Thursday, 27 October 2016

FWD: John Lennon letter to the Queen explaining return of MBE valued at £60,000 after being found in car boot sale, The Telegraph, London, 27 October 2016

(John Lennon:... medal is sent back to Buckingham Palace, London, 25 November 1969)
By Telegraph reporters

A LETTER WRITTEN BY John Lennon to the Queen explaining why he returned his MBE has been valued at £60,000, say auctioneers.

The note remains in royal archives but a version of the letter was brought along by a member of the public to a memorabilia event in Liverpool on Wednesday.

The person, who wishes to remain anonymous, assumed it was a copy and said they found it tucked away inside the sleeve of a record contained in a collection of 45rpm singles they bought for £10 at a car boot sale 20 years ago.

Recently unearthed in the owner’s attic, the letter has been described as an “incredible find” by Darren Julien of Los Angeles-based Julien’s Auctions who believes it may be the original letter.

Mr Julien has a theory that Lennon’s letter was a draft version that he never sent to the Queen because the ink in the signature had been smudged.

He said: “If you’re writing to the Queen, you want the letter to look pretty perfect, you don’t want the ink to be smudged. This suggests that he wrote a second version of the letter, which was the one that was actually sent to the Queen.

“We’ll be doing some further research but this could be the Beatles find of the year. There is no doubt that the handwriting is definitely that of John Lennon.”

The letter (draft)

In his letter, Lennon wrote: “Your Majesty I am returning this MBE in protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against Cold Turkey slipping down the chart.

“With love John Lennon

“John Lennon of Bag.”
The letter was one of a number of items belonging to members of the public that were valued during the memorabilia day at The Beatles Story exhibition at the city’s Albert Dock. 

Martin King, of The Beatles Story, said: “This is an absolute gem and we are thrilled to have seen a piece of memorabilia with such historical significance. Ironically, 26th October was the day that The Beatles received their MBEs from The Queen so it’s quite fitting that the letter was brought into us on the exact same date many years later.”


REMINDER: The Igbo, vanguard outreach, Nigeria – circ. 1934-29 May 1966

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

THE IGBO WERE ONE of the very few constituent nations in what was Nigeria, prior to 29 May 1966 - launch date of the Igbo genocide carried out by Nigeria and Britain, who understood, fully, the immense liberatory possibilities ushered in by 1 October 1960 (presumed, scheduled date of termination of 100 years of the British conquest and occupation of these southwestcentral states and peoples of Africa) and the interlocking challenges of the vast reconstructionary work required for state and societal transformation in the aftermath of foreign occupation.

The Igbo had the most robust economy in the country in their east region homeland, supplied the country with its leading writers, artists and scholars, supplied the country’s top universities with its vice-chancellors (president/rector) and leading professors and scientists, supplied the country with its first indigenous university (the prestigious university at Nsukka where, at its Enuugwu medical school, the first open-heart surgery in southwestcentral Africa was successfully performed on 1 February 1974), supplied the country with its leading and most spirited African World theorists, philosophers and practitioners, supplied the country with its top diplomats, supplied the country’s leading secondary schools/high schools with its head teachers and administrators, supplied the country with its top bureaucrats, supplied the country with its leading businesspeople, supplied the country with an educated, top-rated professional officers-corps for its military and police forces, supplied the country with its leading sportspersons, essentially and effectively worked the country’s rail, postal, telegraphic, power, shipping and aviation services to quality standards not seen since in Nigeria … And they were surely aware of the vicissitudes engendered by this historic age precisely because the Igbo nation played the vanguardist role in the freeing of Nigeria from Britain, beginning from the mid-1930s.

It is precisely in response to this defining Igbo role in this very strategic region of Africa that the Anglo-Nigeria empire struck back most gruesomely with the genocide, begun on Sunday 29 May 1966.
(Alice Coltrane Quartet, “Lord, help me to be” [personnel: Coltrane, piano; Pharoah Sanders, tenor saxophone;  Jimmy Garrison, bass; Ben Riley, drums; recorded: Coltrane home studio, Dix Hills, New York, US, 29 January 1968]) 

94th birthday of Ruby Dee

(Born 27 October 1922, Cleveland, Ohio, US)
Celebrated award-winning actress and freedom proponent who continues to work till her 90th birthday – with signature film performances which include The Jackie Robinson Story (1950), Edge of a City (1957), The Raisin in the Sun (1961), Gone are the Days (1963), The Incident (1967), Peyton Place (television: 1968-1969), Roots – The Next Generation (television: 1979), I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (television: 1979), With Ossie and Ruby! (television: 1980-1982), Go Tell It on the Mountain (television: 1985), Do the Right Thing (1989), Jungle Fever (1991), Their Eyes were watching God (television: 2005), American Gangster (2007)
(Alice Coltrane Trio, “Lovely sky boat” [personnel: Coltrane, harp;  Jimmy Garrison, bass; Rashied Ali, drums; recorded: Coltrane home studio, Dix Hills, New York, US, 6 June 1968]) 

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

65th birthday of Catherine Acholonu

(Born 26 October 1951, Orlu, Biafra)
Prolific and indefatigable scholar on Igbo origins and civilisation and relationship with neighbouring states and peoples and rest of the world
(Alice Coltrane Trio, “Turiya and Ramakrishna” [personnel: Coltrane, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Ben Riley, drums; recorded: Coltrane home studio, Dix Hills, New York, US, 26 January 1970]) 

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

In a sentence or two, what is the singular achievement of the Biafra freedom movement during this past year (15 October 2015-15 October 2016) of the detention of Nnamdi Kanu by the Nigeria genocidist regime?

