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by Yugen Farad Rashan


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Yugen Rashad

Update, August 27, 2023. 
Favorites  ·   · 

Portland gave birth to an amazing music group whose blends of R&B, Funk, and Jazz became a rave! Even today, the group Pleasure continues to command interest from lovers of their music.

One of the responsibilities a purveyor of art, music, and culture is alert a public that history is on the make. September 2nd, 2023, at Revolution Hall, the group will take the stage for one night - and you want to be there! 

But with the passage of time, and aging of the population, life conspires. Efforts to secure the services of surviving members should be applauded!

In lieu of the event, tune in to my radio program that Saturday from 2pm to 5pm for a music tribute, and chat with surviving members, as a walk-up to the concert later in the evening.

The Motif: Re-Imagine A Jazz Sensibility - Saturdays 2pm to 5pm, streaming Local frequency KBOO 90.7 FM.

Pictured below are original members: Sherman Davis/vocals, Donald, Michael Hepburn-keys, Marlon McClain-guitar, Bruce Carter-drums, Bruce Smith-percussion, Nate Phillips-bass, Dan Brewster-trombone, Dennis Springer-reeds.

Bruce Carter is deceased RIP, Sherman Davis, Bruce Smith, Marlon McClain, Dan Brewster, and Donald Hepburn. Completes the list of members still with us. Surprises are good! Let's root for one!

"tune in to my radio program that Saturday from 2pm to 5pm for a music tribute, and chat with surviving members, as a walk-up to the concert later in the evening."

The Motif: Re-Imagine A Jazz Sensibility - Saturdays 2pm to 5pm, streaming Local frequency KBOO 90.7 FM.

September 2nd, 2023, at Revolution Hall, the group Pleasure will take the stage for one night - and you want to be there! Sept. 2, 2023 7:00 PM Doors Open: 6:00 PM
More Information:

Future Now...

All reactions:

14Jamilah Springer, Bob Hicks and 12 others

Black Wrinkles, Straight Face

by Yugen Rashad

My hope for younger people that identify with the noun " Black ". Listen people, one side affect of the term (Black) is the elevation of subjective thinking. Meaning, you the only one out here. Another is the idea "ghetto " talk and behavior in the public arena is the way to be. You hear the words "keepin it real". Look... we need to reconsider this term as 'hep' or valor. So let's take a closer look...

In my lifetime I believe objectivity is a better tool; when used, deploys sound perspective in a world filled with false alarms.

Here's how I reach this conclusion:

Critical thought (being objective) is a better response in practice.

Group think (subjective) lead to superfluous conclusion. Controversy, confrontation, and conflict, easily avoided by the exercise of more patience - and objective thought.

Having a chip on your shoulder (attitude) is like a heat seeking missle, with no zip code!

Additionally, we need to stop being amused by our unfocused response to the world.

And here's sound advice: There are Black people that make a living keeping you upset about life! They regurgitate slogans, histories, and terms that keep us angry, and a chip on our shoulders. After awhile, those chips become too much to carry, and we explode- over something not worth responding to in the first place. You know the cats, usually a guy. These Black Apologist make a living keeping the 'race' on alert, the world is about to explode. They detonate the bomb, they stir the pot, it is them that magnify the obvious. These cats live in a space of rage and revenge. They have a microphone, talk loud, and never open to the opinions of others. For them, its more monologue then dialogue. Try for one day to turn a deaf ear to these apologists that make money from our misery. You wont go very far in this world angry about everything! And, its unhealthy, in that your body is always at high alert, which can lead to heart and blood pressure issues. The data suggest Black people, especially men, have a higher risk of chronic, preventable illness.

This polarity in attitude 😒 is generational, too. Its passed down, but maintained by the apologist in our midst. Finally, I propose a higher level of detail:

Ghetto, is a coping mechanism deployed by poor people in crowded communities with little access to healthier food, medical support, employment and housing - (SES) decades ago to cope, keep from crying, to make light of our oppression. Now its a punch line.

So, the world didn't explode, we have more access and opportunity in society, and we can do without people (Black Apologist) that are brokers of rage and anger. We can do better! We will do better in the coming year.

Make 2023 a year to examine, shift, and practice better judgement in a world waiting for your stumble. And remember, other people face social stumbling blocks, have been historically shamed and oppressed - just as we have. Being objective opens your eyes to the exploitation of others, but also relieves one of the stressors and triggers inherent in our world for us to react to! One of the tenets of clinical practice (psychiatry) is know you are not alone!


May be a closeup of 1 person and beard

Look. A new Black Owned business will open soon in the heart of the NE community!
But...I gotta share my caveat.

For some of us, critical thinking or analysis - is like Kryptonite! Nonetheless, its important this guest be made to feel welcome.

I look at the music, movies, books - it's become a culture. A wayward propaganda, aimed at young people. This is the way to act. Stop it! Acting like television or video isn't the way to act.

And here's where critical thought is needed; look at past mistakes. Learn, and do better.

A new Black-owned business lands in the community. Let's protect it. Let's elevate to a higher understanding of what it takes to debut a business.

So, my message to my community, be it spending money at the store, restaurant, motor vehicles, shopping mall or gas station... decorum matters Respect the premises. Display reasonableness with your request for service. Being ghetto isn't funny, because not everyone finds humor in the history that creates conditions where people are forced to make light of oppressive conditions, to cope and keep from crying. We, as a people, need to stop being amused by vile conditions that create disparity, virtual victim feelings and detachment. It's no joke.

So, lets stop apologizing for abhorent behavior that is an extention of "ghetto." It's not appropriate to bring to a place of business. Period. And older folk are tired being a ventriloqist for missteps of neophyte, immature ruthlessness in public places and accommodation. Look, we're more than this! We can do better.

