soul power, green power

December 25, 2006 at 6:33 pm | Posted in Activism, Black Folks, environment, Sustainability | 10 Comments

“let’s get together and get some land. raise our food just like the man.” – james brown, “funky president”

for me the above lyrics advises against overconsumption, to become less dependent on corporate production, and to re-establish a functional realtionship with the earth –an understanding james brown developed by watching his father harvest terpentine from local pine trees near barnwell, south carolina for a living.

the prolific elder, musician and human rights pioneer, james j. brown, jr., passed away this christmas morning. i was a bit caught off guard, particularly, since i recently viewed an interview with him on youtube. the interview was not representative of him at his best, so i was left to ponder: besides artistic genius, what did he leave us all with? what can we learn from his example? empowering messages. empowering messages, indeed. and while many of his most memorable songs were created to instill cultural pride and ignite self-determination amongst black folks, the concepts are timeless and universal.

just like a godfather, james brown left us words to inspire our courage. though, in the struggle for spiritual and emotional freedom he fought internal struggles that heavily impacted those around him, he provided us with salient words of wisdom that provoked critical thought and action. “i started a chain of gold platter restaurants…i financed my own line of food stamps.”

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Continue Reading soul power, green power…


“i believe” (the fiend’s anthem)

December 20, 2006 at 4:57 pm | Posted in Black Folks, Health & Healing, Hip-Hop | 4 Comments

i recently peeped the video “i believe” — a medicinal dart by off the dead prez and outlawz album: “can’t sell dope forever”. a little late, i admit, considering it dropped this past summer. now, there aren’t to many joints dead prez put out that i’m not “lickin’ shots for” but this video “righ’ chear”… i won’t spoil it for you. check it out and take a vote.


i believe
1) off the hook
2) its ok
3) not feeling it

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in general, i have an interest in how the aging hip-hop community (artists, fans, etc) deals with topics that most affect it, particulary those issues of health. in an arena where street crediblity is a marketing focus, speaking on health and disease presents an interesting challenge – how fly can you be spittin’ about healthy lifestyles? but at the same time folks are experiencing real health challenges and even death: foxxy brown with her hearing impairment, don’t foget big pun’s untimely death, havoc of mobb deep sickle cell anemia childhood diagnosis… the list goes on. so…

what would fela do-O!

December 6, 2006 at 4:28 pm | Posted in Activism, Black Folks, Culture, fela kuti, Health & Healing | 1 Comment

on sat., dec 2nd, nite*vision and i celebrated my b’earth day @ bam‘s sold out red hot + riot – the illest event featuring an allstar cast of diasporic & continental africans giving soulfull (and i mean soul-full) tribute to the life, music + spirit of fela anikulapo kuti (born olufela olusegun oludotun ransome-kuti).

red hot + riot is one of the many charitable collabos of the red hot organization‘s efforts to build proactive awarness to the pervasive pandemic, AIDS. (check out nite*vision’s post hi five: tribute to fela for a breakdown of the musical experience). the thing was a surprise, but also strange: why was the red hot + riot poppin’ off in bam, of all places in nyc? what’s so special about this weeked? wasn’t tryna be ungrateful, but soon enough all things were revealed. the day before was world a.i.d.s. day and…

as the hypnotic timbres -of shekere with electric bass, djembe with synthesizer – formed a bridge between entertainment and enlightenment, all who attended where ready for the images on the background displaying facts on how AIDS is (still) the clear and present danger realized from the last “media-raid” you may have encountered. statements like: “new york is the epicenter of the a.i.d.s. crisis in the u.s. brooklyn has the highest death rate of all boroughs flashed across the screen. what! brooklyn?…we’re in brooklyn right now, homie! cats wouldn’t even get up to dance to this music, what kind of reaction can we expect as a result of leaving the concert? once “water no get enemy” ceases to be the ringing melody in your head…what do you do? Continue Reading what would fela do-O!…

black vegans get no love?

December 6, 2006 at 3:00 am | Posted in Black Folks, Culture, Vegan | 17 Comments

the article below is almost 4 years old, but i found it (only recently) relevant. i’ve truncated it to highlight certain points, but you can read the whole article (and other cool ones) in this sister’s online column. enjoy! update: check out soulvegfolk – a social network for healthy & food conscious black folks. black vegans get love here.

The Soul of Holistic Health02.01.03 – by: Nicole D. Sconiers  

Black vegans get no love. We’re shunned at dinner parties, given mistrustful glances on buffet lines and never asked to contribute to the church potluck. I’ve been told more than a few times that my eating habits are “bourgeois,” as if the deletion of meat and dairy from my diet has somehow placed me in a culinary caste system.

… A good friend hipped me to the “Fit for Life” nutritional principles and I adapted a strict vegan regimen to lose fifty pounds. As soon as I took charge of my health, a state of wholeness–physically, spiritually and emotionally–set in.

