Kalamu ya Salaam's information blog


photo by Alex Lear

photo by Alex Lear




the past predicts the future

            (for narvalee)



when you get closer to yr relatives

you will be surprised 


at how black they are,

they feel


the fit and familiarity of their emotions in the twilight

how much of your pain they understand

with a knowing smile, and how much of their pain

you never knew, thus you frown 

embarassed by your ignorance

and turn to yester-world

altared on the mantle piece:


ancestral photographs, amazingly graceful figures 

whose dominant features are boldly ironic eyes 

which seemingly float effortlessly just above the surface

of the cream colored paper, inscriptions in unfading black ink

on the reverse “me & shane, dec. 1934″


a small, soft purple, velvet box enshrining a plain gold ring 

a slip of torn paper from another era unthrown-away 

seven quickly scribbled numerals, the abacadabra key

to a birth, a midnight move to another town, or even

a pledge cut short by accidental death, “oh, it’s just a number,”

the slow, quiet response to your investigation


so you pick up a pencil gilded with the name of a 1947 religious

convention attended and delicately place it down beside

an 87-year-old hand mirror (you resist the impulse

to look at your reflection, afraid that you might see

unfulfilled family aspirations), this mirror is atop

a piece of lace, pressed, folded, ancient matriarchal adornment


you will be surprised to learn,

as the years go on, everything 

your people say sounds like something 

from your life story, something 

you wondered about sitting in the car

the other day in the hospital parking lot before the visit,

before the treatment


especially if you are intelligent

paid more than $10 an hour

carry credit cards rather than cash

and climb aboard a flying machine more than three times a year


you will be surprised that although you live in some other city

there is a spot with your familial name 

blind embossed and hand engraved in the heart-home 

of people you seldom see, surprised

that much of your life had already been accurately predicted

by an aunt who knew you before you were born, i.e.


when your mother 

and father were courting, staying out later than curfew

and clutching dreams tightly in the naked embrace

of yr conception


—kalamu ya salaam








okay africa








Stromae’s ‘Ave Cesaria’ Video

Pays Tribute To Cesaria Evora


As he showed in his past music videos, Belgian/Rwandan singer-songwriter Stromae(an inversion of Maestro) has a clear visual sense. Having already shared the strangely beguiling video for his song “Papaoutai” and the dryly hilarious one for his soccer anthem “Ta Fete,” the former film student now drops a different yet still engaging video for the song “Ave Cesaria” from his Racine Carrée LP. Unlike the Wes Anderson-like precision of Stromae’s previous videos, “Ave Cesaria” is shot in a very loose, almost jumpy style that perfecly matches the Beirut-esque jubilee of the song. Taking place in a rather bare yet comfortable banquet hall, the video features Stromae performing the song live with a full band in front of a jovial crowd of dancing men and women, one bright-eyed older man singing along in his chair, another man just sitting at a table and watching. Like Tony Allen‘s recent “Go Back” video, Stromae’s latest cinematic experiment is, really, a portrait of both joy and melancholy. Interestingly, though, the video also manages to be about one person– Cesaria Evora, the late Cape Verdean singer who, as she was called throughout her career, Stromae describes as “the Barefoot Diva.” Mentioning Evora’s habits of drinking and smoking while expressing deep respect for her, Stromae further shows himself as a beautifully sensitive lyricist and storyteller with “Ave Cesaria.” He never judges Cesaria but doesn’t overly praise her, either. In the end, like the excited, child-like nature of the video’s camera, Stromae just observes, trying to have fun in the process. Watch the video for “Ave Cesaria” below.


















Kesivan Dev Naidoo is a South African drummer, who plays predominately jazz, electronica and world music.

Kesivan 02_large

live at the cape town international jazz festival 2010.

