Afro Art Trippin’: Obsidian Arts broadens local perspectives on black culture

Located at 3501 Chicago Ave. S., Pillsbury House plays host to several organizations, theatrical productions and community programs. One of them is Obsidian Arts, a smaller organization with a big mission—and an even bigger intent to impact the Minneapolis arts community. Aside from unique exhibits, local artist work and an arts book club, Obsidian Arts promotes global artistic awareness through their Afro Art Trippin’ initiative.Drawn together by the organization’s motto, “an insatiable curiosity about black culture and art,” enthusiasts belonging to the group have traveled to destinations including Detroit, Houston, Mexico, Cuba, Paris, and London since the organization’s official founding in 2001.“Sometimes I think black organizations approach culture with a sense of familiarity that doesn’t allow them to see the changes and the beauty that is there,” said Obsidian Arts director Roderic Hernub. “Who knew London has a Black History Month? They do it’s in October. Continue Reading

Why mob-justice is on a rise in Africa

The pinnacle of the values of a society is reflected in its justice system. A platform from which a society defines morality, revenge, punishment and forgiveness. Every society has guidelines in place to deal with perpetrators and these guidelines evolve with time. Historically, crime in many African societies was viewed as a private matter between the affected kinships. Continue Reading

Arab Spring continues outside the headlines

Obviously that headline isn’t completely true, because if it’s not being reported, then how am I linking to reports? It’s more a case that our domestic concerns with the economy and the latest dumb things said during Republican presidential debates have pushed the Arab Spring off the front pages and maybe even to the hidden places where a bit of looking is necessary. Continue Reading

OPINION | U.S. African Command: the return of colonialism to Black Africa?

Eight months ago, just before the outbreak of hostilities in Libya, and with little fanfare or coverage by European or American press, the Obama administration quietly announced General Carter Ham’s appointment as supreme commander for the U.S. African Command, to deal with the increased presence of terrorists in the middle part of Black Africa.The command is now making its presence and authority known in Black Africa from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, through the heart of Black Africa, as American military recon teams stake out territories of involvement. This includes pursuing and destroying the chief rebel band in Central Africa, the Lord’s Resistance Army.Its leader, Joseph Kony, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for acts of terror and murder in Uganda, in northern Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in the Central African Republic. He has been killing and raping fellow Black Africans for 10 years.News reports indicate American Special Forces are providing a broad neck of military presence across Black Africa, including in Chad, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, and Senegal, while keeping an eye on the soon-to-be-oil-rich Liberia. Does this mean lucrative opportunities for White companies or Black companies?When you think about the riches of middle Africa, do you think in terms of helping African economies and African companies to set up their own pan-African OPEC-like union of producers? Or do you think of helping European and American economies get back on their feet through American and European companies with African branches, colonial style? Continue Reading

FREE SPEECH ZONE | African Santus BelAhdan

The late composer and music anthropologist David Fanshawe found and celebrated the core soul of our diverse and fractured species in Egypt, East Africa and Europe. His signature work, African Sanctus, resonates with hope as Ramadan reaches its midpoint.  Mr. Fanshawe traveled with a Nagra audio tape recorder down the Nile River through Sudan to Uganda with visits to Kenya as the 1960’s became the 1970’s.  He joined Islamic, African ethnic and European sacred musical traditions into a stirring mass that has had hundreds and hundreds of performances around the world.   “Call to Prayer” in African Sanctus is haunting, meditative, stirring and universal. Continue Reading

CORRECTION / Unemployment up again / Here come the Feds / more

CORRECTION I summarized an article from AP and the Pioneer Press regarding a 14-state federal prosecution for “modern-day slavery” of immigrant workers. The article, and my summary, erroneously said that a Mankato roofer was implicated in the case. Here is the correction from the Pioneer Press:
A headline in Thursday’s Pioneer Press should not have said that a Mankato roofer was implicated in a labor scheme involving immigrant workers. In fact, Kato Roofing was a client of a labor-leasing company that has been indicted in relation with the scheme. But Kato Roofing has not been implicated or associated in any way with the federal investigation and Kato Roofing officials emphasize that they have done nothing wrong. Continue Reading

Waiting for the veto / “Independent” contractors / Playing to lose / more

Passed, passed, passed and waiting The legislature passed a number of bills yesterday, and the stack on T-Paw’s desk continues to grow. Will he sign or will he veto? Only the governor knows for sure. Among the bills awaiting decision:
• Flat funding for P-12 schools and cuts for higher ed. Minnesota Miracle and expanded Q-Comp both lose out. Continue Reading