Wednesday, June 30, 2010

a vision in the water

The unique function of Oshun within the Orisha Awo (Mysteries of Nature) is to provide the spark of passion that attracts the Forces of expansion, and contraction to each other. This attraction occurs on all levels of existence from the polarities, which guide the formation of planets to the attraction between men and women. Oshun as the source of passion is the Goddess of the Erotic, and according to Ifá the power of the erotic motivates the Orisha in every realm of Being…”

– Awo Fá’lokun Fataunmbi, author,
OSHUN: Ifá and the Spirit of the River page 3

Mereana Taki in the midst of art

Ma te wairua e kawea
when the Spirit is lifted, all is in GodForce flowing.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

This is what marriage is really all about ...

He ordered one hamburger, one order of French fries and one drink. The old man unwrapped the plain hamburger and carefully cut it in half. He placed one half in front of his wife He then carefully counted out the French fries, dividing them into two piles and neatly placed one pile in front of his wife.

He took a sip of the drink, his wife took a sip and then set the cup down between them. As he began to eat his few bites of hamburger, the people around them kept looking over and whispering. You could tell they were thinking, 'That poor old couple - all they can afford is one meal for the two of them.'

As the man began to eat his fries a young man came to the table. He politely offered to buy another meal for the old couple. The old man said they were just fine - They were used to sharing everything.

The surrounding people noticed the little old lady hadn't eaten a bite. She sat there watch ing her husband eat and occasionally taking turns sipping the drink.

Again the young man came over and begged them to let him buy another meal for them. This time the old woman said 'No, thank you, we are used to sharing everything.'

As the old man finished and was wiping his face neatly with the napkin, the young man again came over to the little old lady who had yet to eat a single bite of food and asked 'What is it you're waiting for?'

She answered .. . . . ..


from archives of Bear Warrior

an act of power

"Loving oneself is an act of power, and the instinctive action of a child to love employed by broken adults is a desperate thrust backwards, in time, to the innocent powers of childhood. How we undo the innocence of childhood is lurid, and foul as the bowels that vomited us up from the shiny monster that can never be innocent or free. Our obsession with monsters has never assisted any quest for freedom within our spirits. It has only led us down a dark road dreading the outcome of every challenge to the illusions of supremacy, and closed the gap of intellectual posturing in the face of eternity indifferent to our plight, or struggle.

WE can easily think we are alone, but we aren't, and the notion of alone is arrogant. The worlds were created from combinations, by math and laws. Collectives in relationship that create life don't entertain or understand the human concept of being alone!" -Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories (April 27, 2010)


Leaving "Black" Behind

Ytasha Womack argues that African-American identity contains multitudes
By Salim Muwakkil

Have black folks left "blackness" behind?

Local writer (and sometime Reader contributor) Ytasha L. Womack thinks so. In her new book, Post Black: How A New Generation Is Redefining African American Identity, she makes the case that the old ways of imagining African-Americans fail to encompass the dazzling diversity that now characterizes the community.

"There has always been diversity in the African-American community," Womack told me the other day. "But now, because of so many hard struggles, we have so much more opportunity. The number of college graduates is significantly larger than ever before, African and Caribbean immigration has increased, there's more interracial coupling. And these are just some of the reasons for a postblack reality."

As she phrases it in the book's introduction, "Simply put, things have changed." Anyone who knows who the president is knows that, but "the irons were in the fire for over a decade," she writes. "There are new dynamics redefining African American life." She explores these in a mix of personal anecdotes; wide-ranging conversations with artists, entrepreneurs, activists, and scholars; and reporting on cultural and socioeconomic trends.

Womack makes no attempt to define a new black identity. Rather, she observes that blacks untethered from the traditional moorings of church and protest are constructing too many identities to count. While black politicians and other leaders remain heavily invested in the grievance-based issues that define the so-called black agenda, she says, a new generation has moved on. So she's talking to black Buddhists and black jewelers and black swimwear designers. She wrote the book, she says, because "there's very little understanding of who we are."

If the title suggests another premature anatomy of racism's demise, her argument is far from that. Even so, she's already been taken to task by some critics and activists—and even, she says, by some friends—for attending to new possibilities at the expense of old hurts. "If you focus too much on this growing diversity, some will accuse you of downplaying some of our past and present challenges," she told me. "And I understand that the challenges are serious. Nevertheless, it's important also that we talk about these different dynamics."

