michael, peace will come, no matter what: a reflection (no. 11)

it has been far too long since i’ve expressed my emotions and experiences here; i realized i had to do a lot of searching though.  where do i fit in, in the context of the world…  of the communities i exist in?

and even though everyone is aware of you as my teacher, where at this point do you fit in?  as the days pass, my perspectives become clearer and clearer, and when i say to you that peace will come, i truly mean it.  i now know what that means.  it is not necessarily a peace in the world- sadly, as long as the world maintains the structures of power currently in existence we will never reach a necessary peace globally.  the peace i have attained is within.

you see, there have been a number of events in my life recently which would have shaken my spirit to the point of extended depression.  there have indeed been trying moments; the outcome though has been acceptance.  instead of trying to figure out whether or not anyone “understands me” (as you once succinctly put it), i had to work on not UNDERestimating, but OVERstanding myself.  after all of these years of struggle i made it.  if that is the only thing i accomplish in my life then that’s an accomplishment i will be proud of.

there are indeed still challenges but now i have come to the point where i accept my imperfections and take full responsibility for my errors, then work on improving them.  it may not appear that way; from where i am though, this is something i am truly thankful for, when it comes to you.  in remembering the things you’ve said, remembering certain phrases…  certain tones…  i am able to remember your gifts and know that i am greater than what i have presented within myself.

anyone who is sensitive to energy is going to struggle in a society with far too much negative stimuli.  this is why work on the self is so important.

despite having written a blog dedicated to you for a number of years i can never express in enough words how much you have taught me.  i realized that some of what i have to say demanded an internal conversation, so i remained silent.  all of the current news regarding yourself or your family- i have remained mostly silent for this as well.  some people may ask why i am dedicating a blog to you if you are not physically here.

the answer is simple:  it’s about THE TEACHINGS.  i can speak all day as to what the teachings mean to me; however, constantly utilizing an outward means of expression does not necessarily guarantee success.  to truly learn requires looking within.  to truly love means to ask questions of yourself.  i could never say i love you if i didn’t examine the elements of your imperfections.  i could never respectfully examine the imperfections if i didn’t see your humanity.  i could never say i appreciated the teachings if i never questioned them.  i could never hope to truly love another if i didn’t accept MYSELF first.

it’s all cyclical.

a revolution doesn’t exist
without struggle
just like
a teacher doesn’t exist
without students.

the revolution must begin
with the heart.
the heart receives the message
then sends it out to
the body…

the key to creativity and true knowledge is
reaching towards a higher consciousness…

i can overstand the disguises
but the real truth lies in

the price of fame
is too expensive for someone so
so attentive to
derived from the leaves and rocks

material success
will never replace
what one already has within them

we are all children of the earth
regardless of age

it takes practice to remember this

the key is to be determined in practice
in order to maintain the faith

the key is to be in tune to true love
in order to not keep you in a box

perception is a bird
yearning to be free through lifelong learning but we
continue to cage her by
the bigger picture

the seeds we eat are ripe
with the nutrients of unlimited knowledge
yet we limit ourselves to a nest of institutions
and continue to sleep on our own power…

those who love you will clip your wings
but feathers shed and enter a cycle of
and you will learn to fly again

there’s no place too far…
too far for us
distance is not an option
when the heart guides the

we kept you in a box
when you had been trying to fly
when you were evolving…
you chose to break free
in many ways were hindered because
have been hungry for the fruits of knowledge
doled out by someone else
we have been hoodwinked into believing someone else’s perception of you
(whether or not we agree with it)
as opposed to tuning into

gives us all an innate quality of discernment
we make judgements in line with self-preservation…
we judge of course, though not through our intuitive selves.

we have squandered away our necessity to ask questions
by way of
hero celebrity worship
political party loyalty
desire for material success…
with nothing to show for it.

the seeds have been poisoned
as opinion is consistently misdiagnosed as
we continue to eat the seeds
of anonymous debates with no substance
which bear empty calories
we encounter illnesses never seen in our
ancestors’ lives

“only you can hurt yourself.”
you said that

only we can hurt ourselves…
only we have ourselves to blame if we simply complain about the institutions
caging us in,
when we make no moves to
unlock the cage

there can be no progress without
we have to care enough to not care
we have to know that those who cage us
do not care about us

even if we are afraid
we cannot be motivated by fear.
to open the cage on your own is scary
and you may be initially alone
but we all must know there are others who have done the same before us

in our moments of stumbling
we will be kissed by our teachers and ancestors
they’ve got to hear it- this gift of appreciation
from us
and not those who claim to hold the key

we make the cries the whole world can sing
those cries to be fed
from our mother
mother earth
will be heard
if we heed the call

voices are taken
from young lives every day
through international militarism
through police terrorism
through synthetic substances
and we are told we are powerless
and that
if we tweak the system JUST ENOUGH things will change for the better

a system cannot change for the better
if it is under the guise of a pre-existing system

a system cannot be repaired
if its basis is not about nurturing and
a system cannot be healed
if you are only looking at the minor symptoms

people tend to look at the end result of abuse
never the full(er) picture,
the intricacies;
they check for external bruises
but never know the true effects.

