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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Plumb Line: used for finding the depth of water or determining the vertical on an upright surface.

Unity


I recently had a conversation with a brother about naysayers, haters or people who are simply jealous of what you seemingly have and/or who you are. I say "seemingly" because in the grand scheme of things, in a universe that's one where every force and object is interdependent, it's impossible for someone to actually have something you don't. In other words, whatever a person has, whether it's materialistic such as clothes, or immaterial such as patience, it is not a personal possession. Those clothes didn't come out of thin air; they were created from the materials of the planet, with the hands of many people, including those who contributed to its marketing and promotion. Patience isn't an immaterial quality that one person on the planet personally owns. Every one, in some capacity, demonstrates it; some more than others and even a child with ADHD has some degree of patience. Even on a subatomic level we're all composed of the same stuff; undifferentiated matter energy. Psychologically and Socially? The source of all thought processes is one Collective Consciousness or Universal Mind. Our brain is a conductor, our bodies are physical vehicles and as sentient beings we interact with one another and our planet. So at the root of any naysayer, hater or person that's jealous of what they believe someone has, is a cosmological glitch. Somewhere along their journey they never evolved to the degree of grasping the oneness of the universe, understanding how interdependence works or recognizing the role of dynamic opposites.

When a child is incarnated [born] and they're discovering themselves and how to attend the world, one of the first lessons they must learn is how to share and cooperate. Developmentally, psychologically and socioeconomically the world revolves around a child for a number of years because its very existence [ex. food, clothing and shelter] depends upon what its parent/guardian must do for them. Every person began from this state of only receiving and giving nothing in return, yet not all people evolve beyond this parochial mindset to understand the importance of equality, reciprocity and the interdependence of our universe. The jealous banter adults make about what someone has or is doing is no different than the teasing five year old children do in a kindergarten classroom. The pouting response a middle schooler gives you when they're asked to clean their room is no different than the antagonism a neighbor shows you when they're encouraged to clean up their community. The petty competitiveness, constant comparisons and insecure commentary 16 year olds make amongst each other in high school hallways across America is no different than the petty competitiveness, constant comparisons and insecure commentary adults make across social media. Some of us have not grown up. Some of us are striving to grow up and some of us could care less about ever becoming a mature adult. As my Enlightener's Enlightener Life Justice once told me, "The child doesn't go willingly, it must be driven out of a person in order for them to evolve."
Toys R Us Kids
So what does, "The child doesn't go willingly, it must be driven out of a person in order for them to evolve" actually mean in quantifiable terms? For one, it means that life needs to show a person how to share and that lesson may come in the form of giving away one of your most prized possessions. If we never learned how to work in a group and cooperate, life may teach us the need for cooperation and teamwork with the policies and procedures of our place of employment, or risk being fired. Sometimes people have a toy hording mentality; they're like a child that only plays with other children if they have control of the toys and make up the rules. A person with this mentality often only learns when life puts them in a position where they have no control over all of their toys [material possessions] being taken away from them and they're forced to follow the rules of someone else. This is what I alluded to earlier in this article about recognizing the role of dynamic opposites. Because every child comes into this world polarized, leaning in a way where they depend upon everything for their very existence, part of its evolutionary process is to learn independence and ultimately interdependence. From the beginning, a child is on one side of the scale of interdependence. That side is dependence. The other extreme, or polar opposite is independence. Both perspectives, dependence and independence, are 'horizontally' the same on a vertical scale of interdependence. In mathematical terms, interdependence is the right angle of this horizontal plane. In some circles it's also known as the living perpendicular, being upright or symbolized by a plumb line in the building trades. A person who is heavily dependent and a person who is grossly independent both fail to realize the importance of equality and reciprocity. While the dependent relies on what you give, the independent relies on what they can get. Both of them are primarily concerned about their singular needs and wants, and neither of them have evolved to the point of considering the needs and wants of the collective. Throughout the chronology of humanity, from our most classical endogenous societies to our most contemporary, the greatest examples of peace and harmony have always existed amongst people who demonstrate(d) the highest expression of interdependence amongst each other and our environment. The opposite is also true, the greatest examples of war and disharmony have always existed amongst people who demonstrate(d) the lowest expression of interdependence amongst each other and our environment. This also implies civilization and the degree to which a people are civilized. You can measure the level of knowledge, wisdom, understanding, culture and refinement of a society by how well it provides for and protects its most vulnerable members; its women, children, elders and the disabled. If those provisions and protections are in place, that society will function with a high level of civilization. Whenever you see those provisions and protections not in place, that society falls into a pit of savagery and despair. The story that Yacub was a six year child playing alone when he came up with his epiphany of making a Devil when he got older is not a game. This, amongst other things about his upbringing, suggest many things about his maturation process and his personality later in his life. We also learn that central to his life story are the themes of dependence, independence and how this ultimately exposed the importance of freedom, justice, equality, reciprocity and interdependence of the human family.

