A Grain of Sand: Music for the Struggle of Asians in America, a 1973 Paredon Records release, is widely recognized as the first album of Asian American music. Chris Kando Iijima, Joanne Nobuko Miyamoto, and William “Charlie” Chin deliver their activist message through simply–recorded acoustic guitars and vocals, with the occasional accompaniment of bongos, bass, and di zi, a Chinese flute. Soul, jazz, and blues elements are interwoven in the American folk style of the songs. The artists were also influenced by their solidarity with African American and Latin American social movements; for example, their musical collaboration with Puerto Rican duo Flora y Pepe and exposure to Latino artists while living in New York. The liner notes include a political statement by the musicians, lyrics, and a list of Asian American publications from the era:
The album Yellow Pearl released on Paredon was the poetic and groundbreaking “A Grain of Sand: Music for the Struggle by Asians in America,” which included anthems like “We Are the Children” and “Free the Land,” featuring backing vocals from Mutulu Shakur (his stepson, Tupac Shakur, sang along to “A Grain of Sand” as a child, according to Smithsonian Folkways Magazine). It was recorded in two and a half days at a small New York studio and that no-frills spontaneity brings the music alive still.
The National Acupuncture Detoxification (NADA) is a not-for-profit training and advocacy organization, encourages community wellness through the use of a standardized auricular acupuncture protocol for behavioral health, including addictions, mental health, and disaster & emotional trauma. This organization originated from Dr. Mutulu Shakur’s development and use of what is now known as the NADA protocol to treat heroin and methadone addiction. Thousands of healers continue to be trained through NADA to carry on this healing work in communities all over the world. Due to Dr. Shakur’s foundational role in bringing acupuncture to underserved communities in NYC, organizations such as NADA support his freedom.
July 26 – 8pm EST Dr. Lorena White on Women’s Health
August 2 – 8pm EST ‘Meet Our Elders’ feat. Dr. Tolbert Small, the renowned People’s Doctor and Acupuncturist in Oakland, CA
August 9 – 1pm EST ‘Meet Our Elders’ feat. Dr. Shadidi Kinsey, Dr. Shakur’s former student and acupuncturist at PEACE Health Center in Brooklyn, NY
August 16 – 8pm EST Alison Reid-Bretell, Herbologist
Learn more about this fabulous medicine we all love. Ask us questions and get to know your melanated healers. What’s better than the gift of health, wellness, and peace of mind? Be sure to check the bottom of your confirmation email to get the link for the Zoom meeting!
Last week, Watani Tyehimba of the Friends and Family of Dr. Mutulu Shakur joined Sean Blackmon and Jacquie Luqman to discuss the effort to get compassionate release for life-long radical organizer Mutulu Shakur, his recent diagnosis of life-threatening bone marrow cancer and medical mistreatment while incarcerated, and what people can do to spread the word about Dr. Shakur’s condition.
“By Any Means Necessary” on Radio Sputnik is hosted by Sean Blackmon and Jacquie Luqman and aims to connect the political, social and economic movements shaping the world around us. With a sensibility informed by movements from Black Power to #BlackLivesMatter with a dash of Occupy, the show elevates the people and narratives that (while often ignored) are driving some of the most important changes in the world.