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Mistah Rapsey

+ Staying Underground

Share A “Different Language”

On Musical DopeTrip Vol. 14



#TheSunRoom is definitely in the building, as we’re presented the newest and truest sounds from Staying Underground and Mistah Rapsey.

Arriving in the form of MusicalDopeTrip Vol. 14, this much needed playlist entry comes as an attempt to help humans understand the future of existence through music. Mistah Rapsey was inspired to create the mix after hearing “Eve,” the opening song by newcomer Elysse. Fueled by the sounds of Jon BapNonameA Tribe Called Quest, Hiatus Kaiyote, Solange and more — MusicDopeTrip Vol. 14 is worth pressing play on to get through those wintery vibes (if you’re on the East Coast).

Check out the tape’s tracklist + stream the full project
below. Or download for yourself by clicking here!

1. ELYSSE – Eve
2. Ivan Ave – Also (co-prod. by KAYTRANADA)
3. Astronote – BYM Pt.2 (IKYK) ft. Séou
4. beatboxbandit – beginnings
5. Sean Blackthorn – A: Drug Habits
6. Jon Bap – Workin’
7. mieksneak. – Never
8. A Tribe Called Quest – Whateva Will Be
9. Lightskinjohn – DUTTYWINE
10. Hiatus Kaiyote – Rainbow Rhodes (The Stuyvesants Caramel Popcorn Remix)
11. Nick Hakim – I Don’t Know
12. Solange – Don’t Touch (mieksneak Rework)
13. Noname – Reality Check (ft. Eryn Allen Kane & Akenya)
14. Mick Jenkins – Spread Love [Prod. Da-P]
15. quickly, quickly – Hushed
16. King Krule – Will I Come
18. Sevdaliza – Bebin
19. vhvl – 0006
20. Kadhja Bonet – Gramma Honey
21. Flako – Stuffed Pomelo (One For Dilla)
22. Queen Magic – Bad Trip (I Love You)
23. Charlotte Day Wilson – Work
24. Kafka – Light Traveller (ft. Greg Sheehan)












I Sing Because…


        Amid the weariness of work day’s end, Sarah-Bell savored the quiet of oncoming twilight. At last, she could momentarily take it easy, unhurried. And she was grateful for small blessings.

         Lilting into the breezeless amber of the October evening, a mesmerizing wordless song flowed from Sarah-Bell’s full, plum-colored lips as she plodded down the dusty lane. Her ankle-length, thorn-tattered, sweat-soiled skirt swished with each step.

         Six-foot-four-and-a-half-inch, one hundred-eighty-seven pound Jim One-Toe, deftly dragging his maimed left foot, hobbled beside Sarah-Bell. He had a pretty fair voice himself.

         One-Toe smiled in admiration of the way Sarah-Bell made each phrase of her improvised reel end on a little upward swoop that just naturally made a man feel good.

         “Sarah-Bell, you sing so pretty. Can I be your man?”

         Sarah-Bell furtively peeked over at One-Toe, smiled and immediately refocused her gaze on the last visible tip of the orange sun swiftly falling behind the nearly clean-picked field of cotton plants.

         “One-Toe, you know I got a man.”

         “But he don’t come to you all the time,” One-Toe retorted. A quick grin of near perfect white teeth flashed across the dimpled midnight of his handsome blue-black face.

         Almost two good moons had passed since anybody had seen Mule-Boy visiting Sarah-Bell. Gathering was most over, Mule coulda been sold off by now—everybody knowed Master Gilmore over to the nearby plantation was good for sending you down the river at the drop of a hat.

         Sarah-Bell scrutinized the squinting sincerity of One-Toe’s slender eyes. “It ain’t that he don’t. He can’t co…”

         Suddenly interrupting herself, Sarah-Bell deftly hiked-up her skirt as she stepped around a fresh pile of smelly horse droppings. Then, while shooing away a fat, green and black, fly with a quick fan of her much-pricked, field-toughened hand, Sarah-Bell continued her conversation, “…and you couldn’t be with me every night neither, that is, if’n I was to even let you come by at all.”

         One-Toe was encouraged that Sarah-Bell was at least considering the merits of being with him. He spyed a brief glimmer of interest smoldering in her eyes as she announced her decision, “Naw. I don’t think so, One-Toe. I thinks I can wait.”

         “Yes, m’am.” One-Toe was disappointed, but not discouraged. He had plenty mo’ days to blow gently on the spark he glimpsed in Sarah-Bell’s pecan-shaped eyes. He reckoned harvesting the love of a woman like this was worth a long season of planting and weeding.

         “But if you was to get tired a waiting. I would come. You know I would. Like a bird to the nest. I would come to you every night I could.”

         “Which make you no different from my far-away man who come to me every night he can.”

         “Well, don’t forget I’m closer to the nest. I can get to you quicker than him, even if’n I ain’t got but one good foots,” One-Toe joked. Sarah-Bell grinned as One-Toe made fun of his own infirmity.

         She liked his gentle humor but she didn’t feel a need for another man climbing on her just now, even a fine man like One-Toe.

         For a few seconds they exchanged knowing glances and allowed their eyes to speak for them. Then, while holding her hand palm side out, Sarah-Bell gracefully waved to One-Toe and spoke in a husky half-whisper as she strolled on, “Good night, brotha One-Toe.”

         One-Toe peered longingly at the broadness of Sarah-Bell’s back and the ampleness of her hips. He looked til his imagination was as full as it could stand to be. One-Toe wanted that pretty-singing woman. He had seen a bunch of women who was face-prettier, but he had never heard no one or nothing, neither woman, man, child or bird, what sang prettier than Sarah-Bell.

         One-Toe had been thinking so hard about holding Sarah-Bell in his huge arms he missed catching sight of Chester Browne squatting nearby Sarah-Bell’s door. When her singing faltered and then abruptly fell silent, One-Toe quickly surveyed the area to see what disturbance had stilled Sarah-Bell’s song. One-Toe glared at Chester. Everybody knowed what a driverman in the lane after hours waiting by a woman’s door meant.

