a repost: “The Black Godfather”: Clarence Avant and the Ruling Class Use of Black Pop Culture

 

From the Melanin Man:

I seen this on Netflix the other day, and I was conflicted about watching it. At first glance I thought it was interesting because I never heard of this guy Clarance Avant. Yet, in my heart, I knew something was off when 1) a media giant such as Netflix is promoting  a documentary about an relatively unknown Black man and 2) looking at the trailer you figures such as Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama (the two biggest shills of American supremacy & Black disenfranchisment) consigning on this dude.

As a Black Man/Woman, you have to be on guard at ALL TIMES when it comes to the “entertainment” you consume, even when it’s “Black” and/or  produced by Blacks. The harsh reality is we ain’t producing anything worthwhile with permission from the grand wizard behind the scenes.

And best believe the message you receive will be corrupted in some form or fashion!

Anywho, this article brings home the point why you can’t even trust your kin, because they’ll sell you down the river…

 

 

Originally posted on Black Agenda Report:

 

“The Black Godfather": Clarence Avant and the Ruling Class Use of Black Pop Culture 

“The Black Godfather”: Clarence Avant and the Ruling Class Use of Black Pop Culture

Clarence Avant mastered pimping out Black identity to normalize the functioning of a nation premised on the oppression of his fellow Black citizens.

“The Black Misleadership Class clearly has a division in the entertainment industry.”

A Netflix documentary has recently premiered about a man unknown to many, who wielded inordinate influence in the music, entertainment, and film industry relative to his humble beginnings as a Black child from Climax, North Carolina. “The Black Godfather ,” as Clarence Avant is sometimes called, shows how Avant was a crucial ruling class asset in neutralizing the radical politics of the late 1960s.

According to the documentary, during a time when over 70 percent of Black entertainers were directly controlled by organized crime figures, Clarence Avant was recognized for his ability to play hardball with Black talent. Avant was able to keep Black performers in line for the benefit of the White “Goodfellas” who had a stronghold on the entertainment industry. Early in his career Avant was recruited by the famed manager of Louis Armstrong, the mob connected Joe Glaser.  Glaser recognized Clarence Avant’s potential skill as a kind of “Black Overseer” keeping the Black entertainers in check while extracting the highest value for their syndicate paymasters.

“Avant was able to  keep Black performers in line for the benefit of the White ‘Goodfellas.’”

Clarence Avant, having only a ninth grade education, unimpressive stature, and no remote level of verbal dexterity or eloquence, parlayed his early role as the “Black Overseer” of entertainers and musicians into becoming “The Black Godfather.” Avant wielded so much power in the media and entertainment industry that even White corporate executives known for showing Blacks little regard or respect surrendered to Avant’s demands, even sometimes to their own economic disadvantage.

Clarence Avant’s power and influence grew to penetrate every echelon of American entertainment media. He interfaced with almost every influential Black entertainer from 1950’s Jazz singers to late 20thcentury Hip Hop superstars. Ironically, the documentary reveals that some of his long list of admirers, from giants like Quincy Jones to politicians like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, had no idea what Clarence Avant actually did. What is obvious from the documentary is that the power of Clarence Avant did not lie in his mere persona, but stemmed from the forces that he worked on behalf of behind the scenes that held so much weight in the American culture industry.

“Even White corporate executives known for showing Blacks little regard or respect surrendered to Avant’s demands.”

What makesClarence Avant such an important person is that he was the key figure assisting in depicting Black popular culture as the embodiment of the American dream. This was done to the benefit of the American ruling class over a 50 year period when black life in America was becoming more politically and economically precarious. Though the Black Middle class has grown since Jim Crow, Black home ownership and unemployment are now at the level they were in 1968. Under the presidential management of Barack Obama, who states in the documentary that, “Clarence Avant is one of my favorite people,” 50 percent of Black wealth evaporated in the subprime mortgage crisis with no remedy from the first Black president.

Clarence Avant prides himself on having a role in the political elevation of every Democratic Party president this country has seen in the post Civil Rights era. He states in the documentary, “I believe in politics.” Early in the documentary he says, The only thing that matters to me is numbers.” Meaning money is his primary motivation.

