Photos taken at Bob Marley’s resting place; near Saint Ann’s Bay, Jamaica. Courtesy of Rebecca Alvy
A version of this post was originally published on February 13, 2012
On a recent, very brief trip to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, I was not surprised to experience the high quality of respect given to the memory of Bob Marley. Anything less would have been disappointing. However, as a lifetime follower of Marley, this trip highlighted a pattern much of the world is guilty of—pigeonholing Bob Marley as nothing more than a reggae artist and—thus losing sight of his revolutionary spirit.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on June 28, 2012
A version of this post was originally published on March 7, 2012
My dearest Chicago, you are the architect for the house that jack built, but did you have any idea that your music was fueling the rage and resistance against apartheid? Did you know that this electronic music created in your mama’s basement would become a part of the cultural fabric of one of the most historically complex places on earth? That house music is a part of the Mandelas’ (both Winnie and Nelson’s) cultural vocabulary?
Many a house head in the U.S. would like to believe we “discovered” house music in South Africa, when the truth is that house has had a home in South Africa long before we tuned in. Sort of like the pre-existing civilizations that Sertima suggested Came Before Columbus. But let’s be clear, it wasn’t that we didn’t care. We can use this moment in electronic music history to admit that not enough of us in the States received a reliable education about the contemporary cultural developments of Africa. And at the risk of sounding like an Intro to Afro-centric Studies course, we’ve learned a great deal about Africa through the lens of the white supremacists who sought the resources of Africa (both human and natural) to help institutionalize their superiority. But today, we need to know better.
Women’s Rights Peace Party, South Africa. Photo taken by dj lynnee denise.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on June 25, 2012
The staff of Progressive Pupil from left to right: Community Outreach Intern Rebecca Alvy; Digital Cultures Intern Alexis Hancock; Principal Organizer Robin J. Hayes; Program Coordinator Vedan Anthony-North; Diasporic Engagement Intern Carmen Medina; Digital Cultures Intern Folashade Kornegay.
This past year at Progressive Pupil has been an incredible one; our staff has more than doubled, we launched two major fundraising campaigns which helped us raise over $4,000, we’ve established ourselves on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, and we’ve made major strides in completing our first feature length documentary, Black and Cuba.
With this growth, we also need time to reflect and see what has worked and what needs a bit more focus. For the months of July and August, Progressive Pupil staff members will be engaging in an Enrichment Retreat, which will include travels to South Africa, Brazil and Ghana. Unfortunately, given this schedule we won’t be able to blog as frequently. We encourage you to continue checking our blog though, as we will be reblogging our “Greatest Hits” from the past year.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on June 21, 2012
Progressive Pupil would like to extend our gratitude to everyone who came out to our work in progress screening of Black and Cuba on May 17th! After many
months years of work on the project, Director Robin J. Hayes and editor Michele Chang were excited to share their work with Artists, Activists, Scholars, Students, Teachers and Allies who believe that racism and class can be overcome.
Posted by Progressive Pupil on June 18, 2012