         One-Toe spit into the dust, turned and drug himself into the bitter barreness of his resting room. Shortly thereafter One-Toe heard the thudding shuffle of Chester’s horse moseying past the open doorway as Chester and Sarah-Bell rode out the lane. A high-pitched whinny from the horse taunted One-Toe, but One-Toe refused to look at the too-familiar abduction.

         Chester wasn’t talking, and Sarah-Bell wasn’t singing.

         The chomp chomp chomp chomp of the sorrel’s hooves echoed against the mud-caked wall of One-Toe’s sleep space and reverberated inside One-Toe’s skull.

         One-Toe forcefully buried his face into the gritty dirt floor and stifled an urge to say something, to say anything; a word, a sound, call her name, something.

         Sarah-Bell’s silence tormented One-Toe. He would gladly let them ax-chop his good right foot if-in he could visit Sarah-Bell; Chester or no Chester. Naw, if-in he had a cooing dove like Sarah-Bell to share nights with, he wouldn’t even dream of running again. He would stay and comfort her.

         It was nearly an hour later before Chester had finished his business. Chester never kept any washing-water in his cabin, and Sarah-Bell had not even dared think about going down to the master’s well, so all she could do was wipe herself with her skirt tail before she set off to walking back.

         Despite her general habit of immediately forgetting the weight of an overseer hovering over her and thrashing into her, Sarah-Bell found herself mulling over her plight. Her thoughts were accompanied by the stark crunch of her footfalls on the loamy trail.

         Maybe, if-in it proved necessary and she didn’t wait too long, maybe Sarah-Bell could brave a trek over to Gilmore’s and plead with Mama Zulie for some womb-cleaning chawing roots. Sarah-Bell paused and fleetingly hugged herself. I sure hope nothing that drastic is needed. Probably not. Her regular bleeding had just stopped a day or so ago.

         As Sarah-Bell pushed determinedly on a trivial worriation nagged at her. Even though she was aware that Chester’s drool could do her no harm, it sure was a mighty aggravation the way the taste of Chester’s nasty kiss sometimes seemed to stay in her mouth for days. Luckily, on this particular night, he had mostly wanted to suck at her nipples rather than her lips.

         Plus, he had come quickly enough. It hadn’t been too long fore a spent and drowsy Chester dozed off and Sarah-Bell had been able to scoot from under him, slip off his pallet and proceed to walking the three-quarters a mile back to the lane.

         By the time she was most halfway there Sarah-Bell had managed to bury Chester’s assault and summon up a plaintive song to soften the knot of jumbled sorrow resting heavy in the bottom of her stomach.

         Shortly, for the second time, the soles of Sarah-Bell’s thickly-callused feet felt the well-worn familiarity of the lane’s path. Sarah-Bell was welcomed back by the sleeping-sounds of her people. Snores. Whistles. Sobs. Groans. A few moans from someone sick, or was it from someone really tired, or maybe both.

         Sarah-Bell was too exhausted to stumble fifty more yards down to the creek for to wash herself. She would do that in the morning. And though she was hungry, she was also too fatigued to gnaw on the piece of hardtack secreted deep in the pocket of her skirt. Right now she needed to lay down by herself and seek the solace of sleep so she could disremember the dog-odor of Chester’s hair she had endured when he had been slobbering on her breasts. It was funny how that foul smell lingered in her consciousness. Seems like smell and taste had mo staying power than the abuse of touch.

         Sarah-Bell’s sharp ears caught the faint sound of some animal moving in the woods. Judging from the swift lightness of the rustling coming from the bushes, she guessed it must be a rabbit. An owl hooted. Sarah-Bell wordlessly empathized with the prey–run brother rabbit, less you be somebody supper.

         Times like this Sarah-Bell wished she was brave enough to hightail it like One-Toe had done. Maybe she would make it to Mexico, which is where One-Toe said he had been headed. Sarah-Bell thought of what One-Toe had declared when they brought him back: Some gets away, some don’t. Getting free was worth the risk, worth losing some of a foot.

         She flinched at the thought of so permanent a loss. Even though she had survived more than her share of suffering, Sarah-Bell still didn’t know if she could stand one of her limbs being mutilated or cut away.

         Sarah-Bell was too tuckered out and emotionally drained to do anything more than collaspe into her doorway. She didn’t even crawl over to check on her children balled together in slumber beneath a patchwork spread of sackcloth and shirt pieces. No sooner her dark-haired head nestled onto the curved comfort of her pillow-stone, a weary Sarah-Bell was dead asleep.

         The next day in the pale dim of half-dawn morning light only one child sat where two usually fidgeted. Sarah-Bell’s heart dropped. “Where Suzee-Bell?”

         “Them took her,” Johnny-Bell replied.

         Was no need to say who “them” was. Was no need to ask “where” they took her.

         We ain’t got nothing but each other, and they won’t let us hold on to that, Sarah-Bell’s insides roiled with anger. Both man and God was unfair. Man for what he was doing. And God for allowing men to act the low down way they did. Sarah-Bell knew Johnny-Bell would be next. She knew it just as sure as she knew a snake would eat an unprotected egg.

         Johnny-Bell was her fifth child.

         “What’s yo name, boy?”

         “Johnny…” the child stuttered frightened by the hissed intensity of his mother’s question.

         “Naw. Yo name Johnny-Bell. BELL. You Johnny-Bell. Yo brothers is Robert-Bell and Joe-Bell. Your sisters is Urzie-Bell and Suzee-Bell. No matter where they cart you off to, no matter what they call you by, you remember the name yo mama give you. And if you ever hear tell of yo brothers or yo sisters, you go find ‘em if you can. But you remember ‘em even if you can’t find ‘em. You remember yo people. You hear me?”