never knowing
never knowing…

how does it feel
to be alone inside a cold room
which houses that which flows though us

it must never be enough to have enough-
we must act
in love
cultural appreciation and respect
and honor towards our teachers

when this is the motivation
it allows more space for hatred…

art should strive towards a higher consciousness
it should strive towards transcendence
it should strive beyond the physical

we should never entrap you as we’ve done
and we continue to do

your soul has flown
and we should now focus on
the message
we MUST evolve with you

with this
i finally overstand how a poem
a song
a piece of art
can create itself
evolution and nature are inseparable
we must allow it to thrive inside of us

this is the only way towards progression
towards freedom…
towards love.

i love you…
i love you i love you
teacher, i love you

i speak these words
love is truly a sound which holds no syllables
for it is a never-ending sound
it is the first and the last
it is permanent
even when the feelings we all claim no longer exist on this earth
when our bodies return towards their natural cycles
love will be the only constant
i love you
i love you


(note: the final piece is an edited version of a spoken word/music project i did entitled ‘faith, determination, practice…  and truth’)

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where should my focus be in honoring the teacher?

i have not been able to write as much as i’d like to here; with that, i am sending a basic message about what the teachings mean to me.

with that, am i doing what i am supposed to be doing?  it’s something i struggle with whenever i write.  i do realize the words we speak carry a lot of weight, whether or not people in general want to acknowledge this.

what does it mean to be a student of anything?  do we just follow the teachings without moving further and improving upon the teachings?  how do we move farther in a world which discourages us to do so?

knowing that the teachings move beyond ourselves, i know that what we do on this earth is part of a larger mission.  i struggle though, for my place in this world.  again- WHAT AM I HERE TO DO?  all the things i WANT to do, does it serve a positive mission?  this is just another moment where i am trying to process where i am in the world.  i do wonder, as ‘famous’ as you were, how you coped.  it’s not good to be ‘alone’ all the time.  but really, were you even alone at all?

i’d never want to live a life faced with cameras in my face all the time…  with people grabbing at me and wanting to know where i was at every moment of the day.  i would want the ability to raise my children in peace and privacy.

the trade-off though, is having the ability to make positive change in the world at your own pace, without worrying when your next meal is coming, or if you are going to be able to pay your rent or mortgage the next month.  unfortunately, not a lot of people use their fame or wealth as part of a larger mission.

again, i struggle…  where am i, and where do i want to be?  i WANT people to hear me, but not to the point where i lose my privacy.

i appreciate the work you did in terms of your mission; however i do not envy your position in any way.  perhaps i will come to an answer via some piece of literature, or an interview you gave-

or most importantly, within myself.


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the day of honoring the teacher: some photos

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today was the day of the silent walking vigil for teacher michael…  most people were averting their eyes at me, or giving me sympathetic smiles.  my favourite moments were when the children were smiling and waving, and when the older eritrean or ethiopian women were dancing…

it was initially cloudy (and even rained a bit), and then the sun came out.  it was a bitter-sweet day.  i walked for approximately four hours and fifteen minutes, sometimes alone, and sometimes with friends.

all for the teachings…


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a silent walking vigil for the teacher…

firstly, i have not been here for a while because i have had extremely limited access to the computer due to circumstances beyond my control…  but let us not fret, for i am here now. 

secondly, as of tomorrow it will be three years since you left this earth.  the past two years have been sad; however, i have generally come to terms with you not being here.  this year though, i am feeling particularly sad.  i wanted to have a pro-active reaction to this grieving experience (at the same time honouring the teachings) and i figured i would go on a silent walking vigil.  i am going to rest soon, then mentally prepare myself, as i have a feeling it will be a hard day.  i will be walking for a bulk of the day, and i wrote a little informational sheet which explains why i am doing what i am doing…


annual silent walking vigil for michael jackson
25 june

we are taking time out today to not simply mourn the violent (as we see it) loss of life of a great teacher; we also want to silently reflect on the teachings in a society which does not honour them.

  • he ‘died’ as a reluctant commodity,as his desire to help disenfranchised people sustained him…  on his ‘death bed’ he aimed to use funds for the ‘this is it’ tour, to build the world’s largest children’s hospital.  also those who worked with him for that tour claimed he wanted to perform in economically disparaged nations to help them empower themselves.
  • in our research we observed that the ‘this is it’ contract may not have been a contract at all- but a type of ‘promissory note’ which stated that if he fell back on his financial commitments to the tour he’d have to surrender his catalogue, etc.  it’s very clear to us that michael either did not fully read the contract or was coerced into signing it.  this can be debated all day (rightfully so); in our view and research though, all signs point to the murder of our teacher, as he held valuable non-liquid (aka: not bank notes or coins) assets. 






as another ‘anniversary’ of michael’s transition has arrived, we acknowledge that globally as we become smaller, we are also isolating ourselves through technology, instant foods, desire for quick celebrity, and much more.