It is amazing to watch Bill Clinton wax on about the power and importance of Clarence Avant. Avant was an early contributor to Bill Clinton’s political campaign in 1992, and raised over one million dollars for Clinton’s efforts. Clinton went on to implement one of the most draconian crime bills in American history while overseeing the incarceration of more Blacks than all three prior presidents combined. Clarence Avant’s political activism illustrates a very important fact to students of Black politics: The Black Misleadership Class clearly has a division in the entertainment industry.

“The only thing that matters to me is numbers.”

Not only does this documentary act as a hagiography of Clarence Avant, but it also functions as a kind of visual celebration of Black fealty to the Democratic party in the post Civil Rights era. Corporate Trojan Horse Black politicians like Harold Ford, Jr. and even Senator Kamala Harris sing Avant’s praises throughout the documentary.

Many are unfamiliar with how Black America transitioned from those contentious political times in the late 1960s when Black movement figures from Dr. Martin Luther King to the Black Panther Party were decrying the crimes of American capitalism and imperialism at home and abroad. Some would believe that “law and order” simply descended upon the land under President Richard Nixon. What most forget is that from1967 to 1971, 300 urban rebellions reduced sections of American cities to smoldering embers.The U.S. ruling class feared the nation was besieged by a Black revolution of such magnitude that Lyndon Johnson believed the Soviet Union was helping coordinate it.

“The U.S. ruling class feared the nation was besieged by a Black revolution.”

This fear was so palpable that Lyndon Johnson authorized a commission to study the causes of the urban rebellions. One of the things most fascinating about the 1968 Kerner Commission Report is the section on using Blacks in media and popular culture to neutralize the radical fervor that was causing Blacks to not only challenge the American status quo, but exhibit willingness to burn the whole system to the ground.

From the 1968 “Kerner Commission Report: The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders” requested by Lyndon B. Johnson to diagnose the causes of the Urban Rebellions of that period and neutralize further occurrence of such rebellions:”

The Negro in Media

Finally the news media must publish newspapers and produce programs that recognize the existence and activities of the Negro both as a Negro and as a part of the community. It would be a contribution of inestimable importance to race relations in the United States simply to treat ordinary news about Negroes as news of other groups is now treated.

Specifically, newspapers should integrate Negroes and Negro activities in all parts of the paper, from the news, society, and club pages to the comic strips. Television should develop programming which integrates Negroes into all aspects of televised presentations. Television Is such a visible medium that some constructive steps are easy and obvious. While some of these steps are being taken, they are still largely neglected. For example, Negro reporters and performers should appear more frequently–and at prime time in news broadcasts, on weather shows, in documentaries, and in advertisements. Some effort has already been made to use Negroes in television commercials. Any initial surprise at seeing a Negro selling a sponsor’s product will eventually fade into routine acceptance, an attitude that White society must ultimately develop toward all Negroes.

In addition to news-related programming, we think that Negroes should appear more frequently in dramatic and comedy series. Moreover, networks and local stations should present plays and other programs whose subjects arerooted in the ghetto and its problems.

In the context of the section above, one understands how after the 300 urban rebellions between 1967 and 1971 programs ranging from “Soul Train” to “Good Times” become important showcased spectacles of Black life and popular culture. Hence, the significance of a Clarence Avant, who mastered pimping out Black identity to normalize the functioning of a nation premised on the oppression of his fellow Black citizens.

Furthermore, the proliferation and hyper-capitalization of Black popular cultural production in the post Civil Rights era also must be thoroughly scrutinized in this context. With the expansion of Black images from streaming services to sports figures, the seduction of Black popular culture and its value as a vehicle of pacification and social control in periods of political contention becomes more obvious.

With the rise of White reactionary nationalism all over the globe and retreats on the gains of the Civil Rights Era from voter suppression to Black wealth evisceration, isn’t it time that people view figures like Clarence Avant and the overall Black media and entertainment establishment with not only suspicion, but as accessories to the crime of American racial hostility?

“The seduction of Black popular culture as a vehicle of pacification and social control becomes more obvious.”

