Archive for the ‘African European Culture’ Category

Samuel Primed in 2017

January 23, 2017

Anyway I don’t know if you are following the numerology, but my son is at a prime number age and so am I.  The last time that I checked, 2017 is also a prime number.  Go ahead and dance around the room on that.

Christmas Season Jerez 2016

December 7, 2016

Also, you might want to head to Europe to see Black Jesus because the USA doesn’t have any.  Just the other day the jury responsible for determining the guilt of Walter Scott‘s killer was deadlocked in a mistrial.  Apparently, Black Jesus isn’t going to save anybody in South Carolina any time soon and there is still no semblance of justice.  Click on the link for Exhibit A.  I get the feeling that there are going to be a lot more martyrs for the Black Lives Matter movement to proselytize.

Enjoy my family video to help take your mind away from all the madness.  There will be no Christmas cards this year because we are terrifically poor, but at least they aren’t filming Black death on the streets and allowing the murderer to go free.  Check out an article here in ColorLines by Kenya Rankin about the mistrial of Michael Slager. Yeah, so then there’s that.  Merry Christmas everyone.

Upcoming Events: Vendimia 2016

August 2, 2016

Click on the Google Calendar link above to add my event to your calendar if you happen to be in the area of Andalusia this coming September.  I have been spending so much time talking about Jerez de la Frontera, Spain that I haven’t had the chance to properly invite you.

IMG_20160629_124236I know that it is a bit of short notice but this is one of the last events of the official 2016 calendar of events for the City of Jerez.  Vendimia is the grape harvest festival and generally folks make a pretty big deal about it here in Spain according to the board of tourism for Andalucia.  The most important Vendimia festival in Spain is right here in Jerez so if you want to meet me directly after the Blessing of the Grapes, then we can can watch the Stomping of the Grapes together.

It should go without saying that we are going to be sipping on something and only those legally allowed to drink can imbibe.  Anyway it will be a really good time.

https://plus.google.com/events/cpj0v1nmkk62jrq8brutppo2p44

 

Epiphany 2016

January 6, 2016

Get out there and share the good news in 2016 that Spain has decided to include actual Africans in some of their parades for Three Wise Kings Day, also known as Los Reyes Magos.  I wrote about my general disgust for the practice of donning blackface last year, but my opinion about this particular Spanish tradition is evolving now.

Largely, I look at the event as celebratory and the incidences of changing one’s appearance to resemble the most striking African features is crude flattery.  My argument to have someone black play Balthazar is still firmly rooted in tact, but the levels of inclusion for the large numbers of Africans that find themselves in Spain is encouraging.   Participation in the parade festivities is a very big deal in Spain, and I was pleased to see cultural sharing and exchange rather than the usual cultural appropriation.

I hate to start out in a new year on a sour note, so Happy New Year to all of you out there.

Spread love!

La Feria Lighting to Tio Pepe: Gitanas Edition

May 13, 2015

La Feria in Jerez is definitely worth a long form article.  But I think that I am going to have to try that article at a later date.  You see, right now, La Feria is in full swing.  I can’t miss too many of these moments because you never know when you are going to be able to live them.  The video above doesn’t due the production value of La Feria proper justice because there are so many things that go into this event besides the massive construction tour de force that took place to squeeze an entire city into a park.

Let’s start with the lighting ceremony, or rather two weeks before.  Some gitanas or gypsies basically took over the tree stump hangout behind the parking lot where I live.  I am not going to make some grand claim of understanding gypsy culture but these guys were basically drinking all day and playing backgammon.  They weren’t even loud with it.  Then on Sunday when La Feria kicked-off, they started working and shit got real.  You see normal Spaniards aren’t really for all that working crap during La Feria so it was a little suspicious when the folks known for never working started to work in overdrive.

(Only New Yorkers will appreciate these analogies: La Feria is like Saint Rocco’s Feast or San Gennaro’s Feast multiplied by Las Vegas.)  Incredibly gorgeous gypsy women came out of nowhere selling flowers or balloons.  Gypsy men were busying themselves with charging people to park in illegal parking spaces around La Feria.  Then the old gypsy ladies roved La Feria grounds like gangs pushing flowers and romero on anybody inexperienced enough to make eye contact with them.  The transformation was total, complete, and mind-altering.

I had to seek refuge in a caseta operated by the Jerez de la Frontera City Hall, and guess who was on the stage?  Gitanas with jobs, again.  Gypsies get their music on, and if you have ever heard sevillanas then you will understand what I am talking about.  Never mind how the City Hall partnered with one of the most well-known sherry makers in Spain.  That isn’t important right now.  After all, we are in Spain and we have to live somehow.  La Feria only comes once a year so forget your woes, get on a horse, and just watch this video.

Pregaming La Feria in Jerez de la Frontera

May 10, 2015

This was certainly something.  Samuel and I keep it real and show you how it is about to really go down at the biggest event of the year in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.  Again, the thing to remember is that La Feria hasn’t officially started yet but stuff like this has been going on for at least a week…

Dance + Lessons: Samuel With Jay Electronica Edition

April 13, 2015

[Intro – Martin Luther King Jr.]
We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now
Because I’ve been to the mountaintop; I don’t mind
Like anybody, I would like to live a long life.  Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will.

And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!