In closing, I want to remind you that everyone does not mature at the same rate. Some people may chose to never grow up and that's their choice. Sometimes I witness my seventeen year old daughter behaving more maturely than women approaching their forties. Personally speaking, I am far more mature than I was five years ago. With that in mind, it's important to respect where people are and not try to force them to be something they clearly aren't right now. "The child doesn't go willingly, it must be driven out of a person in order for them to evolve" doesn't mean that we go on a crusade to change adults who behave like children. That advice is for our own children and/or children we may work with professionally as educators, counselors and mentors, within the legal guidelines, rules and regulations of our organization and business. When it comes to adults, life itself and the experiences that come along with their behavior is what will change them -if they live to tell about it. Of course we must make knowledge born or share advice with people to save their life, yet when we realize they're not in a place to receive it, we must move out of their way and all of the obstacles they're creating. If naysayers have something negative to say about you, remove yourself from the situation and let your positive works be the consistent response to their criticisms. They project upon you the idea that you think you're more because they actually believe they're less and have less than you. They criticize what you're doing to assist others to try and keep others from critically examining what they're really not doing to assist. They never learned that in a universe that's one, where every force and object is interdependent, it's impossible for someone to have something you don't. In fact, there truly is no "you" and "me" essentially, it's only "we" and "ours" that represents the collective "All." How we reconcile that reality, with our dependent or independent ideas, will define the degree of peace and happiness in our lives. It also sets the cooperative stage to advocate any society of men [women and children] or group for one common cause. The only way we can truly want for our brothers and sisters what we want for ourselves, and genuinely support each other in what we do, we must know and understand that we are one. That degree of unity and sense of cooperation cannot be taught to some of us. Through the growing pains of experience, it must be driven out of us.

Peace,
Saladin



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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Controlling The Narrative!
~The role of our Emissary~


     The majority of people that are watching what's going on in Ferguson aren't actually there. So I wanted to share what we we're presently doing and what others can do to take advantage of this opportunity to assist and learn from our people who are in Ferguson. Young black males have historically died and continue to die like Mike Brown for no justifiable reason and we need to continue to do what's necessary to stop this.

     In addition to the obvious injustice surrounding the cold blooded execution [murder] of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, another concern people have is the media blackout, media bullying by law enforcement and the outright inaccurate reporting on behalf of mainstream media. Because of this, the people have been echoing the importance of "Controlling the Narrative." Well what does that mean? Controlling the narrative is accurately relating and elaborating on a clear sequence of events that occur over time. In regards what's going on in Ferguson, that narrative began when a 17 year old unarmed youth named Micheal Brown was executed [shot six times] by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Outside of accurate 'on the ground' Ferguson sources some of us are connected to directly or are following on social media, the overall narrative has been manipulated and controlled by Fox News, CNN and other mainstream media sources that do not represent the eyes, ears or identity of our people in Ferguson. Historically, this has been a living nightmare for any unrepresented, marginalized, oppressed or disenfranchised group of people living in America and any society where European Colonialist/American values serve as its status quo.
     Several years ago when I started this website A.S.I.A. I had three faithful readers; me, myself and I. Fast forward to 2014 and I've nurtured a consistent readership of over 100K per month with 60% of July's web traffic being new visitors. That's phenomenal for a niche website that's not selling secrets, streaming porn, razzle dazzling you with products or entertaining you with gossip and paparazzi pictures. As a writer and public speaker, my goal was to do my part in positively controlling the narrative of black, oppressed and poor people in general, and Five Percenters [Gods and Earths] specifically. Before I embarked on this endeavor, I understood that when we're not in a position to accurately relate and elaborate on any sequence of events that occur over time to the world, we're relying on others to do it for us. We've empowering others to write and define our destiny so our narrative, by forfeit, becomes his-story, not even herstory and definitely not ourstory. So from this platform I expanded to establishing a popular youtube channel/vlog A.S.I.A. TV and took it further by founding Quanaah Publishing; a company I've successfully published and distribute eleven of my books through and assist other independent artists with producing, manufacturing and distributing their own literary [Book] and audiovisual [CD/DVD] projects. During that time when I started A.S.I.A. there were various other writers who were an active part of controlling our narrative as well. Today, there are few if any. Today we need them, videographers, creative artists and others, more than ever to be a consistent source of information, empowerment and perspective of this world. If we aren't that worldview, than who will or can be?
     On a local level one of the things we're doing is we created a Ferguson Fundraiser Initiative that's two-fold. First to help fund the travel expenses of one of our community members trip to Ferguson and to provide financial assistance to any families that are in need of food, clothing or shelter when they get there. Secondly to send our own Emissary there on a fact-finding mission to publically document what's actually going on and to connect with local organizers to learn strategic planning that can be shared to prepare our communities here for potential incidents like this. Again, in the interest of controlling our own narrative, if you live in a City/Community outside of Ferguson and aren't able to get there to see for yourself and learn what's actually going on, support someone in your City/Community who is able to get there. I think it's a worthy investment and makes more sense than just complaining about the propaganda and bias reporting in mainstream media; establish and invest in our own main stream of media by supporting our own Emissaries. Even if you're the type of person who isn't interested in actually doing anything yet appreciates a good debate around the water cooler at work, supporting a local Ferguson Fundraiser Initiative is like buying a new reloadable Talib Kweli VIP Card. Anytime you get into a discussion with people that have opinions based upon second or third hand information about Mike Brown or Ferguson, you can pull out your VIP Card and own the conversation by letting them know you personally helped send someone there and THIS is what's actually going on. Think about it, you're actually putting money where your mouth is and can talk all the sh*t you want for a $5, $10 or even a $50 donation! If you would like to support us, just click on this link: Ferguson Fundraiser Initiative. Anything you're willing and able to give is much appreciated.

