Dandelion whine…

01. IMG_5052 advI TOOK THIS IMAGE OF A SEA OF UN-BLOWN DANDELION SEEDS, as I walked past a local closed-off section of parkland with my soon-to-be eight year old daughter, BlakMadge™ [that’s her codename]. She could hardly contain her little-self when she spotted the field surrounded by a 12 foot fence, hence why they were all mostly still intact.  Little children just cannot contain themselves, much less resist the lure to approach, pick, wish, and blow — what most adults would call weeds — and so in the regular park area, all the remaining visible Dandelions were just stalks, and had already been blown away by said excited children.  Poor BlakMadge™ I thought to myself, as she looked around franticly for a way in… Alas there was none [sad face].

When I was growing up, we used to call Dandelions: “Wet the beds”!  My big sister assured me [grrrr] that if I even touched one, that would result in me wetting the bed, hence the name, and I remember her sharing with glee, that there’d be absolutely NOTHING I could do about it! From that moment on, I stayed as far as I could from them… Having said that, I had no idea at the time, that what we called: “wishing flowers” were actually Dandelion seeds! Duh!… This might answer a few questions looking back (ahem)

02. IMG_8664What’s my point? Well, I’ve been looking at the topic of  Engagement this week. No not the marriage ting!… well, actually come to think of it, it’s all connected…  No, what I’m talking about this time is Engagement in terms of putting out original content online, and the amount of attraction we see back, from the masses around that uploaded content.

In this digital era of online, MultipleMediaManagement™, and constant connectivity, engagement seems to be at an all time low. Content is being created, and uploaded at the greatest rate it ever has, yet the masses seem to only engage with a small percentage of it, while ignoring the majority.  Therefore an interesting parallel is the study of how one weed, the Dandelion, can have children literally running to engage, excitedly blowing the seeds, while the yellow flower of that same Dandelion, because of myth and superstitious belief, [and horrid big sisters] can have those same children running in the opposite direction, screaming with fright. LOL

Likewise with the content online, some of it causes the masses to run toward it excitedly, salivating with intent on “getting stuck in”, while other content, albeit connected to the same root, wouldn’t get touched for love nor money with a twelve-foot onion bhaji-pole. An easy example; the ubiquitous “he-said-she-said male/female” related post, vs the building balanced family, community, and Nation style post. Hmmm Interesting… [said raising a Mr Spock eyebrow while scratching ones chin]

03. IMG_0190I’ve been using the social network site, Linked-in recently, and they sent me a survey to fill in, to rate my experience on the site. [Who told them to do that? Yikes!…] To cut a long story short, I made it plain to them, that my experience on their site was similar to the experience I get when I visit loved ones in a graveyard. [Yikes! No kidding!…] Check it out; You go along to the cemetery apprehensively, and you see all these tombstones displaying information, appearing like content from other people in your Linked-in feed. You might read a few lines as you walk along, but there is little to no engagement. If you look and see a crowd over yonder in the midst of the burial ground, you know instantly that that is a new arrival; a funeral taking place. THAT is the ONLY time you’ll see mass engagement; when someone dies! Someone has to literally DIE!… I find it’s mostly the same on the Social Network platforms I use.

When my wife, Janet, suddenly died in 2013, I immediately got a massive flood of engagement on my FaceBook feed. Prior to that, if I had more than four likes, and three comments, on any given upload, I classed it as a good day and went to bed feeling productive. 04. Janet iChaNo matter how hard I tried, no matter what community issues I posted, no matter how hard I attempted to Engage; Nada!…  It took a death in the family, for people to instantly know where my feed was, and to finally engage, offering what is called “Condolences”.

I sometimes wonder whether one of reasons we appear to engage more at times of death, is because of the lure of Condolence. It’s kind of like a perverse version of an excited child, rushing to blow dandelion seeds, and seeing the effect, all the while knowing how effortless, spontaneous, and brief it will be.

