South African Poets : Don Mattera and Hafele – September 21, 2005

remember please remember that when things get rough you can always leave over there and come here sit down because this is the liberation space and the liberation zone special event series and so just a little housekeeping if you have a cell phone you know what to do vibrate or off did you know this is think of a video hook so we're doing some tape in here so let us know if you don't want your face something showing on the video so we can out you off so housekeeping turn off your cell phones or turn them on vibrate please also we want you to please forgive us for the construction that's going on really looking forward to making the plates better for the fall and the upcoming years we're looking forward to having a cafe so that you know when we come here for our great events we can also serve you properly so tonight we do have some small and light refreshments so please feel free to partake they are near the door what else brothers can they take pictures yes yes okay we website please if you want more information about works happening here at Sankofa WW Sankofa calm and if you're interested in finding out about some of the events events that are happening please email us at Sankofa event one-word at that Sankofa event at and it's fine let you know what's happening what's going on also in the back we have a list if you will please sign the list and place your email address or your information so that we can contact you when we're having more events such as this and we can let you know and you can make sure to be in the house and tell somebody else and bring somebody else so enough of the housekeeping we are ready to get started and so tonight we have some very very very special guests as you know I'm just going to read the introduction that we had around the information we have from South Africa tonight dr. dama Terra and he's a renowned South African poet writer social and political leader and activist he is known for his acts of compassion and caring for the less privileged and has shown a profound concern for the children and youth at risk in South Africa and across our borders dr. matera is best known for his seminal poetry collection as on Ian's love song and his autobiography memory is a weapon so please let's give dr. Don matera spoken word artist and poet ha fella who is a spoken word theatre director whose directional productions include Itchy city war soil and bread his books of poetry and short stories which we do have here so please make sure you pick up some of their works before you leave and I condom calm and outspoken fella is a regular contributor to schumerenka magazine and a columnist for a wide magazine where he writes on the spoken word about the scene of contemporary poetry spoken poetry in South Africa and elsewhere so let's give a fella a we also have some other very special guests who are local here to DC and our first very special guests that we're gonna bring out is whom we have labeled DC's poet laureate she is so incredible and I'm honored to say one of my most favorite on the planet poets so without further ado if you all will welcome her in her own very special way our love for my people okay I like this so much that this poem is called for Margaret Walker and her people for the dimly lit faces who did what no one witnessed recorded or sang about for the ordinary or unseemly who worked the unup endings of liberation like ants infamously building consistent in their anonymity you are the people that's right you are the people that it's always been about from the nameless who eked out a pinch of food for Runaways and the blood-soaked whose lips stayed glued the impoverished who stole from themselves to finance the apocalyptic dreams of Brother net the sheep burning visions of Gabe or Denmark's spell for how to snatch a black soul back from white possession and your obsession to stay alive your daily efforts carried the race with more intensity and frequency than the one-time heroes that history loves to brag about for the soldiers who fought the daily fight living between the candles ends humping it from birth to death just holding on taking the insults swallowing the venom that with finesse erodes a person's lifeline false smile by false smile just holding on never seeming to gain ground and determine never to give up any holding firm to identity in the face of super technological assaults multi-million dollar deals promises of honorary whiteness and a plethora of stuff that real people could never need except in a world gone berserk for the unacknowledged unnoticed undocumented for those who were the adhesive who moved as we moved never let him go nails dug into blackness so deeply that even death couldn't rip him out for you snatch from the villages on missed you trampled along the March unmourned you shoved off the ships uncounted you dying in the halls mute for the millions the snuffed out silenced censored millions existing in time still not knowing where to go because the beacon you need to see by can only be lit by your descendants remembrance for the strange fruit never tasted but it disappeared and never seen again but the raped whose voices were stolen and preserved on wax by the rapist for the disbelief swearing your stories up and down to people who hid their ears when they saw you coming for the heads that kept to the sky when there was no comfort on earth in honor of your pain i cauterized the enemy in my brain daring it ever to rise again for the dreamless to hopeless the barren and abandoned for all the black faces that lincoln and bill clinton didn't free for the sensitive turn attic for the artistic turn outlaw but the genius turned trickster for the enchanting turn hoe your sorrow is the key to my souls in the doors for the never had a clue all those broken up shades of black and brown warring against this invisible thing that kept cannibalizing you for the unread the uninformed the mystery still lives squashed by the mystery the pathologically religious the too educated to even make sense for the unconscious and their unconscious little ones but those who fought unknowingly on the wrong side for all the right reasons for the politically uninvolved for those who never knew that it was all about color the bad feelings they could never shake the boulder they could never get up from under was all about color for those who knew that and lost their minds and the knowing isolated laughed at ignored for dwelling on accuracies the enemy could only refute with violence and death for the teachers severed from schools for not letting black youths tumble around in the darkness but those who lost their jobs because they couldn't silence their black blood but those who would always go blow-for-blow with the demons over the smallest those who were administers by breathing always generating havoc always pushing the limits of the injustice that was so determined to corral them for the people who went to court to to support an afro who called the corporation's to the carpet over braids and cornrows who backed the American legal system up over dreadlocks I can't promise you healthy pensions stock options or golden years of abundance but I swear on my roots that I will never ever wallow in any beauty that is not my own but those who refuse to believe any of the height you know those people who wore blinders just kept on dressing loud and laughing and dancing hearty and dancing whenever the muscle and music squeeze them yeah they kept on loving watermelon scarfing on chicken and shrieking out the gospel like Thorn Birds ringing all the joy you cut out of every North day no matter how little of it you have for yourself you never fully surrendered to the notion of there being anything better to be then your Nubian selves please allow me allow me the honor of wiping clean the tracks of your tears please allow me the ecstasy of serving your still exalted interest please drape me with your acceptance that it may be my armor in my shield fire up the bevels of your memory bear me a sword of Malcolm Excalibur and I will spend the rest of my lifetimes obliterating your enemies until they are no more [Applause] well that is how we cope with America that's how we cope with the hip-hop madness the rap commercial rap that continues to disfigure our children our minds so what we do is we create a space for sisters like that sister poet priestess that sister is the welcoming poet for you guys of course this this Gullah sister from south carolina Gullah dangerous for ETO busines gala gah-la so we don't get in trouble this sister is the kind of people that we want to take over places like this because she knows how to run with it so she's our new coordinator I want everybody to join me thank that was the welcoming poetry but we're gonna have also solidarity poetry after the presentation from our guests today first let me just say welcome to our humbly claimed liberated territory to do anything we want in this liberated territory we call ourselves modern Maroons I'm not going to explain Maroons because it gets me in trouble especially when you have folks like the real Maroons they correct you everything including their birthday and so for me when week should I say my wife would be too possessive for feminists but my partner is better Shiva Kiana who's standing right there watching the the whole event with me together we created this with the support of the african-american community and those Africans from other parts of Africa who continue to come and support support us for just this kind of occasions every time I travel have been blessed first I didn't even know electricity when I was born and I was the first in my family to gaze at a small bulb with all my sisters waiting for that electricity to come where I was born and suddenly I'm now playing and I'm fooling with lights actually camera is nothing but lights and then I'm traveling all the time I don't know how I did it how I got into this situation but I've been going places and everywhere I go I meet black people and I say how can I share them to the black people I know in Washington DC and that's how we created the situations in this place to share the black people we know that we should be aware because for me often defeat is the only comprehended dialogue when it comes to the struggle of resistance of African people and I was talking to my student and he continually tried to tell me where you talk about Maroons and things well you're talking about defeat and I was saying to the young brother it's not really defeat when you keep it alive it means the struggle is going on it's not dead defeat it's not like the fact there's no triumph that is a matter of the historical circumstances and the force of history but the fact we continue to insist to carry the baton of struggle and resistance makes our oppressors people who continue to to keep us in bondage mentally at least if not physically it's not economically and those bourgeoisie black people who collaborate in our demise we remind them that the struggle is just waiting for a spark plug plug to reignite itself because the world has to change it can't stay as is and and and sometimes also nature joins and like the Florida the skirt of America white and then what do we see the denied poverty the condition of black people to a point were most white bureaucrats and black bourgeoisie black people try to say they must be Jamaicans refugees they can't be Americans but they are Americans we live with them every day we try to photograph and tell their story and so that is very very important and this place allows us to have our own imperfect dialogue now I'm very happy to recognize professor Acklin Lynch undying from the day we opened it he is here today he cancelled so many things because I told him I have to share ha Fela and my Tara was with you I have to share them and then we have professor Niang who just always is hiding though we we when we created this an African space the African Studies department is the last to come and we want to welcome the renegade African Studies department professor Edgar is also here and professor Chun is a you know he crossed dresses between us and them so we we've always we have always kept in touch with what they do but I'm very pleased to say that they crossed over today and I'm very proud especially the students who they brought with them I welcome you and that I hope that you