Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Church of James Brown Has Returned: Offer Up Your Sins, Fears, and Worries About All Things Black That You Should Love, But Actually Disdain!


I sat on the bus. Tired, I waited, trying to read as my conveyance pulled away from Michigan Avenue, bringing me home to Hyde Park, blocks away from Obama's home. Weary with sleep, I heard a drum beat in my ear. It continued. Incessant. Unapologetic. Moving. Exciting.

All of us looked to our left. He was there. Riding in a white Cadillac. Both his driver and bodyguards were dressed in white; their hair was permed; the suits clean and pressed. 

The specter had traded his horses and chariot for a car, he smiled, keeping pace, the Permed One looked at me and asked a simple question: "Why so long Brother Chauncey? You have been the keeper of my flame and an acolyte in my church! Why have you not held a revival? Two years? Why brother! Have you become so self-important as to have forgotten from which you came?" 

Shocked, I looked down. Embarrassed. The burning bush of We Are Respectable Negroes had appeared once more. Guttural, in speech that only a few can understand, he asked, "as you approach 1 million visitors in these next few months, why have you forsaken me?" Do you believe that you are greater than our church and my calling? I will humble you!"

Yes, it has been two long years. Several of you have asked for his return. In our trying and most challenging times he answers. I must obey. The Church of James Brown is upon us; the Permed One has commanded me to bring him forth once more. I will confess my sins of Blackness without shame.

In our sacred words:

"Oh most amazing James Brown, greatest of all negroes, I offer you my lies and secret shames. All these years I have yearned to share those things which I have pretended to like and adore in the name of being authentically Black. I cast my words into the wind so that you can take our secrets and make these shames unintelligible as you sing them for all time in your unique and spirited language."

As one of the elders of the Church of James Brown I shall offer myself as an example of humility and vulnerability as I send my words into the wind:

I, Chauncey DeVega, am tired of writing about Trayvon Martin. I will continue to do so as much remains to be said on such a tragic and woeful incident;

I, Chauncey DeVega, would vote for Barack Obama again, despite his accomplishments or record. Conservatives, white people, and their allies consistently support white candidates who have failed for no other reason than because of  said candidates' appeals to white racial resentment and racism. I am no more noble than they are. I am not high minded or pure. I am a believer in realpolitik.

I, Chauncey DeVega, observe that we are our own best friends, we are our own worst enemies, we are our best advocates, we often do not listen enough to each other.

I, Chauncey DeVega, refuse to watch "black" sitcoms, movies, or other popular culture made for "us."

I, Chauncey DeVega, a black pragmatist and black nationalist, am also worried that conservatives may be right about the soft bigotry of low expectations. This troubles me.

Come my friends and unburden yourselves! The Church of James Brown is in session until Sunday. Pray tell, share the darkest secrets of negritude, those feelings, impulses, and thoughts that you want to purify yourself of. The mirror works both ways, there are many secrets that white folks and others hold as well regarding these matters of race and identity, Brother James hears them as well. He is a loving man. 

I do not know how many will come to the alter and reveal themselves. I offer the Church of James Brown to all of you regardless of your fears or worries. He loves and welcomes you all. Simply bow down and touch the robe. By doing so, your life will be transformed.

My children, brothers, sisters, and friends, come forth. Brother James will bring you under his cloak.
  

21 comments:

fictional eyes said...

Brother James,

I grew up in the ghetto, and now I live in another one, and it well and truly breaks my heart that the black thing I should love, and do try to love, I also secretly in my heart disdain. And that is our young black people themselves. Perhaps I am getting old. Perhaps we were just as foolish in our youth, with our jheri curls and whatnot.

It is not fashion choices I speak of, Brother James. Though some of it is... I see the white girls wearing the same thing as they wheel around their brown babies in my neighborhood. My fashion choices don't save me from unwanted attentions any more than Ms. Hood Rat's shiny attire.

It is hard to unburden your soul about things you consider to be black when one's self barely feels qualified to say what black is and isn't...

Brother James. You were a man. You actually said hello to me in life, though I was a baby. You signed my white momma's paperback astrology book. I would like to think a man would know my heart, and heal the parts I cannot say, even in typed words.

I will attempt to get on the good foot.

Yours in solidarity,
Sister

Nathan Wilson said...

