ExiledOne Commentary

Unique View of An African from America

Dispatch Prison Nation #13
Aaron Douglas, Aspirations, 1936
DPN #13

The Troops Have Come Home In The West

One of the rewarding dimensions of contact with incarcerated people on this earth is the opportunity to exchange experiences. Decades ago, valuable life lessons arrived at my doorstep through letters via post mail. The Prison Nation came knocking. This has been the case through full and static periods of letter writing in ten countries. Below, read DPN#13, Lessons

It is not just the length of time spent inhaling and exhaling which defines elder status. Warrior regalia actually has little to do with accomplishment. It is the seasoned analysis and sensitivity to life in all of it's glory, all of it's gore, too. An unabashed determination to face it all can distinguish the finest women and men.

Mondo we Langa and I never crossed ink and paper paths but I did support him through the years. He and Ed Poindexter once were key members of the National Committee to Combat Fascism and they were the subject of at least one article I have published and are linked as tags. In 1970 they were arrested for the death of a policeman. Known as the Omaha Two, now there is only Ed. Mondo we Langa lived 68 years and 44 years in prison for a crime he said he did not do. His transition was a few months ago, this scholar and eternal activist. Yes, Mondo is now gone. Still, he left an example and a lesson or two.

Here's some of what the man had to say:  

“Ed and I have been locked up for more than four decades. In the
summer of 1970, while we were still on the streets of Omaha’s African
community, the National Committee to Combat Fascism Omaha chapter,
which we helped lead, was known to sometimes monitor police behavior in
North Omaha and to sometimes do so while carrying firearms. But African
people in Omaha didn’t fear that our guns were a threat to them. African
people in Omaha understood that if it would come to a time when we would
use our guns, it would be for our own defense or the defense of our

“Today, too many of our young people—in particular, males—are
slaves to guns, slaves to violence, slaves to the idea that their African
lives aren’t worth anything, slaves to the idea that their lives aren’t
worth living.”

28 April 2016
From Exile,

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"...What the prison hunger strikers want is sometimes just food amounts that are noted in state regulations. But also, the quality and and unspoiled food that human beings are supposed to have to be able to stay healthy. Why would a shaving razor be replaced only four times a year is another health and safety issue. Hepatitis and other serious illnesses result and spread this way. In some parts of the 'democratic superpower' someone in prison can be limited to less than 40 showers a year. But other sinister approaches to prison detention within the prison are being exposed for the world to see. What a woman or man reads is enough to have them put into a dark, cold, windowless chamber: "the hole"..."


A Cupful Of Courage (Exile 2014)

"...Like the ants who raced one another to an unseen nest to prove
their solidarity, a contest to acclaim that the women were right grew
legs among the general membership which had climbed to almost eighty
card carriers. In a few days, a halo was going to be tarnished.
Hawkes would herself be accused of wrongdoing.

But all that Myrrh could see in her agitated mind's fuzzy state was
a cigarette, in her long brown fingers, tapped to activate
something electronic in the package. The latest meeting was a brief one and
she had gotten what she needed from the recording. The rest was committee notes gotten when no one was looking. Within seconds, she knew she had five thousand dollars
and an airplane ticket to the east coast.


Retrospect: John Coltrane Pt2 (Exile 2016)
Aaron Douglas, Aspirations, 1936
Retrospect: John Coltrane finishes with a look at the last, eventful segment of the fine artist's lifetime. Music, instrumental, though not ordinarily accepted as a protest medium, became a force. And one of the creative ones with a foot in the 1940s modern music explosion was central. With a dignified presence despite a troubled life, John Coltrane had the highest order of music to offer to the world. This is the second and final part of Retrospect: John Coltrane. It's Wavelength.

Future Focus

Bakai, a recording from 1957 is a composition with a main theme
that is rhythmically and to a degree melodically African and North
American Indigenous. While critics, mostly Euro Americans and their followers, will slap a 'hard bop' label on this, anyone familiar with world music can determine, especially by the time a winding John Coltrane solo begins, that it's not derived necessarily from a Western concept. Bakai, geographically is in Bangladesh.

Red Garland comps hard and oblique as usual at the piano. Albert
Heath is busy with the kit on drums, rims, bass drum, snares and the
cymbals get a workout.
Paul Chambers is rock solid on bass and
Johnny Splawn and Sahib Shihab, trumpet and baritone sax
respectively, along with the tenor sax of John Coltrane, deliver
great unison playing as a foil against the driving rhythm.

John Coltrane had made a statement with this
Cal Massey written
tune; it is personal and cultural. The album, the first recording
where JC led a band, spring 1957's simply named Coltrane, allowed
the world to fully hear a fresh voice worth listening to. More
fully, in chorus after chorus as he solos, on the composition
Chronic Blues, the significant, lament toned hallmark of a great
blues master is heard.