continue to come because we have our house open we don't discriminate we only want people to tolerate that we created it for a purpose for a vision we don't want people to just take it over we want everybody to join uplifted now when I first went to South Africa had to be subjected to this old man who keeps going young and I kept getting old and I thought I was getting younger than Ackland Lynch and the guy comes in still looks young the first time I saw him I don't know if he remembers you give me your signed book and you were you know he was an amazing bright light because when you go to South Africa one of the most tragic aspect of South Africa is the fabricated history that you know that does not want to reconstruct the new South South Africa from a profoundly realistic departing point and so for me I've been there 17 times and I continue to see the betrayal of not only South Africans but African people and progressive white people who put their life on the line for the ultimate and final showdown of a struggle against imperialism in South Africa and then I said who the revolution then is cultural the remaining revolution is cultural filmmakers poets playwrights painters we now are really the armed struggle no more gun is going to be decisive that our artwork our literature is gonna bring the next inevitable revolution who does it in South Africa but the poets and so when I met him I left there were brothers and sisters who continue to remind at least the South African people because you know you can never remind politicians anything they're too preoccupied with the art of deception their own you know occupational engagement and it's very hard especially African leaders to tell them the truth or the tornado just has to eat them like Mobutu and us that's too late to wake up and so but poets have to make sure that African people in poets and artists and writers we got to really make sure that mothers don't lose children for nothing no more the Zimbabwean mother should know that she lost her son but you know hanged by ironsmith for something we gotta see the quantifiable economic return in political terms social cultural terms the spend the expense we pay with our people's blood and I think the Cultural Revolution is the next inevitable revolution for me it all just began after South Africa so I'm now better at peace the 17th time I went of course they they continued to to regenerate each other so when I was surprised with the old man and his stubbornness and his undying commitment to not only South Africa but to Africa I was with then I go to Ethiopia I turn the TV I still see this old man still kicking and doing these crazy things and I was very very impressed to see you doing those poetry that nobody want to hear except the people now then there's this guy I called a fella the muta Baraka of South Africa the MU tava I was accidentally taken because I South Africa it's very hard to go to see anything just you want to go out quickly you don't want to be there because every step reminds you another inevitable deluge and so what you do is you don't want to go anywhere just get the ticket come back every time so they take me to her fella he was doing a one-man show he had the whole South I saw a different South Africa that said to me highly hey this is the extension this is the generational struggle he is in charge of the next weapon of transformation it encouraged me and I said oh I wish I could share them it would know with my people with my family with my children and so this is it when I heard they were in New York I hijacked them I said you gotta come and meet the spirit and souls of Washington DC people you got a cross here done gone Mattera you know he has to fly out he has like all of them have to be in a bus tonight what a hard way you know how you can't sleep on the bus and it's very ding because they said okay Haley we will come and then you guys didn't fail me you came and so I'm really very happy thank you for coming and now I want to leave the to the two of two brothers take it from me and run it and at the end as I told you there's going to be a solidarity poetry show Keanu Niki well they shouldn't be outside they should be inside there's space there so anyway okay I would like to the two of them to go but don't forget that we have for you also solidarity return at the end so initially we're going to have to their poetry and when they get exhausted because I'm also timing them for their bus what we'll do is question and answer because I really think you should ask this people because to me like a cultural perspective of South Africa it's very important we get the package we have books you can read if you are you know you can read comrades in business for example if you want to know the political situation or about you know Bishop tutu and all those guys who cry and you know you know tears and reconciliation no justice and it's interestingly compiled you know put together and it's very very important for you to hear the artist analyze South Africa and then you can use the political science or the not the politicians but the political science the material written on political the political perspective by political science people and then synthesize it for yourself and so I hope we'll have a question and answer then please come forward my brother you sing my wife my 43 year old wife and the 70 year name is melody very strong freedom fighter girl who has worked hard to free our country and the people that she fought against during the liberation struggle in her job I still in charge of her and she's supposed to be free so good evening to your sisters and brothers I met this great man my son Teddy he's a mad mad mad fan of yours he's just completed a full-length movie and fantastic kid was trained in Denver Colorado Springs he came under the wings of Larry parks in Chicago and we have been fortunate out of all the miasma and dirt of Jim Crow ism of the lynches the Lynchburg some good has come I normally tell my students and out of all of the trash and the dirt and the black soil that has been mixed with cow dung and human dung sprouts the beautiful black and white lily my repertoire short because you have to experience this young man and when you have experienced him it will say and that the old man was in you his time one poet tells us this we shall not always plant while others reap the golden increments of bursting fruits not always countenance objects and mute that lesser man should hold their brothers cheap ancestors cheap not everlastingly while others sleep shall we be guile their limbs with mellow flute not always bent to some more subtle brutes we were not made eternally to weep the night though dark relieves the stark white stars there are buds that cannot bloom at all in life but crumple purchase and fall and so in the dark we hide the heart that bleeds and waits and tend our agonising seeds Countee Cullen pour Oh pour that parting soul in some pour it in the sawdust glow of night into the velvet pine smoke air tonight and let the valley carry it along and let the valley carry it along oh land and soil red soil so scant of grass so profligate of pine and now before they strip the old tree bare one plum was saved for me one plum becomes an everlasting song caroling softly souls of slavery Oh Negro slaves ripe burdened plums squeezed and drained in the noonday Sun and now before they struck the old tree bare one plum was saved for me when plum becomes a seed caroling softly songs of slavery Jean Toomer of course I cut the poem short it's a long poem little brown baby with sparkling eyes come to your Pappy and sit on his knee what you been doing sir making sand pies hey look at that skin that's more lessons out there the birds are gonna eat you up yet looking so sticky sweet mammy and Pappy no no you will you use a tramp hey bogeyman bogeyman come he on the dough yes a bad bow you can afford to eat swallow him up from his head to his feet mommy and Pappy don't know it oh I knew you'd come closer and hug me a little bugger come come little brown baby we should always nokia skies and happiness we should always be a child of my breath little brown baby who had sparkling eyes James Weldon Johnson because I could not stop for death he kindly stopped for me the carriage held but just ourselves and immortality we slowly rode he knew no haste and I had put away my labor and my leisure too for his civility we passed the house whose cornice was but a swelling in the ground we passed a school where children played at wrestling in the ring we passed the fields of grazing grain we passed the Setting Sun two centuries gone but still I surmise the horses heads were toward eternity drawn because I could not stop for death he kindly stopped for me Emily Dickinson so you know you could see that you guys have a world world full of energy and power your poets have said it the maya angelou ste Thurman's the sojourner truth's the Langston uses the unab on time I can go on and on and on out of all of the pain the dirt the slavery the came these human beings pain and suffering another way least the end they are a journey fear is the destination but pain suffering all of these things they they're a journey and they take you this to this path and you'll find a stop where you can get off and drink some water quench your thirst selective thirst and move on this is what has happened for some of us although some of the tips have been bloodied with our anguish with our pain but I was suffering and we thought we were free we really believed we were free because political freedom does not normally translate into human freedom because those who held us in bondage still hold us in bondage in rands and Sons intolerance and so on so the journey continues for us where will it end who knows maybe the explosion of the heart and the mind because there's no more explosion of the plant there's no place for it we can change this world with our art with our culture with our poetry the blood of our souls Oh way down south in Georgia Oh break the heart of me love is a now the naked shadow on a now the naked tree Oh way down south in Georgia Oh break the heart of me they hung my young dog lover to a crossroads three you see what your poets have given you they've given you the history that is being denied one such poet to woman whose name now escapes me was a kid when her grandmother and mother used to take her on this in Georgia used to take on this road to this church and there was this pathway in the little road that leads to where she's to walk as the 13-year old there was buildings as a 31 year old only lasts the first part of the road the pathway was visible there was buildings tenements as you guys call them shopping centers and everything had changed and this is the poem Oh little Road all worried in the will on the wind brown like my race is brown your trodden beauty like my trodden pride dust of the dust we must not let them Bruce's town they must not bruises down Angelina weld Grimke so we can go on you have so many we know why the Caged Bird Sings we rise and we rise your poets are articulating and speaking we watched baseball too much we watched the rugby the soccer ball the football too much and another stand and have time to take our children to see the sunset and the sunrise my son titty in 1984 was the first matera to leave the shores of the Oh present South Africa to come to Colorado Springs to study for his arts actually to the science degree calculus you name them and of course the kid changed later to become the filmmaker that he is on the day of his departure we had slaughtered the fatted calf we had call our neighbors to see the red letter day when the first matira leaves this house of bondage to go into the land of the free so the Sun was setting like it never said before it was like it's so round and red and gold just hanging over our doors and then birds came and they in their long fire they flew past the Setting Sun and I looked at them and I see you guys know where you are going – where the hell is my son going – so we packed his bags and he left in the semi dark of dusk son was about to sit in the semi dark of dusk I watched with envy the hurried passage of bird's head following tail in single audit file a wing flap upon eager wing flap they pass the sinking eye of God breaking asylums labored but not yet born a day not yet dead a night not yet come silhouettes in the sky of golden sheen taking freedom in flight and homeward their journey's end in sight with burning in my chest I watch your Twilight Exodus and I think a time I think a time when we too shall blind the Sun with our wings and saw above this house of bondage to the zenith of love and beauty where our nests will not be broken now our fledglings slaughtered no our house destroyed i watch you birds I watch you and I think a time I think a time when we too shall look at God and see our I definitely have some other stuff and it's just two more pieces and then maybe we could both poetry by African Americans or Americans generally and also British poetry because you know when you really believe that you are poets you cannot be a poet in isolation to the poetry of other people the pain the suffering the joys the victories of other people because there are no other people there has never been other people colonialism creates other people and this other never belongs to to everyone and Frantz Fanon will tell you more read his book the wretched of the earth read Steve Biko I write what I like read crochet read kingka God read you read them all they will tell you there is no other I am because you are and you are because I am and I am and you are and we are and this is the power of the Africa African philosophy of humanism and boom – I just wanted to share this is funny little poem yeah I visited many years ago with the Navajo and they're not an easy people and during my visit and I stayed for three weeks with the Navajos I also lived with a peb Lowe's with the Blackfoot and with the Sioux I shared with Bob Dylan and Marlon Brando a platform in Kansas where they fought for the mineral rights of the Blackfoot they were been kicked off the so-called reservations these first people and they I was in the midst of a great musician a great actor great philanthropist and of course the Navajos the Blackfoot and the Sioux and the others were together supporting their absence in our presence tells us something their absence in our company tells us how the forces of colonialism and imperialism have helped to divide when we speak black we don't think about them because they aren't black enough because suddenly blackness has become the opposite of whiteness and we know it is not it is a permanent it is a permanence of spirit of soul because we know what people have tried to do with black I was telling this young man till say at the back of me the first Christian Church was founded by the followers of Jesus among the Ethiopians and in Alexandria this church was hijacked and taken out of Africa to nice in 1380 the devil Faustus mr. Feliz was always depicted as red red suit horns and a fork after 13 ad he became black and we can understand why the black soul the black heart all of these things all of these are concomitant influences that support the notion of human superiority I think the greatest the most superior human being is the one who has compassion where there is no compassion and for me compassion is the highest religion compassion is greater than Islam greater than Judaism greater than Christianity greater than all religion is compassion because compassion is the first source of the almighty spirit and for me that is the way that I think but I lived with these Navajos I saw them at the bottle stores drunk lying around every place you go there's a bottle store there's a Navajo there's a pillow there's a bottle store there is a black foot there's a bottle store you know I where they live it's bottle stores in South Africa every Township as you enter bottle store yeah bottle store so what is it about the bottle store and the human psyche especially the black human psyche you guys young ones you have to engage these you have to speak to them you have to intervene and you have to present the scholarship for us so that we can understand and our children can understand and this is for the it's for the Navajos song for the Navajo beloved of my soul furnace in my dreams there is a silence that comes to me in this place in this veil of history among these bleeding mountains coming from the lap of the lake and through the eye of window rock that quilts the Navajo sky a silence that beats in the quiet heart of the sacred Hogan yes there is a silence in this crimson earth that breathes into the soul sustains it with peace there is a brooding presence here ever watchful and austere the spirit of Navajo sailing silently across across the plains where ancient voices roll over tom-toms and the red dust trembles beneath the Inquisition of moccasin feet there is a silence that comes and it speaks never halt and for me this is a plea to the african-american society to the black people you cannot want to free yourself and the condition under which you exist without him they are natural to the soil they are natural to the cactus they are natural to your Grand Canyon they are natural to the air they are natural to water they are natural to food they are the First Nations of this place and we came as slaves and we were divided and broken away from them and still are divided and broken it is only now and then you will say I got Cherokee blood me I got I got the Apache blood yeah I'm a nigger but I got a patchy blood this is not the way I think the challenge here today is invite them to come look them up bring them closer these are your people because the same tragedy is being played out in South Africa the first nations of the quake oi and the Sun the so called Bushmen and Hottentot they are no way in the equation of power they are forgotten these are the first peoples instead they are being insulted asthma boosts money the people that don't belong for me these are the challenges that we in South Africa this those people who contain power now will they have it forever it will change I must end with a poem to our country South Africa which is free and not free but I also have to tell you this which I told the students at NYU my dear brother my sister we are victims of a grave paradox in our country a powerful paradox in one way you hate what has happened you hate the big lie of freedom the black elites have have accrued so much wealth in 10 years that it boggles the mind you have seen the golden letters of opportunity being ascended and as they the higher they go they take the ladder with them higher they take the ladder with but their day is coming because their day must come but conversely professor conversely listen to me less I portray hypocrisy I have seen attempt you know a faucet tap I have seen a tap gushing water where there was no tap for three hundred years small mercy I have seen a school where there was no school for three hundred years I have seen a clinic where there was no clinic for three hundred years I have seen people walk with their heads up some woman especially work with their heads up when and their eyes used to be on the feet of other people there are miracles happening in my country and those miracles are not performed by mr. Mandela or Bishop tutu or me or ha fella it is in the nature of life life longing for itself Khalil Gibran tells us this your children and not your children they are the sons and torches of life be longing for itself they may come through you but not from you I'm saying things are happening in my country they some of them are inexplicable how out of the rock of desolation they can squeeze a drop of comfort it's the hope of all ages we can see where children were enemies we can see friendships coming up across color lines these give you hope despite the fact that I am NOT happy with the ideological economical constructs of my country I can see one day the poor will come up they will claim back from their own brothers and as I told capella blacks have a penchant for killing blacks we can really kill each other when the time comes hey hey nigga what you looking at your brah Detroit hey nigga BAM we kill each other I have seen this I've traveled I think the struggle is about life the struggle is about truth and we in South Africa I'm gonna get there the lies are going to eat the liars it's coming it's coming I just wanted you to know [Applause] and mr. Bush mr. Blair and all of these power brokers in the world you know what God says in the Holy Quran I have brought down empires Mohammed I have brought down the Roman Empire the Persian Empire I have brought down empires fret not your hearts my dear brothers and sisters read tonight the sum of David 37 go home tonight open up your Bible read the sum 37 and then you will see fret not your heart for the success and the deeds of these evil ones for they shall be crushed and they shall wither like grass it will come it will come but who will remain you the strike the steadfast those who speak out against evil those who do not collaborate with Eva I want you this is not a political speech it's a human speech I'd like to give you the courage and urge you to be strong of heart to be strong of spirit for redemption [Applause] very short home about my country it's a long one though I told you that once you come to South Africa you either run away for the paradox because as Professor said it's that kind of country you you you see with an eye and you think god this is not what the people fought for and then you see strike souls hearts people with metal in their blood this is the paradox of my country but I love my country I love my country I have ten children and so many grandchildren and great-grandchildren and this is what I teach them professor life is a race there is no winning post it's on your marks gets it before you go turn around to see where you can take with you and for me that is all I leave my children I'd share this poem with you this lands of South Africa this land the whole land each grain of sand north to south east to west the given earth the best land the prostrate valleys the angry mountains the smiling hills this beautiful beautiful beautiful country must be healed with all the love it takes to pump one heart for it was a dream [Applause] good evening good people it's good to be with my father's Todd matera taught me to speak I met him when I was 18 I think trying to you know scribble stuff and you know he was giving a target I think Redfoo by the time you know I was trying to be a musician that's before I discovered that I couldn't sing well well at least I can have sing half talk that's when spoken wave is about so it's not bad but then yeah I met this man he was giving a talk and I was listening carefully and he did a piece called see and send my love my land I began to fall in love with poetry at the time I used to write before but I wasn't thinking of myself as a poet I was just writing songs and you know just little rhymes here and a team plays one or two people that you know I had my Terra and I began my journey and not just on my own my first few poems were written I think with his guidance you know and I still go – Pradhan – he is always feeding my spirit I met Garima a few years ago I've been here before and I met him via Sankofa the movie before I met him in person and you know the day that I met him I think a much later on we came to have some groundings and I began to understand the difference between writing as an agonist and writing as a protagonist right and there's a difference then that if you're an urbanist you crying you know it's a pity you know protagonist wants things to happen and that's why garima – is my father so I will start with a piece in my language to clear the path it goes to all the people who have taught me to speak and the journey goes from here today a jetski beeping titanium um Pena muy 21 Obama deewana by t support wanna bomb pockety by Babur Tate it's a lucky Ducati voted emote wanna bow mode cabin le boeuf Aquila Bona by tequila Tahoe City dilemma a tremolo beware nd comma I had like this AMA wattage warfare I'm a for fucka deeper a moment ever bloody forget company game Munna mode howling mom in Idaho rely on an angle Menaka Opaka car as a couch in Chadha Careca the Magic Eraser Kahoot light amiable I mic what I like I'm not a lick as poet I give no blowjobs to politicians my tongue can't be bought to dance in the rock of the Kings Court I don't even rap call me Dee Ann rapper I unwrap the napkins of this baby nation to show you slime of the times nobody's official poet or Papa died Mike what I like I did what I dislike I carry the spirit of graffiti I obey no law of religious gravity spoken word is my shepherd I shall