Songs from the Black Skylark zPed Music Player Pump up the Volume 

Songs from the Black Skylark zPed Music Player mythopoeic speculative fiction novel by Aberjhani.

There is some basis for describing Songs from the Black Skylark zPed Music Player as a southern Gothic rock and roll murder mystery. Yet there may be more reasons to consider it a mythopoeic love story in the mode of classic tales where heroes, and anti-heroes, attempt to challenge powers far greater than their own for the sake of reclaiming love stolen by tragedy.

The theme is also true of stories from fact-based history (including current history) wherein members of families torn apart by war or slavery have found themselves battling overwhelming odds and risking what remains of their lives to reconnect with their loved ones.

This is currently a free edition of the mythopoeic paranormal novel recounting the attempts of one Danny Blue to come to terms with a series of unusual events in his life. You can check out the book page and link to the streaming text here: Songs from the Black Skylark zPed Music Player (book) by Aberjhani on AuthorsDen

Selma Revisited: from Violent Racism to Reflective Compassion (part 1)

3 Producers of the film
Left to right, Producers of the Golen Globe Award-nominated film Selma:
Dede Gardner, Oprah Winfrey, and director Ava DuVernay. (photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for AFI)

 The movie Selma, directed and executive produced by Ava DuVernay, opened on Christmas Day 2014 and rang in the New Year 2015 with domestic sales estimated at $1, 204,000 according to Box Office Mojo. Whereas there have been any number of films about the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. produced for television, Selma is the first major feature film on the great civil rights leader made for theatrical release.

The movie’s box office performance at the beginning of the year placed it at number 23 on Fandango’s list of “Top Box Office Movies,” and it currently stands at number 22. Both positions place it far behind “The Hobbit: the Battle of the Five Armies” ruling at the time at number 1, and “Unbroken” at number 2.

However, Selma played during the first week of its release in only 19 select theaters. It is set to screen nation-wide on January 9, just in time for the 86th anniversary of Dr. King’s birth on January 15. In honor of the fact that the movie would not have been made without the definitive role played by the people of Selma, Alabama, in the past as well as in the present, Paramount Studios announced that residents will be allowed to view it for free until the end of January.

DuVernay has already won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association New Generation Award for the film and it has earned 4 African-American Film Critics Association Awards. It has also received 4 Golden Globe Award Nominations. In addition to DuVernay, the line-up of producers includes Hollywood heavyweights Brad Pitt and Oprah Winfrey, who also performs in a supporting role as Annie Lee Cooper. Paul Webb provided the screenplay and among the exceptional cast that brings it to life are David Oyelowo (as Martin Luther King Jr.), Carmen Ejogo (as Coretta Scott King), Cuba Gooding Jr., Giovanni Ribisi, Common, Tim Roth, and Allesandro Nivola.

Technology and the Struggle for Human Rights

The story of the historic march from Selma to Montgomery is now a well-known one for many important reasons. It is obviously vital for the place it holds in the story of African-Americans’ ongoing struggle for social and political equality in the United States, as it is for the place it occupies in America’s attempts in general to refine its practice of the concept of democracy. In addition, it dramatically demonstrates the role which the evolution of technology has played in struggles for human rights in the modern era.

For the full article by Aberjhani please click this link:
Selma revisited: from violent racism to reflective compassion (part 1 of 5) – National African-American Art | Examiner.com.

Creative Thinkers International and 21st Century Notions of Community – Bright Skylark Literary Productions

Syrian children behind a barbed wire fence at the Ceylanpinar refugee camp in the Sanliurfa province of  Turkey. (Photo by Reuters)

At the heart of Creative Thinkers International’s operational philosophy has always been a core belief in the ability of positive creativity to help inspire nonviolent conflict resolution. This is not a romantic notion; it is a crucial alternative.

The blood-and-bone-splattering spectacles of war have come to command most news headlines in the modern world. The maniacal brutality that was 9/11 engraved in the world’s collective consciousness themes and realities intensified by perpetual chaos, terror, and death. It is a chilling prospect, and yet an observable phenomenon, that humanity at this point in history too often defines itself by how efficiently it destroys itself.

Love, it seems, is valued most when violence or disease threaten to annihilate the life that would serve as a channel for it. Men and women discover the deeper nature and beauty of their characters by exposing them to man-made insanities that threaten not only human beings, but the nonhuman forest-, ocean-, jungle-, and mountain-dwelling species that also call the Earth home. Such an inclination is not one that supports notions of sustainable communities or advances based on peace rather than war.

That very dangerous realization is an extremely important one to note. The reason is because the natural and social forces that combine to compose what some call “the human story” are developing in such a way that, like it or not, more and more people you may once have thought of as strangers or foreigners are now becoming neighbors, co-workers, classmates, bosses, employees, and in-laws.  Between extreme weather events and more prolonged climate transformations, plus cross-cultural merging caused by man-made atrocities and inter-cultural interactions facilitated by advances in technology, the boundaries that once defined notions of community are dissolving as steadily as shelves of ice breaking off the Antarctic.

Please enjoy the full post by Aberjhani by clicking this link:
Creative Thinkers International and 21st Century Notions of Community – Bright Skylark Literary Productions.

By Aberjhani: As Egypt Howls and History Tweets

Egyptian citizens protest social and political conditions in Egypt. (photo by Getty Images)

The quote “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” is a well-known one attributed to the British historian Lord Acton (nineteenth century). What is rarely discussed after someone quotes these words are the different ways that power can and does corrupt.

The assumption is that too much power diminishes an individual’s capacity or inclination to render “good works” on behalf of others. At the same time, it increases his or her capacity or inclination to generate malice in the world.

When watching TV reports and reading Internet posts about Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s attempt to stand down protesters calling for his removal, the 82-year-old does not come across as someone whom power has enticed to consciously wreak havoc in the lives of people he claims to love and serve. Writing from this distance of many miles across the Atlantic Ocean, it seems more as if power has convinced him that he is doing the one most important thing he can do on behalf of his country by struggling to hold on to a position he has occupied for nearly 30 years. But from the images of people weeping, dying, and shouting in the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, Mansoura, and Aswan, it is clear that history is begging—and in many cases tweeting–– to differ.

Chaos or Revolution?
To continue reading please click this link:
As Egypt howls and history tweets – National African-American Art | Examiner.com.

by Aberjhani
© January 2011

Google Books Offers Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance Preview

W.E.B. Du Bois, a major architect of the Harlem Renaissance.

W.E.B. Du Bois, a major architect of the Harlem Renaissance.

For the first time since the publication of Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance (Facts On File) in 2003, Google Books has recently added an extended preview to its listing of the title.

The preview includes a full-screen color reproduction of the cover, which features artwork by celebrated artist Jacob Lawrence, the foreword and authors’ notes, and free access to more than 100 pages of articles ranging from profiles of Chicago Defender editor Robert Abbott and the Abyssinian Baptist Church to Broadway star and social activist Sophie Tucker. Access is also available to a list of encyclopedia topics and a comprehensive appendix of maps detailing such subjects as the Great Migration, the development of black music, and the Harlem Renaissance’s influence around the world.

In addition to providing access to the generous preview itself, Google has also made available a preview widget that may be embedded in a blog or on a website. You can obtain the widget simply by clicking on the “link” icon in the upper right corner of the page for Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance and copying the code labeled “embed.” Once you’ve copied the code, paste and save it in your blog or on your website. The widget is ideal for educators and readers addressing subjects associated with the Harlem Renaissance/Jazz Age, American history in general, or examples of award-winning work by contemporary authors.

Google Books has made widgets available for the following titles as well:

ELEMENTAL the Power of Illuminated Love
The Wisdom of W.E.B. Du Bois
The American Poet Who Went Home Again
I Made My Boy Out of Poetry
Christmas When Music Almost Killed the World

Each of these serves as great introductions to the books themselves and makes a great addition to literary and education websites. If you happen to be an author yourself, you might consider checking the availability of widgets for your own books and adding them to your author profiles.

by Aberjhani
© 10/10/10

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21st Century Digital Authors on the Rise

Your brain wired for the 21st century literary life.

Your brain wired for the 21st century literary life.

It’s a curious thing to call oneself an author in this early half of the twenty-first century. The word now means so much more than it did when classic authors such as William Shakespeare, Frederick Douglass, or Anais Nin made their claims to literary fame. Although their works may have been as emotionally, politically, and ideologically informed as that of the accomplished twenty-first century author, a number of major differences separate them from their modern counterparts.

The word “technology” might quickly come to mind for some, but, in fact, many of our literary heroes were directly connected to the technological advances of their time and some even owned private printing presses to ensure the publication of their works.  Without doubt, few, if any, could have imagined the invention of the Internet or its impact on every aspect of literary culture, from the publication of electronic books to blog tours across the net. But at least two things in particular help distinguish the 21st century digital author from his or her classic counterpart:

NUMBER 1– is familiarity with the many forms in which books are now presented to the reading public– through traditional publishing, independent author services, eBooks, audio books, blog-books, media downloads, serialized web posts, graphic novels, film adaptations, etc. Along with this comes some awareness of how each of these forms helps cultivate different types of reading audiences.

AND NUMBER 2– the level of engagement and communication with local, national, and global communities through an established literary presence enhanced by digital social networks. This is a particularly important quality because it has to do not only with readership, but an individual consciousness that keeps an eye on the crossing cultural currents of the world community; and, with a literary sensibility that fosters some sense of camaraderie within that human species known as authors.

To describe in too much detail the meaning and significance of the 21st century digital author would defeat the purpose of this particular profile. The focus here is on experiencing the definition rather than expounding upon it and such experience is offered through this guide if you will, to one 21st century digital author at work.

by 21st Century Digital Author Aberjhani
Celebrating CTI’s 3rd Anniversary

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