A Chicago native and Whitney Young alum with a master's in media management, Womack is in her early 30s. She's worked as a staff writer for the Chicago Defender, contributed prominently as a freelancer to national publications like Vibe, Essence, and Ebony, served as an editor-at-large of Upscale magazine, and produced and written two movies: a 2001 documentary, Tupac Shakur: Before I Wake; and Love Shorts, which screened at Chicago's Black Harvest Film Festival in 2004. She directed The Engagement: My Phamily BBQ 2, a 2006 romantic comedy about an interracial relationship. And she and Kenji Jaspers had edited Beats Rhymes & Life: What We Love and Hate About Hip-Hop, a 2007 collection of essays featuring contributions from scholars and poets as well as artists like Mos Def, Ludacris, Nelly, and Common. Not surprisingly, her new book tells us that entrepreneurial spirit is a key feature of postblack reality.

My only serious criticism of Post Black is that it overstates the novelty of the postblack perspectives of generations X and Y. Her line between those cohorts and the ones that came before, particularly the baby boomers, is drawn a bit too sharply.

Though she doesn't mention it, Albert Murray foreshadowed her argument in 1970's The Omni-Americans: Black Experience and American Culture. Before that, in the 60s, Jimi Hendrix ignored aesthetic boundaries between white and black music. Even the Black Panther Party was postblack, in the sense that it veered off the beaten path of traditional black protest and took guidance from Marxism and Maoism. And long before any of that, Paul Robeson realized a truly postblack career: college valedictorian, opera singer, classical actor, Soviet apologist.

Even I, in the 60s, dug Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Cream, though irate brothers tried to explain to me that "black folks just don't listen to that wild shit." It turns out I was pre-postblack.

Ytasha L. Womack & host Emily Mecendal at the G.R N'Namdi Gallery's Post Black Reading in Detroit

Keke Wyatt is a powerful presence on music scene

Monday, June 28, 2010

Is America Reaping What it has Sown - Part I

I’ve often pondered that one of the great surprises of history is that America has never been involved in a coup d’état. Considering the fact that the military chain of command starts at the top with two civilian officers – the President and the Secretary of Defense – it is difficult to believe that none of the brass below has ever attempted to alter that command line through a coup, which is one of the great surprises of American history. Up until a few years ago, the military coup was the most popular method used to transfer governments around the world. Now that Democracy has taken a real foothold in our modern society, the trend seems to be reversing; however, there are generals who still want to hold supreme power, and we must wait and see to determine if coups become a relic of the past.

In a real sense, our nearly 250 years of unbroken civilian leadership is a true testament to the ideal of Democracy. With that being said, do I sense some tension in the ranks over civilian leadership with the publication of the RollingStone’s article titled, “The Runaway General,” where 4-star, General Stanley McChrystal and his staff were dismissive and critical of the President and his administration? As a consequence to this public denigration of the Obama Administration, McChrystal was fired.

Certainly, if McChrystal took the risky approach of criticizing Obama publicly, then one could reasonably argue that this RollingStone’s article was not the first time that he made his opinions known. As urgent as a victory in Afghanistan is to Obama’s presidency, one must wonder why he did not have any informal lines of communication built into his strategic approach to the Afghan War. It is the old Godfather proverb of keeping your enemies close but your friends closer. It is unfortunately an axiom that holds as true today in politics as it did during the 1972 film.

Many organizations use these informal lines of communication – gossip lines, grapevines, rumor-mill, etc. – to keep their fingers on the pulse of how the organization is really thinking. How many regional managers will condemn a firm’s CEO for what they believe are ridiculous policies during a formal, corporate staff meeting? However, that same regional manager is more willing to pour his opposition into the grapevine, and if the CEO has “ears” listening to the grapevine, then he/she will at least have the unvarnished and unguarded opinions of his/her subordinates. Understanding the “pulse” of an organization is essential in a bureaucratic setting, but it becomes imperative during a war, where one wrong policy can spell death and disaster at a minimum, but it could sow the seeds of defeat and destruction of an entire civilization in a worst case scenario.

Although there is no place in the American military for McChrystal’s insubordination, I do see an upside: This incident should place President Obama on notice that there are men in the military who do not embrace his war-time leadership…but after a moment of reflection, shouldn’t he have known that? President Clinton had his detractors during his tenure for lacking military experience, as did George Bush, who got a “cushy” job in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War. Obama has no military experience, and he certainly had less international expertise than his predecessors. Consequently, it is self preservation to know of his critics within his own administration, and if not, then his staff is falling asleep at the switch.

