About the cover photography of my first chapbook…

My mother took the photo on the cover on my first chapbook, the adolescence of the cool. And the first person who would not consider my mother a photographer would be my darkroom-building father. In that sense, the photo is an anti-photograph for anti-book cover. From a professional book marketing perspective, the cover I designed for my chapbook is a bricks-and-mortar retail disaster.

second printing of the adolescence of the cool

The first problem is the dark-colored “nothingness” that is the top third of the book. There is no author name, no title, no arresting image. It is doomed to sit on the shelves overlooked. This is exactly what I want to communicate because—for most of my relatively-incredible, Black-American life—I have been that overlooked dark color just sitting there (and I am talking about everyday interactions with everyday people). I do not make this statement for pity or sympathy because I can tell you from Blues-experience there is none.

What my father would find very, very difficult to do (because he is so formal, professional and technical) is capture a real, slice-of-life moment. What my mother did with ease in the photo is capture a moment in my life from my youth that even I would forget about were it not for her motherly intrusiveness.

I am sitting in the back of her 1979 Ford Fairmont. She is about to give me this car. But for one last time I am sitting in the backseat like her sheltered, cherished child (—I learned later that such a child is enviously hated by most women raised not-so-sheltered and not-so cherished by their mother). She captures an expression on my face that I have never seen before but I know well how I feel when I have it. I was feeling at least three things simultaneously.

I was slightly irritated that my mother is yet again turning on me with a camera to take a picture of her precious child. But because I was raised in the Old School of Black motherhood I cannot openly disrespect my mother so I am suppressing that young-man impulse. At the age of 16 I started meditating in what I assumed was the Paramahansa Yogananda style of self realization (my mother was not going to let me hang out with a “cult” so I just read his book in complete isolation). So by the time that photo was taken, 21 or 22, I was relatively connected with what is called in English a “spiritual” part of myself.

But I knew my connection was not traditionally Black American. I was always an outsider. I was both rebellious and embracing of my family’s relationship with Christianity—just like my mother actually. Her photo also captured a sense of self-pity (my chapbook documents this in the ‘self-pity portraits’). My mother turned on me to take the photo like some great moment was taking place. But I felt quite insignificant, staring off into a void just south of Bliss.

Now that I am over two decades older than when that photo was taken (with children of my own) I now understand that my mother was taking a picture of a great moment—a great moment for herself well deserved. Although penniless, her youngest son was a college graduate. He has done everything that was asked of him—never gave her that much trouble—and the LAPD had not molested let alone murdered him. This young man represents years upon years of investment, nurturing and development. He is a product of a Black community that crumbled around him in fragments of crack cocaine. Yes, he is the heir of very impressive, formidable Black men but without the womanhood and the motherhood he would be nothing. That innocent and pure look on his face (that I found out later can be quite despised by some of my sisters in spite of their “wishes” to better people) is genuine—and it was mother that made it so.

Amazon.com product

So my rebellious book cover for the adolescence of the cool is a Blues cover. How many other Black women groomed young men so excellently only to have them overlooked, obscure—some dark cover on some lonesome shelf without a voice? (Again, I am not talking about being overlooked by the Hollywood-fame world; I am talking about that social space that some mistakenly call “community” and mislabel as “intimacy.”) This mother’s photograph sits at the bottom of the dark space of the cover and the photograph itself is “her baby”, sitting alone in the backseat of a car with the pitch black of the windows, dotted with only hints of light. It is a typical, fractal African expression: bottom-ness sitting within bottom-ness.

So what does Miles Davis have to do with this? Well, Miles put this Blues thang out called Birth of the Cool. My “arrogant” optimism said my development as a “spiritual” person and as—what we call in English—an artist represented the adolescence of the cool. A collection of poetry from my 20s is really a summary of my adolescence when we get African-conservative about humans in time. So the title of my collection and that bottom-position on the cover of the title itself—in that playful typeface—represents the optimism that is strangely imbued in much of the Blues. (And, by the way, it is because of Amiri Baraka, his Black Arts Movement, that I am so able to freely mix Blues and poetry.)

That playful typeface, by the way (again), reminds me of how my mother used to label Tupperware in the kitchen with a magic marker (my mother’s handwriting was way, way better than what’s expressed in the typeface—so this font is more like me trying to label things with my mother marker). Her handwriting was so energetic, happy and optimistic.