Collins Dictionary, describes condolence as: an expression of sympathy, especially on the occasion of a death. All you have to do is say: “Condolences” and you’re done! You don’t even have to know what condolences are!…  Not only that, but you come across as caring; especially if you get yours in first! You don’t have to know the person who died, or even the person you’re saying it to! Condolence is a Gee! Condolence is win-win!  It’s almost like a magic word, or a get out of jail card. Condolence is an adults version of saying: “veinlights” of “bagsie”… When you utter these made-up words as a child, you can rest assured that from that moment on, you’ll be rolling through the hood with impunity! GwaaanTroughMyoooot!… Sadly, just like saying “veinlights or Bagsie” the effect of saying: “Condolences” is brief, and in terms of engagement, pretty cheap.

Now that we have grown up though, and become adults, I wonder whether these initial ideas from our childhood are the driving force behind our adult ideas around how we engage with one another?…  Uploaded original content today appears to be a cross between; Dandelion flowers, and Dandelion seeds, in an un-trampled corner of the online cemetery; exciting and repulsing the masses in equal measure.  Just a thought [smile]…

[More pondering can be mulled over on my MicroWebSeries Life And Times Of a MultipleMediaManager™ ]

#maexhair: Ten Commandments of Street Photography

01. 10 CommandTWENTY SIXTEEN WAS REALLY THE YEAR of the still image for me.  My MultipleMediaManagement™ hat, as it were, (more like doo-rag) was donned more often than not, in the guise of the maexhair (Media Assassin Extraordinaire crosshair).  This was originally intended to refer to my photography persona; waaay before my journalistic self stepped in and usurped that handle.

This year, twenty-seventeen, has seen me throw myself into the deep-end with Street Photography. It’s one of those areas, that, up until now, I hadn’t really taken too seriously; strangely so, as I studied photography back in school, and street photography is really where I originally cut my teeth; on the cold, concrete, unforgiving streets of Bermondsey Saaaf Laaandan! [Cockney Accent]

07. Violins _MG_5167Photography for me somehow got left behind though, in the wake of the birth of DeskTopPublishing graphic design, and fancy image manipulation software, that marked the advent of affordable home computers in the late 80’s.

DTP then made way for DeskTopVideo in the 90’s, with early titling, and flaming logo graphics, to overlay on Standard definition video via fairly inexpensive genlock cards that ran on the amazing Commodore Amiga. Things progressed throughout the noughties, and my career saw me transition through design, production and Multimedia.  Now, at least for me, with the return to photography the cycle is complete.

I’ve carried at least one of my dslrs (sometimes two) everywhere with me for most of this year; ready for whatever the world has to throw up, and in doing so, have come up with my own Ten Commandments of street photography. Not necessarily hard and fast rules, more like guidelines, that assist me when out on a mission. Every street photographer has his/her own method, and I’m told it’s always good to share, so here goes…

02. Crane IMG_1043Rule 1: ALWAYS have your camera, and make sure you know how to use it, and that it’s ready to SHOOT! CLACK! [sound effects]

Rule 2: If in doubt; SHOOT!… ask questions later… CLACK!

Rule 3: OVERCOME the fear of subjects seeing you shooting them; then SHOOT! CLACK!

Rule 4: THINK while shooting; framing; foreground; background. Be prepared to move if the composition is not right; then SHOOT! CLACK!

Rule 5: SLOW DOWN, use your eyes to see things developing in the scene before you’ve even raise the camera; look for good light, and SHOOT! CLACK!

06. Sing Out IMG_9804Rule 6: REDUCE “Chimping!” as it impacts on shooting time, and you’ll end up missing shots… (chimping means; constantly reviewing images on the back of your camera screen. You can do that in your own time when the session is done) CLACK!

Rule 7: DON’T CHASE SHOTS, make the shots come to you, when it does come to you, thoroughly work the scene! SHOOT! SHOOT! SHOOT! CLACK! CLACK! CLACK!

Rule 8: don’t waste time crying over missed shots; they are gone, and they ain’t coming back! (Actually sometimes they do come back, but when that happens, see that as a bonus and SHOOT! CLACK!)

Rule 9: DEVELOP a style. This will come the more you SHOOT! CLACK! 

03. Wreckless eye IMG_2140Rule 10: ALWAYS SHOOT! RAW… *This last rule is not really a must, but it will help no end, in post processing the hell out of those shots with potential, that somehow got over-exposed.