while we recognize michael’s dependency on certain pharmaceuticals in order to to maintain a life as a performer- as well as dealing with any emotional pains- we aim to take the focus off of one individual’s dependency, and question whether he or others had alternative/wholistic options to their ailments.  if indeed people HAVE utilized their options, was there a support network to maintain this path?  michael nor anyone else needed to cry in pain or leave this world alone. 

as usual, to silence anyone who questions anything; there is a prompting by media organizations to focus on an individual’s dependency on drugs, as opposed to truly studying ALL the circumstances surrounding ‘death’.  nor is there an ongoing investigation of the pharmaceutical industry- these corporations which not only promote treating symptoms as opposed to the whole problem; but they also lobby to criminalize wholistic techniques to health care. 

for us, it is imperative to speak out against injustice in ALL its forms.  we do what we can to fight injustice every day; however, it’s usually with a speaking voice.  through this vigil we will show that silence does not always imply compliance.  we will continue this silent vigil every year on the ‘anniversary’ of our teacher’s transcendence, until justice for all peoples around the world is recognized…  until we make notions to heal ourselves wholistically…  until corporations concerned with only the bottom line either cease or finally value life…  until we ALL speak and act out against injustice.  because when we all finally do that, this is when true justice will be a tangible reality. 


perhaps that will be one step towards “heal(ing) the world”.

love, jamilah

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michael, peace will come, no matter what: a reflection (no. 10)


i was just listening to ‘heal the world’, and tears started rolling down my eyes.  these days, generally i am okay emotionally; i have taken steps to care for myself, get enough rest, eat better, drink more water, get plenty of exercise…  but somehow, lately, listening to that song has been cathartic for me.  it’s presenting a whole range of experiences, from pain to joy.

there was a time a couple of weeks ago, i was riding my bicycle, and i played the song out loud.  i began to sing out loud along with it.  it felt really good to do that- healing, i will say.  i sing the song out loud at work all the time.  i even listened to it yesterday a couple of times before i went out and did radio and community work.  sometimes my spirit tells me there is a great need for that song.  and i feel like now is an important time for this song.


the more we see these class lines being drawn- where more and more people who’ve felt comfort are now losing that comfort- the more we see those who still are fortunate enough to live in said comfort hold on tightly; along with this grip comes judgements of those who were not so fortunate.   i do a work around foreclosure awareness and advocating for people to stay in their homes; and i run into more than enough people who cry that those who have lost their homes to foreclosure deserve it because they are lazy or just didn’t work hard enough.  despite the vast evidence of the criminality of the banking institution regarding foreclosures, there are still people who refuse to acknowledge that many people who worked hard to maintain this portion of an ‘american dream’ did so whilst being lied to. 



there are people in this world who don’t think every living being on this earth is deserving of food, shelter, water, love and respect.  these people believe that you have to work in order to attain these basic things.  in order to live you need basic sustenance; these are NOT things you should have to fight for.   so much of what we need is around us (in nature); and we see it constantly purchased, subsidized or stolen by corporations, and patented.  how can anyone say they own a patent on NATURE?  what is the first lesson in the teachings?

THAT WE ARE ALL A PART OF EACH OTHER.  to say that some people are deserving of basic necessities of life and others are not is absurd, and going directly against universal law.  you get from the universe what you put out; and if you consistently advocate for individualism, you WILL ultimately be alone.


i just had to put this out there…  there’s so much i want to say, but i am saving it for other writings.  i just want you to know that your teachings are extremely important at this moment, and there appears to be a mass resistance to them.  however, i see a movement to move towards them as well.

in a little less than two months, it will be three years since you have physically left this plane.  it’s still very hard for me to even visualize that.  it’s interesting, because i feel the universe speaking in terms of the teachings even more right now…  i can’t say if it’s you speaking to us here, asking us to remember you.  all i know is that i get more people coming to me about you.  the energy is there.  sometimes the energy is very off, but it’s still there.

i remember the day you left very well and i don’t want to relive it.  again, i do my best to be the best student i can be in these times.  i just want to honour the teachings.  that’s all i want to do.  and right now in these times, i am feeling the most energy in the messages of ‘heal the world’ and ‘another part of me’.  those are two very basic universal teachings which are noted in our culture, particularly since you put light to them.  however, to what degree these messages resonate with the world is another question.

i shall ask for guidance from the universe and the ancestors, and again hope that my contribution to the teachings are positive and helpful/useful.

love, jamilah


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michael, peace will come, no matter what: a reflection (no. 9)


the thing about ‘blogging’ for me is that something has to present itself where there is an intense need to ‘blog’ about it.  a lot has been on my mind lately, and it’s not always easy to envision it in words.  but what i am getting ready to write to you now?  it has been building for a number of weeks.

sure it’s ‘controversial’ in the realm of conversations regarding your work and teachings, but i feel it must be said.


i just saw someone speaking on the extinct nature of powerful black men.  i must say that i concur with her about ONE BILLION PERCENT.  i think about my dear friend barry, who raised two girls essentially on his own; and they grew up to be extremely smart and well-adjusted.  i think about the three kids you raised, and how you worked to protect them from a world which had no love for you- firstly, as a black man, and secondly, as a SUCCESSFUL  black man.

