Otta Benga, Formerly Enslaved
The Epitome of a Nubian Knight

Otta Benga, Formerly Enslaved<br>The Epitome of a Nubian Knight

Followers of Nubian Knights Network
"Thanks For The Support Everybody!!!"


"Whenever I use BLACK it relates to some history of Africans in that particular place. It’s the idea of the color BLACK as a metaphor, or as a representation of African-Americans. It’s the notion of BLACK- BLACKNESS - and all its other meanings in relation to the history of race..."

- Fred Wilson

"Most of my fortitude to continue doing the work comes from the moral outrage I feel about the injustices that Black people endure disproportionately daily."

- N. Abdul-Wakil

"In the end, what matters is not skin shade but pan-African consciousness. Loving your complexion, your nose, lips, hair length and texture, no matter what the politics or trends decide, and simply be. That's the problem with us (African folks). We're still learning how to love ourselves. So used to glorifying others and putting others first..."

- Dredlocks Tree

The REEL Black Same Gender Loving Filmography Resource (A 24/7 ONLINE FILM DATABASE)

The REEL Black Same Gender Loving Filmography Resource (A 24/7 ONLINE FILM DATABASE)
Click The Pic To Access The Film Library Database! (166 Films)
LAST UPDATE: Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Sunday, February 28, 2010

POST-Digital Diaspora Family Reunion Reflections: The RISBROOK Family
ROD's Presentation For DDFR
Sunday, Feb. 28th, 2010 (Bklyn, NY)

Hey Black Family,

I had a blast at the Digital Diaspora Family Reunion (DDFR) engagement earlier this afternoon at the Grand Army Plaza library which is the main library for Brooklyn.

I was a guest speaker and like many other hundreds of other African folk, I was given an opportunity to submit pictures of my family and what it was like growing up for me. Coupled with that, I spoke about my closeness with my cousin Marva "Marvalous" Risbrook. I am truly blessed to have her in my life as we are really close. I get to see first hand how she is a big part of the family and interacts as a mother of two great and beautiful kids (who are as close as I'll ever get to having my own kids, I think), a recent grandmother, a nurturer and just an overall beautiful spirit beyond words.

Like me, she is same gender loving (SGL), and that is the other component I got to speak about this afternoon and how that nexus have crystallized our relationship as cousins and good friends. That kinship played a catalyst in bringing up our particular segment of the African Diaspora and our sexual diverseness from INVISIBILITY to VISIBILITY and that we are all a part of the Black Family in many capacities in spite of us being minimized and our fear of judgment!!

Finally, I'm truly humbled at having the experience and have to GIVE MUCHO THANKS to three specials people: DDFR consulting producer Don Perry (thanks for being a fan of Nubian Knights Network, Don), multimedia producer Ann Bennett (it was so qool meetin' you for the first time at Third World Newsreel for those two workshops and glad we had another fun ride) and writer/producer/director Thomas Allen Harris. (Brutha man, this is a historic project, and it nice to know you have genuine heart in the digital migration of photographic stories of the African Diaspora. This project is beyond words... just sheer imagery).

ALSO, A SPECIAL, SPECIAL THANKS TO MY GOOD FRIEND DELMAR for handling the camera and shooting the footage of me dialoging with with Thomas (see below).

Thomas Allen Harris is the founder and President of Chimpanzee Productions: a company dedicated to producing unique visual experiences that illuminate the Human Condition and the search for identity, family, and spirituality. Chimpanzee's innovative and award-winning films have received critical acclaim at international festivals such Sundance, Berlin, Toronto, FESPACO, Turin, Tribeca, Rio, Outfest, Flaherty and Cape Town; and have been broadcast on PBS, the Sundance Channel, ARTE, as well as CBC, Swedish Broadcasting Network and New Zealand Television. In addition, Mr. Harris' video and installations have been featured at prestigious museums and galleries, including the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Biennial, Corcoran Gallery, Reina Sophia and London Institute of the Arts. Mr. Harris is a recipient of numerous fellowships and awards including the United States Artist Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, Rockefeller Fellowship, as well as CPB/PBS, and Sundance Directors Fellowships. A graduate of Harvard College, Mr. Harris lectures widely on the use of media as a tool for social change.