I carry a small non-descript shoulder bag, that doesn’t look like a camera bag. Inside, is my camera, a spare battery, a lens-cloth, and a second lens so that I can vary it up. The bag goes everywhere with me; shops, meetings, recreation… I carried it so much this year, that I feel strange whenever I decide not to carry it, or forgotten it, and I’ve often turned right around and gone straight back home to get it.

For some of the example shots on this page, I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, fully-strapped with my Canon, and lo and behold, Serendipity-doo-dah decided to do her thang!04. Silhouettes IMG_2501CLACK! Then there are days where I’ve set aside some time specifically to do Street Photography. On those occasions I really am fully-strapped, as I like to go in Jesse James style with two guns blazing!… You know how we do! [smile] CLACKety-CLACK!

Of course I’ve engaged other forms of photography this year; events, portraits, architectural, products, etc… not to mention the usual videography stuff that I’m more known for as JetBlakInk™.  I’ve also launched the MicroSeries Life And Times Of a MultipleMediaManager™, to commemorate ten years of Multiple Media Service, but there’s something about being on the street, in the moment, and quick with the camera; and looking back over some of the many images I’ve made, I’m definitely witnessing my own growth, and unique style develop like an image in the dark room before my eyes.

[A sizeable amount of my favourite images which I have made this year, can be viewed on Instagram, twitter, flickr and other social network sites using the searchtag #maexhair… enjoy]

A Space with Character

IT’S FUNNY, I’VE NEVER LIKE THE IDEA of doing the decorating, but once I start, I end up really enjoying the process. I tend to get totally engrossed, as well as covered in sand-filler-dust, paint and wallpaper glue.

It’s the mess! I tend to only see mess as mess when I’m not used to the mess; if that makes sense.  Once I’ve allowed myself to get accustomed to it lying everywhere, mess transitions (in my mind anyway) into just a space with character…  Art if you will.

Art is a funny thing, take this image for instance. There I was covered in paint from decorating my seven year old daughters bed room, when she wanders in with her camera and a cheesy grin. Of course I did what any dad would do in such situation, hence the pose. Voilà! art out of mess. There’s always been an unspoken rule in our house about the correct behaviour, when caught in the crosshairs of a trained camera lens. In this media-savvy House Of iCha, there’s always some photography going on somewhere, and Photographer often quickly becomes the photographed in the twinkle of an eye. as I’m sure you can see from the pic. We’ll have no shying away from lenses round here; “lead by example” I’ve always taught the yooots.

Decorating, Gardening, Cooking, being photographed while taking care of business, AND being a full-time dad is all part and parcel of The Life And Times of a MultipleMediaManager™.  In truth, anything that gets me away from the constant glow of a 27inch iMac editing screen for more than a hot second, can’t all be bad: “Oy! BlakMadge™; pass the roller!…”

[you can catch up with #LifeAndTimesOfaMMM by clicking the link, or by following me on Instagram under maexhair]

JetBlakInk™ Tableau 36: Vested Interests

06. Vested InterestsjbiTABLEAU36 IS AN INTERESTING IDEA that has developed, quite organically in the 345 days since I signed up to the social networking site Instagram. It is an idea that has quickly morphed all by itself, into a way of building upon the famous saying; “a picture speaks a thousand words”.

Building upon this saying has been made possible by the way the Instagram feed is displayed, where each one thousand word chunk (single picture) is arranged as you upload each day, into a whole grid of single pictures.

These single images, when viewed as a grid of images, then take on the likeness of sections or chapters of thousands of words; quite literally an open book.

