Posts tagged ‘youth’

Songs for Trayvon Martin

I have been deeply affected by the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The sweet-faced young man was killed on February 26th 2012 because he was black and on the side walk.

Trayvon’s mere presence in that time and place was enough to warrant another man to chase him down and shoot him dead.

Trayvon’s trip to the store was seen and a threat by the man who shot him and this sentiment is echoed by the police and justice system as no arrest has been made regarding the circumstances of his death.

I do not live in the United States but all over the world young black men are treated as risks and face shoot-first-ask-questions-later violence daily.

I mourn for Trayvon and I wish I could join the protests as much as I wish that Trayvon was still here bringing light to his family and our world. The state cannot be allowed to sanction open season on young black men who’s mere being is seen as a problem worthy of deadly force.

I have selected some songs that I wish to dedicate to Trayvon and hope that in this small way I add my voice to the call for justice.  Please sign the petition on change. org. We can make sure they know that we will not let Trayvon die in vain.

And because it’s 2012 and the same shit

In Complexity and Complicity

I watched the Melissa Harris Perry show  for the first this weekend, and I think I’m hooked.  #nerdland stand up!

On Saturday’s show, one of my feminist mentors  Joan Morgan and a few other panellists were talking about the 15th anniversary of the death of  the Notorious B.I.G  and hip hop culture in general and it was a amazing 20 minutes of television.  There were biggie quotes and music clips and a shout outs to female emcees and a discourse on hip hop that you would be hard pressed to find on any other mainstream show.

What really struck me was when Joan Morgan spoke of her relationship with hip hop being one of complexity and complicity. This was one of the clinchers in her 2000 book When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost. How can we be feminist when we sometimes *cringe* like/accept/promote the very things that we are seeking to challenge? It is present not only in music, but all over our culture and manifests through interpersonal relationships, cultural events (sigh, my beloved carnival) and socio-political life.

I was hoping that this discussion, among others that I have had or listened to, would have some magical answer for addressing this issue, something that I could add to my feminist care package to carry around along with my cell phone and keys and eloquently whip out when I am challenged by others and even by myself. Don’t know if that answer exists.

What I do get from these discussions is the dynamism of this cause we call social justice. We have lots of suggestions and ideas but cannot declare any as the way. We question and we analyse and we make choices individually and in our collectives that we hope to chip away at inequality and oppression. I also come away renewed that feminism actively engaging women and all marginalised groups in all our interconnectedness is the missing piece to the puzzle. Our voices, our action, our curiosity is critical to our survival as long we strive towards social justice.

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