     In closing, I would encourage those of you who are reading this article to continue to be informed about what's going on in Ferguson and involved in events/initiatives in your area in support of Mike Brown. Continue to put pressure on your local, regional and national public officials to get involved and work to make our communities safer. Sign online petitions and participate in National Blackouts to leverage our economic power! Also, here are a few other reputable sources I encourage you to follow and support:


Peace,
Saladin

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Monday, August 11, 2014

"The Pookie Chronicles" available HERE
 
The Art Of Knowing
By Allah Universal Lord Life Justice Shabazz
It’s natural for man to have doubts.  It is the thing which makes wise men go on quests.  Doubt is the taming power of the great.  Without doubt, man will likely become arrogant and unreceptive to what life has to offer.  True indeed, all life comes to earth from the great sun and this makes it a singularity, but due to our education in Western society, we have tendencies which lean individuality.  Truly man is a social creature, for civilizations have their universities, man unites with women and makes babies which leads to families, and knowledge of what came before gets disseminated amongst the people, even if they think they are all different (7/1-14).
 
 
Doubts should produce uncertainties.  Uncertainties arise from not knowing.  Knowing is not believing, although many base their lives on faith in the unknown.  We who have Knowledge of Self are gently persuaded to consider otherwise.  In other words, those who know—know better than that. We are scientists, and scientists are devoted to knowing.  We have a way of proceeding to remove all doubt; in this world, some call it a Scientific Method.  A scientific method, are methods undertaken in order to form theories.  Theories are defined as a supposition or system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained: In other words, one does not go out to prove what he believes to be true, he bases his theories on general fundamental truths reasoned out of experiments or rules extracted out of general behavior.  For the scientist, belief manifests as an educated guess or hypothesis—made on the basis of limited evidence or feelings as a starting point for further investigation; but the key words here are further investigation.  For the scientist, all theories must be put to the test (to see what the results manifest): For how often do we hear the words SHOW AND PROVE?

 
Further investigations are proven through a chain of reasoning, leading to the truth.  Reasoning isn’t beliefs but knowledge established by a means of widely accepted truths called theorems.  This works within the scientific community; because the given premise is, they all are devoted to knowing.  In general civilization, this is not the case because there are forces of good and evil at work, amongst the society; preying on the unsuspecting millions (13/1-40).  The powers that be, in western society, continue daily to teach that all that one sees and hears comes from that mystery god (that no one will be able see before he dies).  “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try [trial/test] the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world”—1 John 4:1.


We who are wise need to distinguish between our lessons and the world we are living in: The lessons teach us the truth about the colored man and his Western society; we are only occupying a world in which Europeans created—called the New World; we call it, The Wild-erness of North America.  A scientist should always examine anything which comes into his or her sphere of awareness.  This is not a society that seeks to elevate the consciousness of its members like the Taoist, Buddhist or Five Percent: America is a capitalist society, whose primary goal is to capitalize off of people’s needs, desires and pursuit of happiness [17/1-40; 18/1-40]. The ungodly will not make this distinction between the society we are living in and the civilization they are living under.  They will read the papers, watch TV, go on Facebook and Twitter and take popular consensus as their basis of established means of widely accepted truths.  Donald Fagen says of this, “Don’t believe I’m taken in by stories I have heard, I just read the Daily News and swear by every word.”
 

Recognize family, it is our wariness which keeps us from falling a victim to the devil’s civilization; and our use of mathematics and lessons that helps us establish our theorems or widely accepted truths or knowledge.  Don’t let popular opinion or peer group pressure or conformity fool you.  We are original people, we are older than the sun, moon, and stars.  Our knowledge precedes all human form. Stick to what you know, not what you feel or believe.  Don’t let "nobody" fool you (25/1-36).
 