not want however sweet the sound my song grows from the ground where marriage had a rose to right in the middle of a scream where Papa ramps as a dream of war where me rhymes against the death row where we die because we don't know how to work the frank talk I'm like what I like I think that censorship never mind the head of state of the state of his head I soak in the word I soak in the word of the sage who asked twice women the same soup warmed all over leafy faladi I sample sounds of your soul for Sonya's children to hear the troubled coughs of history's echoes around us inside us in the sting of my ink when I sound check one to get back your bubble of Bologna give back your bubble a bubble only give up acapella belonging acapella bubble only beautiful ones are dying streets to a dead no soldiers machinery faking heartbeat mad engines are petrol drunk at rush against the mindless cows of traffic light and bleeding nights wipe the smile of my poems face it cracks my guts open and out comes the gutter I jump into the sewer I stupid there'll be no vaseline or shiny bomb of a toddler poem I swim to the muddy bottom of the sewer looking for an angry god if I die there at least I fertilize electricity of spoken word well-read spoken in tongues we're beautiful ones are dying they take a plunge into the craziest dream of 7th Street Melville marinade their soul in the sea of spirals ba and attend our conversations about changing this damn country my country where you can't get a free cigarette they did their fingers cremated themselves living behind the ganja edge of memory the salt of Tears for do me who makes the sons Alicia's movie in which the Mayacamas die marriage Hera we truly the fiction we choose to be your just beautiful ones dying here here you die for the wallet in your pocket the markets are there in suits ties lies rulers she was floss on bits of our flesh and swallow these sharks have no vision beyond the plate they don't even know who or what they ate it is history's baked beans causing a fad in the face of the poor a bomb in the East a bomb in the West its g-string tearing rectum and floods of diarrhoea Brown the promised land of nests demands Arabic killing beautiful ones dying killing beautiful ones dying I jump into the sewer ice to have mad in my country which refuses to take off its clothes and show its unpublishable parts my country where the poet is a vending machine pops only with money my country whose angel liver shivers from whiskey my country which burns holes in its lungs but won't stop smoking my who scoff is full-blown laughter beyond the cure my country which twist the dreadlocks all day but one go to work my country my country which sells rainbow canteen Oxford Street and tourists a cry with joy my country whose house is robbed but gives diamond hugs and gold handshakes to thieves my country's tears a screech against the tin shack the shackles my country which is the thin line between women to my country whose smile is a hideous car eating up the Stars soldering up a beautiful ones my country could it be that your tears cut dust nine months late I'd somersault in its mother's womb but pops outfit fest no labor pains no bad cries just the sound of silence breaking it keep the nappy for a pair of jeans it circles from a pint of beer how soon it lends to swag crazy crazy it's a race through history ska cities are riding born a Beatles back jumps does the bassline pulse it rocks against Babylon in rooftop and or red it passes or drop-dead gorgeous looking for a heart to break it's already tired of screwing into stitches can't shut it to the world a slice of it's baby throw it in the sea it never bled just flare of se love to corrode in your soul it is Sims and come to Josie bouncing it is jamming in the rubber up Stein stick storage time waves it like a flag of flame it is chasing Fame in Rocky Street it is not foolish just in case it will only capella bubble only baby Jake's come in small packages they pack dynamite in their trumpet blows break down the walls of Jericho temples biblical brimstone and fire in this city of cold blood flows cheaply like pavement Tomatoes the streets arrayed rivers dead bodies and gold-plated Teta five stars smile in the face of the cops heaven who stole the red bandana from the head of the city now we know who's been hiding the blue city blues deep as the froth of cappuccino made in eNOS kitchen hot the spicy chicken wings and try them before they fly scramble the eggs feed on far futures spew out vegetarian views at lunch meetings munch and run to pay the gym to make you slim in small Street you soak in the sounds of hustlers and haka selling sacred socks a startup that's a armor and and antique are set to four-five front armor antique Aza EGCG people sweet as a pimple in the heart of a dimple but not as simple as sorting apples and oranges choice assorted like a peacock parade of sex workers do a quick job before you get home to wife and family every Tom they can be pay with cash guess they are cuckoo in this city of gold and wishes beggars ride horses of small change small changes I believe itchy city lights kill the night not even God is bored riding the back of a hijack short left shot right it's a chase scene damned Elvis treat the screeching sound attract draws tapes of hungry circles around us hungry seconds surround us but we can't be swallowed we live eternally in the scratch of a DJ's needle on the skin of a tent table we write ourselves in sound escapes of the wind in strobe lights of the Sun we run cables of lyrics in the veins of the underground but after sips of Black Label some show of their secret shocks every dog has its day of chewing the sweet bone of a cellular telephone God is running out of air time in the city loan sharks are Jesus save us from land lots of rotten buildings and busted water pipes a stink like killers of Saddam's sons they cut your power cables and paid electricity bills and riots in st. Joe's a faceless fires and captains of flames flagging and roaring through darker caves in the jungle trees of skyscrapers their monstrous shadows are blinding we can't even see the second coming of Babylon running towards us gavi's kids in house of hemp robes catch a fire of holy Habs the smoke is red gold and green red golden green rings of smoke to cure the sufferers from babylon Qaida's so bouquets flock grow cabbages and sweet potatoes on street pavements to feed clothe and school the children school the children teach them to walk on fire who says the fire's fictitious it's a furious figment of the city's madness we point fingers at Nigerians but who is shooting poison needles in the arms of wingless angels heaven help us lead us not to babylon by panco bars at least let us slide to the top of pyramid schemes before police tear down these dreams when we escape these answers of fires inside us these answers of vias eating up the powers of our poor yet television fables say that we are one but we are the ones who know the eating soul of this rolling the bubble only damn addictive Atacama hey we want a pissed off home with the soul of a bomb blow up temples of poetry embarrassed and sent the hounding fires of the word against the heels of their fleeing skeletons dishes at home with beef against the butchery of babies suckling tits of dead books heads buried in the scrolls of spooks they will never know the pounding heart of the Living Word until we send the Trojan microphone beatbox life into these glorified motor ease of libraries we carry the mutinous vomit of pissed-off poetry spell in two years of donkeys with poison pencils cancel the path they sketch to pony blood Jeff's children back to slavery's gold-plated chains we sculpt the rod pole to part both ends of the Red Sea refused to make bloody tea we don't serve those idiot Pharaohs who own stoves that cook up cost metrics for have been voiceless choirs on their knees these Christmas trees can't set us free give us this day a Malcolm poem for those sketching hair pissed of palm flips a lint in line and leash canine teeth of spoken word against Babylon the bitch whose bums bewitched whose buttocks are swallowed the boss of the nation spear in the congos diamond wars fought not for us but for a piece of babylons ass and fathers of the nation come out of robots island spreading virus of giggling slaves markets fall from the smiling teeth of our gods when they are cockades bow before the raw of the world bank market forces pulled down their holy Underpants showing the shrinking tools of their trade colors Varga we are combat lingo in sync with the soils tempo we sample the temper maracas pond that wrestles cops in alleys pissed off poem talks crap with purpose we compose the songs we're toast and rose to kick Napoleon's but in high ET the dust in history's mouth acetyls not totally the tongue and quails when you rinse the mouth with the living liquid of the way it brings our prisoners from slave ships of our times these black ass white shits teams who shed on the mat must be spent at we stole caliban's tongue from a page in The Tempest our profit is to swear a depths wines who Lynch Basara for diamonds in the belly of Kalahari Sens we spit at the red ends of Harare we met a force at war for the poor we are powered by the furious appetite of the living word we ascribe betrayed from underground the seconds these donkeys tap our phones because they can't cope with the pulse of rising life we ignite scribbles against the polished at homes of market-driven versa and sponsored tears of babies flocking the auction block they sing top of the pop songs to their chains we maroon best of poems into microphones raise volumes of moles from a Sonya's bosom feed the earth with riot we arrived for uprisings we throw lyrical breaks against laws that sweep the road clean but rubbish the heart the rod is under the skin of the knighted state thus happened scrip if the empires hug but we slip out refuse to who do when they duty we aim for the Emperor's head the word is truer than lead back baloney she walks the pavements of my prayers she smokes the holy glass of poem and prose she rose from the loins of a Rising Sun in hip hop she's the searing light of Burning Spear she changes gears of my universe she spells her oceans of flaming songs to the soil she soaks my Edward Fyers seed she's the root that sprout sparks of ancient shoots through grains of memory she dances with history skeletons she tangos when no man goes she's a fire sister she opens her mouth in parables of lyrical uprisings she speaks in tongues of unbroken eternities hair endless miles of lines flow for miles she dwells in the trouble voice of landless spirits she burns tattoos on the skin of the land that she wants to know who buys the lies and says the soil under conference tables she says we sock on without our soil we are that's why she throws petrol bombs of poems to free every grain of asagna she's a fire sister she's pregnant with seed of baby volcanoes she gives birth to be arid infernal she's my book of revelations she's pages beyond hopes of spooks she will not marry the snake for a slice of carrot cake she can't be bored to dance in there she it's my book of revelations his pages beyond hooks of spooks she will not marry the snake okay she can't be bought to swim in these Makati seas she moves in whirlpools of black magic she cast arrival spells like no one else she swaps the Sun with the moon moon at noon midnight IG fly taillights into the bath of ASEA miss nation in a crab like dance head in sideways to landless futures she tears away the gorgeous gear her venom where she cuts a scratch into history's finals to fetch the randoms who want to erase she samples songs of stolen soil she's not the time to count freedoms before they hatch well you know now you know why I had to scramble in four or five days to bring them here to share with you because this is how I felt in South Africa every time I met them and I always says you know when I jog I always fantasize if I was a millionaire what would I do if I had a lot of gems I hit the jackpot what would I do all I said well first I'll produce some been some Benz film the one he wanted to do all his life then I will give some of it for young filmmakers from the continent selected by me and then I'll give two or three to Howard students that I like and then I bring the rest of the money will be a fund to just bring this kind of spirits that I want to share