With my MultipleMediaManager’s graphic designer hat on, I decided to snapshot a grid of 12 images on my Instagram feed: #maexhair; 12 images that I thought worked particularly well together. My thinking was to use that grid of 12 as a desktop image for my operations mac, in my home office that I affectionately call: The SkyLab.  However, one snapshot wasn’t enough; 12 images would only fill one third of the huge 27inch iMac desktop screen that I use. Time to get more images I thought to myself. Two more screen grabs later, and I had a full 36; Tableau 36!
maexhair Tableu 36
Some of the images had to be rearranged on the Tableau using PhotoShop, and switched into the more pleasing locations on the 36 grid, as they either clashed with adjacent images, didn’t complement in the story, relative positions, or they were simply facing the wrong way on the spread [designers will know what I mean]. As you can see from the images in the Tableau36, I try to cover a wide range of styles with my photography, and I love alternating between colour and monochrome with my feed. This is my way of expressing that, to me, each mode and style of photography, is as important, and interesting as the next!…

maexhair Tableu 36bWarning: Instagram gurus advise against mixing styles on your feed! They recommend that you keep your feed focused on just one main style, in order to attract and maximise regular followers of that style, which in turn will increase the number of “likes” on your page.  As a MultipleMediaManager™, I get bored really easily if I try to stick to one mode or style for any length of time.  I’m of the mindset that my feed is for me, and I’ll use it to express myself to the FULL, not just to attract “likes”!…  Each to their own I say!

To me, my images are like my own children, they were conceived from a tiny sparkle in the jet blackness at the centre of my eye; and as JetBlakInk™ TheMotherOfAllColour©, I love them all equally; I can’t afford to play favourites…

Do What You Love

01. maexhairLIFE IS SHORT AND THEN YOU DIE: I used to repeat this mantra everyday to help sift through the lorry-loads of nonsense, and pseudo important stuff taking up valuable space and time in my life. This would enable me to then give one hundred percent focus and attention to what was really important to me; ME!

It seems really odd when you consider the fact that most human beings quantify “normal life”, as an existence where one literally spends the vast majority of our stay here on planet Earth, living that one life for benefit of other people.

When I first started JetBlakInk™ back in 1991, it was a part-time Design Service. I was heavily into; reggae music, imagery, and typography back then, and so naturally I merged the three loves of my life, and the result was: “Dance flyers!”  This little Service slowly grew into designing other stuff; calendars, food packaging, magazines, and assorted print-material for a steady growing client base.

One thing led to another, and then I was suddenly made redundant — FOR THE FOURTH TIME — from my well paying day job. It was only then, that I realised what the Big Man upstairs had been trying to tell me all along: that I should stop trying to fit in, and get on with doing what I love, and doing it FULL TIME. So that’s exactly what I did. It’s been a tough journey, and a fast changing landscape, particularly digital media. 05. Do What You Love

The the internet exploded into mainstream life in the late 90’s, and all the print design started shifting to online. Small local print firms were going out of business, as the whole process of printing suddenly changed. No longer where hard drives being “courier biked” over to print bureaus up in the City, as design firms began sending files via fast phone lines to mega printers with tiny overheads located in the middle of nowhere.

PDF’s were the new thing now, and in my opinion that was a watershed moment. PDF’s helped to signal in the beginning of the end of the fierce Mac v PC media war of the time [remember that?], and even though Macs won in the consumer market, they actually lost in the corporate world as, thanks to inter-platform PDFs, many design departments now began switching to using cheaper PCs.

By 2007, the start of a brave new world, the dawn of a spanking new era was in full swing; the era of the MultipleMediaManager™ had begun. Redundancy can sometimes be a blessing, and in my case(s) it definitely was.  At the time it didn’t feel like a blessing though, because the day I was selected for redundancy, I remember being was marched off company premises like a criminal, flanked by TWO security guard, while carrying what little possessions I had in a cardboard box, as my colleagues watched in absolute disbelief and silence. It was an exact repeat of that infamous scene from the movie: Jerry Maguire!… “Who’s coming with me?… No one?… Streeeeuuups!…”

Looking back though, circumstance was literally yelling at me: “DO WHAT YOU LOVE BRO” The rest, as they say is history… [smile]

Life And Times Of a MultipleMediaManager™

04. maexhairTODAY I’VE DECIDED to revisit my beloved blog. I’ve spend the best part of two years away, focusing, and improving other areas of my online MultipleMediaManagement™ presence, and it’s time I came back to the qwertying thing. Apologies for my absence.

One problem with taking on various forms of media, is that I find myself stretched very thinly on some days; there’s only one of me, and I in truth, I need to clone myself at least three times.  However, until that kind of technology is developed, and has been thoroughly Beta tested, and becomes safe and affordable, like drones have become to the masses, I’m stuck revolving between the discreet creative disciplines (and of course roping in my sons to do filming and other ancillary tasks).