Peace,
Allah Universal Lord Life Justice Shabazz

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Friday, July 18, 2014


Jay Electronica
and
The Freshman Jinx


On Saturday July 12th at the annual Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival, all eyes were on Rapper Jay Electonica, adorned in a Fruit of Islam [FOI] uniform and flanked with an entourage of Nation of Islam [NOI] believers. After bringing out J. Cole, Talib Kweli, Mac Miller, Jay Electronica finally brought out Jay Z and they performed four songs together before exiting the stage. Since this Festival, many have taken to social media to articulate what they believe to be the significance of this event, and today I want to share my perspective on this subject matter.

Heralding Jay Electronica's performance as an iconic return to take his throne, some have declared him as the rightful King of Hip Hop. Others are defining this demonstration with his Muslim entourage as an Islamic Renaissance of rap music; being led by Jay Electronica as a Farrakhan-like figure, reminiscent of the days when the God MC Rakim defined Hip Hop's Golden [Conscious] Era. Jay Electronica himself appears to echo many of these sentiments with the tweets/photos he's posted after the Festival: LINK


Whatever those sentiments may or may not be, I think that many people overlook the fact that Jay Electronica is a Rapper who has never put out an album before in a music industry he does not control. That in itself is a tremendous amount of pressure and level of expectations that a Rapper putting out a sophomore album doesn't even experience. A sophomore jinx is when artists prepares to drop their sophomore album after putting out a classic freshman album. Because their first album was classic, it's often believed that they jinxed themselves from creating a classic sophomore album because the first one was so good. Aside from A Tribe Called Quest, the Wu Tang Clan, and arguably others, there are not many artists who've been able to escape the sophomore jinx. Since Jay Electronica has only successfully recorded some classic verses as a lyricist, he has set a high mainstream bar to put out nothing less than a classic album, classic music production and classic features on his first long awaited album. This is equivalent to a freshman jinx.


You know, the music industry is a very fickle thing, and just as easy as the media loves you, they can hate you the very next day. Ask Chris Brown. So as I'm sitting back watching all of these Jay Electronica fans sharing pictures of him and his entourage on facebook/twitter and philosophizing about how this is a demonstration of Rap's Time and What Must Be Done, I'm wondering if these people realize they need to actually support him, financially. I wondering if they know what soundscan is, what first week albums sales means, if they understand what "merch" is, a HHQ [Hip Hop Quotable] and what a paradigm shift in an industry they don't control will require. Because if not, then all of this social media posturing will be all for not and this critical mass, or 85% of the people I see acting like they support him, will be one of the main reasons for his freshman jinx if it happens. Let me explain why.


Because Jay Electronica has shown himself to be a Muslim affiliated with the NOI under the leadership of Minister Louis Farrakhan, there are many Muslim believers and those whom are affiliated with the NOI, that have expressed their admiration and support of him via sharing pictures, links and comments on social media. Because he is a Rap Artist, in a music industry, that support is great yet it must be demonstrated in concrete quantifiable terms. In other words, unless this critical mass of people are actually supporting him by buying tickets to his concerts, downloading his album, buying his album in record stores and purchasing his "merch" [merchandise], it would be difficult for Jay Electronica to grow into the cultural arts leader some are declaring him to be. Worst than that, his resources to do more will be limited and you will give the media the means to actually destroy his career. I can see the headlines now: "Iggy Azalea goes Double Platinum, Jay Electronica goes Wood", "Rap's so-called King is Crucified", "Jay Elec-flop-ica's long awaited album is a dud", "Jay Electronica Concert cancelled because of low ticket sales" and etc. Most of my favorite Artists are not mainstream, yet in my opinion, they're some of the most lyrical and creative. In many ways, Jay Z publically knighted Jay Electronica into mainstream Hip Hop on July 12th. So the whole idea that "Jay Electronica makes music for the listeners" is no longer the driving force or marketing strategy of his music going forward. It's business and the bottom line is he must now appeal to the masses.

In closing, I want to encourage those of you who are watching this moment in time, and think/feel that it's truly a paradigm shift in rap music, to get involved. Don't just get involved by sharing pictures, links or commenting on statuses. I'm talking about supporting what you think/feel in concrete quantifiable terms. Just because Jay Electronica is giving Minister Farrakhan a shout out and you're feeling good because you're a registered Muslim in the NOI is not enough. Buy a ticket to his concert even if you don't go to rap concerts; gift it to someone who does! For those of you who are 5 Percenters and kith with Jay Electronica, rep his brand by purchasing his merchandise! And those of you who simply like his music, make sure you buy his album when he drops it. If there is any worthwhile demonstration in all of this, then this is what it needs to be demonstration; financially supporting any creative/performing artists whom we truly believe have something of substance and significance they're offering to this world. Chuck D and other artists have been advocating this for longer than I remember and its importance is still relevant and timely. All of the other empty posturing and "I'm affiliated" politics/pictures mean nothing if we're not invested in artists, or striving to encourage others to invest in them. On a personal level, I am not a fan of Jay Electronica although I do think he is lyrical and I like some of his songs. As an artist myself, artists that have more clarity in terms of their determined idea, a sense of consistency with their body of work and their art itself is what resonates more with me, regardless of the art form or genre I'm critiquing. As I've stated, Jay Electronica is still waiting to release his first album and willfully with his release he evolves to manifest a positive determined idea and body of work that inspires, empowers and educates people.