Brother, you are one of my favorite writers and I tell you; I have to cleanse myself of ever being subjected to reality television. It's like black paint and red lipstick for our collective faces.

I'm also saying, I'm down for Obama even if he pulled a Marion Barry. The internet would practically explode, but I'm with you on support.

Keep doing your thing good brother.

--Theblackguy

nomad said...

I hope that when y'all vote for this "Right-leaning centrist corporatist" that y'all at least hold his feet to the fire over the right wing polices he will continue to implement. In 2008 y'all was innocently voting for this con man. Your vote in 2012 makes you complicit in his crimes. Bad Germans. And, Chauncey, you know what a stickler I am for details. Didn't you forget to capitalize "black" ?

sledge said...

Love me some James Brown!

Sir James,

Thank you for showing us, the blue eyed rhythm impaired, how to tap our feet. Also, forgive me for my attempts at copying some of your heaven inspired moves into my occasional happy dance.

I, Sledge, will vote for Alan West at every opportunity given. I am grateful that you instilled an inner strength in him and gave him parents that taught him the differences of right and wrong. That he was hardened and trued in the military to a razor sharp, no nonsense leader of men. He has chosen a road less traveled by others even in the face of obstacles that cause lessor men to question themselves in doubt. I am awed that you have presented him before us as an example to all peoples of what a true man of courage, honor and conviction looks like.

I,Sledge, am weary of the people who are filled with hate, sometimes it seems, just for hates sake. Sir James, help me to understand them and to not reflect back what is broadcast to me if it not of love for fellow man.

I, Sledge, ask for your encouragement to speak truth, even in the face of ridicule. And for the strength to do what's right, even when it's difficult, just because it is right.

Sir James, it would also be greatly appreciated if you could help me with this spell checker as it screws up far too often.

I cast my troubling concerns onto your flowing robe and ask to be covered by your cloak.

In Humbleness, Sledge

sledge said...

Allen West - Dammit

Beyond The Political Spectrum said...

Love this piece. I can go along with everything except for the Trayvon Martin killing. I think we have enough of that among our own that we need to address (as tragic though it was).

ColorBind said...

I, a humble seeker of character over color, would also vote for Allen West in a heartbeat.

I would not vote for Mr. Obama because, to use your words, this Papa AIN'T Got A Brand New Bag .
Hey, America, It’s a New Day, time to get a Reality check, stop with These Foolish Things, and deal
with the facts. Stop being Bewildered, have some Soul Pride, and realize that with this Funky President, It’s Getting Bad.


Blacks are doing worse under Obama, and the man is dividing us with his rhetoric and his deeds. He has way too much trouble telling the truth. He just called out Romney for his “inherited wealth”. What he purposely didn’t say is that Romney inherited one million dollars – and gave it all away. (He also didn’t mention the six figure advance he got for his first book – which Obama was supposed to pay back three years later after not writing it).


I also have a problem watching Tyler Perry’s shows, with laugh tracks covering the most meaningless of dialog. And I have a problem with Perry’s staging Cee Lo Green, flipping the bird and singing obscenities in front of the American flag and the American President. Obama may have raised some money that night, but he certainly lowered the bar for the “White” House.


And finally, I admit that my temperance and patience at times grow a bit short with your host on this site. He seems to think that if he continues to Try Me, that I’ll Go Crazy. Please help us to avoid the Shout and Shimmy, remember that It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World, and that we can all Get It Together and keep these exchanges respectful and on-topic.

chaunceydevega said...

@Fictional. You are marked and anointed by the Permed One. Channel his energies and go forth.

@Nathan. Brother James loves you. As he followers forgave him all of his sins, the followers of Obama shall forgive him as well.

@Nomad. Brother James loves robots as well. He passes no judgement.

@Sledge. Brothers James encourages all confessions. But be careful, Brother James is love, Allen West is a product of the Devil and an apostate. Perhaps, the Church of James Brown can cure him of his wicked ways.

@Beyond. Sometimes people are tired. But, the Church of James Brown gives them strength.

@Colorbind. All are welcome in the Church of James Brown. Some like yourself need more help than others. That is why you need us more than all others. The sick need to get well.

You recite the words of James Brown but do not understand his soul or spirit. One day you will be converted and have a moment when your eyes are opened to the foul ways that you have unknowingly embraced. Chant the songs and words of James and your mindstate will one day be altered and perhaps you will be allowed to touch the hem of the Permed One.