         “Yes, mam.”

         “Say, yes, Sarah-Bell. Don’t mam me. Call me by my name. Sarah-Bell.”

         The confused four year old wet himself. He had never heard his mother speak so harshly to him; but he didn’t cry.

         When she realized how hard she was shaking him, Sarah-Bell softened her grip on Johnny-Bell’s shoulder. He was just a scared little boy, and her rage wasn’t making this crisis any easier for him. She could feel currents of fear in the heavy trembling racking his little body, which was twitching like a throat-cut calf at slaughtering time.

         Within seconds Sarah-Bell reigned in her emotions, mustered up her fortitude, and tenderly enfolded Johnny-Bell into the comforting shelter of her bosom. They swayed in mutual anguish as she sought to rock away both his fear and her grief.

         Instinctively she handled her perdicament as best she knew how. Within seconds of hugging Johnny-Bell, Sarah-Bell was breathing out a long-toned lullaby and anointing the reddish-brown hair of her son’s head with song-embellished kisses.

         And she didn’t loosen her embrace until she heard the rooster crow for day. After emerging into the muted shine of daybreak, hand-in-hand, mother and child marched down to the water to bathe themselves.

         The word about Suzee-Bell buzzed through the small community. Just before departing for the fields, glassy-eyed and scowling, Sarah-Bell stood in the middle of the lane sullenly declaiming her determination.

         “Yalls, hear me. Every time I have one, they take and sell ‘em away. Sarah-Bell is through birthing babies. No matter who lay down with me, ain’t no mo babies coming out of me. I’m done. Done, you hear me. Done.”

         And with the finality of her words resounding in everyone’s ears, Sarah-Bell whirled and commenced to trudging off to the field. One-Toe scrambled to catch up to Sarah-Bell.

         Without breaking stride, Sarah-Bell closely examined One-Toe’s unblinking gaze. Satisfied with what she saw, Sarah-Bell gave a quick nod and gratefully accepted the respectful silence of One-Toe’s company.

         She started singing, quietly at first but more forcefully as they sauntered on. The irresible refrain of Sarah-Bell’s song syncopated their gait. Together, they would face another day.


—kalamu ya salaam








June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017



Aaron Alpeoria

Bradley and

Black Power during



American historians have long traced the genesis of the Black Power movement to 1966. I would argue, however, that one strain of the movement began almost exactly a century before—in 1865—during early Reconstruction in the post-Civil War South. Radical black resistance to coercive labor contracts, the failure of land redistribution, and the persistence of white supremacy lays bare the bloodiness of the period. But it also demonstrates that Reconstruction was not destined to end as it did. For a few tumultuous years, possibilities for a more just, equitable future for African Americans abounded—before they were cut short by the prevalence of vigilante violence, an overzealous and racist criminal justice system, and the withdrawal of federal troops.

Using the radical Georgia politician Aaron Bradley as a lens to the era, it becomes clear that the very early years of Reconstruction birthed the first Black Power Movement. If Black Power is defined as a quest for black self-determination and self-sufficiency, advancing black interests and values, then Bradley was certainly an early purveyor of the system. Bradley was born enslaved on a large plantation in South Carolina, but escaped to Boston in the 1830s, eventually becoming one of the nation’s first black lawyers.

After the end of the Civil War, he moved to Georgia’s lowcountry, quickly becoming an important leader. Mere months after emancipation, Bradley allegedly demanded reparations in both cash and land. He urged freedmen to appropriate the crops they had produced, stay put on the land, and told them to refuse signing unfavorable labor contracts with whites. He was quite possibly the most arrested politician in all of nineteenth century American history. Through all his trials and tribulations, however, Bradley shrewdly backed his proposals with sound legal reasoning, and gained a faithful following of thousands.1

Aaron Bradley stood out wherever he went, as he was always dressed in flashy, fancy clothing, and usually donned a beaver-skinned hat and white kid gloves. He completed his look by surrounding himself with a throng of bodyguards. His appearance alone immediately attracted the ire of white southerners, but soon his actions would make him a marked man. Almost upon arrival into the South, Bradley began calling for the impeachment of President Johnson, pushing for land and labor rights for the freedmen, and accusing the local courts and police of overt racism.

Electioneering in the South, 1868 (New York Public Library)

Electioneering in the South, 1868 (New York Public Library)

As soon as Bradley began attracting a large following of freedmen, whites began trying to silence him. In late 1865 the occupying federal forces arrested Bradley for using “insurrectionary language in public assemblages, [and] inciting lawlessness and disturbance of public peace and good order.” Sentenced to a year of hard labor, the federals eventually allowed Bradley to leave the state instead. Yet soon he returned and immediately was elected to Georgia’s Constitutional Convention of 1867, where he championed civil and political rights for African Americans.

Foreshadowing the Populist movement by at least fifteen years by railing against “bankers, millionaires, merchants, aristocratic mulattoes, [and] copperheaded Yankees,” Bradley affirmed his place as the leader of lowcountry common black laborers. Despite his own mixed race heritage and middling class interests, he became the champion of the most oppressed and downtrodden.2

Bradley continued attacking capitalism and “gold coin,” and even banded together with poor whites over issues like the Homestead Acts, labor reform, and ending imprisonment for debt. Calling for an eight hour work day, he consistently tried to curb the power of corporations.

Increasingly he advocated armed resistance and at times encouraged blacks to employ violent means to achieve their end goals. Bradley even castigated white members of his own party for re-enslaving blacks by leasing convicts to railroad companies “who starve, whip and work and shoot them to death.” Indeed, he promised, “ere long the reign of police clubs and police authority would be abolished,” and “a blow” would be “struck which would stun even a policeman.”3

Ending Reconstruction, southern conservatives drove African Americans out of the electorate through intimidation, fraud, and violence. Image from Harpers Weekly, 10/31/1874.