Notwithstanding the current shake-up in Afghanistan, the bigger question is Why did President George Bush invade Iraq and Afghanistan? If you said September 11th, then the propaganda campaign of plausible intentions convinced you too. I have written extensively on this blog concerning the egregious mistakes that were made by the Bush administration in planning for war in the Middle East, so I will not rehash the same arguments. (Please see An Appraisal of the Bush Presidency – Parts 1-4 in the People’s Pulse.)

Let us back-peddle for a moment and consider the “initial” impulse for our invasion into Afghanistan and Iraq: George Bush wanted to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction; to end Saddam Hussein’s support for terrorism (particularly al-Qaeda); and bring democracy to the Iraqi people. The U.S. went into Afghanistan, because the Taliban run government refused to hand over Osama bin Laden and to discontinue its support of the al-Qaeda terrorist. Both of these motivations appear on their face to be noble objectives: certainly if Saddam had anything to do with September 11th, and if the Taliban was supporting bin Laden, then it would be our leaders’ patriotic and constitutional responsibility to overthrow both governments and bring them to justice. However, after more than seven years in Iraq, we have not uncovered one morsel of evidence that Iraq supported al Qaeda and neither did the Bush Administration find the weapons of mass destruction that we were assured were there. And certainly after nearly nine years in Afghanistan, there are no signs of al Qaeda. The only terrorists that America seems to be fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are the ones that were created because of its occupation in the Middle East.

If we consider that this country’s initial motivation to invade the Middle East was flawed at best and illegal at worst, do we have a moral imperative to apologize? If so, then that responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of President Obama. But I’m sure that some of the president’s own supporters, who condemned the war initially when it was launched by Bush, will defend him by saying that he had nothing to do with the initial decision to go to war, and his only obligation is to win and get out. Well, isn’t this the same resistance that whites have today about apologizing for the egregious act of slavery that was committed by their forefathers? Why should they have to apologize?

I say that Obama must consider apologizing to preserve America’s moral leadership in the world, and to reverse the law of causality; which says “what goes around, comes around,” or “you’ll reap what you sow.” This is a universal truth, and not even the mighty United States of America can escape the jaws of this divine law.

You’ll see in An Appraisal of the Bush Presidency that I demonstrate that there were clear signs that Bush was headed for disaster when he committed this country’s resources and young men to war. Without an intelligence apparatus, I knew Bush’s “damn-the-torpedoes” pathology in his run-up to war in Afghanistan and Iraq was possibly illegal. And he had at his disposal the resources of the finest intelligence system that the world had ever seen, and he still got it wrong. But, the real question is, do countries such as America make mistakes in judgement of that magnitude? Once you pierce through the propaganda campaign that is designed to condition the citizenry to patriotically embrace the war drums, it is very difficult to consider that Bush had the F.B.I., the C.I.A., the N.S.A., Naval Intelligence, the D.I.A., and a host of other intelligence agencies, and he still fumbled the ball. This is a challenge for me to believe! Consequently, I must conclude that his foray into the Middle East had a deeper purpose that we are not privy to.

If Bush lied about our involvement in a military campaign, he would not be the first U.S. president to do so. More recently, President Johnson expanded the war in Vietnam after lying to the public about an attack on an American military vessel in the Gulf of Tonkin, and President Reagan lied about a private war in Nicaragua where he was funding the Contras, which later became known as the Iran-Contra Affair after the scandal broke. Lying seems to come with the Oval Office. Although Obama did the right thing by firing McChrystal, I would like to hope that this 4-star general stuck to his guns in his private meeting with Obama and did not back away from his criticism. He owes the president an apology for betraying the single rule of conduct that must be followed from the foot soldier to the top in order to preserve discipline among the ranks: He failed to give deference to those who are in authority. However, if he stayed true to his criticism, then hopefully Obama will become stronger as a war-time leader, and a clear message will have been sent to the rank and file that insubordination will not be tolerated. If we fail to grasp those two points, then perhaps this perfect string of 44 democratic elections will be in jeopardy and the divine law of reaping what one sows will rear its unwanted head, if it hasn’t already.

