India Arie Honors Black History Trailblazers in New Album

My girl is back!

Four-time GRAMMY® winning artist/songwriter India Arie released her eighth studio album WORTHY on Friday, February 15, 2019.

This is her first full-length in five years.

Along with the inspiring “What If” honoring iconic trailblazers including Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, is the Caribbean-tinged “That Magic,” a current Top Ten R&B hit with a video featuring award-winning actor Lyriq Bent and cameo from Reggae Superstar Gramps Morgan. Other songs on the album drawing praise include “Hour Of Love,” “Steady Love,” “We Are,” “Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda” and the title track “Worthy.”

Says India about the new album: “My favorite definition of the word ‘worthy’ is deserving of regard and respect. The songs on this album implicitly or explicitly carry the message and the energy of the word.  I set out with the title even before I had the song, which is unusual for me, but I wanted to remind people that even though the world ordains that you have to ‘do’ or ‘be’ something to be ‘worthy,’ that’s not true. 

There is nothing special we have to do or be, we all are worthy once we arrive at that realization.  A person who feels empowered in that way is a much more powerful force in this world.” 

India Arie’s willingness early on to challenge preconceived notions of beauty and sexuality coupled with her courage to defy broad racial and gender categorizations have helped empower current culturally-conscious movements.

Her upcoming North American WORTHY TOUR kicks off April 30 at the Florida Theatre in Jacksonville, with marquee cities announced so far including Atlanta, New Orleans, Austin, Detroit, Boston, and New York City.

After more than 10 million albums sold and 10 world tours, including with icon Stevie Wonder, India Arie is recognized as a global difference maker.

Among her accomplishments; five Top Ten albums, 22 GRAMMY nominations, numerous NAACP Image Awards, BET Awards, MTV Awards, and command performances for three US Presidents. She has met with the Dalai Lama, touring the National Civil Rights Museum with him in Memphis.

Inducted into the 2009 Georgia Music Hall of Fame, India has joined Oprah Winfrey on multiple projects, a featured ‘Change Makers and Wisdom Teachers’ on Winfrey’s OWN Network and shared with Oprah her trademark blend of performance/spiritual teaching via SongVersation.

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Black Panther Film Book Author, Jesse J. Holland to Lead Discussion on Impact of Hit Film

Author and award-winning journalist Jesse J. Holland will lead a discussion on the topic “Wakanda to the United States: Is the Black Panther Opening Doors and Changing Minds” Monday, October 1, 2018 at the Aspen Institute. Holland wrote “The Black Panther: Who is the Black Panther?” commissioned by Marvel Entertainment for the hit film. He will speak during a working lunch at the International Career Advancement Program (ICAP)sponsored by the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies

Prior to the lunch, Holland will join popular Sirius XM radio show host and BBC analyst Eric Hamm and Jeffrey Ballou of the Al Jazeera Media Network for a panel on “Diversity in Media.”

Holland is also a race and ethnicity writer for The Associated Press as well as a former White House, Supreme Court and congressional reporter.

Jesse J. Holland is an award-winning journalist and the author of “Black Panther: Who Is the Black Panther?” In this novel, Holland retells the origin story of the original Black Panther updated for the new century. Holland is also the author of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Finn’s Story” and “The Invisibles: The Untold Story of African American Slaves in the White House”; the latter was honored at the Independent Publisher Book Awards and by



Also read: Dear Black People Going To See Black Panther

“How could you be afraid of a little boy?”


In an interview with journalist Charlie Rose, Toni Morrison discussed police brutality and violence against African Americans. She asked a series of questions that point to a key issue in America, the criminalization of Black skin and the white supremacist values cloaked in cowardice that leads to the deaths of so many unarmed Black victims.

She asked:

How are you afraid of a man running away from you?

How are you afraid of someone standing in the grocery store, on the phone with a toy gun, that you could buy in the store?

How could you be afraid of a little boy?

And who are these people calling who call 911? Who are they?

You look out the window and you see a kid with a toy gun and you get on the phone?

Her usage of the term “cowardly” speaks volumes in describing how institutionalized the dehumanization of Black people continues to be.  The so called “fear” is based on creating a worldview of African descended people as less human in terms of intellectual prowess and super-human in terms of physical strength (especially when referring to criminality). This animalistic perspective has been at the center of anti-Blackness for centuries. Examples include when “scientists” debated the brain size of Blacks and religious leaders debated whether or not Africans had souls in order to deem slavery justified. It was the central theme of The Birth of A Nation, the 1915 propaganda film that overtly warned white Americans that free negros were a threat to society.

This would explain why someone could believe they have a logical explanation for shooting a person running away from them or gunning down a child and refusing to provide the child with medical attention.

They truly believe this unarmed person is “dangerous.” Officer Darren Wilson even described Mike Brown as a “demon” with the strength of WWF wrestler “Hulk Hogan.” That’s the thought process.




It never changes.

Though Jonathan Capehart imprudently asserts the mantra “hands up don’t shoot” was built on a lie, the premise behind Mike Brown’s death follows the same superhuman negro/must be put down like an animal aggression trajectory. Whether or not his hands were raised, does not alter the key issue behind why Brown’s death was deemed justified. Simply put, he was perceived to be another dangerous negro.