So here’s my plan going forward: We all know that imagery is important; some would say it’s everything. At JetBlakInk™ we are known for producing, capturing, creating original content using imagery. This is usually done at an event, commercial, or sometimes a corporate level.  However, the vogue at the moment is media on the “Micro” scale; short burst of easily digestible content for everyone; YAAAYE!.

Some of you might be aware that I’ve recently started the MicroWebSeries Life And Times Of a MultipeMediaManager™ on YouTube, in the hopes of engaging this new trend of sharing original content; please do check it out. So now it’s time to replicate something similar here on WordPress.  Hold on tight, keep your eyes open, and prepare yourselves for a regular burst of micro uploads from yours truly #maexhair, complete with a short breakdown of what is what in the world of MultpleMedia; you know how we do… (smile)



Lift The Ban… Justice or Else

Justice or ElseLift the Ban!
— Raise the Ban!
Squash the Ban!
Smash the Ban!
Don’t trust the Ban
— Bust the Ban!
Strip the Ban
Rip the Ban!
Twist the Ban!
Dismiss the Ban!
Is this the Ban? …
Then it’s a Sham!

IF YOU CAN FIGHT inflation, and racist molestation
and resist the implementation of ethnic cleansing repatriation
if you will fight hand-to-hand, just to legalise contraband
then why not help us fight the man, who’s placed Farrakhan on a UK ban!
For nearly 30 years, some hereditary peers
damned political Spudulikes with cauliflower ears
who hate and abate, who fear and despise
who would rather die before the ever see
the black nation rise in “their” empire! so they never retire
their 500 year old mischief-making thief, the dirty liar —
who’s had a foot in our neck, and a hand in our wreck
ever since they crammed us, and damned us, under the deck
So now for thirty odd years they’ve banned our Brother
— a father figure for a nation, and also a mother
who’s never been arrested, and cannot be tested
and wouldn’t be seen dead dressed baggy-panted and vested
who’s never killed or ever bombed
who only fights to right those wronged
who’s only crime in this time, is that he doesn’t own a magic wand —
that he could wave, and save those who strive to behave
and put a guard on the cave, and raise us out of this grave
of ignorance.

So Lift the Ban! 
— Raise the Ban!
Squash the Ban! 
Smash the Ban!
Don’t trust the Ban 
— Bust the Ban!
Strip the Ban 
Rip the Ban!
Twist the Ban! 
Dismiss the Ban!
Is this the Ban?… 
Then it’s a Sham!

IF YOU CAN FIGHT a good fight boy, girl woman and man
if you can fight a good fight, and you know that you can
if you can fight a good fight, then its time you understand
we need your help to change this System, and make them lift the ban
lifting the ban that’s the number one programme
lifting the ban, on Minister Farrakhan
lifting the ban, that should be elementary
opening up the door that’s currently saying:
NO ENTRY to our brother —
but if he were an undercover lover
or a singer, or a swinger, or a guest on Jerry Springer
then it’d be open!…
and just to show a token of death-styles gratitude
keeping us blind deaf and dumb, they’ll support that attitude
making us feel we’re on tops, with a slot Top Of The Pops
and interviews in tabloid newspapers
flanked by naked white girls as props!
See, that kind of Brother, they don’t want to ban
and that kind of brother is not our man
our man is cool, dark and handsome
with pearls of truth that you cannot buy or ransom
our man is free not a slave like “Benson”
he will fight the forces of evil alone
cause he’s all that and then-some…
— Yes, and that’s why our brother must come east
cause theirs plenty plenty work here in the UK
the belly of the beast

So Lift the Ban!
— Raise the Ban!
Squash the Ban!
Smash the Ban!
Don’t trust the Ban
— Bust the Ban!
Strip the Ban
Rip the Ban!
Twist the Ban!
Dismiss the Ban!
Is this the Ban?…
Then it’s a Sham!