and (again) this is going to be controversial, but i have to say it…  it’s been on my mind for a long time, and it culminated into an exchange i had…  the rampant anti-intellectualism amongst your fan base disturbs me.  does this mean i am speaking about everyone?  of course not.  however, i have run into too many people who critique me for asking questions related to you, and not falling for this limited protagonist/antagonist theory.  i am tired for people calling for the deaths of people like martin bashir, the arvisos, boteach and whoever else, because you may have had some negativity between yourself and those folks.  i am tired of people accusing me of being better than they are because i ask questions and call you out on some things.  i’m no better than anyone else.  i’m not perfect- no one is perfect, and no one is immune from critique… even an ‘object of fandom’.

here is ONE (out of many) examples addressed to me:

“HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!! Thank you so much you “student of Michael’s”. I TRULY needed that laugh! You sound so pedestrian while desperately trying to come across as an INTELLECTUAL! “student of Michael’s” indeed! You just keep on reading – OOPS! I mean “researching” through books by conmen like Schmuley and I’m certain you will eventually reach the level of “EXPERT” on all things Michael vs. “a student of Michael’s”! STILL LMAOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”


in many ways it’s assumed that being a student requires the teacher and student to have a hierarchical relationship- that the student is not able to learn from the teacher, since CLEARLY the student knows less than the teacher.  it’s also assumed that if you do not personally KNOW the ‘teacher’ then being a student would be impossible.  when i tell people you are my teacher, people ask if i knew you, and if i learned DANCE from you.  when i tell people why i consider you a teacher there are confused looks.

the key for a teaching to be effective though, is that you MUST QUESTION THE TEACHER.  sometimes the teacher could learn from the student.  true education is reciprocal.


do i try to come off as intellectual at the expense of others?  no.  if i seem intellectual to someone, great.  the condescending remarks though, from people who are so one-sided in their views regarding how they see you (that is, immune from critique) make me want to study more.  i say what i have to say to people, then i am moved to study more.  i feel like some of these people look for an argument where there is none, so i hold no ill will towards them.

the people who claim to know who you are simply because of how you present yourself in public will be in for some major disappointments when there is a side of you presented which contradicts their views of you.  this is one of the many reasons i am a student- the key is to hold no assumptions.  for instance, the conversations you had with glenda- people swore up and down that it was not you because you cursed on tape- despite much evidence.

we should never assume anyone is a certain way, because people are always presenting themselves in ways they only want others to see them.  for public people, there is a side which is imperative to keep private.  it makes total sense.  in the world we live in now, people are accustomed to ‘reality tv’ (which is VERY much scripted), so any tapes which come out, deviating from the presentation are OBVIOUSLY not the person the deviation says it is.

we as ‘fans’ of celebrities have willingly allowed a surveillance culture to dictate our lives.  the people who run government also run hollywood.  in many ways we can see how hollywood is a test run for a lot of the bills being created.  the most recent example i can give is the ‘kony 2012’ campaign.  the film promoting the campaign described the campaign as being an ‘experiment’.  of course, those who watched it were test subjects.  how many people would watch the film and get emotionally charged, without doing research on the organization producing and promoting the film?  how many people would do research on the subject of the film- joseph kony, a man who, as the film mentions in passing, is not even in the country they intend to look for him in?  how many people watching the film questioned the organization’s support of u.s. troops being used to look for the subject of the film, even though the u.s. was not invaded?  how many people are aware that around the time of u.s. troops entering uganda, oil was found there?  how many people questioned the organization’s support of the ugandan government- a government as corrupt as they emphasize joseph kony is?  how many people watching and supporting the film are aware of the u.s. connection to AFRICOM?  how many people would change their mind about the campaign if they were aware of the facts purposefully left out of the film?

the people whose voices have been prominent in relation to this campaign to stop joseph kony are people like angelina jolie- a member of the council on foreign relations (CFR), and the UN.  we have to ask ourselves why this is.  we have to ask ourselves why people like oprah winfrey have prominent voices, regarding policy and ‘voting trends’.  we have to ask ourselves, for so many people to proclaim this to be such a ‘judeo-christian’ nation (and yes, hollywood espouses those values as well, despite what some congresspeople say); why is it that certain individuals (like madonna) are chosen to openly mock indigenous and afrikan spirituality by presenting these grand roman-greco pagan ceremonies?  why is it that nikki minaj was chosen to model herself after a child rapist like roman polanski and have an exorcism on stage?  how is it that whitney houston’s body was left in a hotel (as per clive davis’ request) as a party was going on?

how and why is it so easy to pass these things off as ‘entertainment’?  again, people look at politics and ‘entertainment’ as mutually exclusive, but the same people run both industries.


and because we place so much value on ‘entertainment’ and not our own worth, we feel helpless when we hear of trayvon martin being shot.  trayvon martin, a black teenager who was visiting his father’s girlfriend’s house, was shot by george zimmerman, a white-identified (aka white-supremacist identified) latino neighbourhood watch volunteer in his gated community.  zimmerman has not been charged for the murder of martin.  zimmerman phoned the police about what he felt was a suspicious character, however, he took action before the police showed up, claiming he was attacked by martin and was scared.

the thing is, people have been arrested for shooting their guns into the GROUND to scare off a burglar.



so a man who was protecting his community in new hampshire was charged with a FELONY- but zimmerman, who was TOLD to not follow trayvon martin by a dispatcher, went and followed him anyways- thus ending any use of the ‘self-defence’ or ‘stand your ground’ law held in florida.

