I Am Black Gold

I Am my natural resource.

I AM renewed by my heritage.

I AM enriched by my self-cultivation and rooted in my ancestry.

I AM the richness of the world. I AM Black Gold.

Shawndel Fraser 2014

Esperanza Spalding, Radio Music Society

This song and video remind me of my childhood in Harlem and my adulthood in Brooklyn New York. My New York childhood was full of teachers who embraced and espied the fullness of our African heritage. My family reveled in our Caribbean ways, and my adulthood is chock full of friends and peers who expertly interweave identity rooted in a self-love so deliciously chocolate that neo-soul is but a watery description of the depth and richness of our “Negritude”. I have gloried in Harlem sunrises, Brooklyn BBQ’s, mid-day Guyana rains,  Ghanaian Sunsets,  family dinners in Mexico and basked in Costa Rican love songs. In each place I was made aware of just how golden my Blackness is by immersion, contrast or just plain awesomeness. I adore this song and video for reminding me of my path, my people and my home-place. Thank You Esperanza and Algebra!


As I awaken from my multi-year cocooning, I emerge to Esperanza’s ode to and celebration of cultural richness and historic significance.


Is this love…

There aren’t many remakes of Bob Marley’s finely crafted music that I can abide by, but this version by Corrine Bailey Rae is exceptional. I chanced upon a snippet of this song in a closing sequence of a Valentine’s Day episode of some show on Hulu…maybe it was House? Fringe? I dunno! I still can’t tell you where I found it, but thanks to Shazam, I found Corinne Bailey Rae, of strong vocals, and lovely interpretation. Only time will show the trajectory and endurance of her career, but the strength of her voice and composition of her band leave me a fledgling fan, inspired to bravely give new flair to old cultural favorites.