|Sahara Miss-us Hippy + Allah Bama wandering black + blues to pyschogeographical roots
7 Sept 2019> Saw Mdou Moctar last night. The 2 opening bands were awful + the sound sucks at Black Cat so by the time Moctar took the stage our ears were fried. But they rocked, amazing guitar player, tho he sacrifices speed for soul... the Joe Satriani of Tuareg axe grinders.
Today we went to the African American museum (after all these years, managed to get a rez). Started underground chronologically up, from slavey to sports figures. Tho there were whole wings devoted to music, film, theatre + visual art (tho not a single Basquiat), there was hardly nothing about African-American literature except 1 display w/ a paragraph on slam poetry, name-dropping a few writers + poets. Sure, there were numerous mentions of black writers, but only in regards to their activism or socio-political importance + quoting from the likes of Maya Angelou... no mention of accomplished contemporary writers. For that matter hardly any mention of scientists or black people oustide of sports + entertainment industries, as if black kids should only aspire to be athletes + entertainers + not the next George Washington Carver, Katherine Johnson or Percival Everett.
Speaking of, we're still reading I Wonder as I Wander: an Autobiographical Journey by Langston Hughes... he spent a long time in Russia, far more than our brother did on his odySSEY, the photos of wich we inklooted in yesterday's post. On the way to + from the African American museum we considered what state-named avenue to do as part of our Microcosmic Psychogeography of DC project, then reminded ourselves it's not just about microcosmic states, but other countries since all the embassies reside in DC. So we knocked off a few on the way back, related to the African American museum—Senegal, Congo (both the DRC + Congo-Brazzaville), Rwanda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Eswatini + Eritrea (the bolded ones most relevant to the roots of African Americans + the hyperlinked 1s are countries we've been to). Along the way also passed Mexico, Uruguay, Jamaica, Argentina, Montenegro, Belarus, Nicaragua + Grenada. We ain't gone bore u w/ pics of each embassy, just the more relevant highlights.
8 Sept> Saw Boris last night, awesome as ever.
Spose we shd of tried to include the Japanese embassy on our walk, but it's on Mass ave, where most of the embassies are so don't want to tick off too many. Also, our bedder-½ was at the Italian embassy 2 days ago, but it was for an official visist... still working on getting Italians visas for us. Part of the reason we moved back to DC was cuz renewing our visas was a pain in the ass... by the time we get them we won't need them, tho maybe we'll spend a semester there next year.
We resisted the temptation to knock off Alaska Ave while we was that far north, but Alaska don't have much to do w/ black people + did we mention that we're thinking of only doing avenues named for states that we've been to? Alaska is 1 of the few we haven't been to, so perhaps that means a trip there sum time this year is in order.
+ sum other things we saw b-sides embassies:
We walked up 16th then down Pine trail into Rock Creek, where suddenly sounded like we was in the Congo w/ all them birds:
We saw the cluster of embassies off Connective Ave in the Van Ness boro then ate BBQ chicken. We'd walked a ½ marathon by then so ubered back. Here's the route we took:
9 Sept> Saw Hale County This Morning This Evening (2019), a dreamy peek into everyday life in Hale County, Alabama. The way documentaries shd be made.
12 Sept> Saw Fontaines DC last night. B-sides a few songs they all sound the same + the "vocals" (more like a monotone talking/ranting, sardonically affected + out of key) dominate, the backing musicians can hardly get a word in edge-wise. The opening band, Pottery, were tight, tho they overdid it on the tempo changes. To prepare for our next walk—a dubble-feetsure along Missippi + Alabama avenues SE—figured we'd make a playlist that traces Mississippi + Alabama blues back to Africa, namely the Sahara.
14 Sept> Figured since Mississippi was the blackest state (besides DC which is not technically a state), we'd tackle that next (our previous walk included a lot of embassies but not a state-named avenue). Mississippi Ave is way down in the southeast quadrant, in Anacostia, which is also the blackest area of DC + most southern. Since getting there is already 7 miles, we figured we'd ride our bikes + since Alabama runs parallel to Mississippi (+ is also 1 of the blackest states) we figured we'd knock that off while we were at it. Yah, riding our bikes is a cop out, but we already stated there was no rules to our project. The alternative would be to take the metro to get there (which is even more of a cop out) or spend the entire day walking on streets we've already traversed (like on our 1st walk) just to get there. U get a diffrent perspective on bike + can cover a lot more ground... cruised down past the African American museum + the waterfront across the Fredreric Douglass memorial bridge + speaking of Frederic Douglass we saw his house, rather posh, up on a hill. Anacostia is also very hilly, so was a killer workout on bikes. Eventually found Alabama ave + followed it til it's end, then went back east on Mississippi til we hit Southern Ave, which is the SE border of DC (beyond that is Maryland). Rode back along the part of Alabama we missed then thru downtown Anacostia + back across the 11st street bridge. Supposedly after shooting Lincoln, John Wilkes Boothe escaped across the 11st street bridge into Anacostia. Despite public perception (at least w/ white folk), most of Anacostia is pretty nice, tho crime is statistically high + they don't have much in the way of restaurants or markets... essentially a food desert.
As for the actual states of Mississippi + Alabama, we've only seen them in passing, once or twice, for sure in May 1997 when we moved from Tucson to Savannah, GA, the journals of which we haven't transcribed yet.
|# 667 <(current)> 669 > The restoration of Chaulky White to pave the way for 3.3 x 3.3 = S.S. (as post # 669)|