“Several witnesses said they heard cries that sounded like a boy wailing — howling silenced by the crack of gunfire — and were shocked to hear police later portray the cries as Zimmerman’s. One witness said police ignored her repeated phone calls.”

zimmerman MURDERED a young man, and no charges or arrests have been made?


“The department will conduct a thorough and independent review of all of the evidence and take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation,” the Justice Department said in a statement. “The department also is providing assistance to and cooperating with the state officials in their investigation into the incident. With all federal civil rights crimes, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person acted intentionally and with the specific intent to do something which the law forbids — the highest level of intent in criminal law.

“Negligence, recklessness, mistakes and accidents are not prosecutable under the federal criminal civil rights laws.”


When Trayvon Martin was killed, all he had were Skittles, iced tea…and a cellphone, authorities told the L.A. Times. The phone has been mentioned in multiple reports in recent days, and journalists and concerned citizens are starting to ask: Where is Trayvon’s phone? Why did the police on the scene of the shooting not use it to identify Martin, or contact his next of kin? “Trayvon’s body was bagged and taken to the morgue, where he was tagged as a John Doe,” writes African American affairs blogger Sandra Rose. “No one contacted Trayvon’s family even though police had Trayvon’s cell phone in their possession.”

it seems very clear (to me) that the police are tampering with evidence and defending zimmerman.


we place so much on our value as people finally able to co-exist in a world which did not value us; and yet we are surprised that we STILL are not valued.  the laws which are said to protect our ‘civil rights’ as black people were not created by us, so why would we think they are naturally there for our benefit?

just as the ‘entertainment industry’ was not created by us, we should not think that because we are somehow ‘accepted’ into the fold that we are able to, without limit, present images which are particularly beneficial to us.  most black people in prominent industries who have attained significant success more or less do so within a eurocentric framework.  does this mean that said people ‘want to be white’?  no.  what it DOES mean though, is that if there is any measure or gesture, minute or large-scale, of black pride, or cultural economic autonomy you are deemed undesirable in one form or another.  even so much as openly speaking about racism in the music industry (which you did) garnered a lot of criticism- from the opinion that you were trying to gain attention, to comments like, ‘white people have supported him, and now he’s turned his back on us with his racist views.’  frankly, discussing racism in the music industry isn’t even that controversial.  according to some though, it is.  especially when it’s coming from someone who’s supposed to never open his mouth, other than to entertain people.


we as black people collectively have neglected to tap into the resources of our ancestral power, and we have allowed outside influences to inform us of our value.  this is the only way we could accept a nikki minaj to become a symbol of where we as black people in popular culture are today.  it began a long time ago though…  going into the ‘civil rights’ era, i AM going to pin a lot of the cultural blame on how berry gordy ran the ship called motown.  any clear political views were relegated to a boutique record subsidiary; and artists were encouraged to present themselves as assimilated in white society.  this was based on gordy’s motivation for capitalism; i’ve seen no evidence of him having a major socio-political stance on the ‘race’ issue .  it did not matter how troubled the artists were, as long as they presented themselves in a certain way. all the other series of events could sweep themselves under the rug, as they say.

it’s interesting that we were not allowed to see a variety of black talent from motown (aka: any variation from the ‘conveyor belt of hits’) until the prominence of jimi hendrix or sly and the family stone.  there were more pressing concerns around this time (such as war) and gordy had to reluctantly acknowledge that.  this was the point motown, to me, got less stale and more interesting.  i know, i know…  people will get on me for this critique of the ‘sound of young america’.  really though, i don’t think of the creation of that sound as being sincere, even if the talents who recorded those sounds were.  i mean, ‘what’s going on’ is the GREATEST PIECE OF MUSIC put to record of all times; and if marvin gaye had not used his creative intuition to protest gordy’s capitalist stubbornness, we may have never heard it.  the same thing with STEVIE’S works.

we have to be able to do the work of our ancestors…  the tradition of ‘constantly keeping up with the times’ and forgetting about what happened last month is antithetical to our nature.  we already know what to do, and we have to channel that.  this transcends any trend.  but we get influenced by these dark forces and have exorcisms on stage.

don’t get me started. we have to stop allowing ‘other people’ to save us.  we have to stop allowing others to tell us what is trendy, especially when they are capitalizing off of our cultures.  we have to be able to trust ourselves enough to question what is around us.

going back to the opinions of you not being able to have a voice to some (white) people because they have supported you in the past, i have to wonder if the largely european fan base you have would appreciate you in the same manner if you were to look the same way as you did in 1975- even if you produced the same music they love?  is how you looked later on in life a factor in their identification with you?  i ask this because i’ve had more than a few people tell me they preferred your look when your hair was straighter, your skin was lighter and your nose was thinner.  people openly said they did not like your hair in its tightly coiled form.

