Lynne d Johnson

 

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08.17.03 12:40 PM

one week


The week started out just fine. Last Sunday I went to Black August, one of those concerts that's more than just a party. If you're not down for the political prisoners, then it probably wouldn't have been the spot for you. Though on the press list, which put me at the press and artists entrance, it wasn't all smooth. But it was all good, I got in. Though Talib Kweli did have a problem with the bouncer when he was trying to get some vendors in. The bouncer even said to him, "You're just another patron to me." I thought that was wild.

When I got in I said my what's ups to dream hampton, film director and writer, and Arthur Jaffa, director and visual artist. I made my way inside and listened to the old skool sounds as spun by DJ Evil Dee and DJ Beverly Bond. Goapele performed, and I must say she didn't get as much response as I'd hoped. The Boot Camp Clik performed next and the Brooklyn crowd went crazy, especially when "Boom Bye Bye" came on. I guess there's no space for the homosexual population to be revolutionaries. I always find that a lil' bit absurd. I said a few more what's ups to folks out on the floor, including one of Hot 97's morning show hosts Jimmy Martinez, and then Toure, author of The Portable Promised Land.

Made my way back to the green room and gave shout outs to poet Jessica Care Moore and One World editor-in-chief Raquel Cepeda. Back out on the floor, Keith Murray, recently let go from Def Jam, performed and some political renegade rap group from Redemption Recordings called duo live. Dead Prez was up next and again the Brooklyn crowd swelled with excitement, singing all the words to their mixtape release. Then it was Talib, another Brooklyn crowd pleaser, and then of course Ms. Erykah Badu herself. She got props for being involved with the movement, seeing she's an artist of monumental stature. Lady broke it down. She sang, but she also preached. And those who remained 'til02:30:00 aM where right there with her on her message. Erykah was talking spiritual growth as a revolutionary movement...it was a combination of Nation of Gods and Earths, Rastafarianism, Buddhism, Dravidian, um excuse me Hinduism, Tantrism. She's really a beautific spirit. Even when she came in with her assistant and her son, she stayed among the people when she could have gone to a closed room by herself. I stayed right up to "Other Side Of The Game," knowing full well that "Danger," must've been next since it's part II, but it was nearing 3 am and I had to break out. I do hope the folks who attended went home feeling like they went to more than just a concert though.

The rest of the week went business as usual for me. In meetings nearly all day Monday - Wednesday, and then Thursday was the company outing, which featured a little boat ride around New York. When we got back to the office, it was BLACKOUT 2003. Luckily someone drove me to the Manhattan Bridge, and I made my way across before sundown. I took a nap, and when I woke up it was mad dark and I couldn't get any signals on the cell or even a dial tone on the land line. I had to go out and use the pay phone, and I saw people still coming in from the city. It was wild, wild, wild. And though on Friday, power started being restored, there were still many places that were pitch black by nightfall. You know it was scary because I felt that everyone was so vulnerable in this time. I did experience a Blackout before, but something about this one, being so close to recent war and terrorist attacks, kind of made things seem a lil' more uneasy.

So now here it is Sunday the 17th, and power is all restored, and it's my birthday. Messed up thing about it is that I've been battlling a head cold all week and I'm in the womanly way (if you get my drift), so I'm just not with it. Besides the week just really wore me out, spiritually, mentally, and physically. I'm just looking forward to another week that will hopefully be a lot brighter.

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