It's the sound of a man struggling to emerge from a crypt (heroin addiction) and standing on his feet in pride. The piercing eyes of John
Coltrane looking into the camera lens say it all on the album cover.

He would need all of this focus in the next ten, and indeed the
last, years of his life.

Friends, Lovers And Enemies

In Los Angeles, John Coltrane met another virtuoso among virtuosos,

Eric Dolphy (1928-1964) when he visited the legendary reedman's
backyard rehearsal space, at his parent's home, one of the few the
leading lights who came to town could use. When Eric passed away
suddenly in mid '64 in Berlin, Germany, his close musical friend John received his saxophones and flutes. Artistically the two men were pioneers,
creating notes that weren't supposed to be played and extending
their solos to thirty minutes, or even more than one hour. Both calm and  steady men were beyond the scope of some of the period's 'bad men' such as

Charles Mingus and Miles Davis, respective past band bosses. John would hire a tough ex navy sailor who had finished a prison sentence, Elvin Jones (1927-2004). The early sixties John Coltrane began to overcome the wider public's reactions and criticism and that of the White men's influence in the music industry. Elvin Jones, out of the Detroit area, a notorious 'hard
hitter' from the '50s on, who nailed and re-nailed his drumkit to
stage floors during concerts, would anchor the fabulous quartet of
the era. Two Philadelphia born musicians, bassist
Jimmy Garrison
(1934-1976) and McCoy Tyner b. 1938, on piano, rounded out the
regaled group. Led by John Coltrane, they dissected and multiply
dissected music ideas and emerged in the so called Oriental sphere of
music. In other words, music of the east, from where so many of the
Africans were said to have come from. This concept would resonate
with nearly all musicians in the Western world, in every genre.

Alice McLeod (1937-2007), a tall pianist and harp player out of Detroit who became known as Turiyasangitananda after her husband's passing, was
John Coltrane's second wife after a relationship with Juanita Naima
Grubbs dissolved. From 1965 to 1967, she played piano with John's groups. They had met about five years before John would pass
away. Their marriage ceremony was in 1965 and the home they shared was
in Dix Hills outside of New York City. One son was named Ravi, after Indian musician Ravi Shankar.

Buddhism and Other  Doctrines Were Explored

He Came In Peace

John Coltrane, whose 'near human cry of anguish' as one scholar put
it, also distinguished his playing of the soprano sax and the tenor
sax. He was on a wavelength that was ancient. He could be considered an 'old soul'.  Perhaps other instrumental players emitted the soul shout, the plea of the inner mind of themselves and African people in America, but none
did it on the big stage as John Coltrane did, none could lead the
music community, move this community to action with music as John
could. When listeners hear
A Love Supreme (album and selection
1965) or
Alabama (1963), two known sociopolitical compositions, it
is a feeling as well as a sonic journey. Equally, the last few
years of John Coltrane a continuation of pushing boundaries.
Creatively, he was off and away from most musicians.
Sanders b. 1940 in Little Rock, Arkansas was a 'young gun' as was
Philadelphia raised, Fort Lauderdale Florida born
Archie Shepp b.
under the artistic and sometimes business wings of John
Coltrane. Both men were in the process of their developing
signature voices, also startling and emotional while technically
mature. This meant a superb understanding of harmony and being able
to improvise on a single idea for long periods. Abrasive, some
critics called it. Frightening and angry, others said. Cleveland, Ohio's
Albert Ayler (1936-1970), a saxophonist probably as advanced as any of the widely known ones of the mid '60s had this to say:

"John [Coltrane] was like a visitor to this planet. He came in
peace and he left in peace; but during his time here, he kept
trying to reach new levels of awareness, of peace, of spirituality.
That's why I regard the music he played as spiritual music --
John's way of getting closer and closer to the Creator." 

Ghana's Independence From England: 1957

Africa and 1967

Africa was on the mind of this North Carolina native. John Coltrane was interested in going to Africa personally. He was a high profile musician (taking nothing from the explorations of Dizzy Gillespie, Randy Weston, Sun Ra and Ahmed Abdul-Malik) who widely introduced African and Asian percussion to performances and recordings.

Chief Bey, and Nigerians Solomon Ilori and Babatunde Olatunji were just some of the collaborators musically and culturally that John Coltrane knew and employed. Africa, as it surmounted colonial barriers throughout the 1950s and 60s was also on John Coltrane's consciousness. This was the case of many Africans in the USA commonly referred to as negroes, a people one century, it was said, free from captivity.

By the summer month of rebellion, July (Newark and Detroit uprisings) 1967, John Coltrane had transcended untold obstacles to his music but the toll on his body was immense. He was finally unable to carry on and liver failure ended his life on this plane. The date was 17 July 1967.

