Archive for November, 2008

Dispatch 25 – Mumbai Attacks and Shout Out From Ahmedabad

Posted in Dispatches on November 27, 2008 by skyeviewtraveler

The entire drama in Mumbai is being played out on the tv non-stop. The stand off between the police, the military and the gunmen has exceeded more than 12 hours. It’s weird because, unlike the states where the media and bystanders are cordoned off from the scene of an incident, folks are standing accross the street from the areas under attack. In some cases, they are directly in front of the hotels. So, I’ve been able to keep informed for hours on end. The US Consulate and Air France have not posted any travel advisories so i’m not worried about departing India.

I’m perfectly safe and far away from Mumbai. My Ahmedabad colleague invited me to stay at his house until my departure, but there really isn’t any need. It’s sad…but the reality is Indians live with this type of violence. Well, not on this scale, but violence is a reality for a lot of people in the world.

Chant peace and pray for the folks who lost their lives.



Skye is Safe

Posted in Uncategorized on November 26, 2008 by skyeviewtraveler

Hello everyone,

Skye is still in India but 500 miles away from Mumbai and very SAFE.


Coming Up: Annual India Trip

Posted in Dispatches on November 23, 2008 by skyeviewtraveler

I am excited about making my 8th annual trip to India. Typically I travel in the north but will add new destinations in the southern region of Gujarat State. Gujarat State is where the 2002 communal riots between Muslim and Hindus occurred. The riots displaced tens of thousands refugees whose misery continues to be compounded by the effects of globalization in Ahmedabad, Baroda and Surat all cities I plan to visit.

India remains in my top ten countries to visit-though travel in India is not for the feint of heart!

Skye Gallery (India)
Dispatch #14 – Bombay, India
Sheba Chhachhi

Soul School

Posted in Culture on November 17, 2008 by skyeviewtraveler

Soul School is a weekly music program that airs every Sunday night on Budapest’s Radiocafe — hosted by none other than Michael Simmons. On Soul School, Michael takes listeners on a tour through the music born of the fusion between African American rhythm and blues and gospel music, known as soul music.

Tune in to Soul School every Sunday night from 10-11pm on Radiocafe 98.6 in Budapest. You can also listen to Radiocafe online anywhere in the world (but remember to account for the time difference — 10pm in Budapest is 4pm in New York.) While you’re listening, if you like what you hear, if you’d like to make a request, or, if you just want to say hello, send an SMS to the radio station at +36 20 9 986 986.

Read more about Soul School and Professor Michael Simmons on the Radiocafe website.

Radio Bilingue’s Roots Carnivall

This program mixes rhythms with African roots from Brazilian sambas to U.S. Latin jazz and rock, from reggae to calypso and blues.

Driving Music

I rediscovered this radio program in the wee mornings of a 12-hr turn around drive between Oakland and Los Angeles. It was just past the first minutes of a new day when I head the distinct baritone voice of Gil Scott Heron recite the opening lines to his poem-song “Morning Thoughts”. Open road, clear night sky, hours of solitary driving and GSH serenading me made for a pleasant drive home. The dj followed with a hot Latin jazz set and funky Latin rhythms.

Radio Bilingue’s “Roots Carnival” is broadcasting on the Internet and is carried by the Satellite network. You can tune into this show and others at and listen!

Bonus Links
Musical Dedication (Mi Paris Sistern and Old School Poets & Lovahs)

I Think I’ll Call It Morning
Gil Scott-Heron | We Almost Lost Detroit

Sweet Passage Miriam Makeba

Posted in Culture, Transnat'l Feminism/Solidarity on November 12, 2008 by skyeviewtraveler


My heart weeps cuz I’m gonna miss this sistah’s spirited voice here on earth. Makeba personified Black woman dignity, grace, power and creativity. Truly a role model and s-hero for me.

I kiss your feet Mama Afrika.

BBC News
Soweto Blues-Miriam Makeba
Miriam Makeba – The Click Song 1966
Miriam Makeba – Pata Pata
(The little girl who comes on stage (at 2:00) to dance with Makeba is is
too precious. Transmitting Black female grace and beauty.)

A Conversation with Toni Morrison

Posted in Culture, Events on November 11, 2008 by skyeviewtraveler

City Arts & Lectures presents an onstage conversation with Toni Morrison.

Toni Morrison
In conversation with Michael Krasny
Masonic Auditorium, San Francisco
Friday, November 21, 2008 at 8 pm.
Tickets: $23.

Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winning author, editor and professor, Toni
Morrison is best known for her richly detailed and epic novels. In her last nine novels, including Beloved, Paradise, and Song of Solomon, she has focused on the particular joys and sorrows in the lives of black American women. In 1993, Morrison became the first black woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Morrison’s newest novel, A Mercy, revisits some of her most familiar themes, revealing what lies beneath the surface
of slavery and exploring the way that acts of mercy, like everything else,
have unforeseen consequences.

**JUST ANNOUNCED: 2009 Spring Series On Art & Politics and Social
Limited tickets are still available for our Literary Series to Benefit the 826 Valencia College Scholarship Program, Cultural Studies Series, and Talking Music Series.

For Tickets: City Box Office, (415) 392-4400 or

Dispatch #24: Obama Mania In Paris!

Posted in Dispatches on November 7, 2008 by skyeviewtraveler

One of the local newspaper reports that over 84% of Parisians support the election of Barack Obama as US president. The report only confirms what I’ve witnessed with my own eyes and ears since the election. Folks are JUBLILANT, ESCATIC and ELATED by the election results because it gives them hope of getting rid of French president Nicolas Sarkozy. Sarkozy as some of you might recall was the former interior minister who incited the North African youth during the 2005 riots by referring to them as “scum”.

My hope is that folks in the states will not get caught up in the cult of personality and Black male messiah fetishism that have derailed previous freedom trains. My hope is that the grassroots organizing, personal courage and alliance work that made this Obama election a success will be sustained.

Obama-Paris Gallery


Sloganeering To The Extreme

This morning I went to a pharmacy to inquire about an herbal remedy for my digestive aliment brought on by too many business lunches and over-indulgence on French bread, cheese, and butter sauces. Since I wanted to be sure to know what the product contained I asked the male pharmacy assistant if there were English speakers on staff and if someone could assist me. He smiled, paused for affect and said, “Yes we can.” He looked at me for a moment to make sure I got the play on words. He was so pleased with himself.

Ummm, the product was an herbal LAXATIVE.

Are You Traveling to Paris?

Check out the exhibitions at the Musee Dapper

Musee Dapper
Femmes dans les arts d’Afrique
10 octobre 2008 – 12 juillet 2009