I shouldn't be a walking time bomb in our community, holding my breath. The young man can be transactional with a purchase; make it home after a police stop for expired tags or blown out tail light. It starts with YOU. Take personal responsibility, and do not hide behind layers of excuses provided by apologists, bent on living in a space of rage and revenge. The blind lead the blind... the ditch is full!

I write this here because I care and know we can do better. This is critical thinking.

A new Black-owned business is about to debut in NE Portland.

I want the words of Alice Walker to live, from the title of her book "We Are The Ones We've Been Waiting For."  Peace

Yugen Rashad

Hope you tuned in for my chat with two amazing musicians I finally caught up with: Smooth Jazz recording artist Bob Baldwin stands head and shoulders above most pianists in this genre. And his insight shared with me about the industry, and bias in promotion of certain 'chosen artist', plus trends and the craft of making music are conclusive and precise. Alphonso Johnson is simply box office! His bass orbits the circumference of American Classic Music. From his stint with Bob Weir of Grateful Dead fame, Billy Cobham, R&B group The Emotions, ground-breaking Weather Report, ensemble w/Wayne Shorter, and his solo albums - all conclusive evidence of his importance in our music, and place in history.

This show took place Saturday, December 3rd, 2022 - The Motif: Re-Imagine A Jazz Sensibility .

My program airs weekly from 2pm to 5pm (streaming world-wide web), KBOO 90.7fm.



The weekly jazz program air Saturdays, 2pm to 5pm. KBOO 90.7FM, or streamming

John Coltrane - Expression [1967][Full Album]


"Going into 2021 I wanted to share a thought about Black people and the repository of personal and collective memory/history that comprise our boiler plate of identity formation and post-modernity:

"Nothing is more fully agreed than the certainty that memory fails. Memory fails, leaving blanks, and memory fails by filling blanks mistakenly. In filling blanks mistakenly, memory collaborates with forces separate from actual past events, forces such as individual's wishes, a group's suggestions, a moment's connotations, an environment's clues, an emotion's demands, a self's evolution, a mind's manufacture of order, and yes, even a researcher's objectives." (contributer Karen Fields taken from the book Memory in African American Culture; edited by Genevieve' Fabre and Robert O Meally)
The quote here stresses an import on memory/history, and the difficulty to secure a sobriety of recollection. In other words, the story gets changed. Too often historically oppressed populations implement weathered tools that lack the torque to construct our history which can provide understanding of the world around and where we fit.

The work: We must critically review history through an objective lens. To do this requires a move beyond subjective interpretation. An entry to this process, site, sharpens our perspective. Now we dispense the habit to react, which keeps us on virtual. The critical lens suggest we question everything. There are no sacred cows: no institution that shapes individual perception and culture is excluded. EVERYTHING we've been taught and exposed to under this rule-of-law-government is culprit to how we arrive at what it means to be Colored, Negro, Black, African, American, etc. (Humanity is rarely included at this juncture). Our 'collective identity' is a reaction to survive.

The result? To be black in America? A Frankenstein monster. We wonder through the village, experienced as a threat, and therefore we must be eliminated! Look, It's up to black people to quicken our thinking about self. To break from a psychology that chains healthy identity formation. And to build with new tools, not rebuild. You ever try to use a key on a safe? You need a combination, right? It means we must consult 'multiple sources', read, research, study, and stop allowing television and the machinations of modern technology to define our being.

Finally: Humanity isn't a barter. Humanity cannot be litigated. And our legacy of faith and prayer cannot fertilize a recalcitrant, unyielding field hardened by greed. Our harvest lives within. Its bounty is 2021. A new day. A different lens. You must write your own prescription for that vision: Humanity

2021 is that portel. HUMANITY MATTERS!"

Nikki Brown w/Yugen Rashad & HealthyBirth Initiatives at Columbia City Park.

This is a needed drop of Black History through the lens of murals. Spearheaded by a group of muralist, the late sculptor Charles Tatum, Isaka Shamsud-Din, and many others. I discovered Brother Shakur and myself in the clip. Wow.

Albina Murals

Yugen wants everyone to have a chance to buy affordable, healthy food in their neighborhood or feel safe exercising in their local park.

Yugen Rashad 

On Religion!

       Organized religion fails in its mission to ensure every human being matters.

These traditions often fail to reach the disenfranchised in a quantitative, qualitative

manner as evidenced by recent tragic events ( Connecticut, China, and Clackamas

County). Perpetrators of these acts were individuals betrayed by "Amerikan" culture.

       Our society must uniformly embrace every individual:  air, blood and bones,

period.  For sure, we now understand what disenfranchisement looks like and how

it behaves in the built environment: i. e. on the street where you live. Music is not

only for entertainment but for healing the wounded, the hurt, & the disenfranchised.

This "universal vibe," and our connection to each other, honors the harmony we

endeavor to achieve in the social contract embedded in society. 

       By never meeting a stranger and not being choked by fear of an apocalypse

preached by pundits and organized religion. The cul-de-sac created by religious

fear creates unintentional disparities among us. Any ideology or movement that

creates division among us... count me out and remove my name from your list serv.

        Frankly Beverly featuring Maze wrote a song WE ARE ONE.

Thank You G-d, Allah, Jehovah, Jesus, Buddha, and any and all idenitifiers of the


I love you, Yugen

Yugen Fardan Rashad  @yugenfardan

        Seeks transformative moments; getting past any self-imposed 'mask'; to
         land-shared values and common goals through intentional engagement.
        Yugen has been writing and contributing his work and insights in the
        Alliance for many years.


More About Yugen

Grew up in the country with a jazz sensibility; splits time living in secular, spiritual, and art world(s).  Serious about making it about the 'other', and encourages people to live outside comfort zones, experience life more broadly, and contribute mightily to community life.

Contact Info:

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