10.28.2009

Queen YoNasDa's Debut "God.Love & Music" - You've heard nothing like it.


QUEEN YONASDA

Pronounced (Yo-Naja-Ha)

Queen YoNasDa (pronounced Yo-Naja-Ha) is the epitome of energy as a hip hop artist, curator, and activist. Without a doubt, there is an imbalance occurring in hip hop where female emcees have been silenced. Her strong presence is bringing femcees with a message back to the forefront of music. Her musical style encompasses an eclectic mix of wisdom, grooves, catchy hooks, and is sure to reach the masses.

"I'm not here to beat people in the head with a sermon, I'm here to tell the truth," she said. This lyrical queen has completed her debut album, "God.Love and Music" featuring Cappadonna, Dr. Ben Chavis Muhammad, Keith Murray, M-Eighty and others with production by Cookin Soul, New York West, CR Productions, K-Boog and others. She speaks and performs across the United States promoting unity, education and respect for all cultures. With roots reaching back to Native American tradition and the Nation of Islam, where her mother, a Lakota (Sioux) and her father, a hustler and a fine artist hailing from Brooklyn, this queen knows the blues all to well, but never let it dampen her spirits.

The two met in 1975 during the time in which her mother worked as a public relations director for Muhammad Ali. Shortly afterwards the two met they got married. YoNasDa was born during the historic moment of “The Longest Walk,” which took place in protest to anti- Indian legislation. Her mother, Oglala-Lakota participated in the 3,000-mile trek which began at San Francisco Bays Alcatraz Island and culminated on the White House grounds.

YoNasDa was conceived there in Washington, D.C, April 1978, one of only two children born during this historic journey and a place that would later become for her a Mecca of sorts.

Due to her father's hustling, it led to his imprisonment and a aiding and abetting charge for her mother, who served time in a Fort Worth, Texas, prison. During this time Minister Louis Farrakhan stepped in, moved YoNasDa and her brother to Chicago, adopting them into his family. "Without Minister Farrakhan or grandpa as I call him, and the whole Farrakhan family, my brother and I would've been caught up in the foster care system. I can't even imagine the woman I would have been if it wasn't for the Farrakhan family. God is beautiful in his design,” she reflects so candidly.

As a young child YoNasDa stood by her mother’s and grandfather's side speaking to the hip hop nation. She takes her responsibility seriously by using her music as a mouth piece to educate and uplift young people. As a mother she sees what music can do and understands the power of the spoken word. YoNasDa has a mission and is going full throttle. She is the national director for the Indigenous Nations Alliance. This truth-teller is a published writer who has a column in the Final Call Newspaper and is now bringing her artistry to the world. To YoNasDa "Queen" is not just a word, it is a calling and she's rising to the occasion. Visit her on line at www.queenyonasda.com.

The Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War has begun their conference in Malaysia




The Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War, led by Dr. Mahathir Mohammad, has kicked off their three day conference.
Featured speakers during the event which runs 10/28 through 10/31 include:

- British MP & leader of the Viva Palestina human rights movement George Galloway

- Former U.S. member of Congress & outspoken human rights activist Cynthia McKinney

- Former UN Assistant Secretary General Denis Haliday

Extensive coverage of the conference can be found at:

http://www.mathaba.net

10.26.2009

10.16.2009

My Reflections on the Million Man March & Holy Day of Atonement

I was at the Million Man March in Washington D.C. on October 16, 1995. It was one of the greatest days of my life, and an experience that I will never forget.

As I reflect on the the wonderful spirit of that day, I am reminded of how hopeful and inspired I felt on that day, along with many others. I know there are some that would say that there was no programmatic thrust or agenda, and those people see it from their perspective. Their minds may be dominated by a particular socio-political leaning or some other type of ideology, but to me that is not what the day should be judged by. In fact, the day should not be judged at all, it should be remembered as a powerful demonstration of unity and brotherhood that has never been seen on the planet.

Thank you Minister Farrakhan.

The Million Man March had a special meaning to me, because in a little over a month, my first child, a daughter would be born. I promised God on that day, that I would always be in my daughter's life as a provider, protector and guide. Then, five years later I was blessed with a son, which gave me with the opportunity to continue to make my word bond. Those beautiful children are blessings from God, and wonderfully effective reminders of the promise I made to Him on that day.

Another memorable aspect of the Million Man March involves the wonderful acts kindness demonstrated by those who opened their homes for people to stay there during the Million Man March and those who cooked food for the Black men who made the pilgrimage. Those stories are everywhere!