Peace,
Saladin
 

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Monday, June 23, 2014


Artist Ramel Jasir
-an ever evolving voice in color-


Anytime we have an opportunity to follow a career path that reaffirms our life's purpose, makes a positive contribution to society, and produces a legacy for our future generations, it is an important story to share with others. I recently sat down with Ramel Jasir, a successful self taught visual artist, to talk about his life's work, family, and how he balances it all during a time when a visual art renaissance is happening throughout the world. This interview is part of Ramel's journey that I've been more than excited to share with all of you. And I will that it inspires, empowers and educates others to pursue their passion, or continue pursuing their passion, in life. Enjoy!



Saladin:  Peace Ramel! First I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to interview you. Although we've recently began to build directly, we've known each other indirectly for many years now, via those who we've taught. I've been checking out some of things you've been doing for some time now and I wanted to expose my readership to works too. To get right into it, let my readers know who you are, where you're from, and a little about what you do?

Ramel:  Peace Brother and yes indeed we have been in tune with each other indirectly over the years and I must say have been a great admirer of the many things you have been doing over the years in regards to the growth and development of our mighty Nation.

My righteous name is Ramel Allah Mathematics and as a visual artist I am known as Ramel Jasir.  Jasir is actually a combination of two of my son's name.  My oldest son's middle name is Jamal and my next to the youngest son's name is Nasir.  So I combined the "Ja" and "sir" as tribute to two of my greatest inspirations; my children.  I have been an "active" member of the Nation of Gods and Earths since 1988 in which I have spoken at universities, radio stations, churches; organized conferences, founded our annual Family Day in which we will be having our 17th Annual Family Day this August in Victory Allah [Virginia].

In 2007 I was going through a lot of financial issues and the loss of a seed caused me to deal with a lot of anxiety for the first time of in my life.  There was an Earth on the west coast who was going through cancer for the 3rd time that recommended painting as a form of therapy and deal with the stress.  Needless to say, stress or depression untreated does not get better so decided to follow her suggestions.  All I can say is from the beginning I never looked back.  Art and creativity became my passion.


Saladin:  At what point in your life did you realize that being a creative artist was your path and purpose in life?

Ramel:  I think in 2009 is when I decided to focus on taking my art to the next level and actually make a living as an artist after losing a job that I was on for about 10 years.  The problems with anxiety was directly related to me losing the job but it was also a pinnacle point in regards to my healing, mentally.  I had a lot of money saved up so I was able to go about six months and focus on my craft before going back to work.  Within about one year I had developed enough to be offered a gallery exhibition from a very reputable gallery.

Saladin:  Some people look at the creative arts as a hobby and something people do on the side, not something as a career. As a creative artist yourself, what has been your biggest challenge when it comes to this being your actual career that produces income? For example, how long does it take to complete one of you art pieces?

Ramel:  I think one of the biggest challenges is balancing family life because being a creative artist or what I like to say "creative entrepreneur" is a 24/7 deal in order to really be successful.  If you're not represented by a good gallery, you not only have to spend time creating, but you have to spend a lot of time marketing and building your brand as well.  You are your brand.  You have to spend a lot of time not necessarily finding new collectors, but more importantly, retaining and following up with collectors you already have.  As we use to say back in the day "wisdom travels" so if you keep them happy they will show and tell others.  Yet this is very time consuming in which you also have to prioritize in regards to family time.  Of course the Earth and our seeds want as much time as possible.  Luckily, 99% of my work is done at home with my seeds in the same room I create so it is not very hard at times.  Yet you can only image what I go through to create with a 2 year old and a 4 year old in the same room.

In regards to how long it takes to make a painting, that varies.  Some paintings that may seem some what elaborate and time consuming may have only taken an hour or two.  On average though even one of my small paintings can take anywhere from two weeks to three months.  It really depends on how detailed it is.  I have a solo show coming up in the autumn of this year in Miami in which I have about four large pieces that will take me about two to three months to create. So I will be likely working on them right up to show time possibly.


Saladin:  As a writer and musician, one of the things I often consider is family, and how finding a companion who is compatible with our career is important. What advice would you give a creative artist who is considering a companionship, and what are some of things they should look for when it comes to compatibility?