WE’VE HEARD HIM on audio, and seen him on video
but when he sets foot here, he’s gonna get rid ah you ole
devils and demons and critter and gremlins —
he’s shaken the foundations from here to the Kremlins
he brings light where there’s darkness
Righteousness where it’s sinister —
he’ll fix up the ghettos, and revolutionise Westminster
So David Cameroon! he’ll teach you the true meaning of number Ten
and make you hear the asiatic chimes, of the real big Ben — jammin
Muhammad, exchequer, ex-Chavis…
he’ll teach you new type skills just like Mavis — he’s a Beacon
not a bacon, we’ll never be forsaken
he’ll never be beaten by your best minds from Eaton…
So Brothers, sister come and lift the ban
that unlawful ban, that awful ban
lets rally and fight, with all of our might
cos in the new millennium, it is a human right
and a ban on Farrakhan is unacceptable
when former terrorists are claiming they’re now respectable…
and can sit around the table justifying past wrongs
while keeping there guns, there bullets and bombs
and our man Farrakhan doesn’t endorse carrying even a pen knife
but yet he’s banned for the rest of his life?

So Lift the Ban!
— Raise the Ban!
Squash the Ban!
Smash the Ban!
Don’t trust the Ban
— Bust the Ban!
Strip the Ban
Rip the Ban!
Twist the Ban!
Dismiss the Ban!
Is this the Ban?
Then it’s a Sham!…


(MediaAssassinExtraordinaire, updated for 10.10.15… Justice Or Else)

What Would Jesus do?

1. Clapham Church buildingQUESTION: — WHAT WOULD Jesus have done, if he came to the temple one day, and found that one of his disciples had commandeered two rooms in the church building to use for a school to help the underprivileged children in the area?… a school that had been running free of charge for 30 years in his absence? What would Jesus do?… Well, I guess the answer all depends on what his Church is supposed to be all about.

If Jesus’s church is about outreach, helping the poor and needy, and teachings of The Most High, freedom, justice and equality etc… then Jesus would more than likely welcome the school initiative. He would more than likely give thanks, and honour that individual who had reached out to the community, extending the works and life of his mission, in his absence.

However, if Jesus’s Church was more about making financial profit, (not prophet) blind submission to hierarchy, cliquish followship who look down on the unwashed masses — the outsiders who do not think as the churchgoers do — then Jesus would probably have thrown a fit on his return, and the individual responsible for wasting valuable church resources would be admonished, publ4. protesters placardsicly shamed, even sacked. The question though, is; What would the real Jesus do? (Whether or not you or I believe in Jesus is irrelevant, those who go to church clearly say they do)

Well, there is a passage in the Holy Bible, that shows what Jesus would do, [Mathew 21:12 to be precise] where Jesus returns to the temple, only to become enraged, and ends up shouting, throwing the commerce-minded (euphemism for money sucking people, who happened to be regular worshippers at his church), out of his temple. This to me shows that even people who are regular worshippers in church today can become complacent and blinkered in their worship, and succumb to the wiles of Satan. So with the said passage of scripture, there can really be no confusion… It is meant to be a safeguard!…  yet somehow, the confusion still happens, as does unbecoming behaviour amongst churchgoers. All too often worshippers have been found slip-sliding, forgetting their mission to tend the sheep, some are not even supporting those who do support the sheep!

3. Hewie and supportersThis is the situation as I saw it, with the protest this week at Clapham Methodist Church against the eviction of one Rev #‎HewieAndrew‘s Saturday school #‎QueenMotherMoore. This intended silent protest, at times, became loud and quite heated. During the protest, I actually witnessed Jesus shouting in the church!… Yes I did. A Brother protester became so enraged at how far members of the congregation at said church, had fallen away from what the methodist church claimed to stand for, that he had to be physically restrained. I witnessed various worshippers also, who seemed to be more annoyed at the fact that their Sunday’s worship had been disturbed, than the fact that the communities children’s education was being disrupted by the irrational behaviour of the incumbent minister, one Rev Poole, who had only been in residence for three short weeks!

2. Rev pooleI witnessed worshipers who seemed more angry with Rev Hewie for his 30 years of outreach work into the community, than with the demands of the new Reverand for cash up-front payments from Bro Hewie in order to keep Queen Mother Moore school on site at the present location in the church building!… “He was only supposed to use one room, but he took two!” one worshipper angrily complained to me about Rev Hewie, with a look of utter disdain!… Do these people actually read their Bible? I wondered to myself as I stood there amidst the chaos unfolding: Please, somebody tell me, What would Jesus do?… hmmm?