yes, this largely european fan base acknowledges you as a ‘black american’.  of course, they quote you all the time.  however, do they acknowledge the implications of your AFRIKAN-NESS?  there is a major difference, to me, between being proud to be a ‘black american’ (which requires taking on multiple personalities (which dubois spoke about succinctly)) and engaging in ‘afrikan-ness’.  this goes WAAAAAY beyond one’s physical casing as well. do they praise you as a ‘black entertainer’ without acknowledging your intellectual sensibilities, because of course, with few exceptions, ‘black people don’t read’?

am i talking about all your fans?  clearly not.  however, i know there is that large probability of a few people reading this and saying to themselves that i am making blanket statements, even though i am speaking of experiences i’ve had.  i admit there’s a bit of speculation involved; however, this is based on experience, plus the fact that a majority of your fans are european.  it’s impossible to deny the effects of european colonialism on the world, and the damage it’s done to non-europeans.  to NOT have those questions would make no sense to me, ESPECIALLY in light of the hatred espoused by many of the fans in my experiences- the rampant homophobia, the casual racism, the death wishes, the all-encompassing hatred for anyone who doesn’t hold the same views as they do…  and it doesn’t stop there…  the ‘romantic fantasies’ even after your transcendence are pretty violent.  to openly state on a public forum that you want to rape someone is not funny.  i don’t care if it’s said in jest or not.

again, i digress…


is it possible to cherish and engage in your ‘afrikan-ness’ and be loved worldwide?  i do not think so, but perhaps someone can prove me wrong.  people point to nelson mandela or barack obama as symbols of freedom for black people all around the world.  the thing is, nelson mandela, after 27 years in prison for his active-ism, made concessions to the white minority in south africa.  he was then released and made president.  if you are going to be a large figure in african politics, you have to work for the CIA and become a dictator, or you have to make concessions to the people who’ve oppressed you, under the guise of ‘democracy’.

people also point to martin luther king; i have mentioned this before though- when MLK began making connections between economic imperialism in this country (and treatment of black people) and european/u.s. imperialism around the world regarding war, people began to hate him even more than they did.  when he began to speak about black economic autonomy (and gave tips on how people could maintain that), he was murdered.  people still want to make references connecting MLK and obama, despite the fact that obama is the darker face of eurocentric imperialism and institutional racism in this country, and has signed off on laws antithetical to MLK’s messages, such as the NDAA.  obama didn’t even have to espouse a ‘pro-black’ sentiment…  however, he’s never allowed a possibility of it to come into the picture, despite the hoards of white politicians openly protecting themselves and their ethnic culture.

again, some of the same people and organizations which propped up obama (and run the u.s. government, hollywood and banking industries) are some of the same people propping up the buffoonery of so-called ‘black (popular) music’. you know, people you mentioned in the song ‘money’:


and of course, a lot of these folks (the old-school ‘robber barons’) were strongly involved in the eugenics movement.  i find it interesting that you considered henry ford to be an inspiration, considering he was heavily involved in the eugenics movement as well.  and walt disney (another one of your inspirations) was not secretive about his racism.  but that is a discussion for another day.







as an international figure, i have wondered if your fans around the world recognise the cultural references and colloquialisms in songs like ‘they don’t care about us’.  it is, in many ways, specific to a black american experience.  when they hear the lyrics, do they study the emancipation proclamation (in which the intent was not to free anybody, but to win a war)?   would the lyrics hold an entirely different meaning for people if you were still of darker hue and had a ‘fro?  if you did, would you be deemed a crazy black nationalist?


how many of your fans (in and out of the u.s.) are willing to support an environment where afrikan people around the world will be free from colonialism in all forms- where a true sovereignty would occur?  how many people are willing to do that sort of work?

how many people will recognize the socio-political lessons given in your music, without you announcing that’s what it was?  you’ve already mentioned that your goal was to make the art you created more powerful than the message of a politician, and i think you made that happen.  but are people listening to the messages, or are they focused on the physical?  with your wish of people reading more and educating themselves, do you think this is happening?  IS this happening?

is anyone going to answer these questions?

okay…  i got all of this off my chest.  this release has ushered in the equinox. usually when i write here,  i ask the universe if it’s okay to publicly release.  with this writing i asked the same thing.  after i re-read it though, i felt a sort of calmness, more than usual.  i think it’s largely because the reasons i consider you my teacher transcend others’ views of me.  i know that not everyone in this world is going to like me or be my friend.  ultimately though, what IS important is the impact each of us makes in this world, be it minuscule or major.  is it positive?  is the goal towards freedom for ALL living beings, humans or otherwise?