Ramel:  Honestly I have to say that it has to be someone who is just as passionate as you about that particular craft or at least supportive.  Meaning if you are a sculptor, you may get a lot more understanding and patience from a companion who happens to be a sculptor as well because you share the same passion.  You can grow together, collaborate, learn from each other etc.  If your companion does not happen to be an artist, it helps if he/she is just as passionate and supportive of your craft as you.  Either way you have to find ways to support each other and be involved in the process, whether it is giving you the space and time to create or making calls, marketing, talking up your work and building rapport with potential collectors at exhibition.  I think it is like just being a member of the Nation of Gods and Earths [Five Percenters] and having a relationship with a devote Christian or Muslim etc.  Some find ways to make it work maybe but it will likely not work in the long run.  You don't share the same passion in regards to your said way of life and it will likely clash unless you just find ways to ignore the differences altogether, and focus on the things you have in common, but who wants to do that?  For me that is just settling; which does not work.  I learned a long time ago that the first time you settle for less, is when you get less than what you settled for in the first place.


Saladin:  Checking out some of your pieces, accessories, and etc. you create, I don't get the impression that you're doing "art for art's sake." Everything I've seen appears to have a cultural significance to it, whether it's a certain theme, the people you use, the patterns, or the vibrant colors. How important is culture to your work?

Ramel:  This is true, I do not create for "art's sake."  I don't create what I think people will like, I create what I have to say about Life.  Culture is very important.  When I started painting in 2008 I was also learning more about my multi-ethnic background that I was previously unaware of until after my mother passed away and then my older siblings/aunts started to reveal a lot of information about my mother and my real father that no one seemed to feel that I needed to know earlier in life... lol.  Everything comes in time and on time I guess so I took a lot of the information in and started to research a lot of things for my self.  As I researched more, the story started to spill out onto the canvas like hieroglyphics.  My background is very diverse that span several continents and the one thing I found in common regardless of the said race or continent is art.  There are cultures/people long gone and languages going extinct everyday, but the artwork and the stories they tell still survive.

I was heavily influenced by aboriginal art when I first started creating which also lead me to Northwest Indian art.  My Earth is of Dominican decent so you see a lot of African and Taino symbolism in my work as well.  You see Hip Hop, Asian, European, Native American influences and etc.  My goal is to introduces people and educate them to the different forms of art and cultures that they may have never learned about had they not came to one of my exhibitions.  You see, even though many seem to see the world through the lens of just Black and White, the world is so much more diverse if they would only take the time to see the world community for what it is, not just what they want it to be, or what someone told them it is or should be.  One of the must unfortunate things that seems to happen when some get "knowledge of self" is that early on they are given questions and answers yet never question the questions or the answers and recite them with no understanding.  That is why Allah gave us Supreme Mathematics and the Supreme Alphabet.  He gave us the Knowledge and the Wisdom so that when we become a "student enrolled" we can approach the lessons from the degree of Understanding and not take things on face value; always questioning, always be critical.  What understanding is there in knowing the price of everything yet the value of nothing.


Saladin:  Indeed Lord. As an active member of the Five Percenters [Nation of Gods and Earths] for over 25 years, I see that you also create various pieces and accessories that bear our symbol, the Universal Flag. Because its been customary not to just give/sell our flag to any or every one, what method do you use to insure you're not giving/selling your pieces that bear our symbol, to someone who doesn't represent it?

Ramel:  I think one thing I do that's different from others that may sell items that bear our Universal Flag is that I do very little to no marketing and it is normally spread word of mouth or photos via social networks.  This is usually from Earth to Earth.  The closest I may get to marketing is maybe telling an Earth to feel free to share with other Earths.  I do it that way because for one they are very time consuming to create and it is for those that are in the know.  There are sites out there now that do not ask any questions at all and you can just make a payment and your shirt or earrings are in the mail.  Another thing I do is when I see a purchase come through, I send the individual a message advising them that I create the item they purchased only for members of the Nation of Gods and Earths.  I let them know respectfully that I only sent them the message because I did not recognize their name or they did not have a righteous name.  It would be impossible to keep up with calling every God or Earth that purchases an item to make sure they are on point.  There is no way to be 100% sure that a person who may purchase one of my items truly represents our Nation.  One thing that is for sure, is that the Universal Flag is large and clearly seen and everyone that wears our flag is subject to examination.  Our peers are our greatest defense of those wearing something they do not truly represent.  Unfortunately, and as we have learned over the years, just because a person can quote 120 lessons or dress a certain way, that does mean for certain that they truly represent our culture.  It is up to us to examine all of those that we come across in our travels wearing our flag, even if we have known them for years.

Saladin:  In closing, do you have an art shows coming up and where can people go to check out and purchase some of your work?

Ramel:  Yes, I current have some of my work on display at the KROMA Gallery in Miami as part of a group show.  I am in the process of planning and creating pieces for a solo exhibition that I will be having in the fall at the same gallery so I may do a few small events over the summer but that will be my main focus.  You view some of my earring designs at Atabey Hand Creations on Etsy and you can check out some of my Paintings.  I just started updating that site and should have everything up over the next couple of days.  You will be able to see available works and links to my site for available prints.  If anyone is interested in commission request for paintings or earring designs feel free to contact me at: rameljasir@gmail.com.