Writer/Producer/Director Thomas Allen Harris

Ann Bennett (Multimedia Producer) and Thomas Allen Harris
All Photography © 2010 ROD PATRICK RISBROOK

Nubian Knights Network Founder ROD PATRICK RISBROOK
Discussing With Thomas Allen Harris About Growing Up
With His Family And The Importance Of The
Black Same Gender Loving Community Being Affirmed
By The Larger Black Community
And Not Being JUDGED

About DDFR and the Video...

Digital Diaspora Family Reunion (DDFR) is a community engagement initiative that maps African Diasporic Photography across time, place, and genre. Using the power of new and emerging interactive platforms, the exciting stories of Black photography will be made accessible technologically, geographically, and culturally to current and future generations.

In this particular video segment, I (ROD PATRICK RISBROOK) talk with DDFR creator and moderator Thomas Allen Harris about the images I submitted to the project . We also touched on the Black Same-Gender-Loving or SGL experience within the African Diaspora and what that means for me.

The term Same Gender Loving (homosexual, bisexual & transgender) emerged in the early 90s to offer Black women who love Black women and Black men who love Black men (and other people of color) a way of identifying that resonated with the uniqueness of Black life and culture. Before this, many African descended people, knowing little about their history regarding homosexuality and bi-sexuality had taken on European symbols and identifications as a means of embracing their sexuality(ies): Greek lambdas, German pink triangles, the White-gay-originated rainbow flag, in addition to the terms gay and lesbian.

SGL has served as a wake up call for African descended people to acknowledge diverse ways of loving and sexualities and has provided an opportunity for Blacks and other people of color to claim, nurture and honor their significance within their families and communities.

MY FAMILY And Growing Up...

ME On My "Horsie" When I Was A Little Shorty
(Notice The Pictures On The Wall Taken By
My Brother Reggie. He Was Quite The Photographer)

ME And MOM Smiling For The Camera

My Mom Giving ME A LOVE KISS (Christmas Time)

My Mom And Me At Christmas Chillin' Together

ME With My Yellow Corvette Racing Car Which Had Pedals

ME Playing With My Toys!

My Dad And My Mom With ME

ME On My Red Fire Engine Toy
With My Two Older Brothers

MY Two Brothers (Erine and Reggie) With
Reggie Holding ME At Kaiser Park In Coney Island

ME (left) With My Boyhood Friend Marvin (right).
His Family Was Close With My Family.
We Were Goo Friends Up Until Our Teenage Years

My Mom And ME!

ME (Early 1970s) Posing With A Camera
(Nah, It Wasn't My Camera)

ME (ROD) And My Cousin Marva.
We're Real Close And Being "Same Gender Loving"
Make Us Closer As Cousins!

Tonja & Marva (My Cousin)

Marva & Tonja's Hands

Tonja & Marva

My Cousin Marva (Center)
With Her Two Kids Jason (left) and Jessica (right).
Beautiful Kids And Probably As Close As
I'll Ever Come To Having my Own Kids

Daughter Jessica And Momma Marva


I Loved The Picture Of Me As Little Kid So Much
That I Re-created It By Self-Portrait In April of 2007
And Put The Two Images Together Side By Side.
I Thought It Was Pretty Damn Qool! LOL!

Pictured From Left To Right:
Aunt Mame, Cousin Marva & Tonja (Partners),
Cousin Jessica, A Friend Of The Family
And Cousin Jason

Congress Reauthorizes Patriot Act, Sidesteps Privacy Concerns

Friday 26 February 2010
by: Kyle Berlin, t r u t h o u t | Report

Congress Reauthorizes Patriot Act, Sidesteps Privacy Concerns

Under pressure from the White House and Republicans, a bill to extend three key provisions of the Patriot Act was passed by the House Thursday with little discussion or debate and sent to President Obama, who is expected to immediately sign it into law.

