Thursday, 20 July 2017

92nd birthday of Frantz Fanon

(Born 20 July 1925, Fort-de-France, Martinique, Caribbean)
PSYCHIATRIST, student of poet, playwright and essayist Aimé Césairephilosopher and one of the preeminent revolutionary theorists of the 20th century whose landmark publications are: The Wreathed of the Earth (1963), A Dying Colonialism (1965),  Black Skin, White Masks (1967), Toward the African Revolution (1969)
(Jackie McLean Quintet, “Esoteric” [personnel: McLean, alto saxophone; Grachan Moncur III, trombone; Bobby Hutcherson, vipraphone; Larry Ridley, bass; Roy Haynes, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 20 September 1963])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Sharply contrasting worlds!

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

TWO “youths” in the southwestcentral region of Africa with such contrasting worldview – for one, it is to threaten and threaten to, and murder and murder and murder as their parents and grandparents have done during the course of the Igbo genocide these past 51 years and the dreadful legacy of foreparents’ trail of murders and subjugations of indigenous African populations across the northern stretches of the region since they left their Futa Djallon homeland in Guinea-Conakry just over 200 years ago to the day; the other “youth”, in the south of the geography, is engaged in an assured quest for freedom that views life, African life, as sacrosanct and is eager to employ its incredible talent to transform the lives of its people, an outcome with epochal consequences for the region and the rest of the African World.
(Jackie McLean Quintet, “Love and hate” [personnel: McLean, alto saxophone; Grachan Moncur III, trombone; Bobby Hutcherson, vipraphone; Larry Ridley, bass; Roy Haynes, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 20 September 1963])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

68th birthday of Thulani Davis

(Born 19 July 1949, Hampton, Virginia, US)
AWARD-WINNING playwright, novelist, journalist, poet, librettist, outstanding works include My Confederate Kinfolk (2006) on family history with immense national and wider resonance, The Souls of Black Folk (2003), a play on adaptation of WEB Du Bois’s classic of the same title, All the Renegade Ghosts Rise (poems: 1978), Playing the Changes (poems: 1985) and writes the libretti to two operas she collaborates with cousin and composer/pianist Anthony Davis: X (1986) on the life of Malcolm X and Amistad (1997) on the 1839 enslaved African maritime freedom uprising
(Tina Brooks Sextet, “Back to the tracks” [personnel: Brooks, tenor saxophone; Blue Mitchell, trumpet; Jackie McLean, alto saxophone; Kenny Drew, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Art Taylor, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, US, 1 September 1960])

Sunday, 16 July 2017

64th birthday of Jean-Bertrand Aristide

(Born 15 July 1953, Port Salut, Haiti)
CATHOLIC priest of Salesian Order, liberation theologian and three times African peoples-centred president of Haiti (7 February 1991-29 September 1991, 12 October 1994-7 February 1996, 7 February 2001-29 February 2004) during which he carries out expansive general population-focused reforms and provisions in health care, education and agriculture and tackling/curbing/dismantling a range of murderous military/quasimilitary brigades employed by regimes in the past to terrorise the people
(Sonny Rollins at the Village Gate, 1962, “Dance of the reed pipes” [personnel: Rollins, tenor saxophone; Don Cherry, pocket trumpet; Bob Cranshaw, bass; Billy Higgins, drums; recorded: live, Village Gate, New York, US, 27-30 July 1962])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

155th birthday of Ida B Wells

(Born 16 July 1862, Holly Springs, Mississippi, US)
SOCIOLOGIST, celebrated investigative journalist and unrelenting exponent of African American freedom
(John Coltrane Sextet, “Blue train” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone, Lee Morgan, trumpet; Curtis Fuller, trombone; Kenny Drew, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Philly Joe Jones, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, US, 15 September 1957])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Friday, 14 July 2017

On this eve of the Biafra referendum

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

Imprimatur of freedom

AS I OBSERVED recently
 (, the preemptive return of the Biafra freedom movement (to Biafra) has not only confronted and overridden the “conventional wisdom” that underscores the key trajectory of comparable liberation projects, the movement’s return is indeed its historic stamp of the imprimatur of the Biafra restoration-of-independence in Biafra for the first time since 13 January 1970 – genocidist Nigeria’s launch date of phase-IV of the Igbo genocide and the accompanying occupation of Biafra.