End Part 2 & Article

25 April 2016
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Retrospect: John Coltrane Pt1 (Exile 2016)
Aaron Douglas, Aspirations, 1936
Retrospect: John Coltrane is a short series on the man who profoundly influenced the world of modern music from the 1950s to the present. Words can only approximate his impact. In 2016, ninety years after his birth, there is myth and lore and there are chunks of information that 'fly under the radar'. Why this is the case won't be explored too much here. Retrospect: John Coltrane, will however advise readers to look at some context to a great musician's life. Part One is Groundings

Music Wages Peace...Sometimes War

Swords Into Saxophones

John Coltrane has a place among the greats that was earned and learned. Those who were taught, taught John. Mary Lou Williams mentored Thelonius Monk. Born in Hamlet, North Carolina in 1926, he was steeped in the AME church activities and played alto saxophone in the early 1940s.  Philadelphia, where he had moved as a young man was his base for becoming a professional. He went to Granoff and Ornstein music schools in the city. About 1944, he was on the scene with peers like Benny Golson b. 1929 and Jimmy Heath b. 1926, two tenor saxophonists, as well as another migrant from the racist US South, John Birks 'Dizzy' Gillespie, who had become a trumpet and composing sensation with the new music then still developing. He stood, like most musicians, in awe of the calm giant of the blues-tempered 'bop', Charlie Parker and probably watching him live in concert or while listening to the iconic Dial recordings, wondered if music was worth pursuing. One of those who assisted John's growth in the early and mid '50s was the Philadelphia legend on piano, Hasaan Ibn Ali (1919-1980) John also had the blues shout master Bullmoose Jackson and Duke Ellington cornerstone tenor sax man Johnny Hodges as early bandstand guides. Reportedly a quiet man, he provided others with help where he could. His brilliance and independent nature was on display in this recollection of John by the late Philadelphia born trumpet phenom Ted Curson (1935-2012) who made his living ultimately in Finland:

"I always admired John Coltrane's playing and he used to write out little things
for me, blues changes and stuff. But he never had a job and one New Year's Eve-New Year's Eve people worked when they never worked the whole year!-well he had no job! So I took him on my job (in Vineland, New Jersey, 31 Dec. 1954) and he played 'Nancy with the Laughing Face'. I'll never forget that. I never heard anything so great, so intense, with so much feeling."

John had, as a US navy sailor just nineteen years old, during the year of the 20th century's descent into hell (1945), been on the Pacific Ocean islands of Hawaii. Further out, Japan was pummeled by atomic obliteration by the USA military. One day, John Coltrane would synthesize his own creative power and use his music to make a powerful statement about the Africans in America and the wider world's peoples, cultures and the soaring of souls to liberation.

Discipline did not come naturally. John would one day become a devotee of carrot juice and healthy living. Almost all of his steady, dazzling progress on his instrument came in the gripping veil of drug addiction that would stay attached to his being through his peaks of commercial success. John had choices to make, even as he elevated to the heights of creative ability on the tenor sax. The grandson of a christian preacher, he was immersed in the discussion of spiritual matters. Like others, John and his relatives had a gift for delivering an expression of the creator's force, tenderness and universal presence.

"Hasaan's intense practice regimen was another example of how Trane was influenced by Hasaan. Hasaan had that attitude that he would get up in the morning and practice all day. Trane would always leave his horn out. He never packed his horn...Hasaan was working on a system called The Fourth System, and the triangle major seventh...Trane got credit for it but it was really Hasaan's work...that modal sound Trane developed
(later) from the triangle system Hasaan figured out during the early '50s..."

Tenor sax legend, Odean Pope b. 1938, met John Coltrane in 1955

The Changing Science of Sound


On leaving the military in 1946 (including an experience recording with a navy quartet) he began touring with groups like the bluesy 'jump music' King Kolax organization. The rural blues, the emergent Big Maybelle-John Lee Hooker-Muddy Waters frontier crossed by the waves of African people exiting the terror in the US South and economic strangulation, and the modal ideas and 'exotic' Sun Ra stylings all had an effect on the young sax man. John was not lawfully or through social custom acknowledged by the White ruled establishment as an equal human being to Whites. Choices had to be made and the Montgomery bus boycott in Alabama was a successful passive resistance effort led by a young figurehead of the fightback, Martin Luther King. Racially segregated buses were empty and the business that Whites ran had much less money. King's house was hit by dynamite in 1956. Historically, 1955 was a year in which African people in the US South realized that racists could be brought to the negotiating table. A glimpse of power that was spurred by Emmett Till's murder by Mississippi racists just a few months before African people started organizing- walking, carpooling and rearranging their lives to make the system suffer. Emmett was fourteen years old when Whites decided he should be tortured and killed for whistling at a White woman. His horribly mangled face and body lay in an open casket and the pictures were published across the world, providing a reality check of USA hostility. As of 2007, one of the alleged torturers and killers, who was alongside two men who confessed, Carolyn Bryant, had still not been indicted by a grand jury.

An atomic hatred had been deployed. This was an explosion killing and contaminating Hiroshima but also Houston, Nagasaki but equally New York City.

