The Black Doll

Above is a photo of Marilyn Reed with her half-sister, Shauna, who gave Marilyn the black doll she is holding. Shauna would live with Carlos Moore and help him write ‘Fela – The Bitch of a Life’. Fela was a charismatic African performer who was befriended by the Black Panthers. My daughter’s half-brother was fathered by a Black Panther. He named his son after Malcolm X.

On our third date, Marilyn took me to see the movie ‘Black Orpheus’. My first girlfriend was introducing to me the black culture she was exposed to. This culture would change music in America, forever! The first album I ever bought was a Bo Diddly album. I danced before I went to school, and when I came home. I shop-lifted an album called ‘African Drums’. I choreographed my own moves. I watched the black dancers in High School. I invented dancing without a partner. When I did the Pony, my peers formed a circle around me to watch. One day I put on Balero and danced for Marilyn.

Here is a video of Arthur Lee. Bryan was Christine Rosamond’s lover. Arthur was an Orpheus. So was Bryan. Consider Orpheus’ head, and the death mask of me, and the bust Marilyn carved. I am a poet who went down to Hades.

Jon Presco

Copyrighted 2011

Fela’s birth name means ‘He Who Emanates Greatness (Fela), Having Control Over Death (Anikulapo), Death Cannot Be Caused By Human Entity (Kuti)’.

In categorizing the Love albums as “late Sixties,” remember Love appeared in 1966 as forerunners of the Peace and Love movement that followed. They ushered in that era. It was the ambition of Jim Morrison, before the Doors made it big, to be “bigger than Love.” Love never toured much. It took a while for the Peace and Love, Counterculture, Hippy movement to catch fire. Love was the group that ignited the flame

After Fela and his band returned to Nigeria, the band was renamed The Africa ’70, as lyrical themes changed from love to social issues.[5] He then formed the Kalakuta Republic, a commune, a recording studio, and a home for many connected to the band that he later declared independent from the Nigerian state. Fela set up a nightclub in the Empire Hotel, named the Afro-Spot and then the Afrika Shrine, where he performed regularly. Fela also changed his middle name to Anikulapo (meaning “he who carries death in his pouch”),[7]stating that his original middle name of Ransome was a slave name. The recordings continued, and the music became more politically motivated.[citation needed]Fela’s music became very popular among the Nigerian public and Africans in general.[8] In fact, he made the decision to sing in Pidgin Englishso that his music could be enjoyed by individuals all over Africa, where the local languages spoken are very diverse and numerous. As popular as Fela’s music had become in Nigeria and elsewhere, it was also very unpopular with the ruling government, and raids on the Kalakuta Republic were frequent. During 1972 Ginger Baker recorded Stratavariouswith Fela appearing alongside Bobby Gass.[9]Around this time, Kuti was becoming more involved in Yoruba religion.[10] In 1977 Fela and the Afrika ’70 released the hit album Zombie, a scathing attack on Nigerian soldiersusing the zombie metaphor to describe the methods of the Nigerian military. The album was a smash hit with the people and infuriated the government, setting off a vicious attack against the Kalakuta Republic, during which one thousand soldiers attacked the commune. Fela was severely beaten, and his elderly mother was thrown from a window, causing fatal injuries. The Kalakuta Republic was burned, and Fela’s studio, instruments, and master tapes were destroyed. Fela claimed that he would have been killed had it not been for the intervention of a commanding officer as he was being beaten. Fela’s response to the attack was to deliver his mother’s coffin to the Dodan Barracks in Lagos, General Olusegun Obasanjo’s residence, and to write two songs, “Coffin for Head of State” and “Unknown Soldier”, referencing the official inquiry that claimed the commune had been destroyed by an unknown soldier.[11]
Fela and his band then took residence in Crossroads Hotel as the Shrine had been destroyed along with his commune. In 1978 Fela married twenty-seven women, many of whom were his dancers, composers, and singers to mark the anniversary of the attack on the Kalakuta Republic. Later, he was to adopt a rotation system of keeping only twelve simultaneous wives.[12] The year was also marked by two notorious concerts, the first in Accra in which riotsbroke out during the song “Zombie”, which led to Fela being banned from entering Ghana. The second was at the Berlin Jazz Festivalafter which most of Fela’s musicians deserted him, due to rumors that Fela was planning to use the entire proceeds to fund his presidential campaign.