Through this lens:

Mike Brown wasn’t a 17-year teenager. He was a raging gorilla loose on the streets.

Rekia Boyd was not an innocent bystander. Her very presence was violence as a potential threat.

Tamir Rice wasn’t a little boy. He was a roaming gunman looking for a victim.

Aiyana Stanley Jones wasn’t a sleeping little girl. She was a member of a familial mob the required brute force at first encounter.

With each death of an unarmed Black person, especially at the hands of police or people in assumed positions of societal authority, the cowardice and the fear is a reassertion of white supremacist beliefs, even if the victim dies at the hands of a Black police officer. Many members of mainstream media happily overlook this. Just as women can be patriarchal misogynists, Blacks can internalize Black inferiority and white supremacist beliefs.

Police have been given the authority to uphold laws and societal norms. While at the same time, the collective fear of Blackness operates as a U.S. societal norm. Thus the deaths of unarmed Black victims ensues, regardless of the ethnicity of the officer. When this occurs, the officers are then protected by the society that continuously protects and rebirths this norm.

Within the communities of the victims, they are seen as they are…human beings deserving of protection.

Mike was a teenager walking.

Rekia was a teenager standing.

Tamir is a 9-year old playing.

Aiyana was a 7-year old sleeping.

Amongst their communities, these victims are seen through a different lens..the lens of humanity. So when Toni Morrison asks, “How could you be afraid of a little boy?”

This question is very layered and could be interpreted as, “When will you see the little boy that I see?”

When will the lens be corrected?

JamAllen2-nb-smallJessica Ann Mitchell is the founder of &
To reach JAM, email her at

Follow Jessica @TweetingJAM.
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Watch Toni Morrison’s interview below:

For My Mother

JAM and Mom 640

For my mother

That loves so hard

That gives too much

That fights when there is no fight left

But fights again

That pushes and pulls and tugs and stands and cries and soars for her children

That makes worlds from words and hides her poems

That heals with gifts, when she is the gift

That births spirit through unexpected cheer

That fashions through ancestral memory

That is eternal in her sincerity

That determined determination

For my mother

That deserves a new dawn yet is the dawn

That receives an unseen protection

That is the descendant of sharecroppers and the everlasting daughters of Tikar

That is not forgotten

That is etched in the memory of the remembered

That is a favorite of the favored

That is watched by God’s appointed gods yet is Goddess

That is the love of copious life

You are my dream, my waking breath, my galactic starlight

My plentiful everything

My source before sources

My love for you is a bottomless sweetgrass basket

filled with enchanted fruits to feed your hopes

guarded with primordial spears

covered in the warmth of Virginia’s kiss

Guided by the melody of Ernest’s song

And all for my mother



JamAllen2-nb-smallJessica Ann Mitchell is the founder of &
To reach JAM, email her at

Follow Jessica @TweetingJAM.
Follow OurLegaci at

Miriam Makeba: Khawuleza

Khawuleza by the legendary Miriam Makeba, known widely as Mama Africa

Opening: Khawuleza! Khawuleza is a South African song. It comes from the townships, locations, reservations, whichever, near the cities of South Africa, where all the Black South Africans live. The children shout from the streets as they see police cars coming to raid their homes for one thing or another. They say “Khawuleza Mama!” Which simply means, “Hurry Mama! Please, please don’t let them get you!”


Khawuleza mama
Khawuleza mama
Khawuleza mama

Nank’ amapolis’ azongen’endlini mama, khawuleza
Nank’ amapolis’ azongen’endlini mama, khawuleza
Jonga jonga jonga yo khawuleza mama, iyeyiye mama, khawuleza
Jonga jonga jonga yo khawuleza mama, iyeyiye mama, khawuleza
Bathi jonga jonga jonga yo khawuleza mama
khawuleza mama khawuleza
jonga jonga jonga yo khawuleza mama
khawuleza mama khawuleza


Rapper Donny Goines Dedication song to Tysha Jones – One by One

On June 9th, 2011 16 year old Tysha Jones was killed by a senseless shooting at Brighton beach in New York. The Harlem native was a teenage girl loved by many.  As of recent a 19yr old suspect was arrested in this shooting.

Talented Harlem emcee Donny Goines felt so touched by this tragedy, so close to home he made a dedication song.  This song is powerful it represents thousands of Tysha’s gone to soon from senseless violence. We need to stop killing each other.


