Posts Tagged ‘activism’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few social media discussions have made me think long and hard (in a positive way) about “our story” – our place as a particular group of humans, in the world. These stories can usually be grouped into categories related to race, culture, religion, or status. Why? Because that’s how most humans are grouped. Why are they even grouped? Ah, that’s an age old question. I suppose it’s because most want to be around people who are similar or like themselves in some way, shape or form. It also may be as a result of how our living arrangements are set up – we may be raised in communities surrounded only by those who look and sound and appear to be just like us physically. But I digress…

So what does “our story” have to do with integrity? Some people who watch historical programs such as documentaries and movie adaptations have been asking, “Is it done with integrity?” Or, it the integrity of the storytelling and recounting complete, in that it doesn’t remove the negative aspects of a story? To which I have been responding in messages and thinking here, now…”Is there ever truly, integrity?”. When your oppressors and those responsible for systemic oppression for decades and generations are the narrators of say, American history, in school textbooks and in historical accounts, is there integrity in that? Why is there so much need for one hundred percent accuracy and integrity when a minority group tells their story?

Of course, bold faced lies are to be avoided when recounting history. However, that’s not the case in many historical texts in many countries. The bad somehow gets prettied up to become more palatable for those telling it and reading it. Why are those texts throughout history not taken to task for lacking integrity? One example of a book recently taken to task for being inaccurate in the U.S. was A Birthday Cake for George Washington. There are more, but sadly, not that many.

One that is awesomely and most spectacularly timed though, is this recent social media debate and many google searches asked whether Alexander Hamilton was black. The color kerfluffle stems from the grammy win for the Best Musical Theater Album, in which the main character, Alexander Hamilton, of the hit Broadway play, “Hamilton” is not white.

Many accounts pegged Hamilton as the son of a mixed race woman. However, most of these accounts agreed that he was ashamed, or at least hid well, his heritage. Of course, as with any award show, and especially one with ignorant people wanting to remind of their white history, many they lit up the twittersphere and booko’face-land with tweets and posts criticizing the cast of the musical and arguing that no one knew for sure that Alexander Hamilton was of black lineage. Why? The historical accounts and narrators of official textbook Hamilton stories omitted that piece of information.

So all of this talk of “integrity” makes me wonder: Does omitting a piece of a historical story mean the story lacks integrity?

I guess that depends on how integral to the story or how the premise of the re-telling was shaped. Is that determination subjective in nature so that even that simple sounding statement becomes a more complex question?

Maybe that old saying is true – History  belongs to the narrator – whomever is lucky enough to write it or tell it. Everyone else just has to trust that what they’re reading and being told is accurate. Or take everything with that proverbial grain of salt. Yeah, I think that’ll be my approach. A grain of salt, or several…on the rim of a glass…filled with tequila!

tres agaves.jpg

 

Advertisements

Thank you to everyone who support my writing! One of my poems which was written during the Baltimore “riots” has been accepted and published in Wordpeace, a literary journal to promote peace and justice! Check out “Brown Boy Infamy” here!

Natasha Hungover Poet on mic

Tell it!

Tell it!

If I declare “Je suis Charlie” I’m popular* with those who are saddened and with the numerous people aware of the recent killings of satirists in France. And I may feel good about myself. If I declare that there’s long been anger and hatred between Algerians and the French and that it’s sad that all religions have fanatics wanting to kill in the name of said religion, I’m not so popular*. And I may or may not feel so good about myself.

If I declare that Boko Haram needs to be stopped from killing more innocent people in Nigeria, I’m popular*. But mostly with those concerned about humans in Africa and around the world. Sadly, many people in my social media network and from reports I’ve seen on several media outlets don’t seem to care. It also seems that not many people in first world countries see Boko Haram as a threat to humanity or their issue to address. However, I still feel good about myself.

If I declare that I’m against police brutality and the murder of innocent black men at the hands of police officers sworn to protect and serve, I’m popular*. If I say that the police officers who turned their backs on Mayor De Blasio when he spoke at a recent police officer’s funeral should be reprimanded and if they hate their city’s Mayor that much, they should find another job, I’m not quite as popular*. If I say that black on black crime chafes my hide but it’s a different problem that should be addressed separate from the police brutality/murder issue, I’m not so popular* again.

If I say to some black people in the U.S. who want people from the Islands and other countries to claim “black” as their race are wrong, I’m not popular*. When I explain that everyone has a right to be labeled whatever they consider themselves, I’m still on the not-so-popular side of things. If I say, “passing as…” or “lying to self…” etc., is a separate subject, I’m still not in the popular* club.

If I say that both white AND black people can be racist, I’m definitely not popular*! We’re all human though, and based on our life experiences, thoughts, sometimes backgrounds and conditioning, etc., we have biases. Granted, many of us move past those to live peaceful and accepting lives among other humans. Some…not so much. But the nerve to say that someone is racist, especially if they don’t believe it, although they exhibit traits and actions proving it, makes me very unpopular*.

What’s all of this have to do with anything? It doesn’t matter how many Facebook “likes” and social media shares, thumbs ups, RTs, responses, etc. I get. If an opinion or thought is truly my own, I will stand behind it when it is popular and when it is less popular or considered downright wrong. Parroting someone else’s agenda and opinions makes you a parrot, a sheep, a meek moron. Who cares if you’re not popular? Stand your ground. But maybe not in Florida.

I’ll be the first to admit that by all standards, I’m not a big Sara Bareilles fan but recently, I’ve been addicted to her song, “Brave”. From all accounts on a variety of music stations, charts and even the Windows commercial, other people are loving this song as well. I’ll also admit that I don’t blog about songs as I’d never be able to stop writing because my love of music is right up there with reading and well, I do have stuff to do like live, work, eat, drink (not necessarily in this order of course, or we all know where food and drink will rank).

So why do I like this pop song? How is it different than any other song that I’m putting on repeat and blasting into my ears at this time? Maybe I’ve just been in a lighter place emotionally and feel okay with exploring this side of my brain. Of course I still write about deep, dark and twisted stuff, but once it’s all down on paper, I can easily go on to light fluffiness with hope that everyone will be loving, kind, accepting of others and just one big ball of brave! Oh, and don’t think there aren’t very strong contenders for my repeated cycle of play that cover songs that are strong on beats, style, and lyrics, etc.. My recent crazy ass playlist (yes, named exactly that), include Beyonce’s “Drunk in love” and Mackelemore’s “White Walls” (for beats), Common’s “War” and Lupe Fiasco’s “Old School love” (for lyrics), Redlight King’s “Bullet in my hand” and Eminem’s “Bezerk” for style but at this time, they still fall a little short on my feelgoodness response to being brave and conquering the world while being proud of who you are!

Not sure you like the song? Don’t think you would since it’s a poppy feelgood doohicky? Or do you agree? Whatever your opinion on this is, here’s a link to “Brave” if you’re interested in a little poppy goodness to make you want to show me “how big your brave is!”.

Brave by Sara Bareilles:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUQsqBqxoR4&list=TLZ43VhqrVeUVV77qThstbEntcCTDkDGva

Credits: http://www.sarabmusic.com/ (Sara Bareilles’ website)

http://www.reverbnation.com/natasharamsey

Natasha Ramsey DC Performance

Download the FREE e-book, Hungover Poet today on amazon.com!  http://t.co/XgrEHEFjKW

C’mon, what’s better than FREE? 🙂  Here’s a peek at just one of the many pieces available in Hungover Poet:

Copyright 2012. Natasha Ramsey
Copyright 2012. Natasha Ramsey

Let me know what you think of the pieces here or in a review on amazon. I’d love to hear from you!

This author thanks you for your support!
Natasha