…to be continued. by David R. Tolson

(NOTE: for those who may be interested in the hyperlinks to other websites, please see this article at

Serena Williams & Venus Williams at the 2010 French Opening

"If you can keep playing tennis when somebody is shooting a gun down the street, that's concentration." -Serena Williams

Words of high achievers

"We're going in really fresh. We're going to have fresh legs and bodies, we're going to be able to stay the distance, and that's our goal." - Serena Williams


“How do we fight in an army for God? Who do we fight? Are we the only creatures in the universe fighting for the Lord? What weakness does God possess that disables him, and justifies in his mind the need for an army of people to fight the Devil, and Evil? If it is spiritual warfare, and God created Good and Evil where does the notion that God needs an army stand in the arena of logic, and practicality? Has this teaching rendered people competent, holy, merciful, vicious, without mercy or judgemental? Are Good and Evil aspects of ourselves?” -Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories

"We born again Christians believe that we are fighting a battle that is already won by Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. Where he defeated the Devil. Where he rose the 3rd day and now He sits on the right hand of the father. While we dwell here on earth we are his disciples and we must carry that blood stained banner as we fight that spiritual warfare. Not against flesh and blood but a spiritual war fare against the wiles of the Devil, cause that Devil comes to kill, steal and destroy. He will try to kill our young ppl, kill our souls, kill our joy, steal our wealth, steal our families, steal what eva he can from our lives and to destroy our lives with sin..... a person cant understand this logic not till he or she is Born Again.... John 3:3"  -Hermano Willie Alberto Falconer

“Spiritual work is fundamentally the work of our inner man to balance the shadow and the light, the female and the male energies, our ignorance against knowledge, belief and knowing, and the dark of our tendencies with the illumination of our high purpose in life, yes?” –Gregory E. Woods
(April 25, 2010)

Mariah Carey

Sunday, June 27, 2010


As a dark skinned man I hold a fascination with the SEX & THE CITY movie, and the series for none of the reasons that garner interest en masse. In private I have been captivated by the genius of the storytelling, and the storyteller’s knack for creating a worldview of priviledge, white priviledge that cannot see colored people in New York city. The dismissive quality in the eyes was brilliantly captured in the series, and the popular movie by the actors.

The ability of white Americans who view the world like this unconciously stimulates some of the worse reactions in people of color, and engineer, at a subtle level, a nagging sense of insignificance in colored people, and in others like me, a compulsion to wade through my rage to somehow rise above, and embrace white Americans as people. It is an outstanding ability to perform between these states of being as a healer, and evolve into the child-like state of loving. It is the distance between like, and knowing, magic, and miracle, love and despising, life and death, and being strong, or weak, and fatigued by anger that has to be navigated on the stage of one’s lifetime to mature into a human being. It ain’t easy, but it is doable. - Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories

Candace Bushnell


"A farmer went out to plant his seed. While he was planting, some seed fell by the road, and the birds came and ate it all up. Some seed fell on rocky ground, where there wasn't much dirt. That seed grew very fast, because the ground was not deep. But when the sun rose, the plants dried up, because they did not have deep roots. Some other seed fell among thorny weeds, which grew and choked the good plants. Some other seed fell on good ground where it grew and produced a crop. Some plants made a hundred times more, some made sixty times more, and some made thirty times more. With the Creator and our elders we will grow strong." -a story shared by Jenny Matin

Brittney Candy-Lady Vernell's beauty

Friday, June 25, 2010


“Love is something you and I must have. We must have it because our spirit feeds upon it. We must have it because without it we become weak and faint. Without love our self-esteem weakens. Without it our courage fails. Without love we can no longer look out confidently at the world. We turn inward and begin to feed upon our own personalities, and little by little we destroy ourselves. With it we are creative. With it we march tirelessly. With it, and with it alone, we are able to sacrifice for others.” - Chief Dan George


Vogue's editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg are seething with contained sensuality, drive, and a compelling beauty atop of their game.  Beyond the trival approach of facial reconstruction, and exercise what is the substance of beauty in old age for women in the West? -Gregory E. Woods

Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour !!!!
Vogue fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg !!!!

Read more:

DC recording artist & singer LORI ANNE WILLIAMS

"elegant beauty has its own rewards."- gregory e. woods

Lori Anne Williams in Rock Creek Park in Washington DC


Shakespeare probably put it best in Romeo and Juliet, "A rose by any other name, would smell as sweet. "Even a rose in the ghetto can be intoxication and provacative, especially when you mix in the soul-stirring, sultry sounds and insightful lyrics of KeKe Wyatt.