The Strength of World Cultures

As soon as his 1955 gigs and recording royalties started to accumulate after Philly Joe Jones, drum expert and soulful pianist Red Garland recommended him to their bandleader, Miles Davis, John made some moves. John purchased a home for his relatives in North Philadelphia's Strawberry Mansion area, a step up in security. He made a choice to do something to raise up the economic and social situation. The challenge to make his voice, his traditions heard among the popular rising of people across the globe would happen-and open up to the western world to the other sounds from far away. During this period, John had married North Carolina born Juanita Naima Grubbs in Baltimore, Maryland, explored Islam, her religion, and discussed African liberation with Cal Massey, the forward looking composer/trumpet player. 'Naima' would become one of his most tender ballads and dedicated to his first wife. It was she who aided John Coltrane in his starting to kick a heroin habit and supported his efforts to bring a spiritual message more fully into the music.

End Part 1

14 April 2016
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Malaak Speaks! (Exile 2016)
Aaron Douglas, Aspirations, 1936

More than a half century has passed since the father found himself barred from entering France.

What Appears In Front Of You
             May Be A Distorted Version Of Reality

The daughter entered the so called republic yet was blocked from speaking in a French city, Nantes, in 2015. It didn't make headlines, this censoring of 'an American citizen' in an allied state working against 'terror' and for 'democratic ideals'. The family name, Shabazz, is a celebrated one. Would a Kennedy, or a King for that matter, be stopped from addressing the public?

Is this odd?

As did England's Liverpool, Nantes was 'enriched' by the captivity and trafficking of Africans to the Americas

Yes and no. Her father had been shot down by other Afro-Americans, as Malcolm X, or El Hajj Malik Shabazz used to use this term to describe Africans in the Americas. This destructive period was when this youngest of twin daughters was in the womb. Betty Shabazz was pregnant in early 1965 and in horror saw her statesman husband assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan's Harlem section in New York. The spring of l966 began a fraudulent trial of men who would eventually be released. The actual killer was never arrested for the crime and it is said that he walks the streets of the 'land of the free, home of the brave."

But now, in this new era, Malaak Speaks!

7 April 2016
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Butch Warren: This! (Exile 2016)
Aaron Douglas, Aspirations, 1936
   Butch Warren excels on bass  

on the composition Home Is Africa
(Horace Parlan album Happy Frame
Of Mind, 1963)   

Listen to a "boss" Butch lay down the bottom from beginning to end. Horace twinkles like another Horace (Silver) while 'chordially' being himself. Grant Green's characteristic swing-sweet guitar licks and Booker Little, tenor sax and Johnny Coles' trumpet provide
staccato honey harmony and keep the top dancing. But listen to the willowy relatively young (at age 24) Butch! He's twinned with stick master Billy Higgins rim shotting along and the ebullient Horace
Parlan to drive the loping groove to a near nine minute soulful limit. Butch Warren's outro doesn't meander far, no, he stays steady on his feet, rockin' softly on down the line.


Less well known, Butch Warren gets to the point and delivers his confident bass signature, with un-flamboyant attitude on Home Is
Africa, as he did with his spectacular composition, The Backbone, on fellow tall tree Dexter Gordon's 1962 classic A Swingin' Affair album.

It's been said that Miles Davis personality could be summed up as "Kind of Blue" or even the stellar "So What?"

"You make my music sound better."
Thelonious Monk
on Butch Warren's performance on bass

Nothing in the way of reducing the trumpet warrior, Miles Davis' profile, Butch Warren seemed to have been saying "This!"

Gone Too Soon,
Butch Warren (1939-2013) did not record for forty-one years, until the 21st century.

5 April 2016
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Particles, Pt3 (Exile 2016)
Aaron Douglas, Aspirations, 1936
ExiledOne Cultural Perspectives #15

ExiledOne Commentary has reached the ninth year mark in March 2016 (Livejournal). The final in the series, Particles Pt3, is Modem Operandi.

Particles became a segment because I wanted to share with readers some of what motivated me to write and what has kept me going for decades. It's a mixed bag in ways due to a desire to deliver my own views and the personal need to provide a balanced examination of culture, politics and more. This last article, Modem Operandi brings us to the dawn of the cyber era and the reality of flight from the USA. How I was rooted had a lot to do with my continuing to write into the present times.

If You Be Goliath

I read of David Walker (Appeal 1829) as a youngster and admired his strength of vision. He lived in a period when Africans in America generally were under threat of death to even know how to read, much less write and publish their work. The subject matter was freedom. The source powering the subject was human dignity. My name, America said, was David.

