Black Love Supreme

Here I am, sitting in my room contemplating about how fucked we are historically hitherto. I can’t help but take a slip of kaekae and just surrender to the feeling that nothing will be fine.

As if my thoughts ain't enough, in the background, I am tormented by the hard hitting horn of Coltrane’s 1964 A Love Supreme.

At this point, I regress and ponder on Lenin's question “what is to be done” to elevate our hellish existence? To guarantee that three years old Philakanzima will grow up to dream and not to challenge 500 years old problems that troubled his perceptive hero, his grandfather. What is it that we can do so that in 2050 Mzabalazo becomes part of history class and our children laugh at how ridiculous we were?

Immediately I conclude there is something probable in Love. However, this is not the Cinderella kind of love, No! It is the kind of love that Darnell L Moore talks about in Black Radical Love: A Practice.

A Love Supreme. Supreme to all else.

The kind of love that transcends being kind and patient. Love that wants resolutions today. Here, there is no fine dining.

This love is toxic and dangerous. I warn you to pursue this love at your own peril. This love is the poison of Romeo and Juliet. It destroys what society deems to be good, normal and kills dreams because reality is far too horrid to face sober.

This kind of love can’t afford to be patient for another 500 years before life can reside in these empty shells.

This love is Black love.

This kind of love is willing - by any means necessary to liberate the pariah of the races of the world.

Synonymous with self-sacrifice and suffering. I don't wish this love even on my worst enemy. What kind of love says you must be scorned, be arrested, beaten, lose fortunes, and ultimately die just for pursuing it? Maybe Sobukwe can tell us. I hope the ravaged body of Malcom X can give us answers. Oh Biko, gone too soon - how we wish to learn from you about this love.

However, I am promised a tribute lecture to all the Afrikan stalwarts as I compile a playlist titled Black Love Supreme- Music & Poetry In My Living Room. Details are as follows:

Host: Lehlohonolo Peega

Guest Lecturers: Amiri Baraka, Nina Simone, Lefifi Tladi, Dudu Pukwana, Julian Bahula, Molefe Pheto,

Date: Compiled 15 January 2021

Lefifi (Chamza Tladi), Kgafela (Spraka) oa Magogodi and Lehlohonolo Peega

Let’s hope that Empress Taytu will find this lecture befitting for her efforts in the battle of Adwa. Upon hearing this lecture, Lumumba’s bone will rise from the acid. How great it would be that Mama Afrika visits me on this day.

As my focus is fixed on Black Love Supreme - Music & Poetry In My Living Room, I recognise and applaud this conjuring love that carries us through this infernal existence we call Black Lives. And I affirm, Covid will not consume us, for we live in a permanent pandemic.

So, the only vaccine I will take is one that will immunise me against poverty, rape, hunger, police brutality, racism, prejudice, imprisonment, etc. All constant gifts from Santa that hate anything black.

In the meantime, my mask, sanitizer, and social distancing are the cutting words of Makhafula Vilakazi and the daring songs of Iphupho L’ka Biko. The offerings of Ntsika Dulwana and Levy Pooe.

Here it is, the Black Love tribute lecture. Hope you enjoy it because I didn’t.

Playlist:

1. Badubuleni - Molefe & Pule Pheto
2. Surfers' Paradise - Gail Thompson (Jadu)
3. Uyoshis’izwe lonke - Kgafela oa Magogodi (Mayibuye Youth Day Reflection)
4. Why Us - Lefifi Tladi (Poetry For Artvanced Listeners & Artists)
5. Code to the Skin Head - Lefifi Tladi (Poetry For Artvanced Listeners & Artists)
6. Gare Itshebeng - Lefifi Tladi (Tribute to Nomazizi)
7. I am A Refuge - Lebo M
8. I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel To Be Free)- Nina Simone (Live Montreux 1976)
9. Stars - Nina Simone (Live Montreux 1976)
10. Feelings - Nina Simone (Live Montreux 1976)
11. Tete and Barbs In My Mind - Dudu Pukwana (1978 Freedom Records)
12. "The X Is Black" - Amiri Baraka
13. Black Art - Amiri Baraka
14. Ba Utlwile - Tlokwe Sehume (Tlokwe Sehume & Medu Ba Utlwile)
15. Son Of The Soul - JULIAN BAHULA (JAZZ AFRIKA)

Ashley Kahn, author of A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane’s Signature Album talking about John Coltrane’s album Love Supreme said, the “album was intended to represent a struggle for purity, an expression of gratitude, and an acknowledgment that the musician's talent comes from a higher power”.

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