velké literatuře jediného reprezentanta veškeré orientální tvorby. Nesnadného a náročného úkolu umožnit českému čtenáři základní orientaci v této rozsáhlé oblasti se ujal Orientální ústav ČSAV.

"The Nation Of Islam" Martha F. Lee

This absorbing clearly written study views the Nation of Islam as a millenarian movement that underwent a fateful transformation when its prophecies concerning the end failed. The result was the transformation of the Nation, after death of Elijah Muhammad, into two quite different entities.

The first is the American Muslim Mission...led by Wallace D. Muhammad...The second is reconstituted Nation of Islam under the guidance of the controversial Minister Louis Farrakhan...a timely and convincing account that sheds light on an important era in the history of African-American religion.

"Black Muslim: Religion in the Nation Of Islam 1960 - 1975" Edward E. Curtis IV

Elijah Muhammad´s Nation of Islam came to America´s attention in the 1960´s and 1970´s as a radical separatist African American social and political group. But movement was also a religious one. Edward E. Curtis IV offers the first comprehensive examination of the rituals, ethics, theologies, and religious narratives of the Nation of Islam, showing how the movement combined elements of Afro-Eurasian Islamic traditions with African American traditions to create a new form of Islamic faith.

"Islam and the Search for African-American Nationhood" Dennis Walker

The presence of Islam in America is as long-standing as the arrival of the first captive Muslims from Africa, making Islam one of America's formative religions. But the long-suppressed indigenous Islam didn't resurface in organized form until the 1930s, when it infused the politico-spiritual drive by the Noble Drew 'Ali and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad to address the appalling social conditions of the ghettoized black masses of the North.

"The Lost-found Nation of Islam in America" Clifton E. Marsh

The Nation of Islam in America has become increasingly visible during the last few decades with the rise of Minister Louis Farrakan and events like he Million Man March. This book sheds light on this powerful Black Nationalist organization, from the ideological splits in the Nation of Islam during the 70´s through the growth of the Nation in the 80´s and the expanding influence of the organization in the 90´s, highlighting its key figures and events.

Black Art By Amiri Baraka (1979)

„…we want "poems that kill."
Assassin poems, Poems that shootguns.
Poems that wrestle cops into alley
sand take their weapons leaving them dead
with tongues pulled out and sent to Ireland.
Poem scream poison gas on beasts in green berets
Clean out the world for virtue and love,
Let there be no love poems written
until love can exist freely and cleanly."

Black Art By Amiri Baraka

Source: Selected Poetry of Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones (1979)

Gil Scott-Heron “Message To The Messengers"

Hey, yeah, we the same brothas from a long time ago
We was talkin' about television and doin' it on the radio
What we did was to help our generation realize
Young rappers, one more suggestion before I get out of your way
But I appreciate the respect you give me and what you got to say
I'm sayin' protect your community and spread that respect around
Tell brothas and sistas they gotta calm that bullshit down
Cause we're terrorizin' our old folks and brought fear into our homes
But I think the young folks need to know, that things don't go both ways
You can't talk respect of every other song or just every other day
What I'm speakin' on now is the raps about the women folks
On one song she's your African Queen on the next one she's a joke
And you ain't said no words that I haven't heard, but that ain't no compliment
It only insults eight people out of ten and questions your intelligence
Four letter words or four syllable words won't make you important
It'll only magnify how shallow you are and let everybody know it

Gil Scott-Heron “Message To The Messengers
 (Album “Spirits”, 1994)

The lyrics of this song / poem are a reflection on negativity in hip hop music, especially in Gangster rap.
The Meaning of his words is more advice than disrespect of young rappers.
The Purpose was to find a unity and not to break the brotherhood which had been broken already by drugs, alcohol or “black on black” crime. By the way there is collaboration with dj / producer of A Tribe Called Quest, Ali Shaheed Muhammad who produced track “Don’t Give Up”.

