Saturday, September 17, 2011

Why I Add Videos To My Websites

Written by Azizi Powell

Just the other day one of my facebook friend wrote that she didn't like a video that I had posted on my facebook wall. That comment provides me with an opportunity to share the following statement that I add to my website pages:
These videos are provided for their sociological, folkloric, historical, aesthetic, and/or entertainment value.

To be clear, I share videos that I believe have particular sociological, folkloric, historical, aesthetic, and/or entertainment value/s.

On my facebook page (which is under my name cocojams jambalayah), and on my website, I post videos that I like for one reason or another. On my website, I add videos that supplement the text (lyrics/words) and/or demonstrate the performance activity/activities of featured songs, rhymes, or chants. And on this page, I present videos that showcase how an instrument is played.

Here's an excerpt from About jambalayah that provides more information about that site and about my reasons for embedding videos on my websites & this blog: is an amazing video archive that includes a great many creative performances from musicians, vocalists, and dancers from all around the world. However, because there are such a huge number of videos uploaded to YouTube, it's often quite difficult to find high quality, creative, classic, and culturally significant videos on that site. The difficulty of identifying music/dance video gems on YouTube is further increased by factoring in a criteria that those videos be appropriate for viewing by children in schools and other public settings. is a website which helps the general public identify a portion of YouTube music/dance videos that are high quality, creative, classic, and/or culturally significant. I call these examples "video gems". The majority of the video gems showcased on are from African American cultures and from other Black cultures throughout the world.

By no means do I believe that the videos featured on Jambalayah are the only music/dance gems on YouTube. And I'm fully aware that some people may not agree with my assessment that certain videos showcased on Jambalayah are "gems".I'm also fully aware that any other online collection of YouTube music/dance video gems-including any collections by other African Americans-would likely be somewhat different or even very different than this collection. And I'm interested in finding out about other online video sites such as jambalayah.coms.

That statement also applies to pancocojams. I write on pancocojams about subjects that I'm interested in. I also include posts written by guest bloggers. Those posts must meet the cultural focus and the standards of this blog. Videos are included with most of these posts because they illustrate the points shared in those posts and because they enrich the experience of reading those posts.

I'm grateful to all those persons who uploaded on YouTube videos that I've reposted. I'm also grateful to YouTube for making the embedding process so easy that even a technological challenged person like me can do it. Thanks also to Blogger for making this site available and easy to use. Also thanks to my facebook friend Lizzy Cornish for teaching me how to embed videos on my now defunk myspace site.

Here's the very first video that I posted on & simulataneously on

Uploaded by SesameStreet on Jan 29, 2009


And here's an example of a video gem that I found while "surfing" YouTube:

Playing For Change - Stand By Me | Song Around the World

Uploaded by PlayingForChange on Nov 6, 2008 - From the award-winning documentary, "Playing For Change: Peace Through Music", comes the first of many "songs around the world" being released independently. Featured is a cover of the Ben E. King classic by musicians around the world adding their part to the song as it travelled the globe.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams. Visitor comments are welcome!

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  1. It was my pleasure to be of help to you, Azizi..and thank YOU for the many videos you've posted over time, to educate, inform and to provide much enjoyment too.

    With kindest wishes
    Lizzie x

  2. For the record, for various reasons, in late 2014I withdrew both and from the internet. Much of the material from those websites has been published on pancocojams. Futhermore, I rarely post on Facebook anymore.

    Now most of my focus is on pancocojams, but links to all of my google blogs can be found in my summary in the sidebar.

    Thanks for your support!