Although the 1980s were very busy for me as a writer, especially
dealing with the back and forth communication with prisoners.
Before I wrote more and spoke out in public, I had the learning
laboratory of written conversations with men in Sing Sing, Rahway and Terre Haute, Joliet, Michigan City and Rock Hill. Not all but a great many men did not read too well. Also, the prisoncrats cracked down on a lot of literature. And so I learned that graphics and what can be called illustrations went a long way towards opening minds to ideas. What were those ideas? Building of self discipline through contemplation, service to community upliftment, development
of knowledge of the valiant resistance history of the people, and finding structured and spontaneous methods to counter oppression of the mind, body and soul.


The Legal Stick

The early to mid 1990s called on me to utilize more research skills in the disciplines of local, state and national laws of the USA,the history of African so called Americans and Indigenous peoples and the state and federal laws extending from the 1800s to the 1990s. This was no academic matter. I had married a woman of legacy and I was determined to be stronger in every situation in which Human Rights were at the core. It is said that rights of man (and woman) are fully equal in the USA. True?

Legal procedure, USA state, federal and as well
international law increasingly became a focus. I brought several
legal challenges to the courts. My wife's legal training was
essential to my becoming proficient. Without her guidance, much of this new terrain would have been impossible to navigate. I managed to do it though, while under great pressure-our cases were ones that lawyers ran away from. The proof would be evident when I had to do research at law libraries, write legal briefs, file motions, correct court dockets, write communications to opposing counsel, write to judges, write to government officials and write interrogatory questions during legal discovery. In court (civil) I had to present my cases pro se (civilian without a lawyer) versus more than one lawyer defending a corporate adversary. I had to present a case pro se versus a state body as well. Although I was a veteran of grassroots activism, I learned to diplomatically and more importantly clinically approach a system that had a record of injustice while posing as a system of justice. I learned to hit back with the legal stick. The rights of which man?


Newsprint To Cyberspace

Drawing on my monitoring of the USA corporate media, which moved
into overdrive when we were confronting issues such as children
being abused by White teachers, I used some journalist abilities
gained earlier to make sure our voices were heard no matter what
the corporate press said. When I indicate we, I mean not just the personal but the communities affected by the attacks and vile assaults. My hands were frequently ink stained from newsprint as I researched late into the night. Electronic media such as radio also was 'clocked' to get the pulse of when and how information might be released. Knowing how to write press releases and hold press conferences was put into action. How the situation was presented-truncated or with the important facts had a lot to do with needed public opinion. On day this 'voice' of the people would be amplified on a system now common to billions called online. Surveillance along with a 'digital bookburning' of anything said or written, however would be the 'Modem Operandi' (in place of Modus Operandi) by what has been long known as 'Big Brother'.

per Millisecond...

Having a few friends in the 'Black Press' did not always
aid us. I could talk shop, practical and political, to them.
Most people in place to verify facts and print something to
counter the status quo silence or fabrication of the facts by
corporate media, refused to get involved. Knowing these techniques,
including the actual halting publication and distribution of a
university newspaper that had published some of the retaliation my wife and I received as whistleblowers, we readily had our own neighborhood newsletter sent out locally and nationally. It was called You Should Know. This paper counterattack was effective, due to my then fifteen years' experience of handling literature on the ground among the people. But it was as if we were watering the lawn before a darkening sky brought on a hurricane. The entire distribution of information was changing with the coming of something called the internet. When it was searching for the signal through the phone line, I could hear the dial tone. It was called a modem and it plugged into the phone jack. 

When '97 rolled around, we had won a legal case and proven that others were illegally halted. Some big heads had rolled too and we could count some irate officials and their offices as enemies. Home became another country, Canada, where we became United Nations Convention Refugee Claimants the following year.

END PART 3 And Article

31 March 2016

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Images And Reasons (Exile 2016)
Aaron Douglas, Aspirations, 1936
Once from pages of newspapers, now the emitted signals by the millions in the stratosphere, the depiction of African people has almost become truth in many minds.


The English state needed US South cotton for its mills in Lancashire and elsewhere. It's distribution system of mass produced clothing to Europe and it's navy and colonial forces depended on this. It's corporations were busy in developing Sudan and Egypt cotton plantations, busy in India and numerous other locales. Like indigo, tobacco, sugar and cotton, rice was a component of the food cartels London wanted to dominate. In the end, the King Cotton connection was lost (really just an adjustment for capital during the US South-US North war) but the stereotypical happy servant image of the close to 4 million Africans who were the agricultural and industrial engine of the USA remained a 'selling point' for merchandise--and degradation.

Myth in the storied London corporate media has become legend in the demeaning of people whose genius and physical force built the former global empire. When I spent a length of time in the English capital and later across the island sometimes called Britain, I began to realize how the industry of treading on the image and idea of a dignified African actually worked.

Differing from the American racist portait in ways, this attack is older and diversified also because it was patiently created and distributed by it's emissaries over centuries, likely close to a millenia. One of the favored
descriptions is of the African as a criminal, a drug dealer, unfit mother, out of control and in need of constant monitoring. In effect, one who does not innately have 'civilization'. Experts in surveillance and military containment of African people (New York City police commanders etc) assist the massive London police complex.