Only a ghetto rose can bloom in harsh, unforgiving conditions, through urban concrete; beautifying the innocuous environment. So it is only fitting that KeKe, a survivor in the truest sense, has named her latest musical endeavor Ghetto Rose, on TVT records. Against the odds, KeKe's talent and spirit has not only persevered, but has blossomed.

"I'm really proud of this album, it's been six years since my debut CD. And this one really tells my story and every listener can share in my experiences. A ghetto is something everyone can relate to." "There are ghettos in every corner of the world, there are even ghettos of the mind." "What I sing about on Ghetto Rose, has been in my heart and head for years."

KeKe was literally a baby when she got her calling. "My mother said the only thing that would soothe me, as an infant, was music." At the unbelievably tender age of two, KeKe started singing. By age five, she had performed in her church choir, and by age ten, she recorded her first CD, with a local gospel group. After launching her career as a member, of the development stages of "Destiny's Child;" then named The Dolls, KeKe went solo. It was a destined move for standout vocalist.

In 2001 her debut CD, Soul Sista, was released by MCA Records, where Randy Jackson of "American Idol" fame as the A&R for the album. Soul Sista featured the chart-topping collaboration with R&B singer Avant, "Nothing in This World." Another KeKe-Avant duet, "My First Love," was a 1 Urban Mainstream Record and remained on BET's 106th and Park video countdown for six consecutive weeks. Ultimately, Soul Sista reached 5 on the R&B charts and sold more than 600,000 units. KeKe's music career started soaring.

But along with her growing fame, came increased media scrutiny, and in 2002, KeKe was indicted for allegedly stabbing her husband during a domestic dispute. The charges were later dropped, but the gossip mill had a field day. "All the facts were never really reported," says KeKe, whose second CD Emotional Rollercoaster, via Cash Money Records in 2004, was subsequently shelved despite the album's first single, "Put Your Hands On Me," becoming the 1 most added single at Urban AC radio. KeKe decided to move on, and in 2006, she exited Cash Money Records; later, signing to TVT Records. "The past is just that, the past. You live and you learn. Now, I want to be a role model for other women." "Ghetto Rose gives me a chance to talk about issues i want to talk about; things I have gone through, and what my friends are going through."

Ranging from lost love, to infidelity, to domestic violence, KeKe goes deep inside the nature of relationships on Ghetto Rose. "It's all about relationships--between a man and a woman, and oneself; %#&@$! happens, so let's talk about it." For Ghetto Rose, TVT Records pulled in powerhouse producers and songwriters, including the platinum hit-making duo; The Underdogs (Tyrese, Fantasia, Ne-Yo), superstar producer Steve Morales (Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera), Big Reese (Lloyd), Jack Splash (Alicia Keys, Gnarls Barkley) and the legendary and very selective Narada Michael Walden. "I was really honored Narada Michael Walden wanted to work with me," says KeKe, who also co-wrote several tracks on the album.

Each song on Ghetto Rose tells a story. Starting with the first single and title track, KeKe had a point to make. "The song 'Ghetto Rose' hit so close to home for me. It's what I want to tell all women-to be strong, to not let anyone walk all over you, to love yourself," explains KeKe. Then there's "Whole Lotta Nerve," which directs it's attention at some men and their outrageous antics. It's speaking to a guy, telling him he has alot of nerve trying to treat me like crap," says KeKe, who commands and demands respect. "Some guys think they can get away with anything-and I'm tired of it." But it's not just misbehaving men who take a tongue lashing from KeKe. "Never Do It Again" focuses on a woman done wrong. "I don't want people to think it's always the man's fault. Women do dirt, too, they make mistakes also." The regret-filled "Travel The World' talks of lost opportunity, while the uplifting "You Are My Inspiration," takes listeners on a journey of joy and hope. "I'm A Hustler," This, That & The Third," the biting "Enough" and Ghetto Rose is cathartic.

"Writing and singing are like therapy for me, and I think my music also allows peopple to deal with issues they are going through," says KeKe confidently. "When people listen to Ghetto Rose, I want them to fall in love. I want them to get married off it. To make love to it. To be inspired by it."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

What Is A Father: The Genetic Parent

As told to: Jennifer Wolff, Photograph: Alessandra Petlin

May 16, 2007

"I might have 10 kids, or I might have 50 kids. I have no idea. For sure I know about seven kids through six different mothers who live in six different states, from New York to Hawaii.