(Nnamdi Kanu: ... leader of Indigenous People of Biafra and freedom broadcaster, Radio Biafra)
At a stroke, the Biafran resistance has abolished that contrived “fear” always generated hitherto by the genocidists and their allies especially in academia and media (particularly those emplaced in the Lagos-Ibadan [west Nigeria] conurbation) of regime threats to “relaunch” the Igbo genocide full scale to thwart any “escalation” in the manifestation and drive for freedom by the freedom movement. This is indeed extraordinary.
(Alice Coltrane Quartet, “Lord, help me to be” [personnel: Coltrane, piano; Pharoah Sanders, tenor saxophone;  Jimmy Garrison, bass; Ben Riley, drums; recorded: Coltrane home studio, Dix Hills, New York, US, 29 January 1968]) 

Friday, 21 October 2016

Rebirth: “I am because I am free; I am free because I am”

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

WHY AND HOW DOES a state exist to dominate, exploit, and, in cases such as NigeriaRwanda, the Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for instance, embark on a mission to destroy some of its constituent nations or peoples? 15 million Africans have been murdered in the genocides in these foursome states and in other wars elsewhere in Africa between 1966 and 2016. As most people know, the states that Europe created in Africa, in the aftermath of its leaders’ infamous November 1884-February 1885 Berlin-conquest conference, cannot lead African peoples to the reconstructive changes they deeply yearn for after the tragic history of centuries of conquest and occupation.

Create own state now
Such changes were and never are the mission of these states but instruments to expropriate and despoil Africa by the conquest in perpetuity. This is the “curse” of Berlin. But, thankfully, just as in Berlin, states are not a gift from the gods but relationships painstakingly formulated and constructed by groups of human beings on planet earth to pursue aspirations and interests envisioned and articulated by these same human beings. For the Igbo, Darfuri, and all other peoples presently besieged by the haematophagous monster of a state emplaced, the message on the unfurled banner for their freedom march couldn’t be more confident and focused: “I am because I am free; I am free because I am”. Create your own state today. This right is inalienable. Now is the time!

Challege to the genocidists of Africa: Break up the barrel & blade for the slaughter 
Let Africa’s constituent peoples or nations unleash at once a dazzling contest of creativity and progress, a continuing mutual bombardment, sharing, and transformation of ideas and streams of possibilities, akin to what the world has seen in south and southeast Asia and elsewhere in the world in the past 40 years – not the “Berlin-state”-programmed seasons of 50 years of mass murdering, pillaging, nihilism, particularly in the genocidist lairs called Nigeria, the Sudan... “Let the kite perch and let the eagle perch, too. If one says no to the other, let their wing break”.

Most surely, now is the time to embark on this rebirth, this beginning for peoples in Africa.
(The New York Contemporary Five plays “Sound barrier” [personnel: Archie Shepp, tenor saxophone; Don Cherry, pocket trumpet; John Tchicai, alto saxophone; Don Moore, bass; JC Moses, drums; recorded: live, Jazzhus Montmarte, Copenhagen, Denmark, 15 November 1963])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

99th birthday of Dizzy Gillespie

(Born 21 October 1917, Cheraw, South Carolina, US)
VIRTUOSO TRUMPETER who, with alto saxophonist Charlie Parker, plays a vanguard role in the bebop revolution in jazz in the 1940s/early 1950s and whose creative genius has influenced a stretch of trumpet luminaries subsequently: Fats Navarro, Miles Davis, Clifford Brown,  Booker Little, Donald Bryd, Kenny Dorham, Lee Morgan,  Art Farmer, Clarence Shaw, Richard Williams, Nat Adderley, Ted Curson, Johnny Coles, Woody Shaw, Lester Bowie, Don Cherry, Alan Shorter, Donald Ayler Dizzy Reece, Freddie Hubbard, Jon Faddis, Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard
(Charlie Parker Quintet plays Tadd Dameron’s classic composition, “Hot House” [personnel: Parker, alto saxophone; Gillespie, trumpet; Dick Hyman, piano; Sandy Block, bass; Charlie Smith, drums; recorded: Dumont Television Studios, New York, US, 24 February 1952])
(The Giants of Jazz, Live album, Copenhagen [personnel: Gillespie, trumpet; Kai Winding, trombone; Sonny Stitt, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone; Thelonious Monk, piano; Al McKibbon, bass; Art Blakey, drums; recorded: live, Tivoli, Copenhagen, Denmark, 9 November 1971])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe