The Successful Music Career Of Winston Rodney, Aka Burning Spear

Spear 2

In a display of true humbleness, Burning Spear, is no doubt one of the greatest reggae artists the world has ever known. Born as Winston Rodney, on Ist March 1945, in Saint Ann’s Bay in Jamaica, musicians such as “The Maytals” and “Bob Marley and the Wailers” influenced him.

According to him, it was his encounter with Bob Marley, that ignited his life to fame from 1969. He has then made a couple of songs, but doesn’t know where to start. Then Bob told him to go to “Studio One” and he did. Today among great reggae artists, his music can be heard in every part of the world.

In the lives of individuals, many do remember the mistake one does, than all the good things the person has done. But Burning Spear didn’t forget the direction Bob gave him. He gave credit to Bob Marley in his song “As it is” taken from his album ” Calling Rastafari.” He sings, “I start singing in the late sixties. Told about Studio One by Bob Marley.” But who is actually this man called Burning Spear and why did he choose such a name unto himself?

I never had the opportunity to interview Mr. Rodney, like other great reggae stars, but just as he has been following the footsteps of the great Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King etc, believing God send them to help black people, the same way, I have been following his music for a very long time.

Like the waves retreating into the sea, I went back and compiled the names of some of his old and new songs, to find out the message of Burning Spear’s music. Yes “He stands strong, The world should know, that Man in the hills, Far over, Calling Rastafari to Jah’s Kingdom. His mistress music don’t sell out and Christopher Columbus can’t change his Identity and Fittest of the fittest has made him a Free man.”

Being inspired by the late Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Burning Spear put the title of Jomo Kenyatta (Burning Spear ) unto himself as his name. From there on, the flame of the spear is unquenchable, singing about slavery, discrimination and praising men like Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Kwame Nkrumah and Martin Luther King etc. His reason of cherishing these men are simple and logical, because they paved the way for I and I (Africans) to be recognised.

Spear 1Burning Spear showed his love for Africa from his great hit “Greetings” from the album “Far Over,” after his trip to Africa. Greetings Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Addis Ababa.” He said. He lamented bitterly about blacks in the United States of America who have no intention and respect for the culture. As if they have forgotten their history, some even hate to be referred to as Africans. “Even though they say I’m a Yankee” Burning Spear said he still loves them because they are his brothers and sisters.

After over thirty years of his prolific music career, the tireless Burning Spear surprisingly after his 27th album special, released in 1999, Calling Rastafari, which won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 2000. In 2003, he released another album captioned “Free man” with great numbers such as “Trust, Not Guilty, loved for who I am etc”

Despite that MTV doesn’t promote reggae music, Burning Spear has excelled to be one of the world’s famous musicians. His songs speak of its self. Truly, the achievements of Burning Spear, in the field of reggae, shall remain in the music history for ever.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_8?url=search-alias%3Dpopular&field-keywords=burning+spear&sprefix=Burning+%2Cstripbooks%2C1154

The Fultz Quadruplets: Born At The Wrong Time In America?

Ebony

The Fultz Quadruplets were the first identical Black quad babies born in the United States. The Fultz girls became baby celebrities, while Fred Klenner, the white doctor who delivered them into the world, exploited them for fame and money.

The Fultz Quads – Mary Louise, Mary Ann, Mary Alice, and Mary Catherine – were born on May 3, 1946 at Annie Penn Hospital in Reidsville, N.C. The Quads’ parents, sharecropper Pete and deaf-mute mother Annie Mae, lived on a farm with their six other children but were too poor to care for the babies. Multiple births were rare at the time and the equipment to care for underweight babies wasn’t as prevalent as it is in modern times.

The girls were delivered in what was known as “the Basement,” according to a 2002 report by journalist and educator Lorraine Ahearn. This “basement” was the Blacks-only wing of Annie Penn, and Klenner and Black nurse Margaret Ware helped Annie Mae give birth. Since the Fultz family couldn’t read or write, Dr. Klenner  named the girls after his own family members.

When news of the quads began to spread nationwide, curious onlookers and media began sniffing around for photo opportunities. At the time, baby formula companies such as Gerber and PET wanted to use the quads as a means to start an ad campaign to sell their wares in the Black community. Black families didn’t buy formula during the late ’40’s, as many mothers opted to breast feed because of the high cost of baby formula.

