Olympic History

Olympic History: Fists of Freedom; a history not taught in Schools

The Olympics 2012 London Opening Ceremony has divided some, inspired others and confounded many. What has been most resonant is the rise of right-wing attitudes around what should be a celebration of our Human Family coming together to compete; as equals, in a sporting event they have all dedicated time to, sacrificed much for and whilst bringing joy and birthing a new generation of Sport enthusiasts.

For me, it was an awesome display of British tongue-in-cheek humour; an imaginative blurring of reality and fantasy; and a very sporting Queen. In all, it was british irreverence  at its best. Apt salutes to Sir Tim Berners-Lee and the punk attitude that pervades the rich music, culture, film, dance, and arts experience to be had in London. But, sadly some serious off-key attitudes persists.

Reflecting on all this and what seems to be a groundhog way of thinking – blinkered and closed, it reminds us that ignorance and closed mindedness is very much alive and thriving. And no matter how much we try to forget for a split second what is at stake and why, I share this apt article I stumbled upon whilst foraging in the world wide web of information with you all, least we forget for second and just be lost in ecstasy of competitiveness and feats of physical brilliance.

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A Place of Rage: Educational Documentaries

I stumbled on this Educational DVD ‘A Place of Rage’, watched the trailer with sweaty palms and heart beating excitedly; and went on to read the review A Place of Rage: Two Black Feminist Documentaries. This is one to share and support. I cannot wait to see it all.

Much to look forward to in the Fall, or as we say here across the pacific pond, Autumn. Besides, this review so is enticing I would not have needed the trailer or the write up to get all flustered at the prospect of learning; the title and contributors alone – Angela Davis, June Jordan and Alice Walker – is enough: ‘A Place of Rage’.

“This lyrical film begins the much needed exploration of the Afro-American women who sustained and inspired the Civil Rights Movement of the 60’s. By shining an intimate light on some of our best known artists / activists Parmar eloquently reveals the power and poetry of the hidden faces. Her film is a visual embrace of who black women really are .” – Jewelle Gomez

“I’ve been showing A Place of Rage in my classes on race, gender and sexuality in U.S. history for over a decade, and it always has a powerful impact.  Mingling the words and images of activist and scholar Angela Davis, poet June Jordan and writer Alice Walker, the film makes a powerful case for the central place of African American women in creating a broadly imagined social justice movement–the kind of movement we need now, as desperately as ever.” – Lisa Duggan, Professor, American Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University (2010)

“A Place of Rage documents the lives and politics of three African-American women. Weaving a narrative of spiritual awakenings, political consciousness and poetry through powerful imagery of Angela Davis speaking, Alice Walker reading and June Jordan teaching, A Place of Rage works like a narrative poem. It takes is title from a statement from June Jordan where she tries to articulate how her poetry and her pedagogy emerges from a ‘place of rage’ and builds into some other kind of articulation. The film is moving in its quiet intensity and fascinating in its portrait of three powerful Black artists”. Judith Jack Halberstam, Professor of English, Gender Studies and American Studies and Ethnicity USC. (2010)

Updates will follow.

Hair

Natural hair

“My natural hair is beautiful. My natural hair is mine.

I never needed you to tell me this. I’ve known it all the time.

My natural hair is glamourous. My natural hair can do all this.

Who can tell me it matters how I wear it? But I’ve known this all the time.

O me? O my.

My natural hair is out. My natural hair is free.

It matters much now – how I wear it.

O happy me! O my!”

(‘Hair’ – LLAL 21.06.12)