Purposeful thoughts

Part of the story of black music has been this - that losing everything except basic dignity and decency is a potentially survivable disaster. The other part is that staying true to the best in yourself may mean talking in dark, crazed, visionary tongues for a season.

—Mark Sinker, “Loving the Alien: Black Science Fiction” The Wire, 1992.

from Toward Culturally Responsive Computing Education by Ron Eglash, Juan E. Gilbert, and Ellen Foster from Communications of the ACM, July 2013.

from Toward Culturally Responsive Computing Education by Ron Eglash, Juan E. Gilbert, and Ellen Foster from Communications of the ACM, July 2013.

The actual beginnings of our expression are post Western (just as they certainly are pre-western). It is only necessary that we arm ourselves with complete self knowledge the whole technology (which is after all just expression of who ever) will change to reflect the essence of a freed people. Freed of an oppressor, but also as Touré has reminded we must be “free from the oppressor’s spirit,” as well. It is this spirit as emotional construct that can manifest as expression as art or technology or any form.

Technology & Ethos 1970 by Imamu Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) from Raise Rage Rays Raze: Essays Since 1965 

We have a wonderful history behind us…let us, then, study this history, and study it with the understanding that we are not, after all, an inferior people, but simple a people who have been set back, a people whose progress has been impeded. We are going back to that beautiful history and its going to inspire us to greater achievements. It is not going to be long before we can so sing the story to the outside world as to convince it of the value of our history and out traditions, and then we are going to be recognized as men.

Carter G. Woodson, “Some things Negroes need to Do” The Southern Worker 51.1 33-36.  January 1922.

"Stick a knife through his throat,"
he slid
in the blood
got up running toward
the blind newsdealer. He screamed
about “Cassius Clay,” and slain there in the
street, the whipped figure of jesus, head opened
eyes flailing against his nose. They beat him to
pulpy answers. We wrote Muhammad Ali across his
face and chest, like a newspaper of bleeding meat.

The next day the spaceships landed.

—Amiri Baraka - Answers in Progress 1967

Shyness is shit. It isn’t cute or feminine or appealing. It’s torment, and it’s shit.

—Octavia Butler, “positive obsession” Bloodchild and other Stories, 127.

He said, don’t you know that Uhura represents more than just a part for Nichelle Nichols. Uhura, while we’re out their fighting and having hoses turned on us and dogs jumping on us, there is a TV show that says that we don’t stop here. We go on. and there is a woman on that show who looks just like us. We are there. That’s what you represent, and the manner in which you’ve created this character tells us this is worth it. You cannot leave. And I did not leave

— Nichelle Nichols recalling Martin Luther King telling her not to quit Star Trek.

Samuel Delany going in on Mark Dery, “You’ll forgive me if, as a black reader, I didn’t leap up to proclaim this passing presentation of a powerless and wholly nonoppositional set of black dropouts, by a Virginia-born white writer, as the coming of the black millennium in science fiction; but maybe that’s just a black thang ….”

—Delany quoted in “Black to the future,” page 195. 

Frankly. if you’re going to go to white writers for your science fiction template for thinking about the problems blacks have in America, I’d rather see a serious discussion of Robert Heinlein’s appallingly fascist novel. Farnham’s Freehold, in which the black house servant, Joseph. after a successful nuclear attack, abandons his white family (in which, after the attack he was made second in command by the reigning white patriarch) and becomes head of a movement of black who have solved the post-holocause food problem by killing whites and eating them.

Samuel delany, quoted in “Black to the future” by Mark Dery, page 196

“That’s what I think Michael did. That’s really what his vision was. To be unreal as a persona. A lot of people overlook that. That’s why a lot of people never get Michael Jackson. They only see the movement but not the concept behind it. Because the moonwalk like a ghostwalking, its really a phantom he is portraying. People think its like walking on the moon but that’s a space walk. A moonwalk is the energy from the moon being attended to. its more eerie.” – Storyboard P, quoted by Greg Tate 2012.