I always think about the good brother in Phoenix, who was unable to attend the Million Man March himself, but gave me a plane ticket to Washington D.C., so I did not have to buy one. That act alone is a good example of the powerful spirit that was generated by the idea of the Million Man March. That brother...he knows who he is...I always pray that he will receive continuous blessings as a result of that act of kindness. I am sure that there are hundreds, if not thousands of stories similar to my own.

I also want to take the time to remember and thank the Black Women who supported us, encouraged us, and worked to make the Million Man March and Holy Day of Atonement a success. It could not have been done without the Black Woman.

Thank you Black Woman.

The Holy Day of Atonement is now a part of our reality and we must continue to make good on the pledge we gave that day. Obviously, if you look around at the conditions that exist within our communities, there is still work to do, but as long as we are alive, let's be found striving to make our word bond. It is time to fulfill the prophecy written of in Isaiah 61:4.

So, as I type this from my hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee as we prepare to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the Million Man March and Day of Atonement, let the spirit drive us to do the work.

By the way, anyone who speaks out negatively against the Million Man March, or in some way attempts to downplay and diminish its importance is displaying the characteristics of one who is an enemy to the Black Nation.


10.11.2009

Obama: A Nobel Peace Prize, Health Care, Afghanistan &... LGBTs???



At the same time President Obama is being honored after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, he is dealing with an inherited military conflict in Afghanistan which appears to be dragging his administration further into an increasingly expensive foreign war at a time when the domestic economy is in a disastrous free fall.

Ironically, continued conflict in Afghanistan threatens to further inflame world opinion perhaps squandering much of the good will generated after Obama's election, which resulted in him winning the prestigious award in the first place.

On the foreign policy front, drug lords, warlords, death and corruption are still the order of the day in Afghanistan and the presidential election results are still unknown. There are still deadly bombings occurring daily in parts of Iraq and he has failed to persuade America's "sacrosanct" partner Israel to stop creating barriers to peace and to put down their bloody and paralyzing weapons.

On the domestic front, in the midst of partisan rancor and despite the photo op involving doctors on the White House lawn last week, Obama's fight for health care reform is far from over.

And did I mention his promised closure of Guantanamo Bay? Despite Obama saying it would be closed by the end of January 2010, Army Brigadier General Timothy Lake was just named the new deputy commander of the U.S. joint military force that runs the prison which holds over 220 suspected terrorists. He was given a one-year term. You do the math.

With all that being said, clearly President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize was a very significant symbolic act marking the end of the punishing eight years of the Bush, Cheney, Rove administration. In fact, it is obvious to most that the award was really a reward for the fact that we survived!

While these are all very important points of discussion and vigorous debate, this writing was motivated by something other than those news items. While watching CNN, I happened to catch a speech delivered by President Obama to a prominent LBGT umbrella group on October 10, in Washington DC.

I found it troubling that during a portion of the speech, he appeared to create a moral equivalence between those involved in the LGBT rights effort and those active in the Civil Rights movement.

Under pressure from the militant gay rights lobby to move faster to fulfill some of his campaign promises, President Obama reiterated that his support for them is "unwavering." They would like to see him move quicker to repeal the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy of the military and to institute reforms in the area of same-sex unions. They are not same-sex "marriages." The Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 signed into law by then President Bill Clinton defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. He got that one right.

Going back to the speech, President Obama said it was not his position to tell LGBT rights advocates in 2009 to be patient any more than it was the responsibility of the president to tell others to be patient during the Civil Rights movement in the 1960's.

All free-thinkers knowledgeable of civic engagement and history should find that to be a faulty statement.

There is no parallel comparison to be drawn between the two. The push for Civil Rights was a legitimate movement, the other is a special interest group. They should not be juxtaposed.

During the push for Civil Rights, whether you agree with the non-violent methodology in the face of vicious White violence or not, the fact remains that Black people were being beaten, lynched and killed regularly, in many cases, with the sanctioning of corrupt local and federal law enforcement officials and politicians who looked the other way while these crimes against humanity were being committed. There were signs that said "White Only" and "Colored Only" that differentiated where Blacks could eat, shop, ride and live.

Has this been anything close to the reality faced by gays? Has this ever been reported to be a part of the experience of the gay rights activists?

For President Obama, clearly, the honeymoon is over, and the criticism he has faced from the gay rights lobby is another example of that. One of the problems with politicians in the American political system is that they attempt to be all things to all people.