Joseph Addison
(1672-1719) on "clubs" of his day

"....I cannot forebear mentioning a very mischevious one, that was erected in the reign of King Charles the Second: I mean the Club of Duellists, in which none was to be admitted that had not fought his man. The president of it was said to have killed half a dozen in single combat; and as for the other members, they took their seats according to the number of their slain..."

An account from the so called Age of Reason.

19 March 2016
From Exile,

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England's 'Morons' (Exile 2011)

"...Following the 1948 Nationality Act making colonials and former colonials United Kingdom citizens for life, people streamed into England, Scotland, Wales and the North of Ireland from India, Pakistan, Jamaica, Somalia and myriad islands and countries of the globe.

“The great majority of the West Indian settlers were in their twenties. And they had plenty to offer Britain. Most white people in this country believed-and many still suppose-that the bulk of them were unskilled manual workers. But that is not so. Of the men who came here, a mere 13 per cent had no skills; of the women only 5 per cent. In fact, one of four of the men and half the women were non-manual workers. And almost half the men (46 per cent) and over a quarter of the women (27 per cent) were skilled manual workers. Yet the newcomers found themselves with in most cases having to settle for lower job than they had enjoyed at home. For, by and large, the jobs they were offered were those the local white people did not want: sweeping the streets, general labouring, night-shift. In The late 1950s, more than half the male West Indians in London had lower-status jobs than their skill and experience fitted them for.”


Sackcloth To Gabardine Pt3 (Exile 2012)

Close to a hundred years after 'freedom', the cotton plantation, updated to tractors and modern motorized gin, still remained the rural work reality for many deep US South residents. In some cases the same family lived on the grounds of a cotton plantation for over a century, now called 'sharecroppers', illiterate and forever in debt to the 'bosses'. But the migration of millions of people, including the poor Whites to California, Illinois, Ohio and the US West also increased the numbers of consumers of goods and services outside of the US South. As the free labor of Africans had built the system for hundreds of years, and the investments of the planters aided them in various new production such as cattle herds, the dividends of super exploitation kicked in. Transport, such as rail lines to reach markets like New Orleans or Charleston, built by Africans who had once fought for their freedom and the public roads being built the same way in the US South joined two racist principles: the return to virtual slavery and the policing of the population..."


Mississippi And The Necessary Ones (Exile 2015)

"...The colonial system based on class and race had not been altered in centuries. A very necessary cog in the system were those who stood to gain, get a few hoe cake crumbs while the masses starved. And this situation has gone unchallenged except for a brief peaking period, after the imperial war of the 1940s followed by the well documented 1960s and early '70s, when as
Langston put it, those who "stood individual and alone without
power, they have found their power"..."


Viktor's Hungary (Exile 2016)
Aaron Douglas, Aspirations, 1936

Restructure Hungary and Europe?

Howitzer, Austria-Hungary, 1911                 Bishop Statue, Budapest

Hungary ('56 uprising vs USSR) flashbacks will tumble down from digitized distribution systems this year, Moscow to Washington DC. NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (treaties?, the NATO leading Americans sullied that idea with the Arapaho to Zuni eradication of nations) and the Russians are 'still at it' sixty seasons later as in the rear view tank mirror.


Monument of the 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn, Montana USA

From Hungary in 2016, the elected head, Viktor Orban, has been rewarded with an echo across Europe. While some may squirm when the blunt views are expressed, parliaments from Madrid to Helsinki are in migrant policy lockstep. The advance of the Americans, treaties in the eagle's claws, is a reality for London but also Frankfurt. He claimed that Hungary was saved from a 'sea of Germans' in past history. Nowhere is a direct expression of anti Nazi or pro Nazi Germany in a blazing national address. But he has warnings to Hungary and all of Europe, indeed christians about being swamped by the foreigners, the migrants who want to (from Brussels and the EU) 'devour our sovereignty' and restructure the thousand year framework of Europe.

Look Back...Carefully

The future is not one of speculated outcomes or pre planned initiatives from any governments, military complexes or bank powers.

They have failed. That is sure, Viktor.

He is right, history and forces of immense influence are a threat. Don't get that confused with barefoot people suffering in the winter behind razorwire and assault rifles or the giant build up of armies, navies and airforces. Whose history are we talking about?

Viktor is hungry for conflict.

Viktor will have to wait, like us all, to see what will unfold.

18 March 2016
From Exile,

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Eyes East In 2008 (Exile 2008)

"...By the early 1900s, most of these people that now consider themselves White in the West, had been fleeing both famines and ancient Greek, czarist era Russian missionaries who pursued them to Minnesota and Manitoba. Actually, the crossroads of two Christianities: Catholic from Rome and Orthodox, Greek and Russian to name others, still clash in Eurasia. There is also Islam: Istanbul had been invaded by the crusaders for Christ in a crucial historical page flip about eight centuries ago. Indeed, much of this is due to various interpretations of the ancient African myths by these nonAfricans going back before either Europe or Asia even existed in the modern form. The Coptic Christians, for instance predate Europeans knowing anything about Christ..."


