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Books, Music, and Movie Reviews by Aberjhani
Collection of tastemaking reviews of brilliant authors, musicians, and movies.
Collection of tastemaking reviews of brilliant authors, musicians, and movies.

Books, Music, and Movie Reviews by Aberjhani's posts

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It is not unusual to see famous #Hollywood clans (think Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and offspring #Jayden and #Willow) or musical family dynasties (Diana Ross along with children #TraceeEllisRoss and #EvanRoss come to mind) where children follow in their parents’ well-established creative footsteps. It is much less common to hear about a family of African-American artists who excel as individuals while faithfully laboring to preserve their father’s painted legacy.

I first had the honor of meeting some members of the late William Pleasant Jr.’s family a decade ago and was astonished to learn the city of #Savannah had produced such a well-hidden #national #treasure. It was impossible not to be impressed by how much the master #percussionist David, #textile #artist Tahirih, and #filmmaker_visual_artist Jalal had extended their family’s legacy in their own right. As a result, it was very exciting to recently learn that steps were underway to produce a documentary, entitled SIGNS, of their father’s life and work.

For some sense of what the man himself was like these are the words of David Pleasant written for commemorative #book: “Although he championed an idealized oneness of mankind, he never shied away from crucial issues of discrimination or disparity. Pleasant’s work invokes a challenge to perceive, #engage, and explore a richly expressive world that pushes against popular clichés. He compiled a vivid #narrative harmony of line, #color, form, and contour that transcends the limitations of time, politics, and human sentiment. Indeed, Pleasant signs, and in doing so allows us to join in a sophisticated vision of #community in #southernculture.” (David Pleasant)

To learn more about the documentary please visit the #Kickstarter page below:

#Art912 #AfricanAmericanArtists #GeorgiaArtists #AfricanAmericanFamilies #BlackHistoryMonth #Documentaries #FamilyLegacies #CreativeArts #FilmDocumentaries

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What does it mean to be a Good American in 2017?

Does it mean accepting without critical input the announced policies and administrative choices of President of the United States Donald Trump? Or does it mean exercising every available #constitutional_right as citizens of a democratic republic to weight on issues impacting the lives of individuals from sea to shining sea and beyond? From defenders of FreeSpeech and a #FreePress to those pro and con #PlannedParenthood, it is fair to say that currently we are witnessing quite a bit of both.

As former #POTUS #BarackObama prepared to leave the #WhiteHouse he, like #HillaryClinton, implored his fellow #Americans to give Mr. #Trump their support and help him do a good job. That seemingly #heartfelt advice has encountered all kinds of #TrumpResistance on more domestic fronts than most people currently living can recall ever previously witnessing. At some point, any #devoted #leader would have to ask himself or herself why.

What follows are #reflections on some possible #answers:

#Patriotism #CivicDuty #USConstitution #CivilDisobedience #NationalHistoryDay #HumanRights #CurrentEvents #DemocracyInAction #DefendingLiberty #Hope4America #Praying4Humanity #SharedValues

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How real or unreal is #climatechange?

While #politicians debate the validity of the #science that measures the #impact of #GlobalWarming, and die-hard skeptics deny the phenomenon altogether, many point to the unprecedented ferocity of killer #floods, #hurricanes, #blizzards, #meltingice, and drought-stricken regions as more than enough #proof that it is happening right now:

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If you take a good look at the individuals seen in the image shared with this post you might understand better why "The Many Ways of Looking at a Black Man in 2017" is more than just a catchy title for the latest blog entry at Bright Skylark Literary Productions. Each of the men seen here in the #poster #art #collage, thanks to the #editorial #genius of National Care #Mentoring director Susan L. Taylor, were subjects of #ESSENCEMagazine's classic November 1997 Annual Men's Issue.

It was all about the way the world looked at #African_American_Men and how the men were dealing with the interesting #dynamics of their their historically #controversial lives. If you need help identifying #WhosWho in the collage (although clues identifying each are in the poster) they (we) are, going from left to right across the top, and then left to right across the bottom, as follows:

singer-songwriter Maxwell, author-poet Aberjhani, entrepreneur-entertainer Sean "Puffy Combs, writer Michel Marriott, author John Edgar Wideman, golf champion Tiger Woods, and political activist Geronimo ji Jaga Pratt.

The collage is constructed from versions of photographs originally taken by the extraordinary Barron Claiborne. The concept behind its construction was one #quotation often attributed to Socrates and another attributed to Maya Angelou.

The first by #Socrates proclaims that "The unexamined life is not worth living." And Angelou notes . “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”..moments take our breath away."

My inclusion in the magazine made the event a moment that took my breath away. It was also one that I examined in-depth because I knew that although many entertainment and sports superstars might be able to take such occasions for granted, I was someone who could not. But what I could do was preserve it in the form of visual art, which a nephew was kind enough to appreciate and have laminated.