Written BY – Kayla: an event planner who loves music

Sister Love/Sister Pain

Sister Love/Sister Pain

By: The Poetess–Vivian Dixon Sober aka The Ms. V

Love is not red—deceiving indeed, circumstances in place—solid as a rock—love can slip in and dismantle a complete heart
When love happens unpredictably, it throws mind control off
Can’t do nothing but flip your mind a thousand times trying to re-invent the fairy tale scene that seemed like a dream
He entered my heart when it was in lockdown and I didn’t even know
I have no mind control—emotionally—I’m a wreck
I can’t catch a thought
Heart, dear heart, please release me
How did I fall in love
I thought I was in love with my husband—I knowI know
I’m married and lonely and that’s a hard thing to be
Instead of looking at me he’s looking at pornography
I can’t compete
That is out of my league
I’m a woman—and I’m going to continue to be
I got involved with another man—a friend who listens to me—he is deep—concerned
I’m in a war—an emotional war—I didn’t realize the need he filled—I’m in love with another’s man
Now I can understand what I never could before those songs about married people creeping
struggling with love: Me and Mrs. Jones, Secret Lovers, If Only For One Night
songs such as those
doesn’t make it right
“If you can’t keep your man, I can,”the new love says on demand
I can’t say that; it just happened; I can’t explain it
I wasn’t looking for love especially forbidden love

I have morals—what’s up with me—I’m recognizing other parts of me that aren’t very sweet and the problem is: Do I care?
Thoughts streaming through my mind
Is the issue really about a Queen who can’t keep her husband or her man or is it about a sister who just thinks she can’t
I’m a thinker—a contemplator
I can’t elevate myself above his wife as being better than she, his Queen
Sister Love/Sister Pain is killing me
I wish love were red then I could change the color and feel no pain
a heart full of love overflows with emotions—stomach hurts—can’t eat
can’t sleep—weight falling off because I want to be with him
Love is not red mind inundated with him if I see him I will get well
I saw his feelings for me in his eyes; he stared at me too long if I were a magnet and he a
piece of steel l’d be in his bed disrespecting myself and his wife that’s not what I want in my life—I love him—I truly do
This is not cool; I’m not a fool
I have examined the stained picture I see people acting emotionally violating vows made
before God: “If she can’t keep her man, I can”
Everything done in the dark will be revealed and how will the Sister he belongs to feel
I have a man and a license to make love to him, but when love crept in my heart my battle was to stay sane not have sex with no feelings there was nothing for me to gain
Along the road of life I fell in love twice
I love my Sister’s man
My heart aches—anguish—pure blue
Can’t obey and cause her pain
He belongs to another; She will not pain because of foolishness
I know the pain of women who do not think
Sister he is yours I will move on
I will not be intimate with him as that will cause pain
Love is not red: it is blue and rides a roller coaster of emotions
I am no better than you, Sister, as you are his Queen
and much more important than me
I can see
It’s not about a color scheme or age difference
A woman is a woman with a heart that can bleed
I just want something exciting and new and that will end if I hurt you
Life happens; the love is stained with too many faces this is no game
I can’t play—I love a man—he loves me too but sister love stands above
My sister will not shed one tear or lose weight or sleep because I’m in love with her man and can’t control myself
He will be with me today—if I want it that way—love has nothing to do with hurting you
The pain will be all mine I will be used and your husband, your man will return to you and despise me
Now I know the makings of affairs; things ain’t right at home husbands and wives lose sight mundane love lives nothing exotic anymore so they find what they need it doesn’t make it right but, hey, stop telling your wife to go fly a kite
Women boast about sleeping with another’s husband–if he were your husband would
you boast or cry and lose weight in time:
I saw his feelings for me in his eyes: he stared at me too long
If I were a magnet and he a piece of steel l’d be in his bed disrespecting myself and his wife that’s not what I want in my life—I love him—I truly do
This is not cool—I’m not a fool
This is a fight I don’t want to win: I just can’t do it though I want to
I feel like I’m being driven; I’ve been on the other side—I cried and I cried
Sister love conquers devastating affairs: I’m not his wife my love must die
Although I am suffering my Sister is living how am I going to build happiness on some one else’s pain: “if she can’t keep her man, I can.” evaluating myself over his queen
What makes me think I am better than she?
Real love is not about taking
a Sister’s man—even if I can what can he do without me I have nothing his wife doesn’t have. I’ll live in her shoes tomorrow “if she can’t keep her man I can.”
My home girl called me a fool—really—and she’s cool
Well let’s take a look at her; she and Mr. Jones
Bi-polar you riding too high living a life based on lies “if she can’t keep her man, you can.” ‘til you see the light you fell from your pony when he left you for his wife
your mind—psychotic—your stomach in knots—can’t sleep—eat
Your weights falling off can’t accept the fact that you were used and thoroughly confused
Bi-polar you thought you could build happiness on someone else’s heartache
Where are your friends? You are caught in your own web so sleep in your bed
You didn’t think about your Sister: you thought about you—the pain is great—overwhelming—too deep—steep
He crept and you wept, “if she can’t keep her man, you can.”
Your tormented mind told you lies; I just can’t
The next time tainted love knocks on your heart’s door
stop, drop, and roll smother the fire before it consumes you
Tainted love is nothing sweet; it’s not a treat send that man home
where he belongs before you are used like a junk-yard dog
the choice is yours: but I’m stupid
Cupid’s so-called arrows often strike the living dead: I am thrilled just to know
that I can love and love deeply: being married and lonely is dangerous
Husbands wake up; Wives, wake up
Sister Love/Sister Pain is killing Me
No affairs
Husbands who ignore
Curb gear for the garbage man


Vivian Dixon Sober©2003
All Rights Reserved