LETTER FROM THE EDITOR: America’s New Winter
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
At the end of 360 degrees, winter is a metaphor; a term not only used to describe the season of ice, but the period of our lives through which we are traveling. In our hearts we feel that spring is just around the corner; a spring of brotherhood and united spirits among people of color. Everyone is moving, searching. There is a restlessness within our souls that keeps us questioning, discovering and struggling against a system that will not allow us space and time for fresh expression. – Gil Scott-Heron
America’s New Winter is more than a clever play on words to commemorate the record breaking number of winter storm systems, snow, ice and freezing cold temperatures that are sweeping across the nation, but more specifically, a new season of thought process. It’s an ongoing thesis that is designed to provoke serious conversation regarding our new state of humanity, justice and social order. We are currently experiencing a juxtaposition and misalignment between the generations, indignant proposals of world war politics, racial injustice, discrimination, immigration and appropriation of values forgotten in a digital age where sense of purpose has to battle vanity and be fought in a Thunderdome arena of social media, awareness and public counterbalance.
In this issue, we present a collective of artists and purveyors of truth who have considerable poise in the realm of humanities and social justice. Courageously, these musicians, artists and auteurs chose to mirror that integrity through conscious works of art that are meant to echo in the community worldwide. At TAON, we make a point to cover the genre-bend of ground breaking artists while carefully weaving a web of synchronic attitude and allegiance of artistic responsibility. Shedding light on the dark side of American history is not only necessary, but morally imperative for our diverse vulnerabilities, understanding and forecasting of the future. Much like Betsy Ross weaving a new flag and internal fabric of this great country, sometimes a remix and revision is often required. In 2015, that remix is being recorded and distributed in the form of activist and vigilante driven free-speech, disrupting all major label attempts to do so. No one is safe from the all-eye-seeing, cyber watch groups, gossip-mongers and calling-out of everyone and everything under the scope of the interstellar satellite communication trajectory.
For each of the subjects detailed in this issue, a common score of voyeurism, censorship and freedom are prevalent. From Gil Scott-Heron, Brian Jackson and Jose James’ novelist approach to music, Bradford Young and Carlos Javier Ortiz’s radicalization of their camera lens to painter Eugene Coles’ and choreographer Christal Brown’s indelible attraction to opulence and recovery, they all maintain a prideful sense of obligation to the core of humanity.
As we moonwalk on the icy and slippery pyramid of Black History Month year after year, we merely glide on the surface of the countless accomplishments and contributions made by African Americans. We find the cultural significance of racism and the civil rights struggle slowly being compartmentalized into a variety of “post” cereal boxes, requiring “white milk” to activate it. In a world that continually struggles to identify with and relate to the younger generation and millennial demographic for survival, it seems exhausting to fathom the long stretch of a race that highly depends on the user-accessibility and technological applications of a faster, instantaneous, NOW civilization. Wired with immense insecurity and engineered with an insurgent infrastructure, we are losing ourselves in this new age of megalomania.
Or, are we simply approaching a new winter storm system of epic proportions called the globalization of America? Either way, it appears that we need to bundle up and hunker down with a warm cup of Wi-Fi, a wardrobe of anti-biometric weaponry, and a white-washable solar powered blanket to comfort us in moments of paranoid anxiety, fear, financial doubt and social unacceptance.
Welcome to America’s New Winter.
By Al Shaw Ki
TAON /Editor- in- Chief
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