Despite the massive setbacks, Fela was determined to come back. He formed his own political party, which he called Movement of the People. In 1979 he put himself forward for President in Nigeria’s first electionsfor more than a decade but his candidature was refused. At this time, Fela created a new band called Egypt ’80 and continued to record albums and tour the country. He further infuriated the political establishment by dropping the names of ITT vice-president Moshood Abiola and then General Olusegun Obasanjoat the end of a hot-selling 25-minute political screed titled “I.T.T. (International Thief-Thief)”.

In 1984, Muhammadu Buhari’s government, of which Kuti was a vocal opponent, jailed him on a charge of currency smuggling which Amnesty International and others denounced as politically motivated.[13] His case was taken up by several human-rights groups, and after 20 months, he was released from prison by General Ibrahim Babangida. On his release he divorced his twelve remaining wives, saying that “marriage brings jealousy and selfishness.”[12]Once again, Fela continued to release albums with Egypt ’80, made a number of successful tours of the United States and Europeand also continued to be politically active. In 1986, Fela performed in Giants Stadium in New Jersey as part of the Amnesty InternationalConspiracy of Hope concert, sharing the bill with Bono, Carlos Santana, and The Neville Brothers. In 1989, Fela and Egypt ’80 released the anti-apartheid Beasts of No Nation album that depicts on its cover U.S. President Ronald Reagan, UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcherand South African Prime Minister Pieter Willem Botha.

before there was jimi hendrix there was arthur lee. everybody ripped him off, including the doors and jimi
newcrate1 2 years ago 11

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Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison were avowed fans of Love’s Arthur Lee.

The Black Panthers. Fela was introduced to the Black Panthers in 1969 on a tour of America by one of his girlfriends, Sandra Smith(Isadore). She changed the way he lived his life by introducing his to the works of black radicals like Huey P. Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, and Malcolm X who’s autobiography gave him a new love of Africa. When he returned to Africa, he was energized and wanted to change the whole continent, and all of his subsequent albums carried a political message. “The ’69 Los Angeles Sessions” was his last Pop album

Fela’s birth name means ‘He Who Emanates Greatness (Fela), Having Control Over Death (Anikulapo), Death Cannot Be Caused By Human Entity (Kuti)’.

Carlos Moore was a close friend of Fela.  His republished biography, “Fela: This Bitch of a Life” is a moving account of Fela, told from the inside.  During his stay in Nigeria, Carlos will read from the book, discuss Fela and his times with Very Special Guests and give several public lectures. Guests will also have the opportunity to kick back and listen to Fela favourites sung by the hip and the new.  Attending these events is your only chance to own a copy of this collector’s item book this year.

An ethnologist and political scientist with two doctorates from the prestigious University of Paris-7, France, CARLOS MOORE was banished for three decades from his native Cuba as a result of his opposition to the racial policies of the Castro regime. Fluent in five languages, he lived and worked in many lands throughout his 34-year exile, and traveled extensively on ethnological research projects in South-east Asia, Africa and the South Pacific. His political and professional career began in 1962 when, aged nineteen, he was recruited into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a translator in the Asian Division.