ColorBind said...

@Chauncey: Thanks for the welcome (and for not changing my name (again).

I did not recite the words of Mr. Brown, I merely used the titles of some of his songs in my response.

My eyes have been wide open for decades, and, priding myself on objectivity, I can see no foul ways that I have embraced, knowingly or unknowingly. If seeking the truth and objectivity regardless of color is "foul" in your mind, then I think you are the one who could use a bit of hem -- hawing.

Anonymous said...

I am cast in the mode of Miles Davis they call me whatever, whenever, whereever, and however

I being all that and much more in the flow of Miles Davis with a coll stream of sound from my lips say:

SO WHAT to : Circular Race Chasing
SO WHAT to: Black Litmus Test of Negritude
SO WHAT to : Barrack Obama
SO WHAT to: White Applause Seekers
SO WHAT to: Being Cordial and Nice in the presence of Negrophobia
SO WHAT to: The Notion I must wait for the right time to do anything
SO WHAT to : People who seek to censor Nigger I never will
SO What to: Endless words and chatter and poetic posturing which consumes silence and brings misdirection to navigation prospects.
SO What to : Any body who pretends to speak for me I lone define me and my personhood

So as I leave the room soaked with the residue of my personhood those now stamped with the signature of my iconic ingredients go forth to sprinkle the contours of the world with my body of work as your resource and manifesto

CNu said...

All of us looked to our left. He was there. Riding in a white Cadillac. Both his driver and bodyguards were dressed in white; their hair was permed; the suits clean and pressed.

lol, cain't touch that hem brah.

The floor is sticky and the air is funky in soul brother number one's confessional.

His gaudy vestaments are just one step removed from the nasstitiddy, diseased, stank of fela kuti..., yeah, I said it, black anti-black racists role hard like that, particularly when the organs of cultural production have become the vectors of disease, degeneracy, and precipitous popular failure!

If you cater to the lowest common denominator, tolerate and indulge that base, incompetent, unproductive consumerist mass - what else can you realistically expect to emerge besides scornful wimmin, baby boys, and spoiled geriatric breath and britches pimps, preachers, and politicians?

conservatives may be right about the soft bigotry of low expectations. This troubles me.

Michael Gerson and the debauched sock puppet preznit who gave voice to his meaningless slogan - can stuff that nonsense right back up their lying smelly tweeters.

With stern and exacting voices from our own past - why pay heed to a predatory militarist stooge president wrapping up the job of hollowing out America's real economy and further eviscerating its public schools and infrastructure in order to make way for multinational profitability harvested off these shores?

Time to look to our.own.hard.right and heed the summons of Henry Belsidus (oh, and you can straight forget about genuflecting coons like Alan West, Tim Scott and that abomination cropping up in Utah "Mia Love")

The woman is "a charming, young, blonde white girl swathed in a gorgeous fur coat." The man is a "very tall, stern-visaged black man dressed entirely in dark gray and carrying a gold-handled cane in his gloved hand."

The woman is pleading with the man. The man listens impassively.

At last he says, in a voice "cultured, but deep and cruel": "So you have failed. I cannot tolerate failure."

He leads her out, the reporter following, turns into a darkened alley, and casually breaks the young woman's neck.

This is the way George S. Schuyler's "Black Empire" begins.

"Black Empire" is a fierce, in-your-face type story about a worldwide conspiracy of black geniuses to reclaim Africa for their own that many readers might find offensive and racist.

In fact, it is offensive in many respects, just as we find many of the adventure serials of its time period offensive. For "Black Empire" is a child of the 1930s -- the age of science fiction pulp fantasy heroes such as Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Doc Savage and Tarzan.

What makes "Black Empire" different -- what makes it downright astonishing -- is that it represents a fantasy adventure told from a black perspective.


Who was it the other day Chauncey that had the unmitigated temerity to call WARN a black supremacist site?

They have no earthly idea, MWUAH,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HA,HAH!!!!!!!

chaunceydevega said...

@Cnu. Heathen. Although, George Schuyler was one entertaining fellow. Is Black Empire the story where the African tribe conquers the world and has giant robots that shoot lasers out of their eyes and immolate the "white devils?"

CNu said...