Kesivan Naidoo – leader and drums
Martin Sjöstedt- bass
Mark Fransman- piano
Reza Khota- guitar
Adrian Mears- trombone
Karl-Martin Almqvist- tenor saxophone
Johan Hörlén- alto saxophone 
Feya Faku- trumpet. 













schaffner press

Schaffner Press

Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature

October 1, 2014 

Entry Fee: 



E-mail address:


A prize of $1,000 and publication by Schaffner Press is given annually for a poetry collection, a novel, a short story collection, an essay collection, or a memoir that “deals in some way with the subject of music and its influence.” Submit a poetry manuscript of approximately 60 pages, a short story collection of 50,000 to 80,000 words, a novel of 75,000 to 150,000 words, or an essay collection or memoir of 75,000 to 100,000 words with a $25 entry fee by October 1. E-mail or visit the website for complete guidelines.

Schaffner Press, Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature, P.O. Box 41567, Tucson, AZ 85717.












International literary journal The Flexible Persona is seeking submissions for its upcoming themed issue. They invite you to submit engaging pieces of fiction and creative non-fiction on the theme of horror, fear, anxiety, and terror in everyday life.

Entry is free, and open to writers of any nationality. The deadline for entry is October 31. Selected works will be published in audio format, as well as a special e-reader issue in February 2015.

For more information, please visit The Flexible Persona’s submissions page.

For news of more opportunities, connect with Commonwealth Writers on twitter (@cwwriters) and Facebook.












The Fakugesi Festival is a celebration of digital technology, art, and culture in the context of Africa.

Papers presented in theme sessions 1 to 3 will also be published as pier reviewed papers in a special edition of the Technoetic Arts Journal (published by Intellect).

The 4th session theme “Technology Dreams” invites partners and participants of the Fakugesi Festival and people involved in the development of Technology Arts Festivals generally, to present, reflect and discuss the role of festivals in the development of the convergence of technology and culture.

Abstract Submission Deadline: 6th October 2014

Final Paper Submission Deadline: 3rd November 2014

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The Post-Digital Organic

Convened by Prof. Roy Ascott

What can be said of the divide between the engineered and the organic? Are we looking at boundaries between these fields that are shifting and possibly dissolving? Can we speak of an emergent eNature, or should we consider a broader cybernetic model of worldstates, and personal states of being?

These issues raise questions, proposals, and practices in which Nature is invigilated, explored, and creatively expanded by technoetic agencies that artists and scientists employ in their development of new perspectives. How might learning, research and creativity be furthered, if developed in the context of the organism?

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Post-AfroFuture: Art, Culture and Technology in Africa

Convened by Tegan Bristow

Technology, particularly communication technology and digital art is a way to speak to and understand mechanism of engagement between Africa and the globalised West. Here the convergence of technology with culture presents an opportunity to reposition and reassess this relationship in contemporary culture.
Papers are to address socio-cultural or art practices with technology and digital media. There will be an emphasis on South African research, but research from across the continent will be welcomed.

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Innovate, Collaborate, Educate: Art-Technology Education

Convened by Prof. Christo Doherty

What does the challenge posed by the fusion of new technology and art practices mean for creative practice and technology education in Africa? Is this an opportunity for new forms of education that will break with the inherited colonial models which have dominated African institutions of education since Uhuru? Is this kind of education better located outside of existing institutional frameworks, using the web or hackathons or new forms of delivery and collaboration? What lessons can be learnt from innovative forms of technology-arts education in other parts of the world?

Papers that address these issues with a focus on lessons learnt and lessons which can be applied to Africa, from theoretical reflection to case studies of actual practice, are welcome.

\\/////\\\\\\/////\\\\\\}}}}}}}}}}}}}|| Session Theme 4 ||{{{{{{{{{{{{{{\\\\\\/////\\\\\\/////

Technology Dreams : A Panel Reflecting on Technology Art Festivals and the Fak’ugesi Digital Africa Festival

Convened by Tegan Bristow

Presentations (not full acadmic papers) that reflect on the development and importance of Digital / Technology Art Festivals.