Ending Reconstruction, southern conservatives drove African Americans out of the electorate through intimidation, fraud, and violence. Image from Harpers Weekly, 10/31/1874.

Indeed, given Bradley’s fiery language and open threats on the white power establishment, it is highly surprising that he was able to simply live—threats on his life were ubiquitous, and as he began breaking ranks with the Republican Party in the 1870s, they became even more numerous. Generally traveling with a band of bodyguards surrounding him, somehow he managed to avoid assassination.

Unfortunately, however, much of Bradley’s hard work would be in vain. By 1872, Georgia had been “Redeemed” as white Democrats retook the state. Effectively ending Reconstruction, this shift also signaled the end of Bradley’s official political career. Although he continued to hold mass meetings and create petitions, the next few years of his life would be lived in relative obscurity, as he moved back and forth from South Carolina to Georgia, trying to revive his legal career.

After nearly a decade of leading this valiant struggle for civil rights, continually thwarted at every turn, Bradley finally turned his hopes for black autonomy into dreams of black separatism. By the mid-1870s he was advocating colonization to Florida, and later he joined his interests with the exodusters to Kansas. Bradley finally made his own way to St. Louis, where he died penniless and alone in 1882.4

In 1966, almost exactly a century after Aaron Alpeoria Bradley began making waves in Savannah, the Black Panther Party put together a “Platform and Program” calling for many of the same civil, political, and economic rights that Bradley championed. Desiring self-sufficiency based on full employment, decent housing, and education, the Panthers—much like Bradley—held the system of capitalism responsible for much of the black community’s poverty and pain. Although their goals still have not been realized in today’s world, it is important to recognize their roots in early Reconstruction, at the hands of fearless freedom fighters like Aaron Bradley.


 1. Joseph P. Reidy in Howard N. Rabinowitz, ed., Southern Black Leaders of the Reconstruction Era (Chicago: Illinois, 1982); E. Merton Coulter, “Aaron Alpeoria Bradley, Georgia Negro Politician During Reconstruction Times,” Parts 1-3, Georgia Historical Quarterly 51, Nos. 1-3, (March, June, and Sept. 1967); Savannah National Republican, Dec. 13, 1865, 2; John W. Blassingame, “Before the Ghetto: The Making of the Black Community in Savannah, Georgia, 1865-1880,” Journal of Social History 6, No. 4 (Summer 1973): 478.

2. Coulter, “Aaron Alpeoria Bradley,” Part 1, 18-9; 29; Daily Intelligencer (GA), Oct. 3, 1867, 2.

3. Southern Watchman, Feb. 19, 1868, 3; Coulter, “Aaron Alpeoria Bradley,” Part 2, 172; 171; 157; Savannah Daily News and Herald, Feb. 28, 1868, 3.

4.Savannah Morning News, Dec. 15, 1874, 3; Savannah Morning News, July 7, 1880, 3; Reidy, “Aaron A. Bradley,” 300; Weekly News and Advertiser, Oct. 28, 1882, 4. 











New Dashcam Video


Philando Castile

Informing Officer

He Had A Firearm

“Sir, I have to tell you,
I do have a firearm on me,”
Castile says in a newly released video.



Philando Castile very clearly said he had a firearm.

Officials in Ramsey County, Minnesota, released video on Tuesday that shows the interaction Castile had with St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez before Castile was shot to death during a traffic stop in July.

In the video, which had been played several times for jurors during Yanez’s trial but had never been shownoutside the courtroom, Yanez tells Castile that he’s being pulled over because he has a brake light out. (Audio later used as evidence in the case against Yanez ― and also released Tuesday ― shows the officer actually thought Castile and his girlfriend “just look like people that were involved in a robbery.”)

“Sir, I have to tell you, I do have a firearm on me,” Castile says in the graphic video, embedded below.

“OK, don’t reach for it then,” Yanez says. “Don’t pull it out.”

Castile appears to say that he’s not pulling out the gun, and then Yanez shoots him.

WARNING: The video below is uncensored and may be disturbing to some viewers.

Yanez can be heard screaming profanities and sobbing after the shooting. He keeps his gun pointed at a dying Castile as he calls for backup and waits for other officers to arrive.

Later in the video, when Yanez is interviewed by another officer, he admits that he didn’t actually see Castile grab for a gun. He notes, however, that he was nervous after he asked to see Castile’s license, and Castile “had his grip a lot wider than a wallet.”

Yanez says:

“I didn’t know where the gun was, he didn’t tell me where the fuckin’ gun was, and then it was just gettin’ hanky. He was just staring straight ahead, and I was gettin’ fuckin’ nervous and then … I told him to get his fuckin’ hand off his gun … Fuck.”

Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her 4-year-old daughter were in the car at the time. Reynolds live-streamed the aftermath of the shooting, which brought worldwide attention to the case.

Unedited Dash Camera Video

Yanez was interviewed by two agents of the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension a day after the shooting. At one point, he told investigators that he thought he was “going to die,” and seemed to correlate his jitters with the fact that he smelled “burned marijuana” coming from Castile’s car.

“As he was pulling out his hand I thought I was gonna die, and I thought if he has the guts and the audacity to smoke marijuana in front of the five-year-old girl, and risk her lungs and risk her life by giving her secondhand smoke … then what care does he give about me?”

A jury on Friday found Yanez not guilty on a charge of second-degree manslaughter and two counts of reckless discharge of a firearm. 

Tuesday’s video release quickly drew more attention to the acquittal, which prompted thousands of protesters to March through Saint Paul over the weekend.

“It’s just like, a punch in my stomach, it’s a punch in the gut,” Castile’s friend, John Thompson, told HuffPost Tuesday. “Look what happened to Philando for doing all the right things. It hurts. Every time I talk about it, it hurts.

“I’m so tired of being tired, I’m so tired of being sad, I’m so tired of being angry at this system.” 