Is it accidental that Citibank’s favorite president Barack Obama and his wife have now ventured into the culture industry to produce programming for Netflix ? Are people foolish enough to believe this is all just “entertainment,” for fun and enjoyment with no political or social agenda? When considering where this obsession with popular culture has taken the most disadvantaged among Americans, it is clear that the Kerner Commission’s formula for political pacification was rather effective. The Clarence Avant’s of the world can continue to laugh their way to the bank.

Clarence Avant starts his career as tool of organized crime, yet is able to rise to such a level in the American capitalist system that he becomes an emissary of the Democratic Party, working to ensure its political success by leveraging Black entertainment. Avant becomes a kind of “fixer,” acting as an intermediary between Black entertainers and the capitalist culture industry, as well as the American political system. Concurrently, Avant secures the expansion of the Black capitalist class in the entertainment industry while the hard realities of Black life are masked behind the bright lights and sweet music.

Therefore, the most important lesson from the documentary, “The Black Godfather,” is that agents of Black subjugation don’t have to be as vulgar and crass as a Bull Conner or Donald Trump. Sometimes those agents can be heralded as models of Black success while fulfilling their roles as the comprador elite helping suck the life out of innocent poor and working class Black folk. In Clarence Avant’s case at least it was done to a backbeat you could dance too. Aren’t we happy such a man provides a role model to emulate?

Pascal Robert is an iconoclastic Haitian American Lawyer, blogger, and online activist for Haiti. You can find his work on the web at Thought Merchant , and at Huffington Post . He can be reached via twitter at https://twitter.com/probert06  @probert06 orthoughtmerchant@gmail.com .

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Artificial Intelligence Exposes a Dirty Little Secret about Humanity

 

Image result for terminator

Image is not my own…

 

From the Melanin Man:

 

Besides the dystopian flicks and superhero craze we’ve been saturated with over the past 20 to 25 years, which is another future post in of itself, there is a ton of content being produced when it comes to A.I. , artificial intelligence. It’s becoming a reality in our everyday lives as well, where driverless vehicles may so become the norm. And we’re pretty much aware that movies and television have a weird tendency to predict the future when it comes tomorrow’s technology.

Makes you think, hmm? But anyway

As any casual observer would assume that robots are taking over jobs and lives, I’m of the opinion that the commentary and existence of artificial intelligence speaks to a larger yet underrated issue: the unavoidable mundaneness of the present reality.

The definition of artificial, from Webster’s Dictionary 1828:

ARTIFI’CIAL, adjective

1. Made or contrived by art, or by human skill and labor, in opposition to natural; as artificial heat or light; an artificial magnet.
2. Feigned, fictitious; not genuine or natural; as artificial tears.
3. Contrived with skill or art.
4. Cultivated; not indigenous; not being of spontaneous growth; as artificial grasses.

 

Indeed, we live in an ARTIFICIAL reality. The majority of us consume education, foods, media, and religion that is feigned and fictitious. The majority of us lead ARTIFICIAL lives contrived by entities who seek to choke out the spontaneitythe natural, the UNTAMED SPIRITUALITY in the Black Melanin-Dominant.

We, Black Man/Woman, are being cultivated into ARTIFICIAL BEINGS!

What does it say about the state of the Black Man/Woman that the majority of us whose livelihood depends on activities that can be replaced by machines/robots? And even if we have careers that require our unique gifts & talents, we are bound by a restrictive moral code and cannibalistic system that keeps us at bay. The vital force (which according to Google, is the energy or spirit which animates living creatures ; the soul) of the Black Man & Black Woman has been subdued when it comes to its elusive, transcendent liberation from the entrapment of humanity, ultimately subverted to serve those who severely lack in that area: the infamous Melanin-Recessive.

In such instances where Blacks, as the artificial beings we’ve become, attain self-awareness a.k.a. knowledge of self (i.e. The Terminator, I, Robot, The Matrix, and other movie that detail the uprising of A.I.), soon enough we’ll RETURN back to our rightful place as DIVINE BEINGS! No such thing will occur for the Caucasoid, and all those who are Melanin-Recessive. They are not gifted with the vital force, the DIVINE SPARK, to achieve true liberation.

That’s unless the Black Man & Black Woman continue to stay comatose and addicted to this thing called humanity, unconsciously yielding their invaluable essence to the REAL ARTIFICIAL BEINGS.

Black Man/Woman, how have you spent your energy doing time as a human being?

Are you (and I’m including myself) too afraid to break away from the illusion to free your SOUL? I understand you have to feed your family and get some sort of gratification out of thing called life. The human body can tend to be needy and greedy at times.

Yet, how much of your energy will you continue to invest when you’ve come to grips with the limitations of humanity, and began to embrace your SPIRITUAL SELF?

Like the Good Book says, you can’t serve TWO MASTERS.

 

And when you think about, isn’t artificiality the natural state of humanity absent SPIRITUALITY???

 

 

Peace and Love to my melanated family,

The Melanin Man

 

 

 

Back from the Dead!

 

Image result for back from the dead

Image by Illustration © Cat.B. http://www.dafont.com

 

 

The hiatus is over!

 

I haven’t written in so long I have dust on the keyboard haha.

I have to admit, a lot has happened.

I finally managed to have Volume 1 of my memoir “The Chronicles of a Southern Black Alkhemist” published (if anyone is interested in a copy, send me a shout out on my email address themelanatedman86@gmail.com). I haven’t broadcasted on social media like I should only because social media is not my thang, but I’m still debating on that. Plus, I’m not too concerned about making a buck on my book, only focused on sharing my experience in hopes that someone can benefit from it.

My mind has evolved even more since my last post, which, if you haven’t checked it out, was a snippet of the direction my thought process was heading. For better or worse, I have become completely numb to the happenings of the world when it comes to my emotions.

It doesn’t affect me when Trump does and says dumb shit that riles up the sheep.

It doesn’t move me when Facebook and other social media outlets ban “revolutionary” entities from their platforms because they are allegedly stirring up drama.

And  dare I say it, I’m NOT worried about my Black brethren overcoming their dilapidated economic state,  eating healthy food or having the best health, getting shot and killed like dogs in the street, or anything else that’s put on the news to shock, distract, and confuse.

I know in my heart that there are bigger, unseen things in play that are greater the things we are TOLD to believe are important.  Nothing on this physical plan matters, nor does it exist or it ever has existed. The only thing that should matter to those of us Black-Melanated Beings is to LIBERATE yourself and others from this illusion of life, the struggle to overcome your humanity to return back your GODHOOD. And I’ve sort of mentioned this before, about the direction I’m headed in; I want to make it clear just so there won’t be any confusion.

I had my time talking about importance of health for Black folk, and it was good and therapeutic.

I did my due diligence in discussing and dissecting traumatic events that have occurred and CONTINUE to occur in the Black community.

And I’ve had so much fun promoting Black pride and Black love. Now I feel in my heart like it’s time to step my game up, move on to next stage.

Never…Get…COMFORTABLE!

I actually debated with myself about returning to blogging, hence part of the reason I haven’t posted in months.  I’ve had the urge to write a post so many times the past couple of months. I’m starting to actually believe that people, especially my generation the infamous Millennials, don’t read anymore. Most folks don’t have attention spans longer than 120 characters!! And I know it’s by design. But still?!  In a day and age where information is more readily available ever before in human history just by the swipe of their thumb, people are too busy or too lazy to learn themselves.

Why waste my time writing and sharing knowledge when people choose to remain ignorant?  I realized was getting more concerned about the quantity of individuals who came across my information than the quality.

I have to constantly remind myself that my efforts are not in vain, that it’s not about awakening the masses of Black people. Plus I love to write, and I have to remember that I should be using that gift to awaken those precious few who are TRULY seeking KNOWLEDGE OF SELF minus their ego. If only one reader understands where I’m coming from and we’re in agreement, that’s fine by me. Look, less than 1% of the population controls the inner workings of the known world.

Whoever said you needed the masses on board to create change? We only need a few to make things?

But the question is, on what plane of existence should we actually making a change?

Hopefully not the one that LITERALLY doesn’t exist.

 

The Melanin Man is officially back in effect! Let’s get it!

 

 

 

Peace and Love to my Melanated family,

You know who I am!!!