And so I’m happy, tonight
I’m not worried about anything
I’m not fearing any man!

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!

[Verse One – Jay Electronica]
Boom bash dash
I had to break, I had to get away
Pack my bags, headed for Greyhound, it was a Monday

Time to start my mission
I felt that burning feeling in my soul, I had to listen

I had this re-ocurring dream from the stage in a suit with a fade
I had set the game ablaze and they threw me a parade
I stacked a little change and took my family out the caves
But I was trapped in a maze like a lab rat
And at the bottom of the barrel where they keep the crabs at

No Geico, no Aflac, nothing to fall back on
But the streets where niggas cussed out the police and sold they crack on
Better known as back home, where they treat the Arabs and the Spanish and the blacks wrong

There he go with that song
You may be tired but I spit what I’m inspired
From the Lord of the worlds cause the devil is a liar

[Hook – Tone Treasure]
Say, I’ve seen the lightning flashing (yes I did)
And I’ve seen the thunder roar
But you can’t (you can’t keep me down for long)
Because I’m getting stronger (Because I keep getting stronger)

[Verse Two – Jay Electronica]
My style is like a shot of Jack Daniels, a baby grand piano
Lightening Hopkin, smokin’ cigs, strummin’ on the banjo
The son of man’s the son of a gun with hella ammo
Sheriffs shootin’ Bob Marley, John J. Rambo
Six sextillion, 19 million, the holy pyramids say we all Allah’s children
Voodoo for the pilgrims who bring weapons and conceal ’em
They silence you with force
 and then indoctrinate the children
Yo Gabba Gabba
, Ahmadinejad will blow up your apartment if you don’t observe the Sabbath
I look the devil in his eye and say abracadabra
Then drown ‘im in the mighty light his brain couldn’t fathom
Scrappin’ every day, just like fight club
A thriller and a smooth criminal like Mike was

[Hook]

We stay on the primrose path.

A post shared by Dan Knuckles (@danknuckles) on

Party in the Street: Andalusia Edition

April 11, 2015

I am told that in all of Andalusia people like to party in the street.  Andalusian people are festive and they don’t need much reason to throw down at a moment’s notice.  Dancing in the streets is common and the Flamenco style is apparently in their blood.

My family and I were walking down the street, minding our own business, and this elderly gentleman just started playing the guitar.  Another stranger started to bang out a beat on a box that he found.  Two ladies that were having lunch nearby started dancing.  My wife joined in but I pretty much started filming like a tourist, even though the entire scene was reminiscent of African cultures.

People all over the world aren’t really that different, I suppose.  If you are ever travelling through Spain, you might want to take part.  The next big party in Andalusia is La Feria in Jerez and Seville in May.  The people have been warming up since March, when this video was taken.  The orange blossoms are filling the air with a sweet smell and the weather is already quite warm in the South.

We are going to get with you at a later date.  You have got to come to Spain!

My son, Samuel, and I.

We stay on the primrose path at Jardín Escénico, Jerez De La Frontera.

Paris St. Patrick’s Day Edition: Notre Dame

March 17, 2015

I hope you are out there being responsible and all that good stuff.  Just so you know, I’m wearing green.  Oh you already knew that it was St. Patrick’s Day just like you knew that the DeMatha Stags won the ACIT.  You probably also knew that the Notre Dame basketball team (in Indiana) won the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament Championship later on that night.  Did broadcasters mention that Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey graduated from DeMatha in 1971 1977?  Did they mention that Notre Dame has a Player of the Year candidate and ACC Tournament MVP winner by the name of Jerian Grant that graduated from DeMatha in 2010?

A very cute baby at Notre Dame.

My son Samuel outside the cue at Notre Dame in Paris.

There will be more on that stuff at a later date.  We should all spend more time in our lives talking about the saints that we actually met.  (Anyway, shout out to my Irish-DeMatha-Music homey Coleman Mellett who is no longer with us.)  My wife tells me that Semana Santa or Saints Week is about to pop-off in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain very soon, so I know at least one fat baby boy that has some traveling to do.  I’m wishing all of us out here safe travels and may God’s grace and the luck of Irish be with ye!

Pi Day Family Photo in Paris

March 14, 2015

Where do I begin with this lazy Saturday filled with basketball?  I know that the high school kids out there took the SAT this morning but I didn’t think that the brain drain would extend itself to someone so far removed from such mental gymnastics.  Everything is going in circles during this floor routine.  Maryland lost to Michigan in the Big 10 basketball tournament semifinals today.  Nobody can find Vladimir Putin all of a sudden.  Then my ray of hope.  (No, I am not one of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology prospective students waiting to hear from their admission committee via the special blast they planned for today.)  I am referring to the picture of my wife and son in front of the Eiffel Tower on a cold and gray afternoon.

Margarita y Samuel

My wife and son hold down the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Pi Day, 2015.

My day was made, and I am truly thankful.  There really isn’t a whole lot to say here other than I hope that all of you out there have the opportunity to travel the world with your family or the people that you love.  I am one of those people that believes that the world is getting smaller.  People are a blessing and a curse when it comes to travel.  As fast as we discover the wonders of this world, people end up destroying or ruining other parts that might be equally wondrous.  Be a good steward in the world, people.  Take care and enjoy your Pi Day.