Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Calling All Black Star Fans!

I remember my first Black Star show: it was the Malcolm X Grassroots Movements Black August show at the Bowery Ballroom. Those were the days. Common was still a homophobe. No one but the NYC underground kids had heard of dead prez, The Roots were blowing up,Sarah Jones was giving true hip hop feminism, and Erykah was still wearing her headwrap. Well, now you TOO can "reminisce over you my god," and submit your thoughts, theories, poetries, music, etc to Proud Flesh's call for papers honoring the 10th Anniversary of Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star. (thanks Alena for alerting me to this!)

"Brown skin lady, how you doin'? Brown skin lady, how you feeeel? I like the way you walk when you walk on by..."

Call for Papers: Black Star’s 10th Anniversary

In honor of Black Star’s ten-year anniversary, Proud Flesh is calling for
works that speak to the impact and legacy of their masterpiece album, Mos
Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star, for an upcoming journal

Released in the fall of 1998, Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star
re-energized the b-boy and backpacker face of Hip Hop with a heightened
analytic and deep consciousness of self and community. Taking their name
from Marcus Garvey and the UNIA’s 1920s shipping company (established to
move Black Americans to a Black state located in Liberia), Black Star,
conceptually and sonically, presented a wide and colorful depiction of
Black life and Black identity.

In contrast to much of the mainstream Hip Hop of that period, they
stressed that life should be more about “the struggle” than “the hustle,
”and critiqued viewpoints that conceived of Black culture in only singular
terms. On “Definition,” Mos Def raps: “Manhattan keep on makin it,
Brooklyn keep on takin it, so relax we're takin it back, Redhook where
we're livin at. Plenty cats be struggling not hustlin and bubblin, if it
ain't about production and -- what else we discussin?” Black Star
chronicled Black folks’ ability and tenacity to produce via work,
language, the arts, communal culture, and cultural production.

A decade has passed since the release of this monumental album. More than
a hot album, this thirteen-track masterpiece continues to offer a
theoretical and practical analysis of urban Black culture and politics,
and a grass-roots base of knowledge that is not adequately engaged. By
stating in their album’s introduction that their music was not meant to
“stand still,” the group signaled that their conception of time and space
did not adhere to the linearity of common epistemological standards.

Acknowledging their point that the music cannot and should not stand
still, Proud Flesh is calling on writers, academics, artists, community
activists/organizers, and fans to submit essays, poems, prose,
photography, graphic artwork, etc., detailing how this album has impacted
your work and your life. Included in this are critical analyses of the
album and/or individual songs, works that place the album and/or songs
within a broader context and legacy (historical, political, social,
artistic), and works that speak to the album's continued relevance.

We are asking that all works be submitted by May 1, 2008 to:

Visit Proud Flesh at for more information.

No comments: