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— bell hooks
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Monthly Archives: March 2012
A little background. I wrote this poem for a class my sophomore year. I was having a very race conscious semester, taking the following classes: 20th Century Black Poetry,
Capitalism and Slavery, and Interracial Interactions and Inter-group Dynamics. Needless to say I took in a lot of information and my last class, a poetry writing class, gave me a venue to express my thoughts. Hope you enjoy.
Souls of Black Folk
by Brian Thomas
And blue like denim,
Blood diamond ring.
Life for me lacks Sympathy, I know why
Caged bird sings. I
Child of century 21st, am product of degradation,
Son of segregation.
Board supports my education
So mind lacks walls and structure
Lips stutter from hesitation.
Coach-class citizen in dire need
From this prison, I’ve been trapped,
Since moment of conception,
Cell of color.
I lack stage direction.
There is no guide. No voice that calls,
“Follow drinking gourd.”
No tracks to freedom
The ticket, cannot afford. They robbed me
Took claim of legacy.
Ripped from robes, left in rags,
No trace of history. Erased,
Replaced with self-flattering fabrication
Speak of white man’s burden.
Ego stroke, a master-bation. But my mind,
Though it can’t understand
Why I’ve lost so much
Because the back of my hand
Does not match the shade
Of skin on my palm.
And there in lies my sadness
They say I don’t belong.
This one came with a caption, which read:
I thought it was a pretty powerful image, but the words only highlighted it’s strength. Just thought I’d share.
When Lupe Fiasco dropped his most recent album, Lasers, I must admit I was not as impressed as I would have like to have been. However, I did like this song, “All Black Everything,” a lot. There were a number of names and terms thrown around that I had heard recently in a lot of my classes, so I felt very intelligent.
However, I got into a debate with a friend of mine who just wasn’t feeling it. She contended that song was too inaccurate for her to take it seriously, specifically Lupe’s assertion in the hook that, were it not for imperialism, slavery wouldn’t have existed in Africa. She pointed out to me that slavery had existed everywhere, including Africa, prior to European imperialism and the Triangular Slave Trade. These were all point I couldn’t deny, but I still loved the song.
Personally, I felt that Lupe was playing off of cultural norms, stereotypes and expectations, while also trying to describe his idealized world. So I post this song and ask this question. What does your dream world look like?
For a long time I’ve contemplated writing a post about the murder of Trayvon Martin. After reading a number of blogs, seeing numerous pictures on facebook, and attending a rally in Union Square (NYC), I have found myself conflicted. There have been many issues raised in relation to this shooting: the pervasiveness of racism in America, the reality of racial profiling, the response of Black America to this shooting, the response of rest of America to this shooting from the perspective of Black America, the response of politicians and T.V. personalities to this shooting… and the list goes on.
However, one thing that is certain is that this young man died way before his time. Not only as a Black male who could have just as easily met the same fate, but as a human being who is appreciative for every second God has bestowed upon me, I say rest in peace to Trayvon Benjamin Martin. You died way before your time. My condolences to your family.
While I wish it was possible to conclude this blog post here, the implications of race are so ingrained that they are impossible to ignore. I can honestly say that I don’t know the best way to articulate all of my thoughts and feelings in clear and concise way, but I did come across an article in Time Magazine that drew my attention. I’m going to post the link below for anyone interested.
I don’t really have any words of comfort for anyone who has been affected by this crime in the same or more dramatic fashion as myself. But, these lyrics have been stuck in my head and heart from the time I was a child and have be resonating from my lips for the last few hours. I hope it helps.
Lift every voice and sing,
till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the
dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
let us march on till victory is won.
Love to learn and learn to love. Lest we forget where we have stepped.