Gnaw..., the Black Internationale - genius black scientists, spies, soldiers, etc.., (technocrats) using stealth bombers and the WMD du jour.

Abstentus said...

I got to the point a few years ago when I realized I was the only member of my family (with the possible exception of my Dad who doesn't watch comedy movies usually) who has never seen a Tyler Perry movie. Although I did not, then, pledge (on either personally autographed Derrick Bell book I have,)to keep my purity, I have kept the faith, since.

Kudos on the blog.

Comrade Physioprof said...

Dude, what the fucken hell is wrong with those motherfuckers in the audience? 99% of them look like they're at a fucken academic symposium. Watching that, I felt like reaching back through time and grabbing them by lapels and shaking them and going, "That's fucken JAMES BROWN! Now get the fucke uppe out of your seat!"

BTW, was that Maceo Parker on the sax?

sabrinabee said...

I, Brother James, wish that collectively our people will realize that our communities are not going to shield us when the PTB decide it is time to do something about what they consider drains on society. The rhetoric is amping up, the systems that keeps many of us afloat are being attacked, the extra jails are being built, and the firearms purchases are increasing. Cities are being taken over despite your vote and no one is listening on a national scale. Just as has happened n history, there will be a lot of blind eyeing going on in order to save their own skins.

I, Brother James, am tired of Nicki Minaj, Mary J. Blige, and whomever needs a massage. Singers, actors, sports stars using their far-reaching platforms to sell wares but leaving the purchasees completely devoid of substance. For all the black political superstars that are tearing the community down for a buck, there should be a black superstar who is actually making a buck building it up. They should be educating through their media since the have the ear of those who cannot be reached through interest in their fates. And Beyonce should have a master's degree by now, in spite of her success. There, i said it. This is directed towards all black 'role models' who have reached a large measure of success.

I, Brother James, wish that those that are already elected to office to represent us, just go ahead and admit they have no power. Stop trying to pass piecemeal legislation to make it appear as though you are getting something done and just come out and spill the beans about how the system never has and never will work for the vast majority of us. Go ahead and simply admit that you are there because it is a steady paycheck but you have no real allusions of being able to represent the district you were elected to. How can i tell? Well, this is a time where we should see the congressional black caucus more then we see the president. So either you don't care or you can't do anything.

I, Brother James, wish you will make the whyte people aware that we know that the only reason they support Alan West and Herman Cain is because they are tanned versions of themselves. That the secret is out that many of them are simply parrots for right-wing personalities, and that we are well aware that there are about 15 certified white supremcy group to the one New Black Panther Party listed on the anti-defamtion league website. And those are just the major ones. That makes the chances of one of those 'concerned' citizens getting their information from a racist hate-monger (if they are not racist themselves) much more likely.

Amen

chaunceydevega said...

@Comrade. They stood in awe of the Permed One. I believe that yes, it was Maceo the acolyte and horn blower for the Permed One.

@Sabrina. You are holy and full of the spirit! The Night Train has a permanent seat for you sister. Be prepared to board when it pulls up to your station.

CareyCarey said...

Please have mercy on my soul, for I, CareyCarey, one of a few black folks in Iowa, I cannot tell a lie. My eyes may shine and my teeth may grin but lord have mercy I can't do it again. I will not tell the world to spend their hard earned money, or exchange their food stamps to see a movie about 4 friends who conspire to turn the tables on their women when they discover the ladies have been using Steve Harvey's relationship advice against them. I will not be part of the bambozzlement of black america. Also, I'll try not to look side-eyed at any black person who does not believe Kevin Hart is funny. So please forgive me oh soul brother "ye wore his pants too tight" #1.

~CareyCarey

chaunceydevega said...

@Carey. You are also one of the Permed One's earliest followers. He has a special place in his band and retinue for you. You understand that it's a man's world. You also understand that Brother James and not Steve Harvey is the soul brother to be followed on these matters.

We take your sins and throw them to the wind! Good gawddd.....

nomad said...

@CD
"@Nomad. Brother James loves robots as well. He passes no judgement."

The ways of humans are strange indeed. What is music? And what be the nature of this weapon you call a "sax"?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=r8VkzG2S0-Q

Comrade Physioprof said...

I've been pondering the Permed One's poetic stylings since yesterday, and I'm hung up on a conundrum. Do "get up" and "get down" mean the same thing?