Oh yeah: in typical Bryan fashion, I overlooked the obvious: everything I worked on in school, every formal project I completed as a “gifted” child was first reviewed by my mother. So the Blues here is that because my mother now suffers from dementia she will never be able to review this collection of poetry. I was too busy trying to be an adult while the poems were being written to share them with my mother. And now it’s too late.

Songhay Studio: second printing of “the adolescence of the cool,” my chapbook, will be based on open source software

The folks at CafePress.com stopped offering print-on-demand services for books in or shortly after the fall of 2013. It is possible that I was notified that change was taken place but it has come to me (a few days ago) as a surprise.

My only CafePress.com title, “the adolescence of the cool,” was designed in Adobe InDesign 2.0 on virtual machine I built to support my ‘legacy’ investments in Adobe/Macromedia software. To make my life even more interesting, this virtual machine is effectively lost on a corrupted Western Digital Passport drive.

the adolescence of the cool in Scribus on Ubuntu

So, I could build another virtual machine and live in the past or I could bite the bullet (again) and invest in a possible future (that is rapidly shrinking for me). This future is open source software (and hardware). I have decided to use Scribus (which is crappy, compared to InDesign 2.0, but more than enough for a little chapbook)—for the second printing. My screenshot of Scribus on my Ubuntu virtual machine looks damn near glamorous in a 1990s desktop publishing sort of way. Scribus is just about as decent as my last copy of Corel Draw! (in terms of desktop publishing features)—and you not knowing what Corel Draw! Is reveals just how old and how long I’ve been doing this… whatever this is…

Here’s a few Scribus bullets just in case a search engine finds them:

  • My number-one gripe with Scribus is its failure to remember child-window/palette positions. The GIMP excels at this—another open source tool, by the way.
  • Scribus should continue to be a front end for PDF generation—to meet and exceed Adobe Acrobat.
  • For some reason Scribus will make copies of my styles—I still cannot figure out how it’s doing this.
  • Scribus should not bother with competing with Adobe InDesign until it can match Aldus PageMaker—especially in the user experience around flowing text.

There are around 20 people on earth who have the first printing of this book. These people definitely do not know it, but they possess a potential collector’s item! In typical, flaky, artsy/emotional chaos, I cannot find any copies of the first printing for my private collection!

“The number of police killings since #Ferguson, in one map” and other Twinks…

The Stream [AJStream] The number of police killings since #Ferguson, in one map [vox.com] [twitter.com]

the kinte space [KinteSpace] Death of a Young Black Journalist [newyorker.com]

aja monet [aja_monet] movement organizing requires literature that liberates. ideas should be floating mid air whenever we speak, engaging thought & feeling.

the kinte space [KinteSpace] Feminism started with the Buddha and Confucius 25 centuries ago [telegraph.co.uk]

Shadow And Act [shadowandact] Gina Prince-Bythewood Voices Frustration over Netflix’s Handling of ‘Beyond The Lights’ [blogs.indiewire.com] [twitter.com]

Shadow And Act [shadowandact] Before ‘Quilombo’ There Was ‘Ganga Zumba.’ Seen it? No? Watch It Now (But There’s a Catch) [blogs.indiewire.com] [twitter.com]

the kinte space [KinteSpace] Shift The Goalposts Of Disadvantage @chimurenga_za [chimurengachronic.co.za]

the kinte space [KinteSpace] Culture clash: Why the Chinese take childhood seriously [telegraph.co.uk]

Black Founders [blackfounders] Two Week’s Notice: The Black Start-Up That Began with a White Lie [atlantablackstar.com] via @atlblackstar

Tara [taraw] I work 4 @awscloud I write code 2 ensure cloud svcs can b added 2 mobile, games, IoT & DevOps #ILookLikeAnEngineer [twitter.com]

Ororo Munroe⚡️ [she_benggs]#AntiIntellectBeLike You can’t own an iPhone, white men created it. We must follow our ancestors and use talking drums to communicate

I'm too old for this [davewiner] The bad news on Apple’s stock is only beginning. [marketwatch.com]

the kinte space [KinteSpace] The New Stereotype is creating positive imagery of the black man [blavity.com] @blavity

the kinte space [KinteSpace] patriarchy is poverty: #NiUnaMenos [youtube.com] #AJStream

the kinte space [KinteSpace] we are working on new version of [kintespace.com] … please bear with us… J’ah jireh…

the kinte space [KinteSpace] Learning while black: the reality of selective sympathy in our schools [blavity.com]