I realize that number one is a hard spot and Barack Obama's election has impacted the world on many different levels. That much is undeniable. It remains to be seen what type of discussion we will have three to six months from now when people will really be questioning whether the "change" that represented so much "hope" was really just "hype."

(Ashahed M. Muhammad is an author, researcher and the director of the Truth Establishment Institute.)

10.07.2009

Atty. General Eric Holder on Youth Violence in Chicago and the Nation


(Photo: Leila Khaled)

REMARKS AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY BY ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER

Location: City Hall Building in Chicago, Illinois

October 7, 2009

Nearly two weeks ago, this nation was shocked by a video showing scenes of such graphic violence that they have left an indelible mark in the mind of every American who has seen them. For the many Americans who live with the threat of violence every day, the video was a sad reminder of the harshness and cruelty that remains all too prevalent in many parts of this country. For others, it was a stark wake up call to a reality that can be easy for many to ignore as they go about their day to day lives.

For me, it was a call to action to address a challenge that affects the entire nation. Youth violence isn't a Chicago problem, any more than it is a black problem or a white problem. It's something that affects communities big and small, and people of all races and colors.

The Department of Justice is releasing a new study today that measures the effects of youth violence in America, and the results are staggering. More than 60 percent of the children surveyed were exposed to violence in the past year, either directly or indirectly. Nearly half of children and adolescents were assaulted at least once, and more than one in ten were injured as a result. Nearly one-quarter were the victim of a robbery, vandalism or theft, and one in sixteen were victimized sexually.

Those numbers are astonishing, and they are unacceptable. We simply cannot stand for an epidemic of violence that robs our youth of their childhood and perpetuates a cycle in which today's victims become tomorrow's criminals.

We're here today to continue a public safety conversation that the Obama Administration started on day one. It has included a law enforcement summit I hosted at the Department of Justice, a White House gang prevention conference, and countless episodes of collaboration with local law enforcement. But it's not a conversation where we want to do all the talking. We want to listen to educators, parents, and experts in the field, and find out the best ideas for addressing this urgent problem. We're not interested in just scratching the surface or focusing on generalities, and as we delve into this problem we're not going to protect any sacred cows. We're here to learn firsthand what's happening on our streets so we can devise effective solutions.

Our responses to this issue in the past have been fragmented. The federal government does one thing, states do another, and localities do a third. We need a comprehensive, coordinated approach to address youth violence, one that encompasses the latest research and the freshest approaches. Our administration is committed to implementing such strategies, which is why we've asked for $24 million in next year's budget for community-based crime prevention programs such as Ceasefire and Project Safe Neighborhood. And it's why our Office of Justice Programs is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide support and assistance to communities affected by violence.

There are no quick and easy fixes. Our approach will need to involve not just law enforcement, but also faith-based organizations, the business community, and social services groups. We will need a combination of prevention, intervention, and targeted enforcement.

We started by meeting today with community leaders here in Chicago, and with students from Fenger High School. I'll be honest - these weren't all easy conversations. There is a lot of frustration and a lot of pain right now, and there should be. The status quo is not acceptable. But I want the people of Chicago and the people of this nation to know that we are not going to rest until we've done everything we can to protect the American people and to stem this tide of violence.

The Department of Justice has already committed resources to helping keep our children and our schools safe. Just last week we announced $16 million through the COPS' Secure Our Schools program in grants to law enforcement agencies and municipalities throughout the country, including almost half a million to the city of Chicago. These grants provide funds to improve security in schools and on school grounds by helping pay for security measures like metal detectors, locks, surveillance systems and other equipment to help deter crime. These are first steps, and we will do more.

I've talked to the President about this, and he is firmly committed to this issue, as are Secretary Duncan and I. So today is the continuation of what is a sustained, national effort on behalf of this entire administration to address youth violence and to make our streets safe for everyone.


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10.05.2009

Our Black Youth & Violence: They Are Not Beyond Redemption (FinalCall.com)


WWW.FINALCALL.COM

Here is just some of what is contained in this issue of The Final Call:

- Exclusive on the ground coverage of the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of 16-year-old honor student Derrion Albert, and his funeral.

- An Exclusive One-on-One interview with The REAL Rick Ross
by FCN Western Regional Correspondent Charlene Muhammad.

- "FOX's New Minstrel Show: The Cleveland's"
A perspective from guest columnist Jasmyne A. Cannick.

- Coverage of the Africa-South America Summit featuring Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi and Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez.

And much more!
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