Monday, July 7, 2008

Chauncey DeVega's Trip to the African Caribbean Festival of Life-A Photo Travelog

I like to share my exciting and spirited adventures with all who will listen: respectable negroes, white allies, and anyone else with too much time on their hands. This past weekend I had the joy of renewing my life--and eating some good grilled chicken at my neighborhood's local celebration of black people (don't worry, I am very careful and won't be getting salmonella because I go around and do a food hygiene inspection before I decide which eatery to bless with my presence). These festivals are always exciting because they represent a great cross section of the community...and I get to play anthropologist for a day while I do some people watching. Plus, for one day we can actually pretend to get along as a community, as opposed to the other 364 days of the year (including Christmas), when we treat each other like crap.

So rather than look at these professional pictures of the day from our local big city fancy paper (lies and propaganda! all of it!), please join me on my journey as I bring you only those facts which are fit to tell.

Exhibit Number One: All that Ails the Captive Black Nation in America can be Cured at the African Caribbean Festival:

The black community is afflicted, literally and symbolically by gas, bloating, constipation, and stress. If we all had a communal drink of this wonder elixir our problems would be fixed tomorrow and we would be happy, healthy, and wise.

Exhibit Number Two: Obama! Obama! Obama!..T Shirts for Sale

I do hope Obama gets some residuals because his face is everywhere and is on everything. The festival was a great example of "politics as popular culture" because in every badly sung bit of music there was an Obama mention. For example: Badly sung Caribbean fake Patois Lyric (insert Obama) Badly sung Caribbean fake Patois Lyric (insert Obama) Man jumps around stage like Buju Banton or Shabba Ranks circa 1994 (insert Obama) (insert blast horn/air raid siren noise) repeat indefinitely. And by the way, the Chi-lites performed and they looked like a wax museum brought to life--except the wax statues continued to age while they were in the museum.

The stakes are high folks. I actually risked my safety to bring you this photo as the vendor confronted me about "stealing his intellectual property," and that "I should buy a T Shirt rather than documenting my day." I didn't have the heart to tell him that he was selling bootlegged, counterfeit T-Shirts himself...he was old and angry, so in the interest of peace I simply moved along.

Exhibit Number Three: It is Sexy Time

This lingerie was all the rage at the festival. I really like the man girdle because I could easily imagine myself wearing it under my samurai robe. It would be give my profile that little bit of extra help that I need in order to seduce Rosario Dawson. Now, all I need is a codpiece to complete my outfit when I next go courting. I also like the one piece corset on the right--it is hard to make out in the picture, but it is form fitting (or "contouring" as the bigger ladies like to say) and crotchless. I do love anything crotchless. But, you have to be careful of getting irritated on the seams of the peek-a-boo hole (I just made that phrase up) during your frantic and feverish love making.

Exhibit Number Four: It is Thelma from Good Times

No, not on the right, but right here (witty word play huh?):

Thelma was looking really good as she signed her new book. I do hope that Thelma signed a fair deal which pays her adequate residuals--fingers crossed. Too bad she didn't marry the heir to the chicken fortune. Yes, he was a bit older than her, but the brother could have gotten Thelma and her family out of the projects. And, Thelma should have gone to that all white college preparatory school. She could have networked, gained social capital, and reached back to help the community. Thelma was always selfish.

Exhibit Number Five: Guns, Money and the Bible?

This was a popular bit of art for sale at the festival. I studied and reflected on the image for a great deal of time. What does it mean? What are its semiotics? Do we need to choose between God and guns and money? Or is it a false choice? Are they mutually exclusive? Is this part of a new movement in the black aesthetic? A nouveau, street gangster art sensibility? More importantly will they stock photos and prints from this genre in my local Borders bookstore near the ghetto literature?

Exhibit Number Six: The Queen Mother of the World

This is more like it. Did you know the black woman, a woman in Africa, was the first modern human--the queen mother of all? Did you know that the black woman is a queen? Did you know the first person to ever have a thought was a black person? I bet you didn't? Why? Because hip hop has poisoned your mind through its negative depictions of black women. As a corrective, I suggest you go to the African Caribbean festival (or your local AfroCentric bookstore, flea market, or Marshall's department store) and heal your mind and body by purchasing, studying and reflecting on the spiritual uplift provided by "positive" black artwork.

Exhibit Number Seven: Black Man and Black Woman We are Bonded to Each Other!

I am feeling really affirmed right now. Notice how the muscular thighs of our two nubians are intertwined. Also, the powerful buttocks and steel embrace. We cannot be stopped once we unite as a people. Plus, we are betrothed as king and queen by a heart shaped lock! Yes, black man and black woman strip naked in an erotic embrace of black love. We should not be afraid to affirm each other against Hip hop and its foul depictions of black humanity!

Exhibit Number Eight: Black Man and Black Woman We are Carved from Each Other

Yes! Yes! Yes! This is what I am talking about. Again, notice the form and dignity of the black man and black woman. More importantly, it isn't just Venus and Serena Williams whom are built like Amazonian goddesses (and from me that is a complement as I would blissfully surrender to either or both, preferably both to be honest, in a day, or week, or month, of Caligula inspired decadence) . I digress. Black man do you see how you are created by your queen? Do you understand how you are beholden to her? Black woman, do you see the black king's mighty hammer? Do you understand how he is going to use that hammer to free the community? Do you understand how his hammer is also a source of pleasure? Its vibrations and poundings shaking you to your foundations? Fulfilling you as a woman? Damn, let me calm down a second and drink a Snapple...

Exhibit Number Nine: The White Man won't Let Us have Our Day

The white racist power structure is always monitoring the black community, and it knows no bounds in its disrespect of the black man and black woman. No, we can't even have one day free from their watchful eyes. In fact, the African-Caribbean festival was under siege all day long. I actually watched two of "Chicago's Finest" try to get a discount on a beef kabob from one of the vendors! Well, he was actually Asian, but that doesn't matter. No Justice! No Peace! And notice the ultimate affront--and you have to pay close attention because white supremacy is subliminal in its trickery--what type of ice cream are they eating? Not chocolate. Oh no! The occupying army's stormtroopers are actually daring to eat VANILLA ice cream while in the middle of our maroon colony! These enforcers are actually consuming whiteness in front of us. Will the indignities inflicted on us as a people never end?

Blacktown. net please empower me against this assault:

Regardless of the way the day ended, it was still wonderful to be out and about with my people. It was a wonderful day of multicultural fun (Gordon do you get the hint?). I feel rejuvenated in my blackness and I am now ready to struggle on.

1 comment:

gordon gartrelle said...

I had a great time with my queen. Sure, the crafts sucked, the music sucked, and the entrance fee was too expensive, but we had some decent food (also too expensive).

And it was a unity fest: black folks from the islands, American negroes in fake-African garb, dreadlocked sistas with scruffy white dudes in sandals, and white hippies looking to soak up some "authentic" culture.

You sound a little salty--did Thelma (as if that's her real name) reject your advances or something?