Crossing the Bridge of Silver Wings 2013 Going into 2014: A Review

Thank you:

WordPress.com, Fellow Authors, Bloggers, and Readers for your support of The Bridge of Silver Wings. Many of you have inspired me with your own beautiful creations, shared wisdom, passionate poems, evocative essays, and awesome images. This blog was started to share with the world the life-affirming concepts, experiences, and dream-visions expressed in the book The River of Winged Dreams , now extended into the pages of Journey through the Power of the Rainbow. According to the messages coming in on this eve of the New Year 2014, from India (see quotations for the New Year listed in article) and Germany to Russia, the United States, and South America, the endeavor has been a welcomed one.

The Bridge of Silver Wings writing to you from The River of Winged Dreams  

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

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A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 650 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 11 trips to carry that many people.

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New Orleans’ Bayou Maharajah arrives in Savannah (part 2 of 2)

Musical genius James Carroll Booker III at the piano. (photo Wikepedia Creative Commons Share License)
Piano virtuoso James Carroll Booker III. (photo: Wikipedia Creative Commons)

“With my ninth mind I resurrect my first and dance slow to the music of my soul made new.” ––from Visions of a Skylark Dressed in Black

While he lived, James Booker was apparently known by many titles. The tradition in African American music of taking on grand and sometimes outlandish designations stretches at least as far back as the Harlem Renaissance when Bessie Smith became known as “The Empress of the Blues” and Edward Kennedy Ellington gained fame as “The Duke.”

In addition to the name used in the title of the film, Booker has been alternately referred to as: The Piano Prince of New Orleans, The Black Liberace, The Ivory Emperor, The Black Chopin, and Little Booker. He was also known as an off-again on-again drug addict, a non-closeted gay man, and a psychologically complex individual for whom no single definition or description could ever suffice.

Interpretation of a Life

Lily Keber appears, at this point in time, to be one ideal interpreter of who and what Mr. Booker was as a son of New Orleans and as a thoroughly hidden American treasure. Like New Orleans, Keber’s hometown of Savannah in one of the American cities in which the music of jazz has its deepest roots. Her move to New Orleans in 2006 and her labors to pay homage to “The Ivory Emperor” have further extended the jazz kinship between the city and Savannah. She has, in short, added something much more than a footnote to the history of jazz in America. As the director herself put it, “It took growing up in Savannah to prepare me for moving to a city like New Orleans.”

To read the full story by Aberjhani please click the link:
New Orleans’ Bayou Maharajah arrives in Savannah (part 2 of 2) – National African-American Art | Examiner.com.

Invitation to Ring the Bells of Freedom – Bright Skylark Literary Productions

MLK DREAM Manifestation of Hope Quotation by Aberjhani 750

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream was a manifestation of hope that humanity might one day get out of its own way by finding the courage to realize that love and nonviolence are not indicators of weakness but gifts of significant strength.” —MLK poster art with quote by Aberjhani courtesy of Bright Skylark Literary Productions.

Different roads provide diverse routes to freedom. For many, the path is an interior one. It first requires an individual to the clear from the landscape of inner beingthose areas overgrown with woody thickets of doubt and trauma or buried beneath swamplands of self-imposed limitations.

There are others––like the Americans who struggled for civil rights in the 1960s, and citizens of the Middle East and various African countries currently battling for basic human rights–– who take a more public journey to freedom. Their sense and experience of liberty is defined by interaction with the external dictates of history, evolving cultural persuasions, and dominant political trends.  Individuals such as these inspired the article Text and Meaning in Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream Speech.

Whether the journey is undertaken within or without, the impulse to demand, claim, and exercise freedom ––not just as a politicized human right but as a fundamental tenet of human existence–– is as automatic as gulping air when first leaving the womb. It therefore is not particularly surprising that the King Center in Atlanta has chosen to conclude its 50th anniversary commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech with a “Let Freedom Ring” international bell-ringing event at 3 p.m. on August 28.

“We are calling on people across America and throughout the world to join with us as we pause to mark the 50th anniversary of my father’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech with ‘Let Freedom Ring’ bell-ringing events and programs that affirm the unity of people of all races, religions and nations,” said King Center C.E.O. Bernice A. King in a news release from the Center. 

To read the full blog by Aberjhani please click this link:
http://www.author-poet-aberjhani.info/1/post/2013/08/invitation-to-ring-the-bells-of-freedom.html

Text and Meaning in Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream Speech (part 1 of 4)

 (photograph of MLK National Memorial by Larry Downing for Reuters)

“He captured the spotlight of history precisely at the right time, and responded with a blueprint for what America could become if it trusted its democratic legacy… He was murdered. But his dream still excites our social and political imaginations. It beckons us to work, to realize the dream that America can indeed be a truly pluralistic society and that planet Earth can be a place in the universe where peace, justice, and freedom are the dominant ethos.” ––James M. Washington, Introduction to A Testament of Hope, The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.

August 28, 2013, will mark the 50th anniversary of the great 1963 March on Washington D.C. for Civil Rights and for Martin Luther King Jr.’s delivery of his now iconic “I Have a Dream”speech before a national audience.  Plans had long been underway to commemorate the event on Saturday, August 24, with a symbolic reenactment of the original march. Recent events, however, such as George Zimmerman’s acquittal for the killing of Trayvon Martin and the Supreme Court’s decision to all but repeal the 1965 Voting Rights Act, have inspired many to call for something beyond symbolism.