Now that we are 20 years down the road from that #historic_moment, I'm more grateful than ever for the #instinct that prompted me to preserve it because even though we've seen over the past 2 decades a lot of inspired positive changes in the world, we have also seen some painfully sobering stagnation and regression. Looking at the battle of tweets involving #DonaldTrump and Rep. #JohnLewis has deepened #reflections that were already in progress.

Where and how Black men (and of course Black Women too) fit into the larger #global mix is only part of a larger equation when it comes to laboring to establish harmony & coexistence for all humanity. It nevertheless is as important a part as any other and one which some of us are obligated to safeguard as effectively as we can.

+ESSENCE +Maya Angelou +Black Mentors On-Line

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A president who #inspires is a human being to be admired. Given the way #BarackObama managed to transform the current gloomy #social & #political environment into one of hopefulness with his #FarewellAddress, he fits the description.

At this time, without trying to take anything away from the scheduled #inauguration of #DonaldTrump, I am sharing a small selection of poems in honor of the “improbable candidate” who became a two-term president in one of the most economically, racially, and politically volatile periods in #AmericanHistory.

#FarewellBarackObama & #ThankYouObama

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#Conversations on Compassion

Why do you suppose many people find it so difficult to demonstrate compassion and #love toward one another and yet, seemingly, find it so easy to use #guns, knives, #drones, and even trucks to obliterate each other? Maybe it is because we too often underestimate the value and strength of compassion as a viable #human #resource.

What makes #compassion both valuable and viable is that it has the amazing #power to freeze time long enough for us to see beyond polarizing differences and recognize #unifying commonalities. Such moments of #recognition are what make #reconciliation without a lust for vengeful retaliation possible.

Such moments restrain the raging disruptions of chaos long enough for #clarity to assert itself and give peace a chance.

The choice to practice compassion does not require a political election or corporate summate. The ability to employ this resource is inherent in every human being and the potential positive difference it can make on this planet is astounding.


#Nonviolent_Conflict_Resolution #Giving_Peace_A_Chance #CompassionSavesLives #HappyHolidays #Happy_Holy_Days #2016YearInReview

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#Monetizing #hatred is probably not best way to adapt to #change.

One of the dominant themes to surface and stick in the #Year2016, and especially during the presidential election, has been that of how divided America appears to be as a nation. Convinced that England’s #Brexit was unique to that country, the U.S. ended up invoking its own version of the historic upset.

Among the causes of the noted division have been widening gaps between economic classes and increasing racial tension. The current #DylannRoof trial is one example of how extreme the racial situation has become. Another is the way some are attempting to capitalize off racist dispositions and basically turn #xenophobia & #bias into exportable #commodities. Or is that something which is happening already and possibly has been going on for longer than many of us realize?

The question this forces many to consider is whether we want such activities to become what defines #American in the collective minds of the rest of the world. It’s an important one to take note of because whether walls are constructed between #nations or not, the #calendar of #history isn’t going to start flipping itself backward from the #Year2017 to 1968 or 1860. Major demographic shifts are in irreversible progress when it comes to race, generational populations, primary professions, and other “categorical differences.”

Do we #adapt to such change with the kind of #intelligence and flexibility that can help everyone to benefit from it? Or do we make the difficulties worse by, as indicated by the linked #essay, #monetizing hatred and selling it to the highest #bidders?

#2016_End_of_Year_Review #Looking_Ahead_to_2017

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"The #Universe said, 'Let me show your soul something #beautiful.'" (Aberjhani)

It might sound strange to hear someone say they were #inspired by a #hurricane but in a way that’s what happened when #HurricaneMatthew forced me to dig through some stored boxes I had not touched in years. Within the boxes I found a set of #research #notebooks from the early #1990s. They contained important notes on how I met a certain #artist and how that meeting led to the #creation of one of my most celebrated #books. The featured #quote is from that #book:

#Ekphrastic Ekphrasis #ArtBooks #Art912 #ELEMENTAL_The_Power_of_Illuminated_Love

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#Americans and much of the rest of the world are still trying to figure out exactly what Donald Trump’s election to the U.S. #presidency means? Is it only about the man himself, or is it more about the #people who voted him into office? We’re #talking about #America, so that cannot be about just a single individual.

The U.S. is still a #democracy (or more accurately a #democratic #republic)and that means voting is not the only time #citizens have a say-so in how government impacts their lives. #Voices are meant to be heard and can raised even when the polls are not open for #voting.
#DonaldTrump #PoliticalTheory #PoliticalQuotes #Quotations #QuotationArt #KeepingHopeAlive #Citizenship #UnitedStates #HumanRights

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