Early last year, I ran across a review written by a Dr. Adams Bodomo, the professor of African Studies at the University of Vienna (Austria). A book by author Don Wyatt, The Blacks of Premodern China, had been critiqued by Dr. Bodomo, and I admired his sharp insights.
I had only read a few chapters of Wyatt's book, but I was likewise critical of many of his theories on the origins of black folks in China prior to 1912 (when its modern era began). So on a lark, very late on the evening of January 31st, I sent Professor Bodomo a link to my photo essay "Ancient Chinese Secret." When I awoke the next morning, there was a brief reply.
With nothing in the way of fanfare, Dr. Bodomo opened by referring to my essay as "a wonderful piece of writing." Immediately after, he introduced the name of his associate, Professor Li Anshan, who he described as "the best historian on African issues in China."
He also mentioned where I might read some of Anshan's work. (By way of a Google search, I learned that Anshan is a professor at Peking University's School of International Studies. He's also the director of the university's African Studies program.)
Assuming that I might be familiar with the work of the African American historian and world traveler Runoko Rashidi, he also introduced his name into his note.
Ironically, I'd actually sent Runoko a link to the essay right after I sent it to Dr. Bodomo.
Runoko is someone with whom I've been acquainted for a decade. He even republished one of my essays in his 2012 book, African Star Over Asia: The Black Presence in the East (Books of Africa, UK).
I thanked the professor for his kind reply and went on with my day. Later that evening, I checked my stats on Medium...and saw that the page hits on my essay had gone up by about 1,500 new views, over the 950 it had slowly picked up after the piece was posted on November 28.
By Sunday evening, the stats reflected an even more surprising new total of 7.3 thousand views. (As of this posting, the count has just reached 13 thousand views.)
I've yet to write to confirm to whom it was that Dr. Bodomo sent the piece, but it seems that someone of influence liked it, and then shared it.
Benny Luo, the founder of the Nextshark website, saw the piece when it was shared by one of his contacts on Facebook. He tracked down my profile page and messaged me to ask if I was the author of the work. When I confirmed that it was in fact my piece, he asked if he could syndicate it on Nextshark.
Nextshark is an online magazine focused on business, tech, and culture, targeting Asian millennials around the globe. It averages about 3 million unique views per month. (See: site FAQs)
He offered some info about the site and I mentioned that I was already a fan of one of Nextshark's editors, whom I follow on Facebook. I also told him that I'd be pleased to have them syndicate my piece.
The next day, Benny told me to send a headshot and a 2-3 sentence bio. As of February 5, my photo essay currently on the Medium site is also being featured on Nextshark. The page views there are likely to be astronomical.
At the moment, I'm just tryna wrap my head around how quickly it all happened. But I'm happy the essay has finally found its audience. If I do say so myself, it is a wonderful piece of writing.
LOL! Fight me.
Remember when I wondered here on this humble lil' blog if my Blade fan art piece somehow made an impact on the naming of the last Underworld movie? Well, ol' Tinsel Town has really got my spider-sense tingling now; those wack-ass swagger jackers bit my $#%&!
If you haven't seen it yet, check out the teaser trailer for next year's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse film. When you're done with that, puh-leeze check out my pulse-pounding post over on vocal.media where I ask: Did Awesome Fan Art Inspire the Remarkable Look of 2018's Animated 'Spider-Man' Movie?
And lemme know if you agree, true believers.
Girl from the Pacified South
Among the countless inquiries often provoked by this still strange and wondrous world (right up there with Do UFOs exist?, Who drank the last of the milk?, and Honey, do I look fat in these jeans?), the question of whether black Chinese people exist seems to be one of the most enduring.
The circumstances that have given birth to this question are many, not the least of them maybe having much to do with the unexpected appearance of the half-black and half-Thai sports phenomenon Tiger Woods on golf courses and Nike commercials some two decades ago.
Unsatisfied with the attempts made by others to offer a definitive answer to this question, this researcher has tossed his own hat into the ring. The surprising answer — an 11 minute read complete with 14 pulse-pounding photos — can be read over on Medium by clicking here.
Press play on your favorite Wu-Tang album and give it a look.
– Eric B. & Rakim
It's been quite the year, let me tell you. And while I haven't been writing much on YKFS, the cyber-foot traffic still manages to be impressive. I thank everyone who's stumbled upon this humble blog, and I sincerely appreciate all o' yous' who decide to return from time to see what's new.
Oh, and I have been writing. Just not here.
As the views on this site began creeping up to 100,000 back in June of this year (a milestone I'd forgotten to even acknowledge, doh!), I realized that it was finally time to start branching out as a writer and to expand my influence as an...influencer.
Damn skippy, I got influence. And sooomebody owes me some shoes. Uh huh, I see you, Onitsuka. I see you. *Side eye*
Anywho, in a remarkably short amount of time it all came together. After years of mostly giving away mah creative jewels for free-ninety-nine, as of today yours truly is a freelance writer for two different websites, MoviePilot/Creators and Comic Book Resources. Cool, huh?
And no, I'm not exactly making Eric B. & Rakim money (see: Paid in Full), but whatever I'm making will cover the cost of an out-of-control comic book habit. So if you haven't seen anything new posted to YKFS, feel free to check me out from time to time here and here.
'Enter the Dragon And His Allies' comic strip one-sheet, circa 1973 (It's okay, fam–Act like you knew)
Enter the Dragon and His Allies is the semi-clunky title used for the one-sheet comic strip that was packed into the press kit for the 1973 Bruce Lee film Enter the Dragon. I always wanted to have this in my collection, but could never find a reasonably priced copy in good condition, or a good scan of the page. When I got over it and wasn't looking for it anymore though, I happened across a great scan that some super cool soul uploaded to the interwebs. If you've never seen or heard of Enter the Dragon and His Allies before – or if you too have wanted to have a decent digital copy for your archive, here it is. Click the image below to download and enjoy.
You know, I don't remember the tunes on the The Brady Kids cartoon going H.A.M. like this. I hardly recall there being a Brady-related 'toon at all, actually. But there was one, and the unbelievably funky "Drummer Man," sung by the very familiar sounding TV show cast members, is the last track on the b-side of the 1972 vinyl record (and 8-track tape) release, The Kids from the Brady Bunch.
And if I were a deejay, "Drummer Man" is a song that would be in my arsenal as a secret weapon–for b-boy battles, especially. The intro and the break on this are pretty insane, and the guitarist is workin' that wah-wah pedal to d-e-a-t-h. It's also short and sweet, too, clocking in at just over two minutes. That fact alone calls for double copies, right?
Yup, that's why I should've been born a deejay, or why I'll prolly be one in my next life. Dancers would be rocked and shocked by all the classic and obscure jams in my (presently non-existent) record crate. So in the meantime, until I'm reincarnated as 'DJ Thulsa Doom,' I'll have to be sure that my deejay pals give "Drummer Man" by The Brady Kids a listen. Non-turntablist types can download if desired by doing so below.
See related: Finger 5 - "I Want You Back"