In late 1963, he fled Cuba, with the assistance of the embassy of Guinea, where he took refuge. He went on to specialize in African, Latin-American and Caribbean affairs, and while residing in France developed a prolific career in journalism, serving as in-house journalist for France’s national news agency, Agence France-Presse, and as a specialist on West African affairs for the international weekly Jeune Afrique. Most of his academic life has been devoted to research on the impact of race and ethnicity on domestic politics and inter-state affairs. He was Senior Lecturer at the Institute of International Relations of the University of the West Indies, at St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago, for six years; Visiting Professor at Florida international University, in Miami, for two; and Associate Professor at the University of the French West Indies (UAG). The confluence between his academic and political life occurred in 1975 when the distinguished African scholar, Cheikh Anta Diop, invited him to take up residence in Senegal and assist with several political projects. One of these involved the setting up of a World Black Researchers Association (WBRA), in 1976. He remained in Senegal until 1980.
In 1982-1983 he was personal consultant to the Secretary General of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) currently African Union). Moore was involved with the initial phase of the Festival of Black & African Arts and Culture of 1977 (FESTAC), working in Lagos, Nigeria, where he came into contact with legendary pan-Africanist and musical genius, Fela Kuti, whose biography (This Bitch of a Life) he wrote in 1982. While teaching at Florida International University, he organized in 1987 an international three-day conference in homage to Aimé Césaire, one of the chief founders of the Black consciousness movement known as Négritude. In 2000, he resigned his post at the University of the West Indies, where he continues to be Honorary Research Fellow in the School for Graduate Studies and Research, in Kingston Jamaica, and retired to Brazil with his family to write his memoirs and continue his research work on race in Latin America. His books are: Pichón. Race and Revolution in Castro´s Cuba (Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 2008); A África que Incomoda (Belo Horizonte: Nandyala Editora, 2008); Racismo e Sociedade (Belo Horizonte: Mazza Edições, 2007); African Presence in the Americas (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1995), principal editor; Castro, the Blacks, and Africa (Los Angeles: CAAS/UCLA, 1989); Fela: This Bitch of a Life (London: Allison & Busby, 1982); Cette Putain de Vie (Paris: Karthala, 1982).

In categorizing the Love albums as “late Sixties,” remember Love appeared in 1966 as forerunners of the Peace and Love movement that followed. They ushered in that era. It was the ambition of Jim Morrison, before the Doors made it big, to be “bigger than Love.” Love never toured much. It took a while for the Peace and Love, Counterculture, Hippy movement to catch fire. Love was the group that ignited the flame.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to The Black Doll

  1. Reblogged this on rosamondpress and commented:

    With the offer Darian Fadeley made to Marilyn Reed, the gift of Ed Fadeley’s kidney to a Black Jazz Artist, the great cultural breakout many have worked for, is etched in stone, in Bronx concrete. The foreigner, Stefan Eins, was able to read between the racist lines, and like a magician, create an Art Movement that destroyed the confines of ‘Imperial Culture’. Stefan has a special relationship with black people that perhaps mimics the worship of the Black Madonnas. When the graffiti artist, Nate Calkins, took over his mother’s home, it looked and felt just like this. Then there was the Native American Period. M had bonded with a great grandson of Quantum Parker, and her home was full of maidens with jet black hair. It was like being in a National Geographic show. Stefan weaves a feather into his long hair.

    A Black Madonna or Black Virgin is a statue or painting of Mary in which she is depicted with dark skin, especially those created in Europe in the medieval period or earlier. The Black Madonnas are generally found in Catholic countries. The term refers to a type of Marian statue or painting of mainly medieval origin (12th to 15th centuries), with dark or black features.[1] The statues are mostly wooden but occasionally stone, often painted and up to 75 cm (30 in) tall. They fall into two main groups: free-standing upright figures or seated figures on a throne. The pictures are usually icons which are Byzantine in style, often made in 13th- or 14th-century Italy. There are about 450–500 Black Madonnas in Europe, depending on how they are classified. There are at least 180 Vierges Noires in France, and there are hundreds of non-medieval copies as well. Some are in museums, but most are in churches or shrines and are venerated by devotees. A few are associated with miracles and attract substantial numbers of pilgrims.

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