Revolutionizing Our Lives

Peace, love, and light to all of my fam! It has been quite some time since my last post. Life happens and you become so preoccupied that you end up neglecting your gifts, your talents, and the like. Anyway, let me not get bogged down into that and jump right into the issue at hand. As I type this, I feel weighed down and heavy in my heart. The burden of being an Amerikkkan Afrikan is heavy indeed and the social climate in our communities is one of absolute exhaustion.

With the continued and repeated attacks on our people by officers of the so-called law, lack of conviction and justice, we are left with a feeling of hopelessness. I have been saying that there is an apparent open season on black folks and it continues. And still there is no clear course of action as to what we as a people should do to bring all of this to an end. Some want to pray about it. Others want to take revenge. Some want to attack economically through boycotts etc. While others look to repatriation as a feasible option.

I have been meditating on the murders of Keith Lamont Scott and Terence Crutcher. As the protests began in my city of Charlotte, NC, I felt just as I had during the Mike Brown protests. After all was said and done, no conviction was to be had and we all were left broken hearted. And the hash tags have become almost insurmountable. The cycle of murder, calls to action, the old adage of “I feared for my life”, missing evidence, lack of evidence, and the sort, followed by “No conviction” is well known by us all. Often these murderous police officers walk away with tons of cash via GoFundMe and pension plans.

We have had tapes of our people being murdered (remember Eric Garner), we have had children murdered as well (Tamir Rice), we have had people who were not officers get off Scott free after murdering our people (Trayvon Martin). These people have been immortalized but not in a positive way. Now we are in an election year and we all know that neither candidate truly cares about what is happening to us on a daily basis. Even the United Nations has brought the brutality to light. So, what is the solution?

I believe that the solution must be multi-faceted and all actions strategic. I am at a point in my life that I do not believe that liberation for our people can be found on the shores of Amerikkka. But, I do also understand that leaving this country may not be feasible for everyone. So, we must live as separate and as unified as possible. Participation in elections on a local level is of the utmost importance, boycotting oppressive corporations and spending black, educating our own youth—via homeschooling or afterschool enrichment programs, growing our own food, utilizing alternative methods for power such as solar energy, opening co-op grocery stores, etc. All of these actions are feasible and I feel necessary. We must stop doing what we have always done in order to achieve the change we seek. All change begins within. Revolution begins in the mind. By changing your mind, you can change your life. One person can create a ripple and cause great change and affect the lives of generations. One step at a time…..

 

Hetepu,

Ashaki Ma’at Mirembe Ali

The Tru Lioness

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Life is Stillmatic

Peace, love,and light to the fam! Hope you all are well. I am feeling quite nostalgic after watching “Time Is Illmatic”, the 2014 Nas documentary. Now, let’s flashback to 1994 when Nas’s first album dropped. I was a 13-year-old struggling with issues of family drug abuse, neglect, and poverty. One day as I sat at the kitchen table doing homework, the video for “The World is Yours” came on. I dropped my pencil and became hypnotized by the words. “Understandable smooth shit that murderers move with, the thief’s theme; play me at night, they won’t act right. The fiend of hip-hop has got me stuck like a crack pipe…”

Quickly I moved to my dresser drawer to see if I had enough money to buy the tape. To my surprise, I did. I jumped on my bike and headed to the record store, praying along the way that the record was not sold out. No, I was not from Queensbridge, but his tales of life in the hood were all too familiar. “Illmatic” was a pivotal record in my youth. I was coming of age in a time where crack was king. Many children were left to fend for themselves or depend on grandparents to care for them. But the music, the hip hop of 1994 was absolutely historical. The music told the untold stories of ghetto life, from the dirty South to the slums of the city. We all were experiencing similar things in life. Nas tapped into the energy. Nas spoke to my soul. He was more gritty than A Tribe Called Quest, but he still flowed effortlessly and with intelligence. His lyricism was crisp, poetical, and poignant. His presence made a huge difference on the scene of hip hop.

People think that I exaggerate when I say that hip hop saved my life. Yo, it is far from a lie. Many times I considered suicide and illegal capers, but hip hop was salve to my soul. “The World Is Yours” gave me hope. I began to visualize my escape from my condition. I knew that life was much more than living in projects and seeing drugs rip your community apart. I knew life was more than drinking, getting high, and having sex. I knew that I was not destined to be a part of the nonsense. I knew life was good and also what you make it. That record is an anthem for me until this very day.

Another of my favorite Nas lines is “Life is good, no matter what, life is good.” It is my creed. I am a child of hip hop. Much gratitude to Nas for his contribution to the art that is hip hop. He may never know the true impact, but “The World is Yours” had a direct impact on the essence of Ashaki Ali.

 

Peace, Love, and Light,

Ashaki Ma’at Mirembe Ali

 

 

 

 

Photo Cred: http://columbiaspectator.com/arts-and-entertainment/2014/10/02/new-documentary-focuses-inspiration-importance-nas-debut