Yanez was fired from the police force after the acquittal.

“The City of St. Anthony has concluded that the public will be best served if Officer Yanez is no longer a police officer in our city,” the city said on its website Friday. “The city intends to offer Officer Yanez a voluntary separation agreement to help him transition to another career other than being a St. Anthony officer.”







JUN 21, 2017

JUN 21, 2017



‘I Don’t Want You

to Get Shooted’

In a new video, Diamond Reynolds’s
4-year-old daughter implores her
to be quiet after
Philando Castile’s death.


Diamond Reynolds, girlfriend of Philando Castile, weeps at a protest in St. Paul, Minnesota, on July 7, 2016.  Adam Bettcher / Reuters

Diamond Reynolds, girlfriend of Philando Castile, weeps at a protest in St. Paul, Minnesota, on July 7, 2016. Adam Bettcher / Reuters

New footage from the fatal shooting of 32-year-old
Philando Castile was released Wednesday, less
than 24-hours after dash-cam video from the
incident was made public. The video, which was
released by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal
Apprehension under a public-records request,
sheds more light on the moments immediately
following the shooting.
The footage was among
thousands of pages of documents, reports,
interview transcripts, and emails released by
authorities concerning the trial of Jeronimo
Yanez, the former police officer who faced
20 years in prison for fatally shooting Castile
seven times during a traffic stop in a St. Paul
suburb in July 2016. Yanez was acquitted last
week of all charges.
The full video, which was posted by journalist Tony Webster, shows Diamond Reynolds, Castile’s girlfriend, with her 4-year-old daughter in the back of a police squad car in the moments following the fatal shooting. You can watch a portion of the video below (Note: It contains graphic content.)

In the video, which appears to have been recorded just moments after Castile was killed, Reynolds is seated handcuffed in the back of a squad car with her daughter when she shouts an expletive after her cell phone dies. This prompts her daughter to ask her not to scream “because I don’t want you to get shooted.” When Reynolds says she wishes she could take the handcuffs off, her daughter yells, “No please don’t, I don’t want you to get shooted … I wish this town was safer.”

The video is the latest of three to reveal the moments before, during, and after the fatal shooting. Reynolds recorded a live-stream video showing the immediate aftermath of the shooting to Facebook, and dash-cam video released Tuesday revealed what took place in the moments leading up to and when the shooting took place.





June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017




Darwin Torres &

Nabra Hassanen:

5 Fast Facts

You Need to Know

A 22-year-old man is in custody after a Muslim teenager was found beaten to death in Virginia in what authorities are calling a road rage incident. According to the Fairfax County Police Department, Darwin Martinez Torres is facing murder charges in relation to the killing of Nabra Hassanen, 17, in Herndon, Virginia, in the early hours of June 18.

Nabra had been the subject of a missing persons case at around 4 a.m. on June 18 with police saying that she was last seen walking near a mosque with friends. Many Muslims pray late into the evening and early hours during Ramadan. Then, Nabra had a verbal fight with a man in a car. That man is thought to have attacked and killed her. Torres was picked up by police shortly after Nabra was first reported missing.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. A Facebook Post About
Habra’s Killing Said
2 Men Were Swinging Baseball Bats

at a Group of Girls



Isra Chaker, who appears to know Nabra’s family, wrote a Facebook post that describes Nabra’s killing. Nabra and her friends were getting food while on break from praying at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center in Herndon, Virginia, on June 17.

While going back to the center, Chaker says that Nabra and her friend were accosted by two men in a car. Chaker said:

A car pulled up, an altercation took place (the nature of which is still unknown) and then the man came out with a baseball bat swinging at the girls. Nabra was assaulted and was left behind. She then went missing (presumably kidnapped by the suspect) and was found dead this afternoon.

The Washington Post reports that Nabra’s body was found in a pond in Sterling, Virginia. A baseball bat was recovered nearby. The medical examiner says that Nabra’s cause of death is blunt force trauma to the head and neck.

On June 21, Washington D.C. police were called to a memorial for Nabra at Dupont Circle after someone set fire to it. The New York Daily News reports that a 24-year-old man named Justin Solomon was arrested in relation to that incident. Authorities do not believe that bias played a role in the vandalism.


2. Authorities Are Not Investigating
the Case as a Hate Crime



In a press release, Fairfax County Police said that they are not investigating Nabra’s murder as a hate crime. Fairfax County Officer Tawny Wright had earlier told the media, “At this point, there doesn’t seem to be indication this was a bias incident. It looks like they got into a dispute over something.”

Though Fairfax County Prosecutor Ray Morrogh said, “Let’s wait until we get all the information and I’ll make the judgement.” NBC Washington reports that authorities believe that Nabra was the victim of road rage.

A police statement said:

This tragic case appears to be the result of a road rage incident involving the suspect, who was driving and who is now charged with murder, and a group of teenagers who was walking and riding bikes in and along a roadway.

Our investigation at this point in no way indicates the victim was targeted because of her race or religion.

Loudoun County Sheriff Michael Chapman told the media, “I can’t think of a worse instance to occur than the loss of a 17-year-old on Father’s Day, as the father of a 17-year-old myself.”

Human rights lawyer, Arsalan Iftikhar, told the Washington Post, “People are petrified, especially people who have young Muslim daughters.”

Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam said, via the Post, “There is absolutely no place for this kind of violence in our Commonwealth. Every Virginian should feel safe and welcome in our communities, and no parent should ever have to experience such a heartbreaking tragedy. As the police investigation continues, I urge all Virginians to keep Nabra’s friends and family in their hearts.”


3. ICE Believes Torres
Is an Undocumented Immigrant

nabra 03

NBC4’s Julie Carey reports that Torres is in the United States illegally, according to ICE. The agency has “lodged a detainer” against Torres.

The Washington Post reports, citing a member of Torres’ family, says that the suspect works in construction. Torres has a four-year-old son and a girlfriend. The family member told the Post that she is “shocked and mystified” about the charges.
Darwin Torres is a resident of Sterling, Virginia. The Post says he was in a park in Sterling with his grandmother until around 11:30 p.m. on June 17.

While Nabra was still considered a missing person, Torres was arrested after he was spotted “driving suspiciously” close to the search, reports NBC Washington.

Torres is being represented by a public defender. The Washington Post reports that Torres spoke through a Spanish translator from jail. He will appear in court again on July 19.


4. Nabra ‘Always Talked With a Smile’

(Launch Good)

(Launch Good)

Nabra worked at a McDonald’s in Reston, Virginia. A coworker, Usman Anwar Khan, told Buzzfeed that Nabra “was a really nice girl” who “always talked with a smile.”

A crowd funding page that was set up for Nabra’s family has raised nearly $150,000, at the time of writing. The page says:

This morning the ADAMS community in Sterling, VA lost 17 year old Nabra, in an apparent brutal murder during qiyam time.

Her body was found this afternoon and members of the ADAMS community are working together to raise money for her family in this time of need.

Investigation is still pending and donors are encouraged to follow news outlets as more details are released.

Nabra was a sophomore at South Lakes High School in Reston, Virginia. Principal Kim Retzer told parents, via Reston Now:

It’s believed that the missing teen is one of our students and while we await further news about this very sad incident, I would also ask that you refrain from engaging in rumor and speculation on social media about today’s events.

I wanted you to be aware of these developments and to inform you that we will have crisis counselors at the school beginning tomorrow morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family.

Nabra’s father, Mahmoud Hassanen, told NBC Washington what he would say to Torres if he got the chance. “Why you kill my daughter? For what? She didn’t do anything to anybody. I raised my kids to love everybody.” Nabra was the oldest of four siblings.


5. This Comes on the Same Day
That Multiple Muslims Were Injured
in a Ramming Attack in London

Nabra’s body was found on the same day that nearly a dozen Muslims were injured in a ramming attack in London. The incident occurred close to a mosque in Finsbury Park, London. One person, described as a white male, has been arrested in relation to the attack. The Metropolitan Police Service said that they are treating the attack as a “major incident,” reports CNN.


A New Jersey sheriff is fighting for her job after it emerged she used to work as a dominatrix in Manhattan.



JUN 21 2017

JUN 21 2017



Nabra Hassanen’s

memorial set on fire

in Dupont Circle

– The memorial for a teen murdered near a Virginia mosque was set on fire in Dupont Circle on Wednesday, according to fire officials.

DC Fire said they responded to the scene at about 8:30 a.m. and found the remains from the memorial for 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen on fire at the Dupont Memorial Fountain on Connecticut Avenue NW.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the flames. DC Police said 24-year-old Jonathon Soloman of South Carolina was arrested in connection with the fire.

A group gathered in Dupont Circle to remember 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen on Tuesday, June 20, 2017.

A group gathered in Dupont Circle to remember 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen on Tuesday, June 20, 2017.

The United States Park Police said Soloman was setting several items from the park on fire and it did not appear that he was intentionally targeting items from Nabra’s memorial.

Officials said the fountain did not appear to sustain any permanent damage and Soloman was charged with vandalism.

A large group gathered in Dupont Circle and around several major cities to honor Nabra, who was killed during a suspected road rage incident as she walked to a mosque in Fairfax County early Sunday morning, according to police.

Nabra was with a group of about 15 teenagers in the Sterling area as they made their way back to the All Dulles Area Muslim Society at about 3 a.m., according to police.

Officials said the group had stopped at a McDonald’s between Ramadan prayers.

The suspect, 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres, became enraged during a traffic argument with a teen in the group who was riding a bicycle, according to officials.

Police said the argument escalated and Torres pulled over, chased the group with a baseball bat and attacked Nabra.

After hitting her with the bat, authorities said Torres took Nabra in his car to another nearby location and assaulted her again. Her body was later found in a pond.

Authorities confirmed Nabra was assaulted twice before her death – once in Loudoun and once in Fairfax – and confirmed they were investigating whether she was sexually assaultedduring one of those attacks.

A donation page was established to help Nabra’s family. To learn how to donate, click here.













June 20, 2017

June 20, 2017




Charleena Lyles, 30, a young mother who suffered with bouts of mental illness, was shot and killed Sunday by police in her Seattle, Washington, apartment. Yes, another one. Here is what we know so far:

1. Police claim the pregnant mother of four, brandished a knife and threatened them. They shot and killed her in front of several children, according to The Washington Post.

charleena 02
charleena 03

* * *

2. She called police to report a possible burglary, and was holding a knife to defend herself and her four children, relatives tell various media outlets.

charleena 04

* * *

3. Lyles “struggled with mental illness after years of abusive relationships and threats of her children being taken away,” reports The New York Times. Twenty-five percent of people shot and killed by police during the first half 2015 were identified by police or family members as mentally ill, according to a Washington Post analysis of nearly 400 police killings.

charleena 06

* * *

4. Police, called for domestic violence, visited the home three times prior to the fatal shooting. What changed Sunday? When officers arrived at her home, she explained an Xbox video game console been stolen and a bag of clothes on her bed looked to have been disturbed, writes The Times. That’s when things escalated. Listen to the audio:

* * *

5. Police have not released the names of the two officers involved in the shooting, but in accordance to department practices they have been placed on paid administrative leave while the incident is under investigation.

charleena 05


* * *

SOURCE: Washington Post, Seattle IntelligencerThe New York Times




JUNE 20, 2017

JUNE 20, 2017






Photos of Charleena Lyles, who was killed by the police in Seattle on Sunday.CreditKen Lambert/The Seattle Times, via Associated Press

Photos of Charleena Lyles, who was killed by the police in Seattle on Sunday. Credit-Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times, via Associated Press

On Sunday morning, two Seattle police officers shot and killed Charleena Lyles in her apartment. She was pregnant, and three of her four children were home. She had called the police to report a burglary. According to the officers’ account, shortly after they arrived, Ms. Lyles, who the police knew was mentally ill, pulled a knife. Both officers shot her. Societal failure to care for mental health, which leaves the police as mental illness first responders, may well have been one deadly ingredient in this tragic encounter.