Appropriately to confront the pressing emergency of the times, the movement has at once planned a referendum throughout Biafra to democratically reestablish five decades of the loss of sovereign rights of the people and withdrawn from participating in any future “elections” organised in Biafra by the occupation. The latter exercises have in the past been distinctively fraudulent and immensely contradictory as the feudal Hausa-Fulani/islamist-led genocidist and occupying regime with no democratic heritage in its culture or history, not to mention genocidist Nigeria itself which has had no credible election throughout its history, would bizarrely posit to organise elections in (occupied) Igboland that has enjoyed an advanced republican democratic tradition for over a thousand years. For the occupation, regimes in the Biafra administrative regions (Abia, Anambra, Delta, Enuugwu, Rivers, etc., etc) that emerge from these “elections” exist solely to contribute to police the occupation. Nothing more. The operationalisation of this envisaged role was demonstrated most tragically, just recently, when not one head of regime in any of these administrative regions condemned the slaughter of their very own citizens by the genocidist military/Fulani militia in the already mentioned pogroms across Biafra since October 2015 in which a total of 2000 Igbo were murdered.

In July 2010, a high profile grouping of Igbo human rights intellectuals met in a conference in Enuugwu to discuss the state of this occupation of Biafra which the Biafra freedom movement, seven years later, must now terminate. In its concluding communiqué, the conference captures most profoundly what it aptly categorises as the “siege and occupation” of Igboland (
[Igboland] has become militarized with a vast deployment of expeditionary and predatory police and army personnel who are from outside the region. For instance, there are 61 Police check-points between Abakal[e]k[e] … to Nsukka … (a distance of about 130km). In [contrast] between Obolo-Afo [Igboland] and Lokoja [Nigeria] (a distance of nearly 400 km) no checkpoints exist. This state of siege is exemplified by the current [situation] of … [Igbo] cities [including] Aba, [Enuugwu, Abakaleke, Onicha, Owere] and Nnewi – hitherto the fastest growing and thriving industrial cum commercial cities in the African continent now being turned into refuse dumps and ghettos. Businesses that would have provided jobs to engage our youths have been strangulated by incompetent and criminal leadership.
THERE CAN BE no other solution to this longest genocide of the contemporary era but the freedom of the Igbo people from Nigerian subjugation and occupation. The return of the Biafra freedom movement, shattering all known “conventions”, is the most strategic development in 47 years of the course of this journey. 

Freedom is inalienable. One does not ask for it; one takes it! The 50 million Igbo know they have to take their freedom as they head to the referendum to pronounce this liberatory choice as the world awaits so eagerly.
(George Russell Sextet, “Honesty” [personnel: Russell. Piano; Don Ellis, trumpet; Dave Baker, trombone; Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone; Steve Swallow, bass; Joe Hunt,
drums; recorded: Riverside Records, New York, US, 8 May 1961])

Thursday, 13 July 2017

81st birthday of Albert Ayler

(Born 13 July 1936, Cleveland, Ohio, US)
ICONIC tenor saxophonist and composer whose July 1964 album, Spiritual Unity (Ayler, tenor saxophone; Gary Peacock, bass; Sunny Murray, percussion) and subsequent landmark recordings celebrate the concept of rhythmic freedom that captures the saliency of the ongoing age of freedom drive in the United States and elsewhere in the world
(Albert Ayler TrioSpiritual Unity [“Ghosts: First variation”, “The wizard”, “Spirits”, “Ghosts: Second variation” {personnel: Ayler, tenor saxophone; Gary Peacock, bass; Sunny Murray, drums; recorded: Variety Arts Recording Studio, New York, US, 10 July 1964}])
(Albert Ayler & Don CherryVibrations  [“Ghosts: short version”, “Children”, “Holy Spirit”, “Ghosts: extended version”, “Vibrations”, “Mothers” {personnel: Ayler, tenor saxophone, alto saxophone; Don Cherry, pocket trumpet, Gary Peacock, bass; Sunny Murray, drums; recorded: Copenhagen, Denmark, 14 September 1964}])