Please sign the petition https://secure.avaaz.org/…/Methodist_Church_District_Chai…/…

Nation Of Islam, annual end of year Awards 2014

0. AwardDECEMBER, 28th, 2014 — Members of South London Nation Of Islam hosted their annual Community Awards ceremony at Hinton Road mosque, in recognition of various individuals who have made a mark, or have gone “beyond the call of duty”, and as a result, set a good example for others to follow.  Student Minister Hilary Muhammad — the UK Representative of 01. Hilary presentingThe Honourable Minister Louis Farrakhan, hosted the evening, and presented the awards himself. One year is a long time in the calendar of the Nation Of Islam, and judging by the sheer volume of awards on display to be presented, 2014 was no exception.

January 2014 kicked-off with the NOI’s well known monthly event; Community Question Time… the topic; Police Deaths in Custody. A series of panel discussions were held, around how our community is policed, and what, if anything could be done to improve the current situation. Snippets of the debate, which was filmed by yours truly at the Mosque, and WHICH CAN BE VIEWED HERE, were also shown at the awards evening, as a reminder to how eventfully the year began.  It was to one of the regular Community Question Time panel members that the first Community Award was given. Elder Bro. Minkah Adofo, of th02. Glenroy Watsone Pan African Community Forum, was recognised with a Lifetime Achievement of Community Service Award.  Sadly, Bro. Minkah was not physically present in the building, and the Award had to be received on his behalf by another Elder, Bro. Glenroy Watson, of the Global Afrikan Council UK, who also received a: Building Unity Award for his own works.

Next up was a Sister recognised for doing huge works in the field of Reparations.  The Emancipation Day march from Brixton to Downing Street, saw one of the largest turnouts for a march in the UK Black community since, possibly, the NewCross Fire in 1981. One Sister Esther Stanford Xosei, who so eloquently put forward the arguments for Reparations on national terrestrial television, and so skillfully defended said argument against a studio full of nae-sayers, was called to the rostru04. BHS Simpsonsm to much applause.  Sister Esther beamed her usual charming humble smile as she receive her accolade aptly titled: Purpose & Fulfilment Award.

The following award was entitled: Self Determination and Community Courage, and was the award celebrating an outstanding victory in 2014. Bret Bailey’s Human Zoo circus had threatened to display black people as animals, chained, gagged and in cages.  That is until a strong Sis. Sara Amanda Myers (AKA Zulu Dawn) from Birmingham decided to stand up. She started a petition that quickly grew to beyond 25000 signatures, and led the demonstrations outside the Barbican and the 08. sis EstherVault where the debacle was to be shown. The protests were filmed AND CAN BE VIEWED HERE.  It was this immense pressure that led to the Barbican reluctantly canceling the sorry-excuse-for-a-show.  Her award was received in her absence.

It is important at 06. Sis Andrea MGTthis point, to note that the Nation Of Islam have been ever-present in support of both sisters behind the scenes of these momentous achievements throughout the year.  Student Minister Hilary spoke both outside the Barbican, and at the Emancipation Day march in Parliament Square.  In 2014, the Hinton Road Mosque had been made available for planning meetings for many other events, including a gang summit hosted by Ameena Matthews from the US.  Whilst all this was happening, the NOI managed to find time to host their own series of Health Conferences, and a number of Educational conferences entitled: Reclaiming The Mind of Youth, throughout the summer… And, also continuing with regular Community Question Time events, presented evenings with titles such as: I03. Rashid Nixs the UK Justice System Criminal?…  Is there power in Politics?… Reparations: What does Britain Owe?…  Can we protect our communities from cops, and other violent threats?… The list of events put on in 2014 seemed endless.