Gil Scott-Heron “The Vulture”

“…So if you see the Vulture coming,
flying circles in your mind,
there be no escaping
for he will follow close behind.
Only promised me a battle,
battle for your soul and mine.

He taking babies from their mamas
And he's leaving

Gil Scott-Heron “The Vulture”
*This poem was originally released on his 1st album “Small Talk at 125th and Lenox“ in 1970.

"Reflection on Free Will" Gil Scott-Heron

“We do not need more legislation or liberals. What we need is self love and self respect: By Every Means Necessary! Unfortunately it is not easy to love yourself after years of self hatred. We see evidence of self hatred and self destruction in every city. We must make the extra effort needed to identify the true enemies of our piece and peace of mind. A beginning might be recognition of the fact that through we are all trapped and enslaved by economic boundaries and geographical boundaries we are still capable of spiritual freedom, supported by truth.”

Gil Scott-Heron

*The text was used on the inner cover for the album “Free Will”, 1972

Gil Scott-Heron “Alien"

Midnight near the border trying to cross the Rio Grande
Runnin' with coyotes to where the streets are paved with gold
You're diving underwater when you hear the helicopters
Knowing it's all been less than worthless if you run into patrols
Hiding in the shadows, so scared you want to scream
But you dare not make a sound if you want to hold on to your dreams

Hold on. Though it may not be a lot, you got to
Hold on. Cause you know it's all you got
No matter the consequences or the fear that grips your senses
You have got to hold on to your dreams.

Down at Western Union sending cash back to your family
Or drinking down cerveza where the lights are very low
Your mind may start to wander when you think about your village
Or the woman that you love so much who's still in Mexico
At just two bucks an hour there is little to redeem this life
Except that in your mind you're tryin' to hold on to your dreams

Hold on. Though it may not be a lot, you got to
Hold on. Cause you know it's all you got
No matter the consequences or the fear that grips your senses
You have got to hold on to your dreams.

Gil Scott-Heron “Allien (hold on on to your dreams)”

"ISLÁM VE SPOJENÝCH STÁTECH AMERICKÝCH" Simona Hlaváčová (Masarykova univerzita, 2008)

Publikace Simony Hlaváčové Islám ve Spojených státech amerických je v českém prostředí ojedinělým dílem mapujícím přítomnost islámu v USA, a to od jejího počátku, který je spojen s transatlantickým obchodem s otroky, až po současnost. Mimořádnost publikace spočívá v unikátním souhrnu informací o „americké ummě“ – světově nejrůznorodější muslimské populaci žijící v rámci jednoho států.

"American Jihad: Islam After Malcolm X" Steve Barboza

With more than one billion faithful, Islam is the world´s fastest-growing religion. In the United States, where there are perhaps as many as six million Muslims, Islam may be second only to Christianity in number of adherents. AMERICAN JIHAD is the first comprehensive and popular guide to the faith as it is practiced here.

"ISLAM in African-American Experience" R.B.Turner (1997)

This newly updated history of Islam in the black community traces the involvement of African Americans with Islam to its roots in the Middle East, West Africa, and antebellum America, and then tells the story of the „Prophets of the City“ – the leaders of the new urban-based African American Muslims movements in the twentieth century.

It places the study od Islam in the context of the racial, ethical, and the political relations that influenced the reception of succesive presentations of Islam, including the West African Islam of slaves, The Ahmadiyya Movement from India, The orthodox Sunni practice of later immigrants, and the Nation of Islam.

"War Is Over! aka Bin Laden has been killed"

This morning I saw smiling faces and celebrating, but I didn’t feel it at all.

The Purpose of this post is NOT to glorify or celebrate his name or deeds, all what I’d like to see is wisdom and not a shallow way of thinking. This act won’t stop killing innocents, but I am afraid it might seal our minds more than they were before.
I don’t feel sadness or happiness, what concerns me more is a close minded people who cannot see the world out there.

What did he really do? Who did he work with? Did he really exist?

They say bin Laden has been killed, but who was that guy anyway?