these are also questions i would have loved to have asked you when you were physically here.  whether or not you would have answered is another thing; still, it doesn’t hurt to ask.  i also felt compelled to write because i’ve been feeling some very strong energy when it comes to you.  i’m not sure where it’s coming from.  is there some sort of message you are trying to send the world regarding social justice?  are you trying to speak through your children?  is this something regarding the ancestors?  i’ve been feeling very sad regarding a lot of the things going on in the world- particularly how people don’t stop and ask questions about the images presented to them- and this photo returned to me:


i had seen this photo a number of years ago, and never saw it again until now.  i’ve been thinking a lot about children’s voices and how they are incredible teachers in patience.  i was also thinking about the songs you sang as a child, and how the material your brothers were given to sing were more about the typical subject of love or heartbreak…  you sang about those things as well, but you also sang about world peace, friendships with rats and relationships with music.  i imagine the songwriters wanted to capture some of your personalities in order to display some sort of authenticity.  still, it’s admirable that the messages you displayed into adulthood were more or less consistent.

the photo was not difficult to decipher.  the words wore very clear up top.  ‘STOP.  THE. WAR.’  the image was very involved, very detailed and far from innocuous.  if only the messages we sent to each other were that clear.

love, jamilah


Posted in africa, art, children, economy, freedom, justice, law, life, michael jackson, parenting, politics, technology, transcendence, trauma, universal law | Leave a comment

michael, peace will come, no matter what: a reflection (no. 8)

“so goodbye, please don’t cry…”

and cry is what i’ve been doing for the past few days.  i continue to think about all the people who brought joy to so many, and how their voices were silenced.  there’s so much i want to say, that i didn’t get to say before.  there’s too much to process.  i have so many questions, especially since there’s a little bit more surfacing on sister whitney’s transition- but not much.  it’s a little like all the news surrounding what happened to you.  the both of you left this world alone- or did you?  was it murder?  was it an overdose?  was it a harmful cocktail?

and i keep thinking about how y0u were treated right after your transition, and how she is essentially being treated in a similar way.  many people, even without evidence or information, assume that because she did struggle with drug addiction, that that was how she left this earth.  i am also thinking about how, as her body lay in the hotel room of the beverly hilton, four floors down , a party was held.  clive davis (her supposed ‘mentor’) claimed she would want the party to continue, and that her family requested it continue.


i don’t know…  as joyfully silly as whitney was, i think she also knew there was a place for mourning.  chaka khan (who removed herself from the celebratory environment by not participating) said this in an interview with piers morgan:

“i think we all, as artists…  we’re highly sensitive people, and this machine around us, this so-called ‘music industry’ is such a demonic thing.  it sacrifices peoples’ lives and their essences, at the drop of a dime… i could have easily, easily- because of a lot pressure from the label i was with at the time; i went through a really, really rough time, where  i didn’t wanna go outside, didn’t wanna be seen; didn’t wanna be around…  i know what this world that we’re living in; and this business, particularly, can do…  i don’t know what could motivate a person to have a party in a building where the person whose life he influenced so enormously, and whose life had been affected by hers…  i don’t understand how that went on.”

she also mentioned (in response to the question of- aHEM-SONY upping the price of whitney’s music A HALF HOUR TO AN HOUR after the announcement of her transition) that a manager once told her that she’d be “worth more money dead or alive.”

sound familiar?  the major difference between you and her was that even though she did sign a deal with her label that would generate royalties,  she did not have a catalogue or music rights to lay claim to.

i also think of judy garland, and the struggles she went through.  in the film ‘i could go on singing’ ms. garland essentially plays herself; a woman who faces self-reflection amidst her personal turmoil.

“i’m just one person.  i don’t wanna be rolled out like a pastry so everybody’ll get a nice big bite of me….  it’s just not worth all the deaths, that i have to die…  i’ve hung on to every bit of rubbish there is to hang on to in life, and i’ve thrown all the good bits away…”

that dialogue was from a scene done in one take with dirk bogarde.  it’s noted by film scholars and followers of ms. garland that her behaviour was erratic during the filming; however, she was dealing with a custody battle over her two children, as well as not trying to form another dependency on pills.  over her career she’s been ‘advised’ by her employers/film company to take diet pills in order to be thin for the camera.  she also had her breasts bound for her role in ‘the wizard of oz’, in order to maintain what the studio executives declared a ‘youthful look’.  she suffered from self- consciousness her entire life it seems, as she was told by (essentially) her employers that she was ugly.  she’s made several suicide attempts in her life, and has said in response, “i wanted to black out the future as well as the past. i wanted to hurt myself and everyone who had hurt me.”

in another scene in the film garland says: “you know, there’s an old saying; when you go on stage, you don’t feel any pain at all.  when the lights hit you, you don’t feel anything.”  she ended her feelings about it with saying that whole thing was a “stinking lie.”

however!  in her last performance (on 25 march 1969) of ‘somewhere over the rainbow’, ms. garland told the audience she was dedicating the song to them because she was “dedicated to” them…  i see so many similarities between ms. garland, yourself and whitney.  having suffered from depression (and self-harm/suicide attempts), i recognize a lot of the patterns.  for people to simplify anyone’s life with a simple case of addiction; they, to me, refuse to recognize the nuances of life’s experiences.