Althea Champagnie [Champagnie] College Textbook Prices Have Risen 1,041 Percent Since 1977 [nbcnews.com] [twitter.com]

the kinte space [KinteSpace] Tracking Earth’s changing magnetic field using South African hut fires [arstechnica.com]

the kinte space [KinteSpace] Author Marlon James [youtube.com] #ajstream

the kinte space [KinteSpace] redesign/upgrade of [kintespace.com] home page almost done [codepen.io] @tmrDevelops @megafunkmega @JuneCarol_E

the kinte space [KinteSpace] racist football fans: 13 yr old girl calls out “ape” [youtube.com]

the kinte space [KinteSpace] both @aishatyler and @MaronzioVance started podcasting in 2011 but Maronzio started earlier, in the winter [maronziovance.podbean.com]

the kinte space [KinteSpace] here is @aishatyler, her first episode [girlonguy.libsyn.com] @MaronzioVance @EdGreerDestroys

Bryan D. Wilhite [BryanWilhite]@EdGreerDestroys I am glad you and @MaronzioVance talk comics and not-quite-informed Black history on your podcasts, keep it up!

Ed Greer [EdGreerDestroys]@BryanWilhite: @EdGreerDestroys here is one I wrote in 2008: [kintespace.com] …any remarks?” This one’s for you babe @kleethepimp

the kinte space [KinteSpace] Samuel Delany and the Past and Future of Science Fiction [newyorker.com]

the kinte space [KinteSpace] favorite soul spices [youtube.com] @sweetpotatosoul @megafunkmega

the kinte space [KinteSpace] Aris Latham explains why the chronic is toxic [youtube.com]

the kinte space [KinteSpace] Google Straps Aclima Sensors To Street View Cars To Map Air Pollution [science.slashdot.org]

the kinte space [KinteSpace] Dr. Aris Latham recommends kalanamak Indian salt for us salt addicts [youtube.com] @OvercookedVegan

the kinte space [KinteSpace] Aris Latham, raw food chef [youtube.com] @OvercookedVegan @sweetpotatosoul

the kinte space [KinteSpace] overcooked vegan episode #4 [youtube.com] @megafunkmega

the kinte space [KinteSpace] VernissageTV PDF Magazine No. 31: Venezia [vernissage.tv] @another_africa @vernissagetv

June Edmonds [JuneCarol_E]@BryanWilhite thank you!! [twitter.com]

Flippant remarks about my birthday and Kwame Turé…

So it’s my birthday here on Earth as it is in the kinté space. The kinté space? Yes. This website is the very, very likely oldest, continually-running, Black/African cultural force on the Internet. I think there are about two ways to look into this: my kinté hits page and the Internet archive, its Wayback Machine.

InternetArchive.org: Wayback Machine for KinteSpace.com

The Blog in which these words appear, the rasx() context, dates back to 2005—so, again, one of the oldest Black/African voices on the Internet. —Why all of this “bragging” when my attendance at the last Blogging While Brown conference in Los Angeles went completely unnoticed?

When I turned 21 (in the 1990s), I was “bragging” about how the LAPD—or some other gang—had not murdered me. I knew the stats—the leading cause of death for Black men—and I was openly proud that all the wise ancestors that produced me survived all of the obstacles deliberately put in place.

My people perish for lack of knowledge. We all need to know the stats and we need to “brag” more and more about how we survive and sometimes thrive in what Chuck D called the “anti-nigger machine” or deeper still “intellectual Vietnam.”

The reason why a project like the kinté space would go unnoticed (especially here in the Americas) is because it is not a business. In Black Enterprise terms, the kinté space is like a very, very badly run 1980s bookstore with a dusty display in the shop window that looks abandoned but every now and then the neighborhood kids noticed a few display items moved around on the slatwall as they skateboard to the bus stop (okay, to be fair: lately, it’s been about 50,000 “neighborhood kids” a month).

Another way to look at the kinté space is like a really, really obscure house of couture. The house is run by seamstress that does work-for-hire sewing for other people—other more famous, financially wealthy people. Yes, I am that couture seamstress. I even have my own website with notes about threads. But I don’t own an overpriced fragrance that can make up for the money spent on runway shows.

Amazon.com product


“What is he talking about?”

Here’s my point: yes, it’s my birthday and I am older than most Black people who care to use the Internet properly. I understand that sometimes I am treated like “the old man at the club” in that Chris Rock joke. Instead of staying in my little world I research what is going on in other worlds. My research encourages me to continue badly-running kintespace.com until I am unable to do so. I have a few new ideas on the way and would like to try them out in near future.