Saladin:  Thanks again for taking this time to add-on, I appreciate what you've done and continue to do to make your contribution to this world, and look forward to all of the great things you have planned for our future. Peace Lord!

Ramel:  Peace and Thank You as well.  I am truly honored and grateful for the opportunity you have given me to share some of my story and creations.  Your contributions to this world and this mighty Nation is very inspiring and I look forward to following more of your work in the future.  Peace!


Check out an interview with Ramel Jasir on Virginia Currents powered by PBS Video
Interview with Ramel Jasir at Superselected.com
Interview with Ramel Jasir at Futuristically Ancient 
Ramel Jasir sharing his Recycle Art Series

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Monday, May 19, 2014

STYA Program; Successfully Transitioning Youth to Adolescence


What We Teach
Before I get into today's article I want to first welcome all of you who are new readers to A.S.I.A. I also want to welcome back all of you who've been consistently reading my articles, and my guest columns from Life Justice, for years now. I really appreciate your time, and utilizing this medium as a source of inspiration, empowerment and education.


Following-up my Open Letter to the NY Post I published in response to the recent media frenzy that cited/quoted me about Jay Z [and Carmelo Anthony] wearing our Universal Flag, more people than usual have been reaching out to me for various reasons ranging from seeking to know more about our culture, to sharing advice with me about dealing with people and the global press. In general, its been excellent and much appreciated. For those of you in Canada, or who will be in Canada, I'll be speaking on the 5% Nation of Gods and Earths and the Jay Z controversy on Saturday May 31st at 1pm at the MANIFESTO in Toronto, Ontario Canada.



Today I wanted to take some time to share with you some of the core values of our culture. The reasoning for this is two-fold:
1.) To elaborate on the idea behind some of the positive works we do in our communities.
2.) To provide an example of a teaching model and general civilization tools for other Gods and Earths to use who are striving to reach people.
The first reason speaks for itself. I think in order for people to come together, regardless of their cultural, religious or secular worldview, it's important to identify a common cause. And one way of identifying a common cause is successfully communicating the idea(s)  we share. The second reason addresses something I often see amongst us, Gods and Earths, when we're dealing with the public. I'll add-on about that later.

What are some of the core values of the Five Percenters [Nation of Gods and Earths]?

We are pro-righteous and anti-devilishment, regardless of a person's skin color, ethnicity, religion or nationality. If any member of our human family has the willingness to learn to be righteous, we help provide them with the education and tools to do it. This does not mean that they need to become a Five Percenter. This means that if this person needs to be referred to a drug clinic or alcohol detox program, that's where we will refer them. If they need resources for parenting support or academic assistance, that's what we will connect them with. If they're striving to find employment to become more self sufficient, we assist them with that too. The bottom line is this: we utilize what we learn to be better and a positive resource to others. In turn, others can be empowered to assist others. This is all distilled into our simple phrase "Each one, Teach one." Some of us even carry this phrase further by saying "Each one, Teach nine."

The idea that [Father] God and the [Mother] Earth, is the apex of the original [first] man and woman, is a very ancient and indigenous concept corroborated by various anthropologists, archeologists, paleontologists, historians, biologists, and linguists the world over. This means that our cultural worldview, sense of diaspora, and chronology isn't predicated upon, or a visceral reaction to, the short period of two hundred and thirty seven years some of our ancestors were enslaved and segregated here in America. We have recognized our innate divinity, and practiced this as a natural way of life in various societies, around the planet earth, prior to any contact with people who classify themselves as white or Caucasian. Our culture is a unique, contemporary expression, of these classical concepts of divinity. This means that we live our lives according to the adage, "What would God [or the Earth] do in this situation?" Since there is no thing in life, that has withstood the test of time longer than God or the Earth [the creator and creation], they're effective references when it comes to preserving, protecting, and perpetuating life.

We teach and emphasize empowerment through education and freedom, justice and equality for all the human families of the planet earth to live in a world of peace. We view healthy, united families as the vital building block of strong communities, and any nation of people. We also view children as the ambassadors of our future who must be loved, protected, educated and encouraged. Therefore, we do not advocate ignorance, crime, addiction, sexism, racism, poverty, homelessness, hunger, or any thing that undermines our human family's ability to attain and live in peace with each other. As we know throughout history, there are some people whom there is no peace to live amongst, we also acknowledge that their lack of peace must never be because of our iniquity.

While I've only highlighted some of the core values that Five Percenters generally agree on, it's important to understand that all of us grow and develop at our own rate. We are all works in progress and embracing this way of life has given us access to a growth and development process. I am better and more resourceful to others now than I was five years ago, and I'm invested in being even more resourceful to others in the next five years. This doesn't mean that others aren't growing and developing simply because they haven't officially embraced our way of life. Regardless what cultural, religious or secular worldview a person embraces, it's incumbent upon them to find in it what core values will help them become better and more resourceful to others. There were many things I could have gone into, and have gone into in my videos, other articles and books I've published about who and what we teach. Today I wanted to share those things that people can generally understand, and often advocate on some levels, in their own lives. The goal is to learn to better appreciate the positive works we all do in our communities, and recognize the opportunities to work together and address the problems we face, especially our children, regardless to whom or what.

