Thursday, September 18, 2008

"One Tribe, Many Voices" Podcast Episode 18

Intro: Khine Saloume / Doudou N’Diaye Rose / Djabote

The Invocation / Rasheed Ali / The Empty Vessel Speaks

  1. Nafanta / Ismael Lo / Jammu Africa
  2. Zahrafat Al Sa'id / Hanafi Mohamed Ali & Mustafah Abdel Aziz / The Musicians of the Nile
  3. The Truth / Youssou N’Dour / The Lion
  4. The Call / Rasheed Ali & Rain People / Thunder in the Jungle
  5. Khine Sine / Doudou N’Diaye Rose / Djabote
  6. Joulowo / Baaba Maal / Baayo
  7. Khawaja Tum Hi Ho / Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Party / Dust to Gold
  8. Call to Prayer / Baaba Maal / The Last Temptation of Christ Soundtrack
  9. The Trance / Rasheed Ali & Rain People / Thunder in the Jungle

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...and just where are we headed?

When I began this blog a few years ago I wanted to limit the focus of the blog's subject matter to the arts, culture and history of the African Diaspora of the Americas. It was never my intention to venture into the realm of current political discourse. These days it seems more and more difficult to remain above the fray when the illuminating light of the creative arts seems to be eclipsed by the darker realities of today's headlines.

Increasingly, I have become obsessed with the spiraling US economy and the upcoming presidential elections that frame a picture of what tomorrow may bring. Yesterday I learned that my bank (the second largest savings and loan in the US) is either on the verge of sale or collapse. Since I am a keen student of world economics I am not at all surprised by current events. I am surprised at the belief systems of the average American who is slow to realize that the USA is no longer at the head of the table. Art becomes difficult to negotiate when you contemplate the enormity of a war that drains billions of dollars from a fragile American economy.

I stare at my instrument and feel the apathy that sometimes art is not relevant, not even as a tool of protest. I tell myself that if I watch the news long enough, I will eventually feel the urge to create another work of beauty. I suppose that ugliness should be the ultimate irritant that produces beautiful pearls of wisdom.

For those of us who don't have deep roots in this US soil, the road to America's future may lead us to return home (sooner than later).