I donated sperm once or twice a week for about five years in the early 1990s. Before that, I was one of those people who spent their life savings on fertility treatments, trying to get my ex-wife pregnant, to no avail. She was infertile, but I wasn’t. We felt that by donating, I could help couples going through what we went through, plus pay for groceries for the week.

Each time I gave a sample, I was aware, Wow, there could be a child produced from this. And I told the sperm bank I was open to having contact with any of them after they turned 18. I had this vision of being in my fifties and having these teenagers showing up at my door, looking similar to me, and saying, “Hi, Dad. Want to go for coffee?”

Several years after my divorce, I found the Donor Sibling Registry, a Web site where donor offspring can find their half siblings and, sometimes, their donors. Rachael, one of the moms, had listed her two kids, Aaron and Leah, under my donor number. When I saw their names and their ages—6 and 3 at the time—I got very weepy. Oh my God, these were my kids!

Within hours, we were talking on the phone. Rachael asked, “Is it okay if they call you Dad? Would you prefer they call you Donor?” I was fine with Dad, and that’s what they called me when Rachael brought them out to see me from Massachusetts. Today I have relationships with four of my children. My son in Southern California knows I’m his father, but he calls me Mike. More recently, I met Precious, my daughter in Hawaii. She never asked; she just called me Dad.

I assumed 99 percent of people who bought donor sperm would be infertile couples and that the kids would already have fathers. I didn’t anticipate so many single moms. Of my known kids, none of them has a dad. Most of them don’t have living grandfathers or uncles or any men in their lives, really.

A lot of men out there get married, have children, raise them for a year, and then take off. They are still very much these kids’ fathers, even if another man moves in and takes over. The biological father could be a deadbeat dad, but he’s still a dad. He could be an awful dad, but he’s still a dad. Now I’m a donor dad, or an absentee dad. But for these kids, even though I don’t live with them, or even near most of them, and I don’t pick them up from school or help them with their homework, I’m the only dad they know. And the mothers…until now, they had been complete strangers to me. But I haven’t been a complete stranger to them. They chose me. Granted, all I was to them was a donor profile and a tape recording, but that alone creates a persona in their minds. They carried their…my…our children, and of course they are madly in love with them, so the donor becomes a part of all that intense emotion. I think some of the moms have some issues, not with me, but with one another. I don’t want to say there is a tug-of-war over my time, because no one has been demanding. But there is definitely tension.

All of our names are now off the Donor Sibling Registry. The moms and I need to take a breather to figure out how I can accommodate the kids I know of, because there’s always the chance that another one might turn up. That doesn’t mean that the kids I don’t know yet aren’t entitled to meet their father, but I don’t necessarily want 50 kids in my life either. I’m eventually going to have so many little families that I won’t be able to afford to spend airfare and a week off to visit every one of them. It might have to be one or two kids a year, one or two kids the next year, and then, depending on how many I have, come back around. At this point it’s hard to know what’s fair.

I was really burned by my first marriage, and I thought I’d never have a family—I thought I’d missed my chance. Now I have all these kids to add meaning and purpose to my life. I can’t see them or talk to them over the phone without smiling or busting out laughing.

What I miss is waking up with them on Christmas and watching them opening their presents and believing in Santa Claus. If I’m lucky, I’ll catch one of them on Christmas who still believes in Santa, but maybe not. I also realize that some guy could come in and marry one of these women, and I could be squeezed out. I would miss them, but my primary concern is for my children’s happiness. If some great guy comes in and it’s good for them, then I am happy for them. I absolutely love it when my kids come to stay with me. But I’m also okay when they leave." - Mike Rubino, 47, artist, sperm donor, father of untold numbers of children


Ytasha L. Womack, author of POST BLACK

POST BLACK: How A New Generation is Redefining African American Identity (Lawrence Hill Books) is my new critically acclaimed book that's sparking dialogue across the country! I wrote this book because so many people are ignoring the new diversity in our community, hanging on to dated practices and ideas in a time that demands innovation. As a journalist I saw some of this burgeoning change up close, but few knew what to do about it and others found it to be downright confusing! The failure to recognize this new diversity or "the invisibles" was causing serious problems. Post Black speaks to the new diversity in African American culture in an era of opportunity and change built on the legacy of the past. While many people are talking about post racial and the end of power and race, I argue that we're in a "post black" era in which people are trying to understand the evolving Black American culture. Meet the "invisibles" the Gen X and Y professionals, artists, spiritualists, GLBT, community, immigrants and more who are among those reshaping black identity today. My book takes a look at the generation gap, neofeminism, Talented 10th, multicultural identity, and the impact of President Obama. So check it out! -Ytasha L. Womack

an Elder teaches

Jenny Matin, a FACEBOOK friend

"Stillness in the moment is an act of power fundamental to strategic planning, stealth, dance, expression, beauty, and growth."