As I mentioned earlier, I also wanted to give other Five Percenters an example of a teaching model, and general civilization tools, that maximizes our ability to reach people, who want to be reached of course. Why? Because I think many of us are well intended and truly desire to see people become better, and make this world a better place. I also think that those of us who are well intended are always looking for opportunities to elevate what they do for others.

One of the things I've found to be most important for us, regardless of our religious, cultural or secular worldview, is to be better listeners. As a young Five Percenter I would talk [build] for hours. I still can, yet I find it more effective to listen for hours, especially to the people I'm striving to reach. Simply put, how can we do an effective needs assessment of someone if we don't know the ends and outs of who they are, or what they actually need? It reminds me of something my Ole Earth told me as a teenager about not taking girls to the movies to get to know them. She said, "That's two and half hours both of you are sitting there staring at a screen, and learning nothing about each other." As a Five Percenter, with all of this wealth of information we're just waiting to share with people, it's easy to become the talking screen someone is sitting there staring at for hours, and we're learning little to nothing about them or what they need. Some of the information I've once volunteered, and see and hear Five Percenters today volunteer about who and what we are, often creates more confusion than it does an understanding. Take for example someone asking the questions "What is a Five Percenter?" or "Are you in the Nation of Gods and Earths?" Some of us think that it's more important to just answer these questions than it is to find out the reasoning behind these questions being asked before, or if, we chose to even answer them. Imagine the potential or even further confusion we can create in the mind of someone, and whoever they go talk to afterwards, who asks us "Are you a member of The Five Percent?" and we just jump right into talking about Supreme Mathematics, The First 9 Born, Triple Stage Darkness, or etc. This person may have never heard this in their life, let alone how it works, where it comes from, or how it's even spelled! Imagine doing all of that, and when the person has a chance to speak they ask you when is your next concert; believing that you're a member of the music band The Five Percent. Yes, this situation and various other confusing scenarios are possible, and likely, whenever we don't ask questions and we assume where a person is coming from. So it's very important to first find out what a person knows, doesn't know, listen to them, and then share things with them they can actually relate to. In April when the global press about Jay Z wearing the Universal Flag started to trend, I saw different responses to the controversy by various Five Percenters that would have been a public relations nightmare, had it gone viral. I definitely appreciate the guidance from my benefactors Life Justice and I-Freedom Born for preparing me to address the press when I was approached. I also appreciate others for their positive advice when I was dealing with being bombarded by the global press for further comment, and some of my own people who were not as supportive during this time.

In closing, I want to thank those of you again for stopping by A.S.I.A. For further information you can also check out my videos on A.S.I.A. TV, and my literature at Quanaah Publishing. If you would like to reach out to me personally for advice, to schedule a speaking engagement, or etc., my direct email is atlantisbuild@gmail.com.
Peace,
Saladin

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Monday, April 07, 2014

Jay Z and Wife Beyoncé at the Barclays Center
 
Open Letter to the NY Post
 
 
Good Morning Mr. Buiso,

First I would like to thank you for writing your article "Jay Z is blinging it black", and reaching out to me to lend my "expertise" about my culture -as you stated in your email. It's not often that Reporters demonstrate that degree of journalistic integrity by going directly to the source and I (we) appreciate you for taking that initiative. Because we only spoke briefly and didn't have an opportunity to discuss other areas of my culture in-depth, I wanted to take a moment to clarify some things in your article.

One of the commonly held misconceptions is that Mr. Knight, and the group that he comes from, can speak for and define the meaning of our symbols. We are psychologically different in outlook, and cannot speak for each other; Mr. Knight and us, The Nation of Gods and Earths [Five Percenters]. The fact that Jay Z and Carmelo Anthony have chosen to wear our symbol indicates that they want to be affiliated with the positive works they see us do in our communities.

Our movement is more concerned with issues addressing our esteem and self determination than we are at labeling others for their inequities done in American society. Our symbol -the Universal Flag- represents the sun, moon and star: our universal family, man, woman and child, period. And a unified family is the vital building block of any nation of people.

Thank you for your consideration and giving me the opportunity to clarify this. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me again.
 
Peace,
Saladin Allah
 

Saladin Allah is a Therapeutic/Recreation major who attended Central State University in Wilberforce Ohio, a Region 6 Representative of The Nation of Gods and Earths [Five Percenters] in WNY/Southern Ontario, and founder of A.S.I.A. [Allah School In Atlantis]. Allah has written over two hundred social commentary articles for various national/international publications, self-published eleven books through his company Quanaah Publishing, and he presently works as a youth mentor and community organizer. You can also check out and subscribe to his popular Youtube Channel here: A.S.I.A. TV.

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