I’ve written a lot about my experiences with the Kheprw Institute (KI), a Black youth mentoring and empowerment community in Indianapolis. A key person in that story and community is Diop Adisa, who became a very good friend of mine. You can read more about my initial connection to Diop and KI here:
Below, Cornel West writes about the importance of music in the black freedom struggle. Among other things, Diop is a musician and hip-hop artist. Below are some of the things I’ve written about Diop over the past several years.
I don’t think I’ve ever written a blog post to appeal for money, but I just learned that Diop is going to London soon, and could use some help for expenses. If you are interested, you can contribute at PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org I hadn’t used PayPal before, but it is very easy to send money without even setting up an account at https://www.paypal.com/us/home
Our conversation yesterday:
“Hey Jeff I hope you’re doing well. I’m headed to London from May 5th – 28th to build relationships and connections in the hip hop world over there. I’m trying to raise money to help with housing and food expenses while I’m there. If you or anyone you know could possibly contribute anything to assist that would be greatly appreciated.”
Wow, sounds great. Where should we send the money?
Yeah it’ll definitely be a journey. You can send it via PayPal. email@example.com
“So how do we respond to our dark times? The greatest tradition of prophetic fightback in the American empire is the black freedom struggle. The greatest tradition of moral and spiritual fortitude in the American empire is the black musical tradition.
The artistic excellence in the best of black music – including the magnanimity and majesty of the sound – sets the standards for the black freedom struggle.
These standards consist of radical freedom in love and radical love in freedom – the freedom to tell the truth in love about one’s self and world, and the love of the truth as one freely speaks and lives.
The Movement for Black Lives is a grand sign of hope. It is an exemplary collective effort to put prophetic fight back in our bleak moment of imperial meltdown and spiritual blackout.”America is spiritually bankrupt. We must fight back together. Cornel West, The Guardian January 14, 2018
Check out the new video by my friend Diop Adisa, filmed in Ghana, Flex (Hey).
After Diop recently asked me how I was doing since I moved to Iowa, I asked him the same. He said “I’m doing pretty good, just trying to continually figure it all out.“
For those of us who consider ourselves white (an interesting phrase I first encountered in “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates) and who want to help our society improve how we all treat each other, for those who admire young people leading the way with Black Lives Matter, we struggle with just exactly what we can do.
Here is one possibility. My friend Diop Adisa is a musical artist, whose album Black Dragon is now available on Spotify, Amazon, ITunes, Google Play, etc. Here is a chance to support an artist, and learn what he has to say, as well. My favorite is “YardWork”.