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by Yugen Farad Rashan


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Yugen Rashad   May be an image of 1 person, outdoors and tree

Tune in Saturday, May 14 - Jazz and Music Critic, author Rick Mitchell brings his spectrum, and exploratory verb to the playlist. Years of staring at the music from start to present day, Mitchell weilds a unique perspective. In lieu of the changing landscape of jazz, he bends with the tide, and a forwardness that defies, and challenges maintstream taste, without insult. The Motif: Re-Imagine A Jazz Sensibility - KBOO 90..7FM, or streamming



With few exceptions, Black thespians and theatre are an oxymoron in the Pacific NW. Yet, past times reveal a golden era, and amazing plays and actors of African descent. Rik Jones, Kwik Jones, Rosemary Banks, Brenda Phillips PassinArt Theatre Company, Jerry Foster. Broadly, figures include works by Amiri Baraka, Larraine Hansberry, Ntozake Shange, August Wilson - all part of the cannon. I had the pleasure to interview Mr Wilson decades ago. And now one of his Pultizer Prize winning plays lands on the Portland stage. Gem of the Ocean runs from March 5 thru April 3, 2021.

Henry Noble plays Citizen Barlow in Wilson's Gem of The Ocean. Even though his work as an actor keeps him in the epicenter Los Angeles, his local roots gives us bragging rights to this amazing talent. With a cache of projects under belt, Noble also appeared in Season 4 of Yellowstone for Paramount Pictures.

My conversation with him Saturday, Feb 26, 4pm. The Motif: Re-Imagine A Jazz Sensibility (2pm-5pm)- KBOO 90.7 FM, or streamming at

The weekly jazz program air Saturdays, 2pm to 5pm. KBOO 90.7FM, or streamming

John Coltrane - Expression [1967][Full Album]


"Going into 2021 I wanted to share a thought about Black people and the repository of personal and collective memory/history that comprise our boiler plate of identity formation and post-modernity:

"Nothing is more fully agreed than the certainty that memory fails. Memory fails, leaving blanks, and memory fails by filling blanks mistakenly. In filling blanks mistakenly, memory collaborates with forces separate from actual past events, forces such as individual's wishes, a group's suggestions, a moment's connotations, an environment's clues, an emotion's demands, a self's evolution, a mind's manufacture of order, and yes, even a researcher's objectives." (contributer Karen Fields taken from the book Memory in African American Culture; edited by Genevieve' Fabre and Robert O Meally)
The quote here stresses an import on memory/history, and the difficulty to secure a sobriety of recollection. In other words, the story gets changed. Too often historically oppressed populations implement weathered tools that lack the torque to construct our history which can provide understanding of the world around and where we fit.

The work: We must critically review history through an objective lens. To do this requires a move beyond subjective interpretation. An entry to this process, site, sharpens our perspective. Now we dispense the habit to react, which keeps us on virtual. The critical lens suggest we question everything. There are no sacred cows: no institution that shapes individual perception and culture is excluded. EVERYTHING we've been taught and exposed to under this rule-of-law-government is culprit to how we arrive at what it means to be Colored, Negro, Black, African, American, etc. (Humanity is rarely included at this juncture). Our 'collective identity' is a reaction to survive.

The result? To be black in America? A Frankenstein monster. We wonder through the village, experienced as a threat, and therefore we must be eliminated! Look, It's up to black people to quicken our thinking about self. To break from a psychology that chains healthy identity formation. And to build with new tools, not rebuild. You ever try to use a key on a safe? You need a combination, right? It means we must consult 'multiple sources', read, research, study, and stop allowing television and the machinations of modern technology to define our being.

Finally: Humanity isn't a barter. Humanity cannot be litigated. And our legacy of faith and prayer cannot fertilize a recalcitrant, unyielding field hardened by greed. Our harvest lives within. Its bounty is 2021. A new day. A different lens. You must write your own prescription for that vision: Humanity

2021 is that portel. HUMANITY MATTERS!"

Nikki Brown w/Yugen Rashad & HealthyBirth Initiatives at Columbia City Park.

This is a needed drop of Black History through the lens of murals. Spearheaded by a group of muralist, the late sculptor Charles Tatum, Isaka Shamsud-Din, and many others. I discovered Brother Shakur and myself in the clip. Wow.

Albina Murals

Yugen wants everyone to have a chance to buy affordable, healthy food in their neighborhood or feel safe exercising in their local park.

Yugen Rashad 

On Religion!

       Organized religion fails in its mission to ensure every human being matters.

These traditions often fail to reach the disenfranchised in a quantitative, qualitative

manner as evidenced by recent tragic events ( Connecticut, China, and Clackamas

County). Perpetrators of these acts were individuals betrayed by "Amerikan" culture.

       Our society must uniformly embrace every individual:  air, blood and bones,

period.  For sure, we now understand what disenfranchisement looks like and how

it behaves in the built environment: i. e. on the street where you live. Music is not

only for entertainment but for healing the wounded, the hurt, & the disenfranchised.

This "universal vibe," and our connection to each other, honors the harmony we

endeavor to achieve in the social contract embedded in society. 

       By never meeting a stranger and not being choked by fear of an apocalypse

preached by pundits and organized religion. The cul-de-sac created by religious

fear creates unintentional disparities among us. Any ideology or movement that

creates division among us... count me out and remove my name from your list serv.

        Frankly Beverly featuring Maze wrote a song WE ARE ONE.

Thank You G-d, Allah, Jehovah, Jesus, Buddha, and any and all idenitifiers of the


I love you, Yugen

Yugen Fardan Rashad  @yugenfardan

        Seeks transformative moments; getting past any self-imposed 'mask'; to
         land-shared values and common goals through intentional engagement.
        Yugen has been writing and contributing his work and insights in the
        Alliance for many years.


More About Yugen

Grew up in the country with a jazz sensibility; splits time living in secular, spiritual, and art world(s).  Serious about making it about the 'other', and encourages people to live outside comfort zones, experience life more broadly, and contribute mightily to community life.

Contact Info:

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