What's Cooking In Europe Pt1 (Exile 2015)

"...Proxy wars-leaving weapons and supplying poisonous 'intel' has the people fighting among themselves. A failed state results. The monumental destabilization of the resource rich former colonial regions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Nigeria, Egypt, Syria, Mexico and The Congo over the last 25 years (since 1990) has much to do with oil servicing the West and it's outsized needs. Nearly all of these oil states trying to be self determining with their natural resources have sea routes or bodies of water that are essential to capitalist shipping of oil products to Europe..."


Particles, Pt2 (Exile 2016)
Aaron Douglas, Aspirations, 1936
ExiledOne Cultural Perspectives #15

ExiledOne Commentary has reached the ninth year mark in March 2016 (Livejournal). Particles Pt2 is the Function. Writing, for me, came to be a real function once I had a worldview and when I could fuse mechanics (mastering good grammar, etc) with style. When I was able to 'speak' to the public, to one audience or another, I became a writer in the true sense. At this point, I had something of value. I had a function.


New Beginnings In The '70s and '80s...

Particles is a look back on how I got to this place as a writer. I like to write and post articles when I have time. I have now done so for several decades, 17 years online. This second in the series will explore how I became useful to people like me, people facing adversity; this included trying to be published. The information exchanges of the 1980s, among African so called Americans, was primitive compared to the internet age. But primitive also means the foundation.

The acceptance of any and all is a downfall

My Big 5

Expressions with pen or pencil in hand continued as I entered my twenties. I was not content to just write for pleasure. The thoughts and opinions that I had about music of African people in the place we called Black America was one passion. The research writing skills I had developed, the beginnings of being able to write as a journalist, creative writing (short story fiction), these were all put aside. My five areas of focus from age twenty-three to age twenty-nine became 1) lesson plans for elementary school aged children 2) condensed history booklets 3)letter writing to prisoners and helping to operate an information network of others on the outside doing as I did 4)simple speech outlines and script notes for radio and recorded tape 5)and newspaper articles.

These five areas helped me to collect my thoughts and deliver something practical to my local, national and international community.

I found purpose in a society that was trying to dictate what my purpose was. There will be, soon and very soon in the 21st century's late second decade and early third decade, a surge of youth (and possibly redeemed adults) intent on using their abilities for the greater good, the freedom of the world's people. It will not be so much aided by the corporate driven book burning via 'smart technology' but by the clear eyed insight into what has happened to humanity in the recent centuries as it has been a hostage to such forces.

As I found my way, I identified what I was feeling, what was dawning on me. This came about not just through reasoning but emerged with meditation which I regarded as spiritual as opposed to religious, care for myself physically and mentally and the willingness to write what I felt. I knew I could never be for injustice. But how to define myself and reach a plateau of accepting the task of resistance? The authentic voice I and others heard inside can be summed up in a song released in 1971:

"The Prisoner"-excerpt  (by Gil Scott Heron, 1971)

"Here I am after so many years
Hounded by hatred and trapped by fear
I'm in a box, I've got no place to go
If I follow my mind, I know I'll slaughter my own

Help me, I'm the prisoner won't you hear my plea?
I need somebody, yeah, to listen to me
I beg you, brothers and sisters
I'm counting on you, yeah

Black babies in the womb are shackled and bound
Chained by the caveman who keeps beauty down
Smacked on the ass when they're squalling and wet
Heir to a spineless man who never forgets..."  

No Liability    

Above all, I did not want to be a liability, add to the declining social and economic situation in what we called 'the colony'. Finding an effort that could build rather than tear down was my mantra. By 1983, while working at Shule Ya Watoto elementary school and community center on the West Side of Chicago, I saw my condensed history series come into fruition. As a test run, I had pages of these hand printed articles stapled to a bulletin board near the cloakroom. In this way, the parents and staff could read them in between arrival and pick up of their children in the late afternoon. I got some unexpected approval. At age twenty-four, I got a valuable lesson. If ideas are presented in plain language, they are factual, they are not loaded down with rhetoric, there is a chance that the people will respond positively. My audience in this case were hospital administrators, auto mechanics, young single unemployed mothers, teachers, health care workers and secretaries.

Excelling in the language arts is relative. Academic achievement is only valuable if it impacts the world for its betterment. EO

First Publication

My first 'publisher' was a Sister who worked in the Loop (downtown business core) for Oppenheimer corporation. She was investing, though, in me, her child and her community. Her daughter was a brilliant child, reading at age two and a half, a joy to teach. Her man, the father, was a soft spoken Brother who was slowly dying of Agent Orange poisoning (USA made chemical dumped on Viet Nam, including USA soldiers). He was about forty-two years old. A visit to their home showed me that they had a wood fire (metal trash can) in the backyard to warm themselves in the severe winter. Temperatures fell to -22 Fahrenheit (-30 Celsius) throughout the winter of '83-'84 in Chicago.

