Jimi Hendrix & War – Jimi’s Last Jam

Just yesterday I came across this video on Facebook of Jimi Hendrix last full day on this side of the light.

According to this video the evening before he passed, Jimi jammed with the band War and shared that he would be back the next night to play with them again. My Uncle (really 2nd cousin), Harold Brown, is the original drummer for War and was the drummer that evening.

So Uncle Harold was one of the last people to play with Jimi Hendrix. Crazy. #chills

Jimi Hendrix & War – Jimi’s Last Jam

Returning Where I’ve Never Been: MusicXChange Takes Me to Ghana

There are no words to convey how excited I was to finally visit THE continent. Prior to departing the U.S. I’d ask two of my friends, one from Tanzania and one from Mozambique, for any thoughts or advice with respect to my impending travels. My friend from Tanzania said a few things and while I remember them all, I deeply internalized two. The first: let go of all expectations of what it will be. He shared that having expectations, good, bad, or even neutral, can be incredibly difficult to reconcile when those expectations are not met. He said this is the case especially for African-Americans traveling to the continent for the first time…

Continue reading on Berklee Blogs.

Ghana January 2016 working

In January 2016, the nonprofit MusicXChange, founded by Berklee student Federico Masetti, organized a two-week service trip to Ghana to build strategic partnerships and raise awareness about the organization. The following post was written by tamia rashima jordan, one of the trip’s participants. 

 

In Honor of Black Lives That Mattered

Dear Mama:
You gave me life
I will forever be your baby, your big boy, your little man, your young man, your son
You felt my first kick
You heard my first cry
You witnessed my first breath

 

Dear government:
You tried to teach me to fear myself
The clock started counting down on my first day
I was your public enemy #1
You declared the mistakes I made growing up a death sentence
You heard my last cry
You stole my last breath

 

As my heart beat that last time
As I exhaled my last breath and you inhaled your next
As I exhaled my…last…breath my life force was transferred to you
Use this gift wisely
Let my name be your battle cry
My Black life mattered, make my [Black] death matter too
~tamia rashima summer 2015

What’s in a name? …in a word: #everything.

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“If you don’t mind me asking, why tamia rashima and not Tamia Rashima?”…

…I’m surprised I don’t this question more often but I love it when I do because I get to tell my origin story. …or at least one of them.

Well I finally got this question this week at work. Actually it wasn’t specifically about me. I just chose to make it about me. ;) In sending text to our Communications department I’d included a colleague’s name as lowercase first and last name. When the poster proof came back to me her name was uppercase. So I asked again and was asked to explain the request.

My response to this question follows:

Hi name redacted -

“Thanks for asking. I’d prefer for redacted to speak for herself, but I believe it is fair for me to share that her political, philosophical, and social justice values align with bell hooks. hooks, who I also adore, often says ‘it’s not about me, it’s about the message’ and for that reason she writes here name lowercase. I found an online excerpt that speaks to hooks’ rationale (below).

I also have written my name in lowercase for many years but for different reasons. Mine are to do with my father never having a birth certificate. He was born in Mississippi in a poor community and was delivered by a white midwife. A common story of the time is that the white midwives would often fail to file birth certificates for little Black babies. This has been an ongoing struggle in my father’s life. It’s actually impacted me as well. Until I was 10 my last name was spelled incorrectly on my birth certificate as “redacted.” Without a birth certificate for my father, it took my mother years to have that corrected. When it finally was it was on my father’s birthday in 1988 so my official birth certificate reads “amended February 17, 1988.”

What’s funny is that now since I’ve been doing lower so long, when I see my name in uppercase I don’t immediately recognize it as me and it makes me uncomfortable.

Again thanks for asking! I love when people ask.

~tamia

‘bell hooks’ is written in lower case to try to convey how “it is the substance of my books, not who is writing them, that is important” (Williams 1996, np) and, she has said, first writing under this name allowed her to speak “most directly to black women [with a] the voice I felt to be most truly mine – it was then that my voice was daring, courageous” (LeBlanc 1994, nd). http://writingcollaboration.wordpress.com/1-introduction/1a-bell-hooks/

So there you go folks. Let me know if you have any questions.