and of course, i think about the culture of nihilism and complacency that is all-too common in these times.  the more access we have to technology; the less community-centred we are.  people continue to be prosecuted; they continue to have their children taken away by the government because they grow their own food free of chemicals; because they don’t feed their children pork; because their children are home-schooled without the assistance of ‘the system’; because they speak out in one way or another…  and yet, body chemistries continue to be altered (not necessarily for the better) due to the nicotine, alcohol and pharmaceutical companies making money off of peoples’ vulnerabilities and desire to heal in whatever way possible.

clearly, the notion of ‘idol worship’ does not happen innocuously.  i mean…  i saw something which disturbed me.  i did not watch the grammys, but i saw some write-ups that chris brown was going to be there to perform.  we can say whatever it is we want regarding his violent actions;  what DOES upset me is that we are so consumed with idolatry that (female) fans of chris brown’s publicly wrote on their social networking pages that because brown was attractive or because he was a great performer that they would allow him to hit them…  some of them straight up said that it would be okay if he punched them in the face.  some joked around and said he could beat them up- ‘but only in the bedroom’.  of course. to make light of violence in that fashion- regardless of whether or not it’s coming from a male OR female- is a perfect example of what chaka khan speaks, or what MANY people have been speaking, for years.

these forces would make any sensitive person seem ‘crazy’.  especially if they have ingested any synthetic drugs, or negative energy.


i don’t agree with everything this piece by a.j. ramsey says; however, there are points which make sense in light of lady chaka’s comments:

“According to Bobby Brown’s sister, who would go on drug binges with the couple, “Whitney hallucinates and sees demons when she’s high; she bites and beats herself black-and-blue but blames the devil for the injuries.” Bobby’s sister Tina goes on to say that,  Houston sees ‘demons’ everywhere she goes, and beats herself up while saying “The Devil be hitting me.” Tina claimed that drugs have made Whitney so paranoid she sees evil apparitions and once drilled a spy-hole in her bathroom to look for “demons.”

Whitney was of no use to the industry any more because as many of you know she couldn’t sing the way she use to. The drugs and the demons drained her life force, because Whitney was pure and wasn’t built for demonology. Whitney was sacrificed aka thrown from the freedom train, and done away with a day before the Grammy’s as a industry ritual.”


i actually would not put it past these people that they WOULD perform a ritualistic murder of a sensitive soul who they no longer had use for, then celebrate the job without the knowledge of unwilling participants.  i believe this is what happened to you.  the murder is usually gradual- the people behind the curtain initiate it, then the audience/consumers (unknowingly) do the rest of the work.

it’s curious to me, how that a couple of VERY prominent people whose main message was love can somehow disappear in such a short amount of time.  for you, i think it was 1993 (and more specifically 2005) which broke your spirit.  that was the time when your dependence on pills became very public.  for whitney, she may have been using drugs in her younger days (according to some reports); however, it was not until her marriage to bobby brown when her addictions became public.  it used to be in the industry that issues like addiction or physical abuse were ‘open secrets’, but the public were still shown a specific image, counter to that secret.  you never saw the infighting or infidelities, even though you knew they were there.

in today’s industry though; the public can openly see how artists are treated.  the public can have more of an awareness of the fickleness of the industry in ways previously unadvertised.  because of this it’s more difficult to immediately get rid of artists they deem undesirable- like what happened to sam cooke, a man who, when he finally took matters into his own hands and worked towards taking charge of his own publishing and catalogue, was ‘coincidentally’ gunned down.

for people like you or whitney houston, who i suppose ‘broke the code’, there had to be a way for your stars to dim.

here is more by a.j. ramsey:

“Whitney Houston stated in her interview with Oprah in 2010 that she was attracted to Bobby because he, “took control of her and their relationship, and she liked that.” In reality Bobby was acting as Whitney’s handler, which is a term used in mind control. A handler is one who is used within a mind control experiment to break another and to get them to do what the controllers of the experiment want, this was Bobby’s role. The labels wanted to spice up Whitney’s life aka destroy her pristine image, which they had been targeting since she got into the industry. You may wonder why they would want to do a thing like this, but if you’re not in the industry then you can’t imagine how diabolical the people are who run the show. These people thrive on drama, sex, violence, and drugs. As they say, sex sales! Entertainers are products of the elite and they are treated as such, they (The Elite) don’t give a s**t about human values morals and the likes. The people that are behind the scenes are master witches and wizards and their goals are constant control and power.”

is all of that necessarily true?  i cannot say.  but it makes a lot of sense to me somehow.


so many of our sensitive souls are leaving this earth.  i have no doubt that this is a test for all of us to continue the teachings; to ensure that when we go, the lessons will still thrive.  i think this is what you and whitney, and what so many others have done.  and as i think of many possibilities in continuing the teachings, i also think of the ‘extra’ portion of the famed song judy garland was to sing; she was not able to finish it because she was flooded in tears.  as we spend time on this earth, let us utilize our minds and bodies to strive towards the centrepiece:  the heart.

“Someday I’ll wake and rub my eyes
And in that land beyond the skies,
You’ll find me
I’ll be a laughing daffodil
And leave the silly cares that fill
My mind behind me”

love, jamilah


Posted in art, childhood, dreams, freedom, life, michael jackson, politics, technology, transcendence, trauma, Uncategorized, universal law | Leave a comment