The panel also acts to invite partners and participants of the Fak’ugesi Festival to present their work and research. The focus in this case should be on the activities presented at the Fak’ugesi Digital Africa Festival, and the role of festivals in the presentation and development of these practice.

Abstract Submissions: 6 October 2014
+ Title
+ 6 – 8 keywords
+ 300 Word Abstract
+ Contributors Name, Bio Information (100 words) and Bio Photo + Contact details and institutional affiliation

Please send your abstract submissions to clearly indicating the session theme to which you are applying. If your paper or presentation is accepted for the conference you will be informed and invited to submit a full paper for presentation and publication.

NB* Final Paper Submission Deadline: 3rd November 2014









Everyday Revolutionary

16TH SEP 2014 






dynastylnoire:</p><br /><br />
<p>peopleofcolorinlove:</p><br /><br />
<p>Feature films, independent films, short films, and yes even B films. This masterpost has been created to showcase the stories of people of color, who love, laugh, cry, and kick ass. This is by no means the end all list of movies featuring people of color, there are thousands of great films out there, this is just a snippet of films found for your viewing pleasure.  Enjoy.<br /><br /><br />
 .D R A M A S.<br /><br /><br />
Things Never Said (2013) <br /><br /><br />
La Mission (2009) 1 &amp; 2 <br /><br /><br />
Mississippi Masala (1991) <br /><br /><br />
Unbowed (1999)<br /><br /><br />
Love and Basketball (2000)<br /><br /><br />
The Joy Luck Club (1993)<br /><br /><br />
Samson and Delilah (2009)<br /><br /><br />
The Last Fall (2012)<br /><br /><br />
Not Easily Broken (2009)<br /><br /><br />
Disappearing Acts (2000)<br /><br /><br />
Mabo (2012)<br /><br /><br />
42 (2013)<br /><br /><br />
Jason’s Lyric (1994)<br /><br /><br />
My Family (1995)<br /><br /><br />
Dangerous Liaisons (2012)<br /><br /><br />
.R O M C O M S.<br /><br /><br />
Our Family Wedding (2010)<br /><br /><br />
About Last Night (2014<br /><br /><br />
American Fusion (2005)<br /><br /><br />
Think Like A Man (2012)<br /><br /><br />
Jumping the Broom (2011)<br /><br /><br />
Baggage Claim (2013)<br /><br /><br />
Politics of Love (2008)<br /><br /><br />
Peeples (2013)<br /><br /><br />
Deliver Us From Eva (2003)<br /><br /><br />
Just Wright (2010)<br /><br /><br />
Hitch (2005)<br /><br /><br />
It’s a Wonderful Afterlife (2010)<br /><br /><br />
Fakin da Funk (1997)<br /><br /><br />
Chasing Papi (2003)<br /><br /><br />
Hasee Toh Phasee (2014) <br /><br /><br />
.D R A M A D I E S.<br /><br /><br />
Brown Sugar (2002) BM/BW<br /><br /><br />
I Can Do Bad All By Myself (2009) LM/BW<br /><br /><br />
The Best Man (1999)<br /><br /><br />
The Best Man Holiday (2013)<br /><br /><br />
The Preacher’s Wife (1996) <br /><br /><br />
I LIke it Like That (1994)<br /><br /><br />
Soul Food (1997)<br /><br /><br />
Why Did I Get Married? (2007)<br /><br /><br />
Why Did I Get Married Too (2010)<br /><br /><br />
Waiting to Exhale (1995)<br /><br /><br />
Last Holiday (2006)<br /><br /><br />
.R O M A N C E.<br /><br /><br />
Love Jones (1999)<br /><br /><br />
Poetic Justice (1993)<br /><br /><br />
Rodgers &amp; Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1998)<br /><br /><br />
How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)<br /><br /><br />
Claudine (1974)<br /><br /><br />
Paris Blues (1961) <br /><br /><br />
One Love (2003)<br /><br /><br />
Their Eyes Were Watching God (2005)<br /><br /><br />
Turning 30 (2011)<br /><br /><br />
In the Mood for Love (2000)<br /><br /><br />
Like Water for Chocolate (1992) <br /><br /><br />
.A C T I O N/.T H R I L L E R.<br /><br /><br />
Romeo Must Die (2000)<br /><br /><br />
Ninja Assassin (2009)<br /><br /><br />
Woman Thou Art Loosed On the 7th Day<br /><br /><br />
The Last Letter (2013)<br /><br /><br />
Obsessed (2009)<br /><br /><br />
.L G B T  F I L M S.<br /><br /><br />
Saving Face<br /><br /><br />
Noah’s Arc Jumping the Broom (2008)<br /><br /><br />
Finding Me (2009)<br /><br /><br />
Circumstances (2011)<br /><br /><br />
Gun Hill Road (2011)<br /><br /><br />
The Skinny (2012) <br /><br /><br />
Drifting Flower<br /><br /><br />
Round Trip <br /><br /><br />
Elliot Loves (2012)<br /><br /><br />
.S H O R T S.<br /><br /><br />
Tall Enough (2009) <br /><br /><br />
Love Escapes Us (2014)<br /><br /><br />
This Time (2010)<br /><br /><br />
Dragon of Love (2003)<br /><br /><br />
White Sugar in a Black Pot (2012)<br /><br /><br />
.A N I M AT I O N.<br /><br /><br />
Lilo &amp; Stitch (2002)<br /><br /><br />
Princess and the Frog (2009)<br /><br /><br />
The Prince of Egypt (1998)<br /><br /><br />
Mulan (1998)<br /><br /><br />
Mulan II (2004)<br /><br /><br />
Aladdin (1992)<br /><br /><br />
The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)</p><br /><br />
<p>watched Chico &amp; Rita last night it should be on the animation list” src=”” /></a></p>
<p><span style=dynastylnoire:


Feature films, independent films, short films, and yes even B films. This masterpost has been created to showcase the stories of people of color, who love, laugh, cry, and kick ass. This is by no means the end all list of movies featuring people of color, there are thousands of great films out there, this is just a snippet of films found for your viewing pleasure.  Enjoy.

.D R A M A S.

  • Things Never Said (2013) 
  • La Mission (2009) 1 & 2 
  • Mississippi Masala (1991) 
  • Unbowed (1999) 
  • Love and Basketball (2000)
  • The Joy Luck Club (1993)
  • Samson and Delilah (2009)
  • The Last Fall (2012)
  • Not Easily Broken (2009)
  • Disappearing Acts (2000)
  • Mabo (2012)
  • 42 (2013)
  • Jason’s Lyric (1994)
  • My Family (1995)
  • Dangerous Liaisons (2012)

.R O M C O M S.

  • Our Family Wedding (2010) 
  • About Last Night (2014
  • American Fusion (2005)
  • Think Like A Man (2012)
  • Jumping the Broom (2011)
  • Baggage Claim (2013)
  • Politics of Love (2008)
  • Peeples (2013)
  • Deliver Us From Eva (2003)
  • Just Wright (2010)
  • Hitch (2005)
  • It’s a Wonderful Afterlife (2010)
  • Fakin da Funk (1997)
  • Chasing Papi (2003)
  • Hasee Toh Phasee (2014) 

.D R A M A D I E S.

  • Brown Sugar (2002) BM/BW
  • I Can Do Bad All By Myself (2009) LM/BW
  • The Best Man (1999)
  • The Best Man Holiday (2013)
  • The Preacher’s Wife (1996) 
  • I LIke it Like That (1994)
  • Soul Food (1997)
  • Why Did I Get Married? (2007)
  • Why Did I Get Married Too (2010)
  • Waiting to Exhale (1995)
  • Last Holiday (2006)

.R O M A N C E.

  • Love Jones (1999)
  • Poetic Justice (1993)
  • Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1998)
  • How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)
  • Claudine (1974)
  • Paris Blues (1961) 
  • One Love (2003)
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God (2005)
  • Turning 30 (2011)
  • In the Mood for Love (2000)
  • Like Water for Chocolate (1992) 

.A C T I O N/.T H R I L L E R.

  • Romeo Must Die (2000)
  • Ninja Assassin (2009)
  • Woman Thou Art Loosed On the 7th Day
  • The Last Letter (2013)
  • Obsessed (2009)

.L G B T  F I L M S.

  • Saving Face
  • Noah’s Arc Jumping the Broom (2008)
  • Finding Me (2009)
  • Circumstances (2011)
  • Gun Hill Road (2011)
  • The Skinn(2012) 
  • Drifting Flower
  • Round Trip 
  • Elliot Loves (2012)

.S H O R T S.

  • Tall Enough (2009) 
  • Love Escapes Us (2014)
  • This Time (2010)
  • Dragon of Love (2003)
  • White Sugar in a Black Pot (2012)

.A N I M AT I O N.

  • Lilo & Stitch (2002)
  • Princess and the Frog (2009)
  • The Prince of Egypt (1998)
  • Mulan (1998)
  • Mulan II (2004)
  • Aladdin (1992)
  • The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)


watched Chico & Rita last night it should be on the animation list















Gearbox Records

Posted on January 24, 2014




















Audiophile Life

Records. Concert Photography. Food. NYC. Nigeria. Africa. African Diaspora.

SEPTEMBER 29, 2014






Black Dont Crack 01

Black does crack and

it is cracking terribly

I know we love to say “Black don’t crack” because it is often said that Black folks look younger than they really are. No big deal, but a few of us are starting to believe that Black folks are just walking around looking like perpetual teenagers and that we’re all fresh faced. That’s not really true. Unless you’re one of those people who ignores reality.

I also find it odd that many of the people always saying “Black don’t crack” don’t look younger than their age or even particularly youthful. How are you looking like Methuselah in the face and you’re talking about Black not cracking? I see this all the time on social media. People I know that look older than their actual age are talking about “Black don’t crack”. Their very existence proves this theory wrong, but I digress.

Some points to consider

1. Stop using Black celebrities and “beautiful” tumblr people as the barometer. They’re unicorns. These people swim in shea butter, exercise regularly and eat healthy foods. They are not regular folks from around the way. You’re not about that life.

2. Try your “Black don’t crack” theory in the hood where there are food deserts. Let me know if the theory holds up. Have you seen what some Black high school kids are looking like these days? I can walk in their schools and blend right in, and I’m twice their age. I’m not saying this because I think I look young. I’m saying this because a lot of these kids look older than they should look. These kids get their daily fluid intake from things like 99 cent Arizona iced teas and they eat junk all day, which includes the school food they are fed. A store with fresh food is not always around where they live, but a bodega is. Their internals are rotting before they even get a chance to fully develop. 

I’ve done volunteer work and there are serious problems on the nutrition front in a lot of Black homes. It’s not just the kids, it’s their parents. Lack of access to quality food is part of the problem, but it’s not the whole problem. There are generations who don’t know why it is important to drink water and eat vegetables. That’s not hyperbole. There are people who never eat veggies and they aren’t drinking water. Do you think “Black don’t crack” will apply to the future of kids who have this kind of dietary intake? They already look haggard and are out of breath running for the subway. These are teenagers who should be full of vigor and vitality. They’re out here and they are cracking terribly. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but some sort of nutrition course should be mandatory for schools. Let’s at least try to save the next generation.

3. When Black folks are afflicted with and are dying in record numbers from diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and assorted ailments, we are cracking hard. It’s not just about looking younger. That’s just the window dressing. What are your insides like? The insides of many Black folks are definitely not youthful. Have you looked at the mortality rate of Black folks compared to everyone else? We are in bad shape collectively. It makes this “Black don’t crack” stuff trivial to be frank. So what? We are dying before everyone else. I guess you’ll look like a younger corpse in the casket.

4. Melanin doesn’t give you super powers. The amount of Black people who don’t use sunblock/sunscreen when out in the sun for hours is startling. You really need to use it. Protect your skin, protect yourself. Melanoma can still get you. I realized the importance of sunscreen when I started shaving my head years ago. In the summers, my head felt like it was on fire and like it was roasting. My doctor (a Black man) told me the importance of wearing sunscreen. In my youth, I used to think only white people needed protection from the sun. Black people do too. The sun will also age you rapidly. The sun will definitely crack your Black. Your melanin isn’t stronger than the sun.

So yeah, Black does crack. Take care of yourself in the meantime.








September 28, 2014




“Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,”

Hong Kong Edition

Recovering from Photoville, I just have a brief thought about the Hong Kong version of “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” as thousands of tweets yesterday were drawing a connection between Ferguson and the “Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.” I don’t have any doubt the latter was inspired by the former. At the same time, however, I don’t see the translation running very deep.

As exercised by African-Americans, the expression is deeply ironic and all about racism. The hands in the air (as I wrote about from the get-go) expresses the fact that even in the act of total submission, given the cop and the zip code, it won’t save your life. From the photos I’ve seen, the youth in Hong Kong are deploying the gesture in a less complicated way. Yes, the message speaks to their subjugation by the Chinese. In this case, though, both the circumstances and the more confrontative posture and gaze seems to function more as an act of defiance and empowerment. There’s actually some evidence of this right in the photo retweeted thousands of times yesterday. You might need to click to expand, but it sure looks like the kid in the purple scarf (in the right third of the shot) is flipping the bird.

(photo: Alex Ogle/Getty)






Monday, September 29 2014




‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’

in Hong Kong Protests?

Demonstrators chant, ‘Hands up, Don’t shoot,’ as they protest the shooting death of Michael Brown during a march through the streets on August 22, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty

Demonstrators chant, ‘Hands up, Don’t shoot,’ as they protest the shooting death of Michael Brown during a march through the streets on August 22, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty


by Carla Murphy


Observers of this weekend’s youth-led demonstrations in Hong Kong have noticed a familiar gesture: Ferguson protesters’ “hands up, don’t shoot.” Coming little more than a month after some Palestinians Tweeted teargas advice to Ferguson’s protesters, “hands up” in Hong Kong appears to confirm that Ferguson’s influence has gone global. 

hong kong 03

Vox reports however, “It’s impossible to say the degree to which protesters are using the gesture as a deliberate nod to Ferguson, or borrowing something they’d seen on the news for their own purposes, or using it coincidentally.” And Quartz’s Lily Kuo, reporting from the ground in Hong Kong, has this to say:

Most Hong Kong protesters aren’t purposefully mimicking “hands up, don’t shoot,”as some have suggested. Instead, the gesture is a result of training and instructions from protest leaders, who have told demonstrators to raise their hands with palms forward to signal their peaceful intentions to police.

Asked about any link between the gesture and Ferguson, Icy Ng, a 22-year-old design student at Hong Kong Polytechnic University said, “I don’t think so. We have our hands up for showing both the police and media that we have no weapons in our hands.” Ng had not heard of the Ferguson protests. Another demonstrator, with the pro-democracy group Occupy Central, Ellie Ng said the gesture had nothing to do with Ferguson and is intended to demonstrate that “Hong Kong protesters are peaceful, unarmed, and mild.” 

In Ferguson, where street demonstrations are still happening, reporter Amanda Wills found one protester with a soldarity message for Hong Kong. Read more at And learn about Hong Kong’s democracy demonstrations, which have drawn thousands, through the eyes of Joshua Wong, one of its 17-year-old leaders.