With Martin Luther King, III, working alongside Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, the goal has evolved from hopes to make a meaningful emblematic gesture to accomplishing a true nonviolent protest that will help encourage action against the seeming tide of political and social regression sweeping over the nation. With that in mind, the commemorative march, conferences, film festivals, concerts, and other activities slated to take place August 24 – August 28 will help determine the significance of MLK’s dream in 2013.

Fresh Film Takes on a Complex Issue

Whereas much of contemporary America’s troubles may be traced to economic factors, the racial component has become too increasingly volatile to dismiss with a few short-lived riots or with condescending political motions that sound momentous but ultimately deliver little along the lines of sustainable solutions. As if to underscore how much aspects of race relations have not changed since the original march on Washington, the new films Fruitvale Station and Lee Daniels’ The Butler provide contrasting yet complementary portraits of life and death as a black male in America.

To read the full article by Aberjhani please click this link:
Text and meaning in Martin Luther King Jr.s I Have a Dream Speech part 1 of 4.

Catching up with Our Humanity – Guerrilla Decontextualization

“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity…”– Albert Einstein

 

Guerrilla Decontextualization is a study of trends in social media, mainstream media, and general human conduct that focus on the practice of intentionally distorting images or information for the purpose of gaining influence or popularity. Examples of it are easy to spot in some 2012 political campaign ads when a candidate for a particular office tries to dig up dirt on another candidate and uses certain phrases from interviews (as well as private conversations) or excerpts from a video, to make it look as if that one phrase or image tells the whole story.

It may be that the only true or accurate context for any given event––i.e., the birth of an idea, a conversational exchange, a clash or embrace between two or more entities–– is the moment in which it occurs. Everything else is a slanted interpretation, leaning either more toward or away from unadorned reality. The lean toward truth, though it can be excruciatingly painful, is one that ultimately helps individuals and societies further define and experience the voluptuous complexities of what we call our humanity. The lean toward falsehood reflects an aspect of that same humanity but corrupts our greatest potential for its higher expression. The pendulum of history as we are experiencing it in this second decade of the 21st century seems to swing with sharp suspense back and forth between these possibilities. 

Please feel free to continue reading the post by Aberjhani by clicking this link:

Catching up with Our Humanity – Guerrilla Decontextualization.

Dancing to the Paradigm Rhythms of Change in Action (part 1 of 2) | Aberjhani | Blog Post | Red Room

                  Ethiopian journalist and publisher Eskinder Nega. (photo courtesy of World News)

I am Eskinder Nega. Like my hero Nelson Mandela, my soul is unconquered, my spirit unbroken, my head unbowed, and my heart unafraid.”—Eskinder Nega from I Am Eskinder Nega


Change is one of the scariest things in the world and yet it is also one of those variables of human existence that no one can avoid. One may literally find the lessons of that simple observation all over the map at this halfway point in the year 2012–– and only a few months before Americans take their collective political fate into their own hands during one of the most intense
presidential elections on historical record. 

From such a perspective, it matters less whether you look at the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decisions to skillfully dissect Arizona’s (and by extension similar states’) Illegal Immigration Law, and then largely uphold President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as victories for  one group over another. What is clear in either case is that the paradigm rhythms of change are very much in progress in this second decade of the 21st century.

Freedom of Expression and Eskinder Nega

Stepping outside the United States into the larger global village, the nature of change has caused government officials in Ethiopia to place themselves in a precarious position where the court of public opinion is concerned. Specifically, officials there recently convicted some half a dozen journalists (plus 18 other individuals) of terrorism based primarily­­­­––so far as observers have been able to tell––on blogs and editorials.

The main offenses committed through these writings was that the authors: addressed the events of the Arab Spring, questioned the accuracy of election outcomes, and examined governmental criteria for classifying individuals as terrorists. Among those convicted on June 27 was publisher and journalist Eskinder Nega, recipient of the 2012 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award. 

To read more of the full article by Aberjhani please click either of the links below:

Dancing to the Paradigm Rhythms of Change in Action (part 1 of 2) | Aberjhani | Blog Post | Red Room.
Dancing to the Paradigm Rhythms of Change in Action Part 1 on Examiner 

Juneteenth 2012 Editorial with Poem: Every Hour Henceforth

Image

Cover of forthcoming eBook Visions of a Skylark Dressed in Black.

The story behind the annual Juneteenth celebration is now fairly well known. The event commemorates June 19, 1865, the day slaves in Galveston, Texas, and other parts of the state learned for the first time they had actually been freed via the Emancipation Proclamation two years earlier.

There is not much with which to compare such an event to in the year 2012. But try this: imagine how a group of prisoners might feel if they learned their innocence had been proven years ago and orders for their release signed but left forgotten in someone’s desk drawer.

At this point in time, just three years before the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth, the holiday has come to represent a great deal more than recognition of delayed freedom. A statement from the Juneteenth Worldwide Celebration website founded by Clifford Robinson put it as follows:

“Juneteenth is a day of reflection, a day of renewal, a pride-filled day.  It is a moment in time taken to appreciate the African American experience.  It is inclusive of all races, ethnicities and nationalities – as nothing is more comforting than the hand of a friend.”

To read the full article and poem by Aberjhani please click this link:
Juneteenth 2012 Essay with Poem: Every Hour Henceforth