According to her family and police records, Ms. Lyles wrestled with significant mental health issues. An audiotape reveals officers discussing her police and mental health history immediately before the shooting. Seattle Police Department officers had been called to her residence more than 20 times before this Sunday, with mental illness often figuring in those encounters. The department had placed an officer caution on her address for this reason, meaning officers should be on alert for dangerous behavior from her. Despite repeated previous mental health referrals and the involvement of Child Protective Services, she was alone with her children on Sunday, in distress and with nowhere to turn but 911.

Ms. Lyles’s situation is not unique. People with untreated mental illnesses are disproportionately likely to attract police attention. The combination of mental illness, racial segregation and poverty is particularly likely to result in police contact, often leading to arrest. In fact, a 2006 Bureau of Justice Statistics study revealed that 24 percent of state prisoners report a history of mental illness, with other sources reporting rates in some larger facilities as high as 70 percent. But it was not always the case that mental illness would result in the cycle of catch and release that evidently plagued Ms. Lyles.

What changed over the past half-century is that the United States has seen a stunning decline in resources devoted to public mental health — during the same time the nation adopted mass incarceration. A 2009 International Association of Chiefs of Police review reported that the available hospital beds for persons suffering from mental illness dropped by 95 percent from 1955 to 2005, to 17 beds per 100,000 persons from 340. From 1985 to 2005, the nation’s incarceration rate tripled.

The shift away from hospital treatment of mental illness was not matched by an offsetting commitment to fund the health care people needed to live on the outside. Medicaid reimbursement rates are so low that it is difficult to find providers who will accept it. As a result, many people with mental illness are functionally uninsured for their most urgent health care needs. That is, state support for mental health retreated at the same time state investment in incarceration exploded — and both with disastrous results for vulnerable communities.

The consequence of the disinvestment in public mental health has also not affected all vulnerable communities equally. African-American people are at least as likely as white people to experience mental health distress but are half as likely to receive mental health treatment. This helps to explain why it’s easy to recall other high-profile cases of police use of deadly force involving black victims with documented histories of mental illness.

To be sure, the disproportionate rate of law enforcement violence against African-Americans has a host of contributing factors, including racial bias, both implicit and explicit. There is most likely no single explanation for the tragedy that occurred when Seattle Police Department officers shot and killed Ms. Lyles. But in her case and others like it, the failure of public mental health services appears to have been one important ingredient in a mix of forces that ultimately proved deadly. Without this failure, Sunday’s encounter might never have occurred.

If we are to protect families in similar situations, we must extend the lens of our concern beyond police-community interactions — even in cases where the police pull the trigger. A reinvestment in public mental health resources — including hospitals and, yes, better health care coverage for vulnerable Americans struggling with mental illness — are urgent necessities.

Of course, the cure for these too frequent police-involved shootings must include serious changes within law enforcement. But we must also recommit to changing how we manage mental health if we are to reduce the chances that illness will be treated with gunshots. It is what we owe to Ms. Lyles and to the children who survive her.




Son of Baldwin
June 18, 2017



On James Baldwin

and How Oppressors

Try to Misuse Him

to Shame Me


[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: James Baldwin seen from the shoulders up, looking toward his right, left hand raised in a “fuck it” fashion.]

[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: James Baldwin seen from the shoulders up, looking toward his right, left hand raised in a “fuck it” fashion.]

I kinda love (and by “kinda love,” I mean, “roll my eyes”) when folks who hate something I’ve said, immediately fall back on:

“James Baldwin would NEVER say/do this! Baldwin was all about love and reconciliation and being a shining black example teaching oppressors how to be more humane by being kind to them!”

1. I ain’t James Baldwin. I consider myself one of many spiritual offspring of the genius we know as Baldwin. His intellect is unmatched.

2. You don’t know Baldwin as well as you think you do and you should read more of his work before opening your mouth or fixing your fingers to type.

“People who treat other people as less than human must not be surprised when the bread they have cast on the waters comes floating back to them, poisoned.”

“Yes, baby; they gon’ burn your house DOWN.”

“I don’t trust people who think of themselves as liberals. What I am saying is that I don’t trust missionaries. I don’t want anybody working with me because they think they are doing something for me. What I want them to do is work in their own communities. I want you to tell your brothers and your sisters… Don’t tell me, because I already know.”

“I think white gay people feel cheated because they were born, in principle, in a society in which they were supposed to be safe. The anomaly of their sexuality puts them in danger, unexpectedly. Their reaction seems to me in direct proportion to their sense of feeling cheated of the advantages which accrue to white people in a white society. There’s an element, it has always seemed to me, of bewilderment and complaint. Now that may sound very harsh, but the gay world as such is no more prepared to accept black people than anywhere else in society. It’s a very hermetically sealed world with very unattractive features, including racism.”

“In the realm of morals, the role of Christianity has been, at best, ambivalent. Even leaving out of account the remarkable arrogance that assumed that the ways and morals of others were inferior to those of Christians, and they they therefore had every right, and could use any means, to change them, the collision between cultures–and the [dissonance] in the minds of Christendom–had rendered the domain of morals as chartless as the sea once was, and as treacherous as the sea still is.It is not too much to say that whoever wishes to become a truly moral human being (and let us not ask whether or not this is possible; I think we must believe that it is possible) must first divorce [themselves] from all prohibitions, crimes, and hypocrisies of the Christian church. If the concept of ‘God’ has any validity or any use, it can only be to make us larger, freer, more loving. If ‘God’ cannot do this, then it is time we got rid of Him.”