When the kintespace.com is as popular as netnoir.com was or bossip.com has recently been then you know there has been foundational shift in Black world culture. The balance of power between the political/aesthetical poles of Haiti and the Dominican Republic has shifted back to Haiti, you dig?


Next stop: Kwame Turé. He died when he was 57. I look forward to my 57th year, “bragging” about not being murdered by kale stalks in a kinté space future…

A rare non-exchange un-between @liberatormag and @KinteSpace

Starting with Brian Kasoro and a few others that I am literally unable to name, Liberator Magazine has been one of the most consistent supporters of what I’ve been struggling with here in the kinté space. My relatively recent appearance on Twitter as @KinteSpace has been supported most enthusiastically by @liberatormag, making my Twitter experience pleasant.

But one day I went too far.

The @liberatormag Twitter account (I do not know exactly who is posting for @liberatormag at any given time) posted a link to an educational tool around a subject near and dear to my heart. So, you can see from my archive of the non-exchange, I began to send multiple messages about this educational subject to @liberatormag. These messages were not explicitly requested by @liberatormag. I just sent them—one after another.

When I first appeared on Twitter, I engaged in this behavior with at least two (supposedly female) Twitter accounts. These accounts blocked my account immediately, based in the context (evidently) that I “assaulted” them within some patriarchal/anti-patriarchal gender-political context. I learned very quickly to non-engage with such folk and since I have been alive for decades in the United States, without being put in handcuffs once, I can non-interact with people very, very well.

But I was too comfortable with @liberatormag.

A rare non-exchange un-between @liberatormag and @KinteSpace (Twinks without links)

What I am seeing from my curated ‘Twinks’ is me tweeting directly to a Twitter account while said Twitter account does not refer to my account directly, yet appears to directing messages to it because of the coincidence of Twitter-timeline context. I then use @KinteSpace to state that I perceive what is going on and then I stop. I’m done with that exchange.

What is important for me to remember is how folks these days not speak to each other. People (and by “people” I mean adults) appear to be so “smart” or so “busy” that they don’t have the time to respectfully tell another person that their presence is not welcome. It seems (perhaps) to be based on the assumption that the person asserting themselves is supposed to know that they should not speak unless they are spoken to—which is something I thought only mothers told their children.

Or (perhaps) it is more like the boss that is too timid to fire people and they just “hope” they go away… Enough with the guessing!

You see, kids, “my world” on the Web starts with the CompuServe forum (which existed before the Web)—not the fucking nightclub. I have this old man’s habit of thinking that I can just talk to anyone in the world about any subject (in a debatably “appropriate” context) just because I am on the Internet. I think the Internet is an extension of a college campus and not the military technology that it formed its genesis.

I habitually and too often erroneously see the Internet as a tool for the free exchange of ideas. I am reminded continually that it’s more like a tool for hierarchical, monetized socialization—based on New York night-life traditions, replicated throughout the urbanizing world. (This petty clique shit is also happening in the hard-core tech world as well.)

The Internet never had people in it—and now it’s probably out of ideas as well…

The bigger picture: Twinks are better than comments!

One of the things I learned very quickly in the hard-core tech wired world is that few folks are motivated to leave comments on your Blog unless they get the feeling people other than you will see their words. So, for the most part, you have people pretending to talk to you, talking around you for the sake of the larger “community.” Jeff Atwood’s StackOverflow.com addressed this situation head on and formalized this practice with positive effect.

What Twitter also provides, as a monetizing hierarchical socializing platform, is a centralized way to talk around people on a planetary scale. When the “Black Twitter” people are not talking to me, they often say the most interesting things (because when folks are talking to me these days it is mostly, “wha?” “huh?” and other North American hep-cat interjections). So, instead of complaining (more), I can sincerely demonstrate my respect for others (while they have no respect for me—okay, that was unfair of me) by ‘curating’ their Twitter tweets into Twitter-links or Twinks.

I built a crappy Twinks-building system (for myself) that utilizes Microsoft Azure in places. I use this system to turn tweets back into old-school Blog posts by dragging and dropping a stream-of-consciousness ‘collage’ of tweets into one big glob of HTML.

To me, Twinks take a snapshot in time—an image of my composition—of the history of the social-media world. It became quite clear to me how important this work is (for me) when the Ferguson, Missouri murder scandal broke out.

Twinks may also help to answer questions my adult children may have about why their father died sad and alone with his “dogmatic” ideas.