Sun Ra| Afrofuturism

Hello, Hello! We are back at it again!

This post is apart of a series I am doing on Afrofuturism. I will be posting something new every week!

While doing my research, I was so excited to learn that Afrofuturism began back in the ’50s with an artist named Sun Ra. I first heard of him in Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture by Ytasha L. Womack and I went on a crazy google spree right after.

Sun Ra was born named Herman Poole Blount (I know, such a mundane name for such an amazing creator). He was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1914 and grew to be a Bandleader, composer, arranger, artist, and poet who played jazz, Bepop and Space Music. If you’re wondering what the hell Space Music is, don’t worry. So was I. We’ll be touching on that soon.

Herman Poole Blount let go of his past identity and created a persona named Sun Ra or Le Sony’r Ra. With this persona, he told everyone that he was an alien on a mission to preach peace.

During his four decades of popularity, most of Sun Ra’s past was a mystery. He encouraged this by spreading contradictory news about his life, claiming he was born between years 1910-1918 in order to confuse people and maintain his outer worldly persona.


It wasn’t until close to his death that writer John Szwed wrote Space is the Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra, published in 1998. (A must read. The information below comes from sites written about the book.)


When he was young, Sun Ra taught himself how to read music and play the piano. All through his adolescence, he showed passion for music, he would memorize sheet music for his band practice in and he began composing music around 11 or 12. In school, he was an honor roll student who kept to himself.

In 1934, Sun Ra’s was offered a full-time musical position by his biology teacher, Ethel Harper who was a singer in the Ginger Snaps. He toured with Harper’s group across the U.S. Harper left the group mid-tour and Sun Ra took over until the tour. The tour accumulated a lot of fans but it ended when the tour stopped making a profit.

After the tour, Sun Ra worked as a musician in Birmington and studied at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University until he dropped out and began his journey preaching peace.

When Sun Ra dropped out, he knew that he was on a mission. He knew that the universe was calling him to do something better. In the book written by John Szwed, Sun Ra said:

My whole body changed into something else. I could see through myself. And I went up… I wasn’t in human form… I landed on a planet that I identified as Saturn… they teleported me and I was down on [a] stage with them. They wanted to talk with me. They had one little antenna on each ear. A little antenna over each eye. They talked to me. They told me to stop [attending college] because there was going to be great trouble in schools… the world was going into complete chaos… I would speak [through music], and the world would listen. That’s what they told me.[12]

Sun Ra seriously went out there to follow his dreams and so should you because LOOK AT THIS DUDE!!!

p034fddd.jpg

 

Sun_Ra_BeautifulBizarre_004.png

 

img-6.jpg
HE CAME THROUGH KILLING THE GAME!!!!

He let all of his creative juices flow. He truly expressed himself in a world that did not openly express black men being THIS outrageous. His outfits were totally out there during the ’50s. First of all, I want to wear that outfit in that last pic. He looks amazing! I’m wearing it at AfroPunk.


My parents were around during Sun Ra’s prime time. They went to his shows and they both claim that he was pretty out there. My dad said that people would leave his performance holding their ears, heads, whatever in fear because his sound was too much.

I am listening to Astro Black as I write and I describe his music as offbeat but in the best possible way. His sound doesn’t conform to my expectations of what jazz or Bepop but it definitely sounds like it’s from out of space. It’s cosmic and epic. There are these wild sounding notes that must be played on a guitar or base but it is played in an out of this world kind of way.

My father describes his sound as “a dissonance and cacophony of sound”. He says that Sun Ra would play your typical jazz and then take you away with his space music and then bring you back to earth. His sound is an experience.

For my next post,  I will be discussing Sun Ra’s Arkestra. I am really looking forward to delving in.

If you have any more information about Sun Ra or any other Afrofuturism creators, please let me know!

Until next time!

Links
https://believermag.com/logger/angels-and-demons-at-play/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Ra#cite_note-12

http://www.sunraarkestra.com/1-main.html

Advertisements

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler (non-spoiler review)

HEY! 

I’ve been reading this book since 2016. I wanted to finally read something by the well known Octavia E. Butler. I decided to do a family book club and only one of my sisters actually finished the book. lol

I was starting my college career at Purchase College and decided not to read this book. I am not used to reading adult sci-fi. I feel like adult sci-fi takes a much longer time to get to the main focus of the novel. It’s filled with detail but YA sci-fi gets right into the action which makes it far more exciting in my opinion.

I had to finish this book in order to write my senior project. Once again, it’s taken me months to read it.

When I finally did, I obviously loved it. It could possibly be because of my senior project work but I started reading it and connecting the story to things that happen in real life. I know I can really use this book to help my project which is exciting.

Anyways, let’s begin the review. 

Didn’t like:
I feel like we spent a big chunk of time learning about the MC, Lauren’s, day to day life. I found that to be pretty boring.

Non-spoiler but the MC has this ability that seemed pretty useless in the first book, I hope the next book gives use to this power.

I didn’t like who the MC’s ended up with.

Liked:

I did really like the dystopian world. I feel like Butler created a truly realistic world and a very awesome and intelligent MC.

I love that the main character was black and hella smart. She was smarter than everyone around her and was so creative.

I feel like it was really well written, I got super emotional at some points but I was so wrapped up into it, I couldn’t put it down.

I’m interested in seeing if anyone will die in the next book. The world they live in means death at any turn and I’m so curious to see who will be next. (morbid, I know)

I give the book 4/5 stars. An additional star because the writer and MC were black.

Anyway, thanks so much for reading!

Have you read this book? What did you enjoy?

Intertwined

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I have a feelings it’s going to be a GREAT year!!! I’M STARTING OFF THE NEW YEAR WITH POEMS!!! I WROTE A BUNCH BEFORE THE YEAR ENDED!

Intertwined
connected like trees
who’ve grown together

connected
like s
ouls
who have

unknowingly morphed
together

sometimes, I don’t know
what’s yours
and what’s mine

sometimes I feel your energy
as if it’s my own

sometimes, I think of
when I connected with you

emotionally in bed talking
about our hurt
hours on the phone
just brightening each other’s day.

feeling your touch on me.

intertwined.
not knowing where your
body started and mine began

feeling your breathing.
knowing you’re there for me
in a way no one has been.

and no one will be.

just as you are/

we are branches that have
grown so close together

I don’t know which pieces
are made of you or which
is made of me

we’ve been ripped apart by a storm
and who knows
if you will be
brought back together

knowing that we are apart,
are we meant to remain
broken and Droopy?

or will we connect
once again?

what we grow to
stand on our own?

will we become two different
trees, blooming
next to each other
but never touching?

I was hungover for an entire day.

Hey!

Okay, so… let me explain!

I wrote in a previous post about having to “break up” with a great friend and love. At the time, I felt like I had all my shit together. I felt like dumping a friend and moving forward was super easy and I felt like I really had it but then all of a sudden sadness hit me.

I was wondering how life would be with that friend in it and moping around about hypotheticals, I’m a REALLY SAPPY bitch. The first Friday back to school, I tried “drinking my feelings”. I was screaming to the entire campus about my sadness, taking shots of vodka, tequila, rum. I gave zero fucks about the next day. I wanted to go big because my feelings were hurt.

The next day, I felt like shit. obviously.

I thought that if I hydrated then I’d feel better.

That didn’t help. I laid in bed with my head spinning and wishing it would end. I was finally able to eat by the end of the night. Then I had work the next day for five hours.

I’m only mentioning all this so that you all can see my mistake and the gravity of it so that my next moves would make sense.

While at work, I finally had time to think without my head spinning. I noted how unhealthy my actions were. For me, a child of alcoholics, I go straight to drinking when I am hurting. Especially when my feelings get her. I wallow in every bad way possible. I eat food that’s bad for me and just all around sad.

It wasn’t until I had a session with my therapist that it finally clicked in my brain why I was behaving like this.

I have issues with my self-image. My father was an abuser to my sisters and me. We were constantly told that we weren’t good enough. I feel like it stuck with me. When I have issues in my relationships where I begin to feel like I’m not good enough, I lash out and start treating myself as such. I think it’s why I have such a hard time living a healthy lifestyle, it’s because a part of me doesn’t see myself as worthy of a healthy lifestyle.

I seriously hope that because I now have a conscious thought, I can now start caring for myself the way I deserve.

The thing is, I spent years not feeling like I was good enough in moments but still forcing myself to push through and keep moving forward.

“Like so what I am missing this relationship, I still have to stick to a blogging schedule.”

Then my blogging schedule will be fucked up (as it has been), and then I will still be sad about this heartbreak and not writing up my posts.

Let me clarify. This heartache I’m feeling, I don’t take the time to be patient and gentle with myself because I would feel like I am both not good enough and “strong” enough to get through it without taking time to sort out my feelings.

When it comes to my feelings, I have this idea that these feelings will go away quickly. I feel that even discussing it with some friends, it would be too annoying to complain so these feelings should end fast.

I’m finding it more and more important to be more gentle with myself. Reminding myself of how precious I am. I want to call myself “babe” and give myself patience and love because I deserve that!

My favorite thing about this year is all that I’ve been learning about myself and all the growth that is happening. I notice how much I’ve been changing.

I am not so excited about changing how I see and handle myself. I want to be handled with care by everyone around me but it all starts with myself.

Recommendations:
Watch Doctor Who & do an MCU binge
Do your work on weekends so you can chill all weekend
Don’t drink your feelings. Just learn how to get through it. Write letters to lost loves and take a bath or something.

Introducing Joe-Ann Mathias

Hey!

I’ve been wanting to have guest writers on my site for a while and my best friend and the beautiful poet, Joe-Ann is the very first person! Without further ado, here she is! Give her a round of applause

Thinkin Bout You…

I look up at the clock and it’s 11:11pm…  I close my eyes and I Make A Wish …a wish for you, A wish where you’d finally see my worth and come to your senses so later we could hook up naked with a hope to be in each other’s arms In order for you to feel what I feel for you. our skin touching, our bodies moving entwined while we lose our minds, we cum hard & senselessly … opening my eyes now I am interrupted by the hot wetness that is between my thighs… I Smile, this is what you do to me, returning to reality … 12:00am …. thinking of having you always takes up my time. I just wish you were already mine. – @JoeannLyn

Here’s the lil blurb about me: 

 Hey Guys!! My Names Joe-Ann & I’m 23 years young ♥️ Creativity has always been my thing! As a woman, I feel it is extremely important that I let my creativity pour out in the things that I do, say, wear, fuck, and eat! I’m all about togetherness & love. 

“When we empower women, society benefits, grows, and thrives “- Paul Polman