Category: “Talking Drums”

by William “Duke” Smither “We must challenge this statement and this sentiment that the news media is the enemy of the American people. This sentiment may be the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime.” William H. McRaven,  Retired U.S. Navy 4-Star Admiral, 9th Commander U.S. Special Ops     Lessons Learned? From my childhood […]

by William “Duke” Smither “Love the life you live. Live the life you love.” – Bob Marley (a.k.a., Robert Nesta Marley, 1945–1981, Jamaican singer-songwriter, proud Rastafarian and Reggae musician extraordinaire)     Gone Too Soon… Proponents of Pan-Africanism, Ethnomusicology, and Black Music in general– but Jazz, our especially expressive music with African roots, in particular— […]

    by William “Duke” Smither ***Note:  Preview text below concerns troops preparing for a “Holy War,” as observed by “Phasael,” a Maroon Spy  (passage from novel, “BACKROADS TO ‘BETHLEHEM’: Odysseys of the Maroon Warrior, in the Shadows of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade”).        Chapter Four (Porto Calvo Rendezvous):  January 6, 1694…   […]

By William “Duke” Smither “Where I come from we say that rhythm is the soul of life, because the whole universe revolves around rhythm, and when we get out of rhythm, that’s when we get into trouble.”   — Babatunde Olatunji (Nigerian Djembefola, 1927-2003, Grammy award-winning, master-drummer, percussionist)   Talking Drums African musicians say that […]

works   “Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread.” Richard Wright (1908-1960; Mississippi-born Writer, Novelist, Poet)     The journey in writing “Backroads to ‘Bethlehem’: Odysseys of the Maroon Warrior” has been so much longer than the writing process itself– perhaps, as far back […]