-Dawn Wolf,
Keeper of Stories

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Sacheen Little Feather

Sacheen Littlefeather holding Marlon Brando's words @Oscars

Powhatan Renape Nation story

Please click here to sign the petition

In the words of the late Chief Roy Crazy Horse...

We are the native natural people of this land, descendants of an ancient confederation that at one time included over thirty nations. Our people were placed here by the Creator, and have maintained an unbroken history of thousands of years of settlement along the coastal areas of the mid-Atlantic. Although most of our lands are now occupied by others, many of the nation of the original Powhatan Confederacy still survive. The oldest treaty written in this land is between the Powhatan Nations in the year 1646.

Since the time we met the Europeans in the 1500's, our history has been characterized as a struggle to survive war, disease, prejudice, and cultural disintegration. Foreign disease alone probably accounted for halving the Powhatan population by the end of the 17th century. Many of the survivors of those early epidemics were largely decimated by war and starvation. Yet, against all odds, we the Renape (human beings) have survived. Essentially the term Renape refers to us as an ethnic group, a people speaking a common language. However, we were not all united in one Nation. Our people governed themselves freely and harmoniously as independent republics, which sometimes came together in alliances or confederations, such as the Powhatan Confederacy. Thus Powhatan refers to our political identity, while Renape refers to our ethnic/language identity.


History shows that New Jersey's efforts to create a European society to the exclusion of the Original Peoples resulted in an ethnic cleansing which eliminated almost the entire Native population in the early 19th century.

Despite systematic attempts to destroy our Confederation and our culture, the Powhatans have endured, proving our Peoples' strong will to preserve our heritage. Tribal affinities remain strong, distinctive religious beliefs and economic traditions continue to be practiced, and in spite of efforts to force our people to speak only English, the Powhatan language is still alive!

Powhatans Today

Today, most of the descendants of New Jersey's Original People are in Oklahoma and in Canada.

The Powhatan Renape Nation's origins were in the late 19th century, where one by one, our people came in to settle a tiny subdivision known as Morrisville and Delair in Pennsauken Township.

Our forefathers were mostly Rappahannocks from Virginia and Nanticokes from Delaware. Although they had taken tremendous losses in culture as the result of the racist society which surrounded them, they were able to retain their identity. They know who they were and they sought people like themselves as spouses for their sons and daughters. They were quiet, put down deep roots, brought in new members, consolidated their community. At one point, almost 90% of the population of Morrisville were Powhatan Renape people - some 42 homes.

In the 1960's, we "went public" by establishing a center in Philadelphia and later in Moorestown....but we always kept quiet about our home neighborhood. In 1976 we moved to larger quarters in Medford. In 1980, the State of New Jersey, by Resolution of its Senate with the concurrence of the General Assembly, recognized the Powhatan Renape Nation. The resolution also called upon the Congress of the United States to recognize the Powhatan Renape Nation.

IN 1982 the Powhatan Renape Nation negotiated an agreement with the State of New Jersey to take over 350 acres of state owned land in the town of Westampton. The property is now recognized by the state of New Jersey and the general public as the Rankokus Indian Reservation. The Nation's administrative Center is located here to manage its community, educational, cultural, social and other programs and services.

We take on the responsibility of helping the people of the State of New Jersey - particularly school children - to understand our people, our ways, our history, and in the process, to help them understand their own history and their responsibility as Human Beings in the Creation. Thousands of school children visit the Reservation annually to tour its museum, art gallery, and the many exhibits and nature trails on the grounds.

Annual events such as the Juried American Indian Arts Festival, the largest of its kind east of the Mississippi River, are held at the Reservation. As such, the Reservation serves as a focal point not only of the Powhatan Renape Nation, but for American Indians` of other nations located in the region.

