A few weekends ago, (10/18/13) I had the pleasure to once again enjoy a free concert performance at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex on our CSULA campus, and I have to say, if you’ve never experienced a show here, please do! This time around I saw the sister soul act from France, Les Nubians. The show was phenomenal! The energy these women displayed reached out and swallowed up the audience transporting us to a dreamland of the feminine eternal where love reigned supreme and critical analysis trumped shallow vanity. I bobbed in my seat, playing a game of translation in my head to decipher not only the words they sang, but also their meanings. Since I speak more Franglish than I do French, I had my work cut out for me.
I understood probably 65% of what was being said in French the entire night, but the moment both women in Les Nubians raised their clenched fists overhead to salute the family of Trayvon Martin, everyone got the message. They continued to urge the audience not to forget the struggle for social justice and the need for a revolution. At that moment I felt a rush of emotions; pride, renewed rage…solidarity. These mother, art-ducaters** were on stage once again raising awareness around the same issues they addressed 15 years ago on their debut album Les Nubiennes Princesses. They were drawing parallels on the social and political climates of America to that of a quickly regressing France. All of this in between every two to three music sets performed, and how they did perform! A few songs resonated with me in the way we all know music can, touching gently and leaving an impression on you that will last far after the song ends. When the poem/song “Je Suis Une Femme**,” was delivered, I am certain every self identified woman in the room felt a sense of pride and power as Les Nubians sang of women as the only separation between man and God; the perpetuators of humanity.
They shook our senses and awakened our emotions with music, then planted seeds in the subconscious mind surrounding women’s rights, racism, female majesty, food and social justice, immigration reform and humanity’s need for love. By the latter half of the show the artists were barefoot, dancing their way through dancehall reggae and (masaka) rhythms with the audience, myself included, taking part. Even with a language barrier between over half of the audience and themselves, Les Nubians transcended through their music and delivered a truly magical show
It has been a few weeks since graduation celebrations have come to a close and if you were a graduating senior, you may be experiencing what I like to call “graduation blues.” This ailment shows symptoms such as; perpetual state of melancholy, anxiety, frequent social media torture, as well as slight case of existential depression. But why is it that some of us feel this way? The completion of a college degree is meant to be a milestone accomplishment on our journey of life fulfillment, right? So why does it feel like we’re drifting in this huge ocean of doubt on a skipper made of fear?
I don’t have to point out the rate in which social media has changed the ways in which we interact with others and even ourselves. Our culture seems to promote what I call a “fast food lifestyle.” We have access to all of this information and stimulation, but no real meaning in them. Facebook, and Instagram dominate our means for interaction, even down to the way we are measured by future employers! We follow people on social media sites to compare ourselves to our newly defined “friends,” as a means of self torture. While we’re in school, we feel like we’re working towards a goal. We have a vision of accomplishing the task of graduating and expect this overwhelming sense of achievement and elation upon completing. Now that our elation and relief is replaced by concern and angst about our future, we seem to be on edge. We’ve become so worried about finding that “good job” that our parents are pushing us to find, getting into or being denied from our dream grad and professional schools, chasing the good life that we see flashed all over our Instagram through images of our “friends” seemingly constant vacations that we have forgotten one thing…
Life is an individual sport.We’ve gotten this far by ourselves! That is not to say that we didn’t have support systems, but all of the support in the world did not take that organic chemistry final for you, or stay up until 4am writing that thesis on Merton’s strain theories. The same way we worked our way towards earning a degree, we can continue to work and attain any new goal which is valuable to us. Our values drive our goals, decisions and the roads we travel in life. Instead of continuing to be caught up in our graduation blues, I challenge each of us to do a bit of self evaluation and identify our values. They can act as the guiding map on this new journey out of graduation blues and into the life we truly want.