there are folks like this two brothers in Brazil I know a sister in Europe you just we just don't have the power to bring to transport them and they did come and I'm very grateful that they they came [Applause] and I'm also I just want to say quickly before we ask that you know we have about 30 minutes for Question and Answer but I just wanted to recognize professor Millington thanking him for since I talked about every professor for bringing your film students because this is what we are trying to make we try to make some students imagine and this event today I can tell you the picture they painted on the cloud I think tonight or tomorrow you sometimes will remember you met with the topography of South Africa you felt that you touched it the poor the skins of South Africa and I think that's what the power of poetry is all about and I hope we can do this in film now I want to start the question this way professor Ackland Lynch I just want to you know expose him here you know he went to South Africa and he came back and when he came back he said something interesting he told me he met this Boer farmer a farmer in South Africa and he said to him and correct me if i paraphrased you but I'm exposing you now the first question he said to him you know I wish I knew and she was going to be protecting me I would have lived a different life for a long time he said when I was during apartheid I had to spend so much money to be protected with electricity guards everything so much to pay and never took vacation I never went nowhere every day uptight living 24 hours when this people this bush Negroes are about to come on me I added that up okay just to get the drama going so and he said now thanks to NC I can take vacation I travel I've even visited some of this nice resorts that are put only it'll carve down for pleasure and rich white people in Kent you know those islands you know now and then we're only when planes crash but they're really secluded places and he said I'm having fun thanks to NC and I remember I was like a volume a volume that's a volume that's a book about for me to about contemporary South Africa and to hear from them and just to see the hope side in the way in their poetry not only in the you know brother Matias you know very philosophical visionary humanist expression but even in their poetry we saw we heard that and so my like it's not a question but that's the way I want to set it up and I want to give you a chance more to ask question who else who wants to go first and if you have any question about anything don't be no artist can you know often have a very interesting insight about you know the sociology and history and you saw the economic and just you know linked it with things you know that's like it's like a very powerful metaphor here that we saw so don't be afraid whatever question you have let's go with it quickly and short thank you again firstly what is freedom you have to ask yourself what what is freedom you know and for us who fought the struggle with you you sacrificed with us firstly we didn't believe number one that those who marched with us in the trenches will forget us we thought that our struggle was different from the other struggles of Africa we thought that this one because we did not drive the white man to the sea because we did not exact our vengeance because we did not do what all revolutions normally do we thought that this one was different that my brother's keeper was my brother's keeper and that my sisters keeper was my sister's keeper and we saw that this brother and this sister who we presume to be our keeper moved away from us it is true whether they deny it or not political freedom does not necessarily transform into economic freedom but we believed it would happen we believe that the banks that were robbing us of loans because we were black and because we were risks would change but they didn't change what they did do was take our friends who marched with us who died who actually was shot with us in the trenches and they were exiled and we were ins Isles we believed that the enzymes would would get some of the wheat falling from their hands and the crumbs but the banks made them managers with them the same people that marched with us the same people that fought with us so we saw that there was a lion and still is alive but that does not change the the skin of the serpent the serpent remains the same the serpent is economic power listen my brothers and sisters we are free we built a million homes in ten years Wow hey Eppie it's never been a million homes in ten years but we have 15 million people living in shacks we have eleven four to six to ten million people who can't read and write still we have seven we have every hour of every day 24/7 to eight to ten children dying of kwashiorkor pellagra and malnutrition but we are free so how are we free how is this freedom yes Mandela is free Mandela helped to create the miracle for us he want us back our dignity we can look at the stars now without looking at the white men's shoes but they're looking as the stars that they feed the mouths that they kick do they teach the children this is the kind of line that we fight against and we are marked by the intelligence of our country they have files on me they have files on him but we're supposed to be free so these are the paradoxes but but that is not to say there is no good there is a lot of good that has come guess who's enjoying the good those who enjoyed the best before they build fences around their villages they've the word is and sconce they ensconced themselves in wealth they have electrical wires around their villages they have booms with guards at their gates in our country we cannot go in without saying to this black man I came to see mr. so-and-so you wait here Tring Tring I've got this black man yeah do you think he can come up ask him what's his name what's your name my name is so-and-so oh no he can come in the gate opens in my country in my country this is what I'm talking about look at me I'm beautiful I'm free but look at look at you look at your children look how fat they still are and look at my brother's cheeks glowing with the fat eating from fields they did not plow so for me these are the paradoxes that we have to come to terms with the black people of South Africa they must come to terms of the past the white people of South Africa must come to terms with the future for me that is the paradox that is the key they didn't drive us to the sea they should have they didn't rape and robbers and take our homes in our lands we should have they didn't butcher us and slaughter us we should have or should we have it's happening all over the world why didn't it happen there so where is the concomitant responsibility the concomitant compassion that goes with possession and dispossession for us those are the tricks and our president tries to deal with them in a very intellectual and clever way but we the poets we the artists we the fathers and the mothers we speak out against these things and of course persona non grata but we are free those are the paradoxes [Applause] having talked about terra's answered that question I just want to throw up one or two images in Sun that's a place called something square which is a huge shopping mall you know which i think is the insofar as topic is concerned that is the scent of white capital and they have built a monument for whom for Mandela what is to be something squares now Mandela's way what is the meaning of that what's interesting about that statue is that it's disproportional small head big body if if Fred cook is devil on the cross you'll understand the idea of a leech with a small head no vision big body drinking on the blood of the people now think about that we've been told Mandela is a saint is freeing us from this and that I don't know I was growing up believing in this image of Mandela who created Mandela who was Mandela before he went to prison why were we why did we come to a point in fact where we thought that when Mandela walks free we are all free who designed that thought dinner I mean it was the people all the media in our country and to some extent we collaborated in that nonsense right so we have bought into images that we shouldn't have bought into in the first place when Becky talks about the African relicense you know this thing of you know releasing you know South Africa to the continent what is talking about release releasing white capital to eat up the rest of the continent they are busy building you know the Czech assistance they are busy building shopping malls ANOVA killing local economies so that our white capital head is free yes I don't know about us and after dinner I one time I couldn't even leave finally when I finished dinner I was left to go I couldn't leave the gate because the intercom and the security guys just held me for over two hours I couldn't leave because there is an amazing middle-class culture that is gonna shock the world those barricades you have to unbeknownst to visit you know it's not like just the whole middle-class area barricading themselves from the have-nots and so when you go in the street you know that Greek thing where you go you tie rope first in case you want to come back what is it yeah that's what it looks like anyway that's interesting anyway my sister here Oh before you go everybody let me just say this you know I'm good at this for a reason for me I mean I know they're gonna be shocked they paid their way to come here and I'm gonna make all of us have to donate to pay them so they can go back and be reimbursed for this pleasure and so I'm going to demand on in the bucket you know the globalization this is not something that we the formerly oppressed and the formerly colonized it's not our thing globalization I mean I don't even really want to go into it without doing a trustees or doing a dialectical analysis of the situation it has affected us it has affected the whole world the bushes the IMF has affected all of us we fought to have the the apartheid loans quashed and guess who was our biggest opponent please guess a South African government we fought to have the apartheid loan that the apartheid state had borrowed from the IMF billions we asked for it we formed an organization called Jubilee mm I was one of the founders our biggest foe in all of this is our own government the liberation government so globalization has affected us all it is affected so much so that our country is not just a free-market country it is a free-market protagonist Thabo Mbeki our president is invited to all of the g8 all of the g7 because we know what the global leaders and the global forces and global powers want world capital dominates our lives dominates what we drink what we eat how what we wear the clothes that you guys market to us your culture that you might guys market to us in South Africa we consume it like you've never seen in fact there's a many America in South Africa a many America in South Africa the coca-cola signs are everywhere the rap has taken off our kids don't say please send a message to the phone send a shout-out to us hey Dan hey dude what you doing this is our kids our radios have been taken over the airwaves have been taken over even a station like kya which plays a lot of African music globalization has affected our revolution it has made us compromise our leaders have compromised I am I think it's something we must not let you leave this room do you know we love mr. Mandela you guys can't believe it we it's like Jesus who's come amongst us and if the Jesus said love thy neighbor as thyself give the other cheek to thy enemy who did exactly that globalization has held him and has got our leaders in Africa they even now fight to be on the Security Council they fight each other to be part of the gangs whoever veto about something globalization has affected the way we eat we drink we live we work and I I can only say this that the forces of the world you know when that tsunami came sadly and I I say this to you well that tsunami came to to Malaysia Africans in Kenya also felt it other places also felt it nobody really spoke for Somalia nobody really weeps for Africa but Africa doesn't weep for itself everyone doesn't fend for itself Africa has become another Lackey of this world of globalization somebody says the Muslims why are the Muslims and the siege of the world globalization has determined that the new enemy of the world is no longer communism but Islam and of course we are Christians I mean we follow the blood of Jesus amen and we do that so if they say this is the way then that is the way our minds are being taken over our books have been taken over they have this education system melody what is it tell me the curriculum mm and what do they call it they have another term for it all so that your kids have to face each other when they teach when they learn you just have to teach them writing and reading quickly they must be able to add try and get the most out of school quickly and this is globalization Lots bad is happening but you know the human spirit my sister is indomitable and you can crush it in one place it will emerge in another I really don't have the panacea for my country neither do I think we have the panacea for you I think know thyself find thyself and free thyself maybe that is the way to go I just want to say by the way liberation liberation song liberation everything is about liberation and poetry is only one small cog in the wheel of consciousness and I think the best cog for this wheel of consciousness is the human spirit you don't have to be a poet to see yourself as being worthy of being a cog in this wheel I think once you have found yourself once you know yourself poetry is only a vehicle for me it is not the end-all and the bee or I think the be-all and the end-all is human consciousness but firstly you are human before you are American you're even human before you were black you also human before you're white it's just that somebody somewhere has contrived all of this and put us in the field that poetry is a sword it can help to free the people it can also be a balm and approaches to heal the wounds but let us create the hypothesis that there is no poetry in this village there are no playwrights in this village but there are teachers the teacher holds the key the conscient eyes teacher the teacher was aware the teacher who's committed is the pillar of civilization I think the teachers of the world must come together they must unite they must change the curriculum of power the curriculum of acquisition they must bring a new curriculum to the children we African speak about cubism something outgoing the Europeans have pillars and structures you could see their pose go to Washington you see their their pillars holding up their buildings ugly cold granite that has no blood that has no feeling the Parthenon they want you to admire the Parthenon they want you to admire when they come to the pyramids they tell you it's Egyptology they don't say it's Africa nology they want to do that they want to take away from you your right of being and poetry is one of the small vehicles that can help for you to ascertain your right of being I am because you are and this is the cubism that I speak of I really don't want to talk more just a quick observation one of the spoken word artists young spoken word artist in South Africa put it this way I'd rather have propaganda and propaganda [Applause] what was he talking about in my country I mean you look at the way I mean nothing politicians are aware of the power of wait the power of the arts to make people you know think outside official containers if you like so now they are playing a game you know and the game is to co-opt some people and how do they do that it's about how funds to the arts are allocated you know I've you see a lot of people getting not a lot maybe a handful of people getting millions to do all sort of stupid things and that's that's what makes South Africa you know you have I could mention names but it's not really necessary but you've seen them in a lot of odd that comes out of the country you know as long as you have these happy Africans beating drums like mad even if they don't have a rhythm notes and so forth as long as they beating drums then this is our culture as long as that dancing and smiling and this is the thing that they want to see you know and those people who think differently you know they want to squeeze them you know and it's about how you know funds are allocated to a point where they've created this disease where people have become so dependent on these this funding you see so people are writing now the poetry of proposals now I hereby propose to to write this poem whatever or whatever they then then you get your money and then you go and recite your poem so I don't know if that is the way to go you know I think people need to think that you know if you want to change things you don't need a budget to change things but now okay not that the revolution must wait you know there's no budget that's the kind of I hear here first and then I'll come to you next thank you very much because people often think of South Africa has been unique in Africa and therefore lessons that took place in Kenya ivory coast Tanzania were not learned or even utilizing South Africa because not only Mandela but Thabo Mbeki and tutu and Bocek and others with different people they approach God in a different kind of way I guess and had a different relationship to him as seen in some of the theatrical some of the plays that you had in your conversations with God ah I'm wondering if truth and reconciliation which is now used as a concept of restorative justice to be applied in Rwanda and Burundi and Liberia and other parts of Africa as a concept now puts us where they're not here in terms of foreign policy or even in terms of domestic law restorative justice is is another kind of thing in terms of how well that was negotiated whether that was really installed to do three things to get rid of Winnie Mandela one to wipe out PSE completely until place Thabo Mbeki in a strategic location after the death of Chris Hanney so that he could become the voice of South Africa the new South Africa was made to continue to join and that was through music through that I think we must also say to you we have seen untold black on black violence we have seen terrible things in our country and me done matira I want to be the last one to spark this he knows the power my wife knows the power my wife knows the power that that some of us possess one wrong word one wrong phrase can bring it all down and I think we must work there must be different ways you have articulated it sir I was a commander and the ground commander I refused to go to the truth and reconciliation because number one it wasn't the real old truth and number one and number one it wasn't the real true reconciliation I just need to share this one last poem and I hope you marched with people and you ran with people and you fell with people I was shot three times as a gangster as a street kids I was also tortured terribly tortured in prison electrical wires were put in my penis the others were put in my pump about ten times they switched on like you have never seen I don't know how many times I came I ejaculated I collapsed I vomited blood terrible things have gone on my fingers were broken my ribs are broken and people want to talk about the grace of one man Mandela my response is one man like one tree does not make a forest so we really went through suffering but I want to be the last one and I will work hard to see that some kind of dispensation sanity prevails I and my wife we I work with a hundred and fifty-three community based organizations I found it for 40 years schools for handicapped children I have one school named after me the Dharma Terra school for learners with special educational needs I work with gangsters in prison I can go on and on and on because I believe that somewhere along the line we cannot lose hope we cannot let all of this lie overwhelm us we must hold on we we must help to save our country from the line that is being perpetuated I said in South Africa I said in America without fear or favor but I get the old angers come back to me and this poem says sometimes I feel an old anger welling up exhorting me to blind the mocking eyes of history jerk the deep stagnant heart of the unseeable shake the Coltrane of the unmovable ask why the gloating Bain of avarice now abides among the newly freed why the one steal faces of heroics tell Watts glows with a fat of greed why comradeship and Trust must die for power position and pumped to so falsify the noble objects of the struggle to and substantiate for a golden penny the comfort privilege of the few against the misery of the many sometimes I feel an old anger welling up and when I felt it in the old days I took the gun and I shot when I felt it in the old days I took the hand grenade and I put it in you know in a bunch of flowers and I placed it in an arcade when I felt the anger in the old days I killed I can't continue to have this blood on my hands my own people so something has to give and I believe that it will happen please don't buy the lie that we hate our leader that we hate our president all we say to you 1/3 European people he worked out history and showed us sensitivity to who we are we must remember when we go to other people's country how to bring that rather than standoff with what with our story and how many both the earliest tree and told us his relationship to us and the conjunction nicely between the Essen and in his he allows that humanity to rise to another place and I hope we will always ask people whether we Ethiopian Caribbean Brazilian or not carry this example so when we go to other people's place we talk to them about their [Applause] by the way I don't know if I'm wrong or right but I think he's related to Winnie by the way this guy may be from my grandma yeah constant you know we worship we love she remains a constant and we are not ANC members you don't have to be an ANC member to see her as a constant as a star in the firmament of our dreams she remains constant by the way I'll tell you this you know winning winning is even becoming a better person in the way she's been excluded from power is making her more illogical a logical revolutionary in the true sense because I think the people that are excluded also should know they could have been those guys they're watching and I think that was a necessary lesson in Africa often we want to come to power because we don't really read literature we don't know what power does we come and I think especially African powers like the beginning always starting it doesn't learn from the collapse of even Mobutu it doesn't learn from the collapse of Haile Selassie here we seem to just start like it's the beginning of everything and so here is where literature has the power to connect and show the continuity of it and I think it is then outside I think Winnie and many people that are excluded I've known them personally I met them I think they're becoming more because I think they were human and they have been casualties of power but I think they just saw themselves I think they're seeing themselves in this people in spite in spite of the personal contradictions etc etc and the other thing is I think personally you know when he hated exile I think we forgot as you like black folks always prepare their spectrum they are opting prospective it's very limited their focal lenses like here and I think the superpowers seem to prepare you know from our own narrow lens they seem to prepare even and we wake up suddenly all of us seem to be caught unprepared to the logical struggle that comes about as a logical extension of where we are and so I think South Africa I'll tell you in the end though I leave depressed and then this guy's by the way leave me very inspired all the time that's why I'm sharing them today here but for me I know now Africa just finished her car her last card with South Africa the last card is played yes and I think now the most neglected component that from Guinea Bissau Angola Mozambique from all the struggle in Africa the most important thing that we forgot was that we did not bring culturally transformed men and women with you know the new humanity never came about so speaks I was the obscene what what what Faneuil says about you know the the other quotation I was talking about you know Fallon says it you know the in a very you know weird paraphrasing he says you know Africans he says you know please I plead with you don't do not imitate the obscene constructions and institutions of colonialism history expects better from us and I think that is a cultural analysis that's a cultural perspective and I think that's why I think most intellectuals of Africans are going to begin to read now Fallon for real because we read that and for the Armstrong not for the cultural revolution because the armed struggle is about the opposition Cultural Revolution is the new man and woman that has to also erupt with new grammar new experiment and new mistakes of our own with an imperfect structure and so I'll tell you Africa finally with South Africa has played its last card it's finished I think now the germinating when you see people like this in South Africa in Q Street in New Orleans in places meeting and doing this kind of community their own notion of the vision of the world we have it I think in there and so I trust I think the problem here is I don't think we should go back home and be passive spectators we should be active participants because we too can make history as history makers we gotta wake up and so to me that's very important let me just say this go ahead distinctly the addendum to what you say is that the so-called white person must not feel left out the so-called white person must know that he is not a white person because you never hear a Frenchman saying to an Italian I'm white you never hear a German saying to an Austrian I'm white once we can understand that tenzin people from Tanzania never tell Kenya's they are black because black is a D not a political denomination a cultural denomination it is we must escape it they must come a time when we are truly revelaed liberated from color truly d racialized that we don't see the white in people and they don't see the black in us that day will only come and white say listen I'm human Here I am take me as I am don't blame me for my history and let's help and create a new history I would say this let me say this I think this is as a student of my I'm not imposing but I'll tell you this I think to me for me the purpose of the black cultural revolution is to create new black people who are capable of forging and defining a new world and I think white people to have to adjust to what I call myself the problem here is I don't think we have the capital nor the energy no literature power to convince privileged blinded white people I think that sometimes discourages us let me just say this I think to me white people have to create their own revolutionaries that we an affinity can congregate at a certain historical time but now creating black people who do not give white people this space to be enslaved that is I think the revolution that black people all over Africa in here have to liberate themselves from giving space to any power and then in so doing we enter a more compatible powerful relationship four minutes I have many white friends that what blinds them is the collapse the cholesterol privilege of being white the the trust fund of whiteness whiteness automatically white folks those who cross the road this to our own of you you know for me they crossed over it's like John Brown crossed over yes and after that there is no limit to how things could go but for that journey to happen it's a major event but anyway let me say this let me say this so we cannot lose it I want to bring first before we go further I want to bring the solidarity powers and as I do this because I want you guys to connect to this African students in America Africans Afro Americans Africans in America every Friday in front of this building they have a poetry event open microphone I want them to meet you and I want them to also when you meet them I want to see them in South Africa I know one of them has been there already but the way I wanted is I want this poet to go to the South Africa that I have to the township of Cape Town to the township of Joburg and so for me it's very little I'm very privileged to bring the Open Mic gang we should know that you know for me part of my criticism for their poetry in America is it doesn't have often except in case of these brothers here especially that one it doesn't go into a universal consciousness because there is in London most probably some sister a brother who looks like he doing almost at it that's what scares me when you find you look alike you think I like you sought what cross-dressing or like twinship it freaks you out I see it in Brazil I see it in the Caribbean I see it in Africa and I think it's a very important point that Africans in America should not always we should not only know their poetry they should know our poets those who even write in national international languages and I was very happy when I said I just put that you know that South African taste of honey you know I didn't know what he said but I just felt good about it and I think it's a very poor we don't have to subtitle him we just got the gist of it and I think that is important now my brother buddy take the mic but I'm telling you if you don't do what I like there's one I like all right cool what's up y'all my name is bomani Armah I'm not a rapper I'm a poet with a hip-hop style you wanna know more information about me you can check out my website a county deceives to not be the place to be the black people were talent tried to leave and go to PG County now they're kicking all the rest of the black people out and they taking on the PG County y'all seeing what happened in PG County other than that not able to handle these problems how we haven't been able to come together as a people no matter what our classes are no matter what our educational levels are and it's something that I have I've only been able to briefly touch on in my poetry and in my artwork and I hope to be able to touch on more but hearing how it's happening in South Africa it's like makes makes me understand that something I definitely need to address now before it becomes a bigger thing for instead of actually having the police on the streets they actually build gates because that's probably what's gonna happen next um all right the piece I'm gonna do before hardly kicks me out of here there's a piece that I'm gonna need some crowd participation all right it has a beat to it so um I'm gonna need y'all to clap okay and not one of those claps that stop once I get started I need y'all to keep the clapping going so I keep the beat alright so it goes on check it oh hey look you're never really satisfied whether rich or poor I mean once you get something you're gonna want some more we bear pretty free that's right into the core we import drugs and export war and at the end of the day what is all of this for I mean what matters in the world baby I'm not really sure I say it's mother nature but we treat her like a whore I say it's God but we shown him the door so tell me why we do this every day give up our lifetime four hours worth of pay and try to convince ourselves that it will be okay truth is I ain't happy here but here is where I stayed so I have to find a way to have peace every day sometimes I drink a beer sometimes I smoke a J sometimes I curse them screams sometimes I kneel and pray but when I come to Sankofa this is what I say huh you've had a day that was really whack shake it off you got too much pressure on your back take it off you get in love with strings attached break it off it go shake it off take it off break it off you've had a day that was really whack shake it off you got too much pressure on your back take it off you get in love with strings attack break it off it goes shake it off because it's hard to avoid the double when you're chilling in this lair but we're not supposed to get more than we can bear but whoever told you that life was really fair so for a moment lived life without a care so baby bro do what you want to with your hair have fun live a little take a dare we stress so much about what we drive and we're looking for something that isn't really there we walk around all day feeling that we've been cheated so hard to get cold and arguments get heated life can be so sour and we are forced to eat it time for a revolution follow me I'll lead it this is for all of those who really feel defeated who've been abused misused and mistreated I know sometimes your spirit feels depleted I wrote this one for you cuz I know you really need it it goes you've had a day that was really whack shake it off you got too much pressure on your back take it off you get in love with strings attached break it off and go shake it off take it off break it off you've had a day that was really whack shake it off you got too much pressure on your back take it off you get in love with strings attached break it off it goes shake it off take it off break it off so all my people on the right say shake it off and all my people on the Left say take it off and all my people in the back say break it off it go shake it off take it off break it off so all my people on the right say all my people on the left say thank you all my people in the back say it goes shake it off take it off make up for all my people on the right say all my people on the Left say and all my people in the back say it goes shake it off one more time all my people on the right say and all my people on the left say and all my people in the back say it goes shake it off take it off break it off thank you very much everybody very honored to be here Bob Holly's been talking about doing something like this for a long time so very happy that we've been able to make it happen I've had the opportunity to visit your country on several occasions meet some of your a wonderful Polish Micheel a fearless sister and I'm really close to see there I'd like to take everybody with me and just a fire I'm a Congolese American so my parents raised us in the anti-apartheid movement at seven years old I was passing out flyers and Boston Massachusetts and everything so it's a struggle that was never just he was as you know it was an international movement so I'm just happy to be here to be able to contribute in any way shape or form so my contribution to solidarity I wonder why all these ye me tongue so here – Oh si si que la thing loose up are you free or African mind my brother free or African mind my sister free yourself from those mental chains that say you don't come from that dark continent when ain't no one on the content and darker than you realize you've been brainwashed by wicked white men but your oppression has also been perpetrated by your own brethren I know that the rapings castrations and lynchings are grueling but the castration of the mind has more longevity than a lynching you're wrenching further and further away from your motherland you let them tell you that your slave inspired slang was Ebonics and not a rich African language of English words and so you were afraid to speak the word you believe them when they told you your continent was dark however you didn't realize this because they were trying to steal her sunlight for centuries for my ending the ancient Egyptian to whitening baits over to whitening Michael Jackson you've been brainwashed from slave co-lister black coals to Jim Crow you've been brainwashed from k12 laude you've been brainwashed you see you want to be American to America I decided she no longer needs you while entire continent pleads for you to come home so for your African mind free those Maps oppress under that process freeze those hips are those tight jeans that only attract negative attention and suffocate your natural nightlight at curves freeze those brown luscious lips from ravishing red lipstick brothers free your kidneys from sipping 40s and sipped fresh waters from the narrow Basin free your cell phone feeling you have to step all over your lady and step with me and my Kilimanjaro free your mind and stop trying to free willy to our co-pilot and I fight for liberation to deny that you African it's not your place on earth as the first why I claim to be a nigger and killed over street corners when you can claim ancient Nubia why clean and you can have a continent I speak to all of you the Nile from african-americans to West Indian sir even continental Africans Malcolm and Marcus and Marley died trying to feel your minds accepting your African blood turned you into a worldwide majority and not a national minority it stretches your history much farther than Mississippi it explains why as beautiful as you are why he worship like no other and why he can never be defeated while standing on the shoulders of God and your ancestors all of you rise you ghetto prisoners who are really gonna in Princes rise you proud to be bitches who are really biruni and princesses rise you