Once I embarked on this journey into nutrition and wellness, I became hungrier for more knowledge. I went searching for kinship and community and I found both in Dr. Nathan Rabb, a naturopathic doctor and trailblazer in the holistic health field…He caught my attention because his theme song is the psychedelic Curtis Mayfield classic “Junkie Chaser” …But I would soon discover that junkie chaser is an apt description for the work Dr. Rabb is doing in his neighborhood–trying to rid it of the dietary monkeys riding the backs of many blacks. Continue Reading black vegans get no love?…

“spread (vegan) love, its the brooklyn way”

December 1, 2006 at 5:57 am | Posted in Black Folks, Culture, Hip-Hop, Vegan | 1 Comment

so this article is a little dated but i wanted to post it up anyway…and what?!. cool tidbit on vegan hip-hop entrepreneurs supporting health conscious entrepreneurs in the community…can someone say “ujaama“? i spruced it up with a video on stic from dead prez. mad love y’all. when i’m on the west coast, i just might slide throught to that sandwich shop. keep doing the thing!

ps. has anyone peep the DVD, “Holistic Wellness for the Hip-Hop Generation” by the brook-nam phenomenon – Supa Nova Slom?

Hip-hop artists spread word on vegetarian, vegan diets in black community

By Leslie Fulbright
Seattle Times Eastside bureau

There are some hip-hop artists who don’t drink Tanqueray and Alizé and want no part of the late-night trips to the BK. Take the socially conscious rap duo Dead Prez, whose song “Be Healthy” includes the lyrics: “I don’t eat meat, no dairy, no sweets — only ripe vegetables, fresh fruit and whole wheat.”

In recent years, hip-hop artists have started publicly denouncing the unhealthy diets some of their counterparts have long embraced. They are pushing the benefits of holistic health in the black community, where high blood pressure and cholesterol are common problems.

Singer Erykah Badu, an active promoter of the vegan lifestyle, has been known to stop by Seattle’s Hillside Quickies Vegan Sandwich Shop, where the Howell family serves up Tempehstrami Subs and Macaroni and Yease to the tune of hip-hop, dance hall and reggae.

Read the rest of the article at Seattle Times – “Hip hop artists spread word…”by Leslie Fulbright

race results: my 1st Duathlon 51st/76

October 26, 2006 at 1:34 am | Posted in (multi)sports, Active, Black Folks, Cycling | 6 Comments

peace folks,

so i purchased a used bike back in april of this year. i had some fun, riding back and forth the flashfrom bk to harlem. but it wasn’t too long before i decided to take test myself and take it to the next level. so i decided to enter into a duathlon, the prospect park fall duathlon (see the race map at the bottom of the page). i haven’t had so much fun since…i don’ t even remember. competing is normally associated with a lot of nerves and “the dumps” (as my coach used to call it –use your imagination. but i throughly enjoyed myself. i didn’t train and so my running times are type-wack, but even more crazy is the bike times–horrendous. i just wanted to see how i would fare in an amateur cycling event – not too well. my bikebut to be honest i’m inspired to run more as a result. you remember my “path to vegan sports” story when i told y’all about getting bored from running. i needed something new. i found it! duathlons will be my new sport. i know i need alot of work on my cycling -which is truly fun, and in my mission to improve as a “duathlete” i’m inclined to run more.

so without further adue, peep my: the 1st run (3.1 mi) i placed 29th @, the bike leg (14 mi) i placed 59, 2nd run (3.1 mi) i placed 43rd. clearly, i need more work on my biking skill and i’m on it. my overall time was 1:45:58.0. that means about 7 minute/mi on the 1st leg, 9.5 minute/mi on the 2nd leg, and i biked 3.8 minute/mi…ho hum. steady my grind. i post pictures and more comments later.

on to the next race…

“Nia” means Purpose – So What’s Really Good?

October 24, 2006 at 12:44 pm | Posted in Active, Black Folks, Vegan | 1 Comment

so you guys know my “path to vegan sports” story (soon to be posted). but what i’ve noticed is the lack of brown bodies at these multi-sport events. i mean, i know black folks ride bikes…on sidewalks, in parks, poppin’ wheelies for eight days…but there doesn’t seem to be many of us competing in cycling sports – or other sports outside of b-ball, track, soccer. for real y’all, how can we drop the baton like that, with a brother like “Major” Taylor in the heritage lines? –imagine Jack Johnson on a bike, sick. i refuse to believe there aren’t more of us competing in a diverse set of sports. furthermore, i know there has to be more “blactivegans” — Black vegan athletes — out there. just take a look at Carl Lewis (9x Olympic gold medalist), Seba Johnson (Olympic Winter Games alpine ski racer), Salim Stoudamire (NBA guard for the Atlanta Hawks) and Kenneth Williams (1st vegan bodybuilder to make Team USA), and Ricky Williams (retired Miami Dolphins running back). [i update this list from time to time. so leave a comment if you know of any more.]

so this is my roll call…if you are a brother, a sister (or even a cousin) vegan (or vegetarian –i love you guys too) who loves sports..please stand up. i need to hear from ya! i don’t care if you are a weekend warrior, only play catch on sundays with your daughter, son, neice or nephew, skate once a month on ‘old school’ night, got a orange belt in “Crazy” – James Brown: “The Big Payback”, swam the english channel in 4 days or won a bronze medal back in high school because the person who came in second had a big forehead –holler if you hear me!

do you have tips on diet, training, general news on ital living (*ital is the RastafarI concept of a natural, veggie lifestyle), or shout outs to vegan athletes doing their thing? and yes, i realize vegan athletes may be few and far in between, and black vegan athletes may be even more rare —but not endagered. so in the immortal words of q-tip, “where ya at?”

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