For additional information, we recommend A Brief History of the Powhatan Renape Nation, by Chief Crazy Horse. This publication available directly from the Rankokus Indian Reservation. To order, please send $3.00 plus $1.21 for shipping and handling to:

Powhatan Renape Nation
Rankokus Indian Reservation
PO Box 225
Rancocas, NJ 08073


Kola Anderson, Nez Perce/Salish

“Elegance comes with a price or as a gift. Beauty comes as a gift of Spirit or a gift of birth. Wisdom comes with age or experience. Knowing who you are comes from memory, knowing, or discovery. These are my words, gifted to you.” -Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Native American Burial Grounds

"The Native People of North America are living evidence of a cycle of evidence. That cycle extends as far back as human memory, and even beyond. Our ancestors are the very chain of Being that links us in that cycle from the past to the present, just as our children link us to the future. It is through our Ancestors and our children that we know who we are and where we stand in the world. To destroy the graves of our ancestors is tantamount to stealing our children, for we are One in a continuum of life. If you rip open our hearts, then the least we can ask is that you also provide a way to heal the wound.

As you know, many Native American burial grounds are disturbed, and often destroyed in these modern times, by agriculture, archaeology, road work, building, and other forms of construction. We take very seriously the physical and energetic imbalances caused by such activities, and consider it vital that the dominant society take full responsibility for its actions, and provide a means by which imbalances can be corrected. At the very least, in cases where burial sites have been disturbed, new land should be provided for the reburial of remains, where they can be reconsecrated according to the spiritual ways of our people. This is a small thing to ask, and certainly in keeping with the ideals of religious freedom and human rights upon which American society is supposedly based. Consider this carefully. We ask no more than would any self-respecting people, and no less than our ancestors would expect of us. This is as we see it. Aho."

Chief Roy Crazy Horse
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"There are a wide range of hula for different occasions. Much like any culture there are dedicated rituals and ceremonies which befits each occasion. All hula relates back to Pele the Ancestress central to all Life in these island homes. Not sure what this occasion is, so cannot tell you precisely what this hula signifies on this occasion." - Mereana Taki

Monday, June 21, 2010

Indian Beauty

Indian beauty of Jiah Khan on Maxim Magazine December 2008 -3

A man's fantasy, A man's teaching

"If a man's fantasy could come true what about him would reveal itself in the moment of revelation?  Would he become responsible for the outcome, the duties, and the knowlege that comes with the fantasy?"  -Gregory E. Woods

"If you could walk even one step into your freedom with joy will have realised itself." - Mereana Taki


"In a world of illusion you see what you feel, feel what you know and don't know, and somehow understand the inexplicable in ways unforeseeable in the physical world; itself an illusion." -Dawn Wolf

Sherri Shepard

"Some things you see and know, other things you know, and cannot explain, and other things escape capture because their very nature is elusive." -Dawn Wolf, Keeper of Stories

NATURAL MYSTERY: mystery of Del Green Coleman

"...the mystery thereof.

...every woman should be taught how to develop their mystique.

Mystique is a shield, and a reflection of the covering over them capable of protecting them from different kinds of danger. All mystiques are devolved from a sacred material. Unveiled by love deepens its essence into an understanding of relationship beyond the grip of convention, and embodies the holder with dark and light." - Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories

Sunday, June 20, 2010



Mereana Taki teaching

Our Tribalz begin all conversations of greetings with one question. NO HEA KOE? From whom and whence do you come? What Ancients and Ancestors Sing you here to us? Where are your Skies and Lands to whence you and your Tribalz belong? What Mountains, Oceans, Rivers, Forests, Elders speak of your deep life trials and tribulations? What are the significant places on Great Mother as defined in relation to Great Father Sing the Sacred Songs of your Peoples existence? Or ...Hello Tribalz terms. -Mereana Taki


Inuit child

Iraqi beauty of Samina

"On Father's Day the contradictions still loom larger upon the face of the Earth within the chuckles a lot of men stifle watching their 'boys' run a train on a woman an hour or so before they visit their son's at their baby's mother's house. The gross contradictions of church folk mumbling against the women's rights movement as a young girl slips out of a pew stifling a cry for a hurt she cannot articulate in the face of a young cat from her school, who raped her, enters the church to the praise of the Church mothers who wish they were young enough to fuck him blind.

All men are responsible for what happened and what didn't happen to our women. As long as a regime of terror dominates the spiritual landscape of religious doctrine, and the masculine principal over the feminine cannot comprehend the sacredness of pussy, or understand the poetry of the punany rapes and murders will pause during Father's Day celebrations and resume after church, or they will spike during the Father's Day sermons across the land." - Gregory E. Woods, husband & father

ideal beauty of a white woman 6