Wednesday, March 18, 2009

TONIGHT ON THE TERRORDOME: Molefi Kete Asante on African Liberation, Unification and Renaissance.

FM88 Edmonton worldwide
6 pm Mountain Time

Since the 1950s, Afrikan countries have wa
ged wars for national liberation which forced the imperial powers of Europe to abandon their occupations. In the West, those revolutionary wars are called “granting of independence.”

But the political liberty that followed decolonisation has stalled in what Ghana’s founding president Kwame Nkrumah called “neocolonialism,” a system of formal political sovereignty, but economic shackles which enforce political servility.

Nkrumah, like Marcus Garvey before him, proposed formal Pan-Afrikanism as the solution: the unification of all countries on the Afrikan continent into a federal republic in command of the greatest supply of natural resources on the planet.

Of course, any attempt to command such resources and thus rescue Afrika from the continuing exploitation and devastation of foreign powers had to have been met with maximum retaliation.

And so Western destabilisation intensified: assassination of Afrikan leaders, most notably the White House-commissioned murder of Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba of Congo in 1961, the CIA secret war against Angola in the 1970s and the US backing of apartheid in South Africa.

But the drive for Afrikan political unity has never died. Indeed, as the Organisation of African Unity gave way to the African Union in 2002, the drive for continental unification increased.

To discuss that drive tonight is one of the most widely-regarded and widely-published scholars on Afrikan issues, Professor Molefi Kete Asante, the founder of Afrocentricity.

Afrocentricity is an Afrikan-centered scholarship and world-view that employs research for political liberation through the academic resuscitation of smothered history.

Frequently the subject of attacks by critics who mislabel Afrocentricity as "Afrocentrism" and caricature him as a crank, Asante is undaunted in his role as Professor in the Department of African American Studies at Philadelphia’s Temple University.

Asante has published over 300 articles, and is the author of sixty books, among them Afrocentricity, The Encyclopedia of Black Studies, Erasing Racism: The Survival of the American Nation, and Ancient Egyptian Philosophers.

The Utne Reader called him one of the "100 Leading Thinkers" in the United States, and he has appeared Nightline, The MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour, The Today Show, The Tony Brown Show, and 60 Minutes.

The African Union cited him as one of the top twelve scholars of Afrikan descent when it invited him to give one of the keynote addresses at the Conference of Intellectuals of Africa and the Diaspora in Dakar in 2004.

Tonight we’ll hear Dr. Asante on the prospect for an Afrikan Renaissance fostered by continental unification. He spoke at the California State University at Sonoma on March 8, 2007.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

TONIGHT ON THE TERRORDOME: Isaiah Washington on DNA, Roots and Development

FM 88.5 Edmonton
6 pm Mountain Time

Isaiah Washington is a celebrated actor. Best known for playing Dr. Preston Burke on the hit American medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, Washington has had an extensive career includes roles in All My Children, Soul Food, Bulworth, Ally McBeal, New York Undercover, Get on the Bus, Love Jones, Dead Presidents, Clockers, Homicide: Life on the Street, Law and Order, and the remake of Bionic Woman, among many others.

He’s won two NAACP Image Awards, in 2006 and 2007, for his work in Grey's Anatomy, and a Screen Actor Guild Award in 2007 for the same.

But Washington’s interests aren’t limited to inhabiting fiction; he’s deeply moved by history and current events. A few years ago he was inspired to use DNA testing to trace his ancestry, finding he had links to Sierra Leone, Cameroon and Angola.

He founded the Gondobay Manga Foundation, “which advocates cooperative planning to achieve positive, timely improvements in the lives of the people of Sierra Leone.... In November 2007... the Gondobay Manga Foundation opened its first school, Chief Foday Golia Memorial School... for 150 students in grades K-5... donat[ing] uniforms and school supplies for each student....

"Washington was the Master of Ceremonies for the first White House Summit on Malaria to fight the war against malaria in 15 African countries.... [Washington] is also active in promoting the arts, having hosted the recent 16th Annual Pan-African Film Festival. In addition to The Gondobay Manga Foundation, Washington also works with LA Regional Food Bank to get food to the needy in Los Angeles.”

He’s also the head of his own arts production and development company, Coalhouse Productions.

Washington spoke with me by telephone from his home in Los Angeles on March 8. Later on in the show we’ll hear from Washington about his DNA tracing and his development work, but we begin with my question to him about Hollywood and his assessment of it.

Monday, March 02, 2009

A Main Source moment of perfect beauty: Just Hangin' Out

One of the all-time greatest songs of hip hop, by a band that died long before its time. Simplistic title aside, the piece really is my favourite "hanging out" and summer-day driving song.

Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming - The trailer

Truly astounding work on this trailer.
While I loathed the original BSG and adore the current one helmed by Ron Moore, it seems a few of the comments that viewers have made about this independently-produced trailer (a late 90s attempt to jump-start a relaunch of the original series) ignore the phenomenal production value of this 4-minute independent film.
Astounding what skilled, dedicated people (Hatch and a group of fans) and a budget less than that of many music videos was able to produce, and also how many elements from this appear in the new BSG.
While the story and characters seem to retain the naivete and triteness of the original series, the quality of craft on this trailer is stunning.