“It’s no credit to this enormously rich country that there are more oppressive, less decent governments elsewhere. We claim superiority of our institutions. We ought to live up to our own standards, not use misery elsewhere as an endless source of self-gratification and justification. Of course, people tell me all the time in the West that they are trying, they are trying hard. Some have tears in their eyes and let me know how awful they feel about the way our poor live, our blacks, or those in dozens of other countries. People can cry much easier than they can change, a rule of psychology people like me picked up as kids on the street.”

“Chicagoans talk about Mississippi as though they had no South Side. White people in New York talk about Alabama as though they had no Harlem. To ignore what is happening in their own backyard is a great device on the part of the white people. Whether I was for or against violence is absolutely irrelevant. The question that really obsesses me today is not whether or not I like violence or whether or not you like it.Unless the situation is ameliorated, and very, very quickly, there WILL be violence. There will be violence (and of this I am convinced as I am that I am sitting in this chair) one day in Birmingham. And it won’t be the fault of the Negroes of Birmingham. It is the fault of the administration of Birmingham, and the apathy of Washington. An intolerable situation. It has been intolerable for 100 years.”

“There is no difference between the North and South. The difference is in the way they castrate you. But the castration itself is the American fact.”

“We know what happened, and we know who had the whip. And it was not my grandmother who raped anybody.”

“The world is full of bright people who are entirely irrelevant. And most of them are wicked.”

“White people were, and are, astounded by the Holocaust in Germany. They did not know that they could act that way. But I very much doubt whether black people were astounded — at least, in the same way. For my part, the fate of the Jews, and the world’s indifference to it, frightened me very much. I could not but feel, in those sorrowful years, that this human indifference, concerning which I knew so much already, would be my portion on the day that the United States decided to murder its Negroes systematically instead of little by little and catch-as-catch-can. I was, of course, authoritatively assured that what had happened to the Jews in Germany could not happen to the Negroes in America, but I thought, bleakly, that the German Jews had probably believed similar counselors, and, again, I could not share [white people’s] vision of [themselves] for the very good reason that white [people] in America do not behave toward black [people] the way they behave toward each other. When a white [person] faces a black [person], especially if the black [person] is helpless, terrible things are revealed. I know. I have been carried into precinct basements often enough, and I have seen and heard and endured the secrets of desperate white [people], which they knew were safe with me, because even if I should speak, no one would believe me. And they would not believe me precisely because they would know that what I said was true.”

Any platitude Baldwin showed oppressors was on the basis that the oppressor made concrete and fundamental changes to their behavior which would make them harmless to the oppressed, and that, if they did not, then head-rolling was literal and inevitable.


SON OF BALDWIN – To the tick-tock and you don’t stop. Writing for my life. And perhaps yours. Disturbing the peace in order to find it. No sleep ’til Crooklyn. Let’s get free.











Enkare Review is accepting unsolicited submissions for the second issue from 1st June 2017 to 1st August 2017. Our editors are looking forward to your work. Submit! Submit! Submit!

Kindly ensure you read through the submission guidelines before sending us your submission. Submissions that are not in accordance with the guidelines will not be considered for publication. Thank you.

Submission guidelines

  • All submissions must be in English and previously unpublished. Pieces translated into English from other languages will be accepted and this must be indicated in the cover letter and emailed alongside the submission to or via our Submission Form. (although we much prefer the submission form) 
  • All submissions must be accompanied by a bio of not more than 100 words. DO NOT attach your bio as a separate document. 
  • All manuscripts sent via email should be submitted as Word documents (doc, docx) for ease of reading and editing. Do NOT paste the text of your work as part of the body of the email. 
  • Submissions should be typed in TIMES NEW ROMAN, FONT 12, DOUBLE SPACED and LEFT ALIGNED. For more information on how to format your manuscript, look at the Proper Manuscript Format by William Shunn. Failure to adhere to this will lead to your manuscript not being read by our editors.

  • The first page of your manuscript must contain YOUR NAME, EMAIL ADDRESS and TITLE OF THE WORK BEING SUBMITTED. 
  • For Fiction, and Nonfiction submissions should be between 2,500 to 7500 words. For Poetry, please submit NO LESS THAN 4 POEMS but NO MORE THAN 7 POEMS.  ALL the poems MUST be contained in a single document and submitted as such. 
  • For Photography and Visual Art, please send a pitch to and our Visual Arts editor will email back letting you know if we are keen to feature your work. 
  • Adherence to the word limit is recommended but in any case, we will bend this a little bit if it makes sense to surpass the word limit for the story or essay or poem to make complete sense. Don’t hold back. 
  • Simultaneous submissions are acceptable and all we request is that we are notified when the submission is accepted for publication elsewhere. 
  • As a suggestion, you are encouraged to read pieces that have previously appeared on Enkare Review to get a grasp of the kind of submissions we are looking for. 
  • Please submit NO MORE THAN one piece of work at a time. Wait for our response on your submission before sending in another. 
  • Due to the large volume of submissions that we receive, we aim to respond to submissions within THREE MONTHS after the close of the submission period. We will notify you within that period if your submission has been accepted for publication. If you don’t hear from us within that period,  send us a query to 
  • Enkare Review would like to compensate you for the time spent and thought put into writing the submission. However, it is unfortunate that we cannot afford to pay for your work yet. Kindly bear with us for now.

We look forward to your submissions. Cheers!







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Golden Quill Writing Contest is Underway!

The 27th Annual SLO NightWriters Golden Quill Writing Contest is now underway!

Entries have begun to come in, proving contestants’ declaration of Liberation from procrastination, fear and all those other unnecessary blocks to the work within.

Join the movement today, and enter your own story or poem.  Choose from Poetry, Flash/Short Fiction or Creative Non-Fiction.  

Read all the Contest Guidelines at and visit the Judges’ Page to meet your amazing panel of judges.

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