It was the Sister, ten or twelve years my senior, who spent her time at work using the (at the time) state of the art duplicating facilities in Chicago, who published my first set of booklets, titled Only Yesterday, with cardstock covers.



15 March 2016

From Exile,


See Related Articles:

Spreading Fire (Exile 2014)

"...Combustion has indeed been in the air in recent years across this the smallest of the world's continents. Where it flares up and how is predictable. Holding a mythical flag of unity in the world is a tiring affair. In politics unity goes to the highest bidder. If Europe and especially the EU is different in this epoch, that will be a historical miracle..."


Look Into My Eyes (Exile 2014)

"...Am I to accept this?

My nature, from birth, rejects the notion. Look Into My Eyes. It's my world.

There's no room for dreamers..."


Appreciation (Exile 2016)
Aaron Douglas, Aspirations, 1936
An appreciation isn't always a positive thing. The observation of a situation or even a people is an appreciation. Why do people need this kind of examination, a process of a going over? It's simple yet it's complex.

What Terror Are You Talking About?

(2 Million) unnatural deaths of African so called Americans, 1960-2000

Why have African so called Americans forgotten their battles of the 1950s and 1960s?
(a question posed by a West African born in the early 1980s, now living in Europe)

The Authority Figure Most Youth Know Well

Why are African so called American youth so angry? They need to chill.
(a question and statement by an African born in the 1990s in Europe)

Being appreciated is sometimes a joy. There have been numerous occasions here in exile when a genuine expression of  someone's caring pours forth. At Stockholm, Glasgow and in the face of indifference and lies, London (thanks, Sis) and several other locations, Africans were the first to step up and show solidarity through action on the ground. I can recall a Chilean (an exile himself) attending a concert we gave in Belgium and his telling us how much the music and spoken word meant to him. He wished us well and sealed his committment by purchasing one of every CD we had made at that point, about four or five. In Dublin, Ireland's capital, we met the son of an Irish chef at a famous restaurant. The son must have spoken highly of us because we were treated to a first class dinner and the chef himself prepared the dishes and brought them to the table for us to enjoy. In that same country in the north in Derry we performed and spoke and were presented a Frederick Douglass award in honor of a long legacy of Africans from the USA in flight and touring Ireland to spread the Human Rights message. In both Belgium, Ireland but also France, Sweden, Scotland, Wales, England and the Netherlands, we spoke about Dr Mutulu Shakur's freedom, Assata Shakur and Sundiata Acoli, the Move 9, the Angola 3, Rev. Khandi Konte-Bey, Bro. Obadyah ben Yisrayl, Bro. Ali Khalid Abdullah, Bro. Mumia Abu Jamal, Bro. Zolo Agona Azania and many more US Political Prisoners. Challenging parliamentary members on the issues in numerous countries was risky but we did it. When at dinner or in private company, with officials, youth, other refugees and exiles, we pressed them to act, engage.

The strain personally was not always evident then but we paid sooner or later for the nonstop push to have the world know of the realities. This was and is a reality that will never be on television. In this way, though the appreciation is not always something that is there when we might expect it, we have the satisfaction inside that what we have done, what we do, is right.

14 March 2016
From Exile,

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Birth Of A Worldview (Exile 2008)

"...I can remember the times when I thought I knew quite a bit about geography, history and politics. I was reading books and repeating like a robot what I had heard..."


My Look Back At '65: Gloria & Malcolm Pt3 (Exile 2015)

"...SPELLMAN: Will you work with the so-called established civil rights organizations?
MALCOLM X: Well, we will work with them in any area and on any objective that doesn't conflict with our own political, economic, and social philosophy which is black nationalism. I might add that I was invited to attend a civil rights group meeting where all of the various civil rights organizations were present and I was invited to address them in Chester, Pennsylvania. Gloria Richardson was there; Landrey, the head of the Chicago School Boycott, was there; Dick Gregory was there; many others were there; the Rochedale movement was there. Now my address to them was designed to show them that if they would expand their civil rights movement to a human rights movement it would internationalize it. Now, as a civil rights movement, it remains within the confines of American domestic policy and no African independent nations can open up their mouths on American domestic affairs, whereas if they expanded the civil rights movement to a human rights movement then they would be eligible to take the case of the Negro to the United Nations the same as the case of the Angolans is in the UN and the case of the South Africans is in the UN. Once the civil rights movement is expanded to a human rights movement our African brothers and our Asian brothers and Latin American brothers can place it on the agenda at the General Assembly that is coming up this year and Uncle Sam has no more say-so in it then. And we have friends outside the UN -- 700,000,000 Chinese who are ready to die for human rights...."



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