#ThankYouYes

Written while listening to my music the Winans Spotify playlist.

The Midwife by Monicka Hasan of My Best Self Art and Graphic Design

http://www.black-art-collage.com/

‘Auld Lang Syne’: Remember Their Names

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‘Auld Lang Syne’ – Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, DJ Henry, Renisha McBride, Troy Davis, and on and on and on: you are etched on my soul yesterday, today and each day of my future…

Lot’s of folks know that “Auld Lang Syne” is one of my fav songs. I frequently carry spare copies of the words with me on NYE cause ya’ll just be messing them up…

…speaking of which: GET IT TOGETHER!! ‪#‎geez‬. There really aren’t that many words!! …or find me and grab a copy of the words.‪#‎LuvsIGotYouCovered‬

I digress. I love this song and today, well everyday, it feels appropriate to share along with some info from an ABC News reporter @christinang27 (2012) re: the song’s real origin, purpose, and meaning:

“The title of the Scottish tune translates to ‘times gone by’ and is about remembering friends from the past and not letting them be forgotten.

Despite its strong association with New Year’s Eve, ‘Auld Lang Syne,’ written by Robert Burns in the 1700s, was never intended to be a holiday song.”

MHP (& me) @ BC FA14

2014-10-22 18.22.43 copy

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Where do I begin?! I guess I’ll begin by copy and pasting my Facebook post about my experience on last night. To quote myself, “People who know me know that tonight was a dream come true. I got to meet and chat with my (soror) shero Melissa Harris-Perry. Not only did I get to hear a deep lecture about Ferguson that adeptly and thoroughly connected racial inequality, residential inequality, economic inequality, pop culture, and George Romney to that terrible injustice; but I also got to ask the last question of the evening and MHP’s response was everything I could have asked for and more. I am even more inspired ‪#‎FiredUpInTheBestWayPossible‬ to do the work. ‪#‎TheStruggleContinues‬ As she signed my book we talked about our various connections ‪#‎UVa‬ ‪#‎DST‬ ‪#‎Duke‬. Thank’s KG for all you did to make tonight happen. — with Kevin Jason Gin at Boston College.”
Yeah so that happened! …when I get overwhelmed and have so much to say in my writing I revert to my most preferred method of communication: lists. ;) (KG get it together.) So here goes my highlights from last night in bullets (ummm some irony right there).

My MHP @ BC FA14 highlights:

Her lecture.
  • I’ve been to a lot of teach-ins, presentations, forums, symposia, conferences, etc. but it’s been a loooooong time since I felt like an undergrad (UVa ’00) in a lecture hall. Last night I had multiple flashbacks of days in my Government (American Politics concentration) & African American Studies lectures (including Julian Bond’s History of the Civil Rights Movement course). I’m not gonna lie, while I loved the small seminars of grad school (UVM ’06), I had a deep appreciation for that lecture hall style educational experience …which is no doubt connected to nostalgia and not my love for lecture style classes.
  • As for the lecture itself, it was #Everything. Let me know if you’d like to see my notes.
My question for her & a paraphrase of her response.
  • Q: I’m not a parent yet but I’ve been blessed to call so many other folks children my own including my now college-age niece and nephew; my friends kids, a ton of middle school through college-age kids through my work as an educator; and more recently I’ve been blessed to get to know a few of the Dream Defenders. I call them my kids too. I’m even hosting two of them this coming weekend as they visit Tufts University [from Florida] for the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) conference. What would you say is the most important attitude or approach we could be teaching our kids about growing up in the USA today? You’re a mom [she had her little baby girl with her] so I imagine you think about this fairly regularly yourself.
  • A: On this I will simply share the highlights cause I cannot capture the I really wanted to record her response but she was talking directly to me the entire time so I didn’t. …as KG said, “Recorded in your brain [I'll add and in my soul]. All that matters.”
    • Don’t teach the next generation what our truths are… …on that she shared an anecdote about how a young lady mentioned to her that they were in the same in that they are both biracial. MHP responded to the girl, “I don’t know about you but I’m Black. You need to go outside and be Black.” …she shared that as she later reflected on her own response she realized it came from growing up in the South at a time when you were Black or white: there was no such thing as biracial. But she realized for this generation that identifying as biracial is both real and liberating.
    • She shared that she’s down for the kids reconstructing identity and redefining the struggle so long as they know what they are reconstructing and redefining. EG teach the kids the history and teach it well. …but don’t just tell the kids, encourage them to ask questions of us and give them real answers.
    • As you can imagine I was already in and then she took it there… …many folks don’t know that MHP is also a theologian having studied theology and divinity at the Union Theological Seminary in New York. She shared that she knows that Martin Luther King Jr. met God and God showed him the mountain top. She said that she knows that because while MLK told us about the mountaintop – that it exists. that it’s real. – he did not tell us what he saw; he did not tell us what it looked like. She said like the reason babies can’t speak for their first year it’s because they would tell us way too much about what they know, but forget, on their journey to us. She said it’s not about heaven or hell: it’s just about knowing what God allows us to know before and after this time down here.
Our connections.
  • Our fathers. During her lecture she shared an anecdote that, even as a small child, her dad would sign cards, “The Struggle Continues, daddy.” You can see that she signs each book with that salutation. I did not get to share with her, but it’s very real, that one very important reason I am who I am around the work is that my father had me watching Eyes on the Prize every few months since I was in third grade. That and his and my mama’s tremendous storytelling about growing up in the South in the 40′s through 60′s.
  • UVA. She asked me where I went to school and I said UVa. She said, “My father was the first Dean of African American students at UVa.” I knew that but I’d forgotten that.
  • Duke. I worked at Duke and she received her Ph.D. from Duke. She said to me, “We kept just missing each other.”
  • DST. She’s my soror. She pledged the Pi Omicron chapter at Wake Forest. I’m not sure the year. I pledged the Kappa Rho chapter at UVa in ’99. #1KPSP99
  • #DJH. There is one last thing that I’ll need to post later for fear of blowing a surprise. I will post the update later.
 The pics.
  • Last last last I wrote this on my facebook Nay, my best friend and soror, “Nay look at how 5-0 is grillin’ me in that pic!?! …I could write a whole paper (or Astroland blog post) or create a presentation on that dynamic alone!! …ummmmmm I may just do that. MHP shared that his presence was due to death threats she receives daily. So he was there to protect her. …and her little baby girl!! She had the baby with her. …I took lil mama’s pic but I don’t post other folks children w/o their permission…”
That’s all I’ve got. Enjoy the pics. Let me know if you wish to see my notes from the lecture.
#ThankYouYes2014-10-22 20.30.53 copy2014-10-22 21.06.11 copy2014-10-22 22.56.30 copy2014-10-22 22.56.42 copy

#ThankYouYes

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I have to share this story: I just arrived back home from RI. When I was less than a half mile from my home I stopped at a red light alongside a huge black SUV. In the backseat was a little white boy about 13 or so years old. I looked down and I looked up again and he was waving like crazy at me. …so I waved back. He then smiled at me with the brightest smile and huge beautiful eyes. Then he made the sign of a heart. …so I made it back and mimicked his move to throw the heart at me. Once again he beamed. Finally the light changed and we drove off. As I passed the car one more time prior to turning down my street, hence away from the vehicle he was in, he smiled and waved and waved until they were out of sight. I’m not going to lie when I arrived home and parked my car I cried a little bit. How awesome was that? How incredibly precious! I even thought to myself, “Did that really just happen?” …well I can assure you it did. …You know it’s certainly not everyday that happens. And forgive me being sexist here, but rarely do little boys that age care about much anyone let alone a complete stranger. ‪#‎WhatAGift‬ ‪#‎ThankYouYes‬

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