There were obviously a whole host of awards to be presented at the ceremony lasting just over three hours.  To list them briefly is not to take away from the level of achievement made by the few, but time and space does not permit all to be mentioned in detail. Some of the awards presented included:05. Stephen Graham

1. Self Determination & Community Courage Award: Sister Marcia Rigg —longtime justice campaigner, whose brother Sean was murdered at the hands of the Police while in custody, and on camera in Brixton police station.
2. Faith & Foundation Building Award: Twighlight Bey — Social intervention Specialist.
3. Creativity & Learning Award: Stephen Graham — Director/Producer of the documentary: I’m A Gun, which highlights the hold guns have on some of our youth.
4. Creativity & Learning Award: Black History Studies — Mark & Charmaine Simpson, who are well known for there sheer volume of work in: “educating the community to educate ourselves”…
5. Purpose & Fulfillment Award: Rashid Nix, — Producer of the documentary: Why Don’t Black People Vote? who stood for the Green Party in the 2014 local elections and came second…07. Bro. Trevor FOI
6. Collective Work & Responsibility Award: Pablo Reid — community leader for his longstanding work with the Origin program as well as heading up the Brixton Cultural Archives…

The evening concluded with many in-house awards, which is always nice to see.  There’s nothing quite like being recognised working alongside your fellow Souljah’s in the trenches who are struggling to fight the good fight with you. Some of the awards were as follows:

7. Most Consistent FOI Award — Bro. Carlton Muhammad
8. Top Final Call salesman Award — Bro. Trevor X
9. Junior FOI Award — Bro Kamal X
10. MGT of the Year Award —Sis. Andrea Muhammad
11. Junior Secretary of the year Award — Sis. Surai Muhammad
12. Star Student Award — Sis. Angel…

All in all it was an important event, in a comfortable self-controlled environment.  One where if the schedule ran overtime, (which it did) they didn’t have to rush proceedings because the owners were suddenly coming to kick everyone out the door, and onto the street.  So in many ways, it was a show of maturity… Most of all, it was an event where the members of one of our main community groups, the NOI, took time out to identify, recognise, and honour the good work, and then shower some praise on the good workers regardless of their religious or cultural affiliations. All Praise is due to The Most High… Blazing a trail into 2015… Onward and upwards Beloveds.

FaceBook Copyright, Copywrong 2015 Legal notice

JBI splat 2015 smallFROM THIS DAY HENCEFORTH, in the year of our Lord twentyhundred-and-fifteen, I, the MultipleMediaAssassin™, while under the auspices of JetBlakInk™ hereby revoke… meaning I DO NOT GIVE ANY FaceBook FRIEND, who hath stupidethly posted that daft and meaningless Facebook Copyright Protection Notice, permission to use(eth) mine, or anyone else’s pictures, information, or posts on FaceBook past present and future…

By blindly posting and reposting that oddly phrased copyright statement, which is considered by many now, as famous internet flotsam and Jetsam, you have identified yourself as someone who needs to check and douthumbble-check stuff you happen across from unconfirmed sources on Facebook, (a practice which shall be referred to henceforth as Copywrong).

Just because someone sayeth things to you in ye olde English, and throweths up numbers claiming them to be archaic law codes from glorious mediaeval times gone by, meaneth not that they speaketh the truth!… much less maketh good sense! Please… Think ye about it!…

If the content of this profile was private and confidential, no one would be able to read it in their news feed would they now?  If your stuff is truly meant to be private, why would YOU share it with Facebook?… then claim it to be private?  No the real people to watch are those pesky Facebook friends who you’ve never met, who paste up these damn copyright notices, yet share the hell out of YOUR pictures and quotes like there’s no-eth tomorrow.  What is that all about?

NOTE: because of YOU, Facebook is now a Public Enemy, and what makes it so effective as such, is the masses of “fraidie-fraidee” (actual Jamaican saying) members who blindly COPY & PASTE on command, such copyright notices, without first checking it’s level of crapticiousness (OK I made that one up).  Notices which are purposely composed in fake-ass legalese Ye Olde English vernacular that is designed to puteth the willies up all but the most studious of us.

So if you feel this that Copywrong Legal notice is referring to you, don’t be angry. My new years advice would be the said same message as was delivered weekly to those blueth workers of Hill Street…  “Let’s be careful out there”

DO NOT CUTETH this article, BUT SHARE!…ETH… I BESEECH THEE (if that’ll help)