The bill passed with an overwhelming majority, 315-97, and will allow law enforcement and intelligence officials to continue to compel private businesses to turn over records; track non-government entities, such as terrorist organizations; and use so-called “roving wiretaps,” which can be set up regardless of whether the line being tapped is sometimes used for legitimate purposes. The provisions in the bill would be extended until February 28, 2011, and are set to expire this Sunday.

Both chambers passed the measure swiftly—the Senate voted for it on Wednesday—after Democrats agreed to drop greater restrictions and oversight on domestic spying programs.

“I would have preferred to add oversight and judicial review improvements to any extension of expiring provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) in a statement.

The Democrats, facing a looming deadline and a potential filibuster in the Senate, backed away from many key provisions concerning congressional oversight in what is seen by critics as a blow to both the party and civil liberties.

In the House, only a few Congressmen, including Jerrold Nadler (D-New York) and Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) came out in public opposition to the bill.

“As Members of Congress sworn to protect the rights and civil liberties afforded to us by the Constitution, we have a responsibility to exercise our oversight powers fully, and significantly reform the PATRIOT Act, ensuring that the privacy and civil liberties of all Americans are fully protected,” Kucinich said in a statement. “More than eight years after the passage of the PATRIOT Act, we have failed to do so.”

Republicans have been hammering Democrats on issues of national security for months, including the decision to try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad in federal court, as well as the moving of the remaining inmates in Guantanamo Bay Prison to a prison in the US.

Leahy introduced the legislation in November, and it follows further revelations of domestic wiretapping that took place during the Bush Administration, including a January report from the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General on the FBI’s use of “exigent letters” to obtain phone records without judicial oversight or a subpoena.

After high-level officials in the FBI and White House discovered the practice in 2006, they issued 11 National Security Letters - an administrative subpoena demanding that an organization turn over data about an individual - in an attempt to "try to 'cover' or validate the improperly obtained records," according to the report.

Attorney General Eric Holder, in a letter to Leahy expressing his “strong support” of the Patriot Act Extension, wrote that NSLs, “remain a critical tool of national security investigations.”

They were a topic of heated debate in both the House and the Senate.

“These letters, issued with no court oversight, have been used to obtain all sorts of material, and have been joined with gag orders on the recipients that were recently struck down by the courts,” Nadler said. “I hope that this vote today will not stop my colleagues from continuing to improve our intelligence gathering laws.”

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) attempted to add an amendment to the bill that would have reformed the way NSLs can be used. Senators Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) and Arlen Specter (D-Pennsylvania) were unsuccessful in adding an amendment to not reauthorize the so-called “lone wolf” power, which permits surveillance of targets with no ties to foreign powers.

Feingold was, however, able to add an amendment that would limit the records the government can keep while using NSLs. He was also the only Senator to vote against the original Patriot Act legislation passed in 2001.

Both the House and the Senate are working on bills that would extend and reform the Patriot Act, but remain at an impasse on which powers the government should be able to retain, and how to oversee how those powers are being exercised.

The House version of the bill would eliminate the “lone wolf” power, while the Senate would simply reauthorize existing authorities. The bills, both of which passed through committee and await floor action, contain significant oversight of these powers. Democratic lawmakers could now potentially push action on the bill until after the midterm elections in what has already proven to be a costly battle on national security.

Shahid Buttar, executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, told Truthout he is troubled that lawmakers passed the bill without discussing any of the privacy concerns raised by civil libertarians.

Congress "doesn't seem to have any appreciation for its role as a body meant to check and balance the executive," Buttar said. "This is simply a straight reauthorization of a law that was in effect when [George W. Bush] was in office," Buttar said. "Since then, we had three Inspectors General reports documenting abuse. There's not even a hint or a scratch of civil liberties protections. Congress is simply issuing another blank check."