Klenner struck a deal with PET for an undisclosed amount and the Fultz Quads were well on their way to becoming stars.  The quads’ starred in ads in Ebony Magazine, and they even made the cover of the publication. But all of this notoriety came with a price as Klenner used the girls for his “Vitamin C therapy” that he claimed made the girls healthy along with the PET evaporated milk formula.

While Klenner reaped the financial benefits, PET Milk company gave the Fultz quads a farm, a nurse, food, and medical care. Even more shocking, when Klenner returned the girls home, he displayed them in a glass-enclosed nursery. In a follow up story reported by Ebony, the then 22-year-old sisters were ultimately adopted by the nurse PET assigned to them and her husband. They struggled with adulthood. The farm they were given was on difficult land, and Pet paid the quads just $350 a month, leaving them virtually broke.

The girls became the third set of quadruplets in America to survive until adulthood. But according to Ahearn’s story, three of the sisters died of breast cancer before age 55, with Catherine Fultz Griffin believed to be the last surviving Fultz quadruplet.

Originally published by NlackAmricaweb.com

http://blackamericaweb.com/2015/06/10/little-known-black-history-fact-the-fultz-quadruplets/

Tears On The Equator

A powerful autobiographical tale of spiritual struggle on an equatorial African island.

 

Equator 2

In the beginning, in 1973, when a young couple met at a seminary in the city of Boston, during a time of great racial tension over an issue called bussing, they dared to share a dream and the dream was about faith, progress, unity, love and sustainable development in Africa. She trained in education, her Canadian husband schooled in medicine.

They would return to the Ugandan paradise island of her youth in Lake Victoria only to discover that beauty hid the beast; that an interracial couple, white and black and their Ancient Orthodox faith would cause a spark which turned verdant fields into flames of conflict. Truths would be told and taboos would be broken. Courage would be unveiled and passions uncovered.

This story is about the glue that maintained the vision until time, politics and war wore it away. It is also about survival and rebirth and the ultimate seeds which gave birth to a new crop of hopes.  “What are you looking at old man?” the young doctor queried. The elder was looking into a rotten log. “I am seeing the face of God,” he smiled standing up, allowing the doctor to see the sun kissed orchid.”

“The face of God,” he said, and so it was, for their five years on Bukasa island uncovered the weaknesses and strengths of this couple and the community around them. That they would fail was inevitable, but that they would survive in a real and mystical way was the hidden treasure.

The Author

Equator 3

Gerasimos I. Kambites was born in Montreal in 1947. He is a third generation Greek Canadian. Raised in his father’s corner store he read every comic book and most magazines and books that came through the store for 15 years. He went to Sir George Williams University in Montreal from 1965 – 1969, then worked as a Parliamentary journalist for United Press International 1969 – 1973.

He wrote two stories for National Geographic and produced an audio documentary on Mount Athos: In the Fullness of Truth, for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He was a videographer for the world’s longest snowmobile expedition in 1973, the Transworld Snowmobile Expedition. That experience led him to Holy Cross Seminary in Brookline, Massachusetts.  He then spent six months in Sinai’s St. Katherine’s Monastery.

Having earned a Master’s in Divinity, he went on to medical school at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario before heading to Uganda. He was ordained to the priesthood by the late Metropolitan Vitaly, founded Annunciation Orthodox Church on Bukasa Island and St. Xenia’s of St. Petersburg in Ottawa, eventually leaving the priesthood.

He studied psychiatry in the early nineties and now works as an Orthodox psychotherapist. He and his wife, Ann, are members of Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church in Ottawa. They raise sheep and horses on a farm on the internationally acclaimed Rideau River and Canal System, and continue to support Father Christopher Walusimbi on Bukasa Island.

In 2008 Dr. Kambites took part in National Geographic’s  Genographic DNA tracking program. The greatest irony for him is that his genetic map marks him as having originated in East Africa, in the Northern part of Lake Victoria. By moving to Uganda, in a true sense, he was just coming home.

http://www.amazon.com/Tears-Equator-Gerasimos-I-Kambites/dp/1460245024/