think being born on the continent is enough to make you African rise ducks the Latinos rhymes confuse conversions rise westernized West Indians rise egocentric you're Africans rise and leaves you got for Asians rise almost annihilated Australian Aborigines rise realize like what Mali realize the big African is a state of mind and what we do that right African sunrise and I guarantee your mind/body/spirit a nation will rise rise rise hi guys just free your mighty [Applause] yeah there's as I hear that maroon that sister from the Gullah Islands you know I hope someday she like just do some poetry of the divorce of Ghana and gitche before I before I recite the piece called silent screams I want you all to give yourselves a big round of applause thank you so much the spirit of African people who are here spirit you came you came out we put this together and you came out and you supported and you support Sankofa as we are here for you and we thank you and you supported in your giving and we thank you we thank you so again this is just the beginning of our Fall Series please please make sure that your names and your email addresses and your contact information we have it so that we can let you know the sister for those of you who are here the beginning and you heard like any Mitaka we're gonna have like any Mitaka day right here at Sankofa we're gonna have that's right I say we're gonna have and javis going to talk about this a little bit more we're gonna have community discussions on the arts and the artists here in the DC area where there are sculptures being both being erected of great powerful African people like cottagey Woodson if being erected and being sculpted by European artists and so we need to have a discussion we need to have a community discussion we're gonna have those discussions right here at Sankofa so make sure you have we have your information so that we can let you know because of course I left the dais so we're gonna be able to get those things to you and so make sure you have that and leave that information with us silent screams deep in South Carolina beyond the bank the water is still but along the river side further along the shore I see a body washed up from the scene of last night's massacre in the woods I heard him cry out to me in silent screams I yelled to him that I am working hard to save him but I am here in this time in this place I told him to hold out a little longer my strides are getting closer my bridges a little stronger I'm seeing you I told him I'm reaching for your hand you've suffered too much now I'm ready to take control but it's too late the disguised murderers burned the Rope of his life with their torches let them drop to the ground while somehow still reaching for my hand they're symbols of hope fire Hood's hate destroyed my chance to deliver freedom I am bitter but not to disturb to realize that his tragic ending marked the beginning of my destiny my mission as it stands now is to never forget that night of not so long ago and to realize that there are many more lives to save in this time in this place I hear your call hello my name is Ashe anechoic Tola i'm completely nuts after you know trying to come out after these people but the reason I came out is because I wrote a poem tribute to them to the people who came from them so I want to share it with you I have to read it because yeah the other reason you know I'm not going to use spoken word I'm still chained to the paper so I have to read it shall I start from them Harry won because he likes Amharic won so llamo caffeine yeah but for Valu fat hot enough to ten of to get a yellow Erica the recommended oh yeah what are we were dull psych wait Amanda so Pegasus should not see what Gotham deserve it this is what I wrote why listening to these people really really impressed fire in the words I'm burning I'm really burning down or up to my soul from the volcano from the passion from the inferno buried in the words the heat in the assembled alphabets not the fire next time out of James Bond in Spain but it is a fire for now a fire to wipe out the hypocrisy the oil stain democracy the Halliburton smeared illegal grassy it is a fire this time to develop to deliver us from the slavery called freedom and fire of liberation of a Quino volcano in the poems and fair know in the words I'm drunk I'm drunk out of control and wasted all in all but I cannot put words together in spite of my anger in spite of my hunger to say it out loud like them to enlighten many in the flame because I'm chained to the paper but burning in the fire [Applause] thank you Wow just wrote that that's that's incredible I just wanted to make an offering from the DC community at Penn African AfriNIC offering to both of our steam poets of my work which you see on the Flyers they're from I do poetry in English and French and Swahili and I just wanted you know as a token of our appreciation to if you are you know samples of our work you know CDs DVDs as well as literary forms to take back with you uh and just you know a physical token of our appreciation addition to the funds and everything that are being collected so thank you okay this is you know Fiona you saw you just saw her sneak in and she wanted to announce an event it's going to be Thursday 10 10 13 or 5:00 at 8 p.m. at Duke city especially you know you'll be any young folks in the back you better be there because she's saying she's doing fundraising to do her film and she would like people to come in and support her at Duke city please do that I know the Ethiopian gang will be there's my sister let me just say first for all of you and sincerely all of you you all brought your spirit and we're we thank you you because I think above all of it you came you brought your energy your magnetic soul and spirit and they're gonna remember you and these are not people you know limelight people you know I don't deal with limelight people because they don't think they don't live beyond you know yes and so for me these are real people community people and when you go you're going to look for them in Joburg yeah in Cape Town Pretoria they will be there somewhere reading and you and look for them and so I'm I want to thank you for you know I'm not really good at this I wish to reek was talking but the other thing is I just want to say to my brother matera here because he's been in the forefront of this struggle and I have to say something we owe him he's a humanist he was in the forefront of this struggle he wants to know we are humble we want to guarantee him and assure him that we do not become monsters because of the monstrosity mana straw city or the monster nests of the system or the racism or whatever we are I think a different generation who understand that we do not allow our people to be racist especially in the kind of film work and things we do and I don't usually say this to white people because I just let them suffer because I don't like to explain myself because I think I'm a humanist but white people are too spoiled to always be assured I'm not really a dangerous person I'm a very nice person especially especially after I made Sankofa just become a very you know and then also after having five kids with Shahrukh I've become a human being because I'm thinking of my children in fact in his poetry I thought about my kids because I was having a hard time now in my life letting go of my kids and he was telling me they're not mine today and I just felt very very even empowered about letting go of my children and so for me was therapeutic personal and I want to assure you my brother I don't care about you by the way so I'm not going to explain nothing to a fella because you gotta just decode it from there but I want you to know very clearly from my heart that we do not allow ourselves to be monsters due to our experiences but you know we have to know that something and that is that we have to create a space to work out our imperfections and sometimes maybe our languages could you know could worry but I know for me I want you to be rest assured when you go to South Africa that we do not tolerate racism as a reverse tool because I think that itself paralyzes we believe in alternative tools if we want to invent alternative tools to combat the new reality we want to do that racism I think will you know paralyze us and so I know it's from experience you wanted to let us know to make sure we do not become monsters in the image of the oppressor but I assure you we push a humanist value my wife and me do not for example allow this place as a political dogmatic rallying place we want imperfect cultural processes to take place and so I want to let you know especially this this old man would not join us if we were like that but I think it is because we want to construct a space where black people could be imperfectly explore and free themselves from a potential entrapments and so I really want to say that it's out of this event I want to say that my brain I want to assure you and for me ha fella you know you know I want you to know when I first in Joburg sat down I was crying that this you know for me my whole problem is I don't know professor Chum remembers I finished Sankofa and then he I think he was a moderator somewhere at the Smithsonian and they asked me to speak there and I was crying and because it was like nine years of so many things in that day and so one of my students you know this way man garima cried I cried and it amazed me that he said that I heard him in the hallway Grima man he just spoken cried and I was very very happy that apparently he didn't know I was human because he always has seen me as a warrior and so I was again in South Africa you know when I spoke in South Africa um the way I believe in things and things and then this people who took me didn't know what happened to me because I was sitting there crying in that poetry session you did in Joburg a hole he had a one-man show and he had a Steven Biko poster and he had five instruments or six instruments for two hours he had South Africans all over the floor crying laughing and embracing each other and I think that's the power this is this young guy and it's like a machine like Harrow we asked them to come here it's not here because sometimes some people look twins you know you start to look you know look at this guys the way I meet them and but I've seen somebody in South Africa who look like them who looks like who and so these are actually special tribes because African people you know it's the drummers the poet's the the the sculptors you know that oh I'm sorry my young brother it's me I think it's just my dis again you know where he's crying I think he's crying for me so to me like I think it's very critical to understand that art has a healing effect and I believe across fences art has the capacity but we can't contain the poison and not release it through expressions I think better than killing poetry is better to fantasize even killing if there's the poison there get it out of you know through poetry now the things we're trying to do here the Woodson Carter we don't want people like for example you know I am NOT against white people doing your statue on Woodson Carter or slavery my wife and me about I've been 20 years 10 years or 15 years I'm too getting old by the way many years ago in Detroit the somebody sponsored this the Holocaust to be a statue or a monument made for the Holocaust and what happened at that time was that they chose a white artist and for me the misses a very important issue of the healing idea for me in poetry and artwork and scallop sure when the pained person goes through the motion of building your monument to the winner for the dead for the for the untried millions and millions of Africans that's up to now nobody has shared a tear yet you know no Monument I when I was driving all over the South many times and I see all these monuments for white soldiers and things and yet there's not one single tribute to Africans who died and millions and what it does is it whole society hostage hostage psychologically it creates guilt ridden and shamed people and in fact South Africa Illustrated this for me in South Africa I felt there was two people two societies who came out of a mental institute and don't want treatment because to me you cannot be a South African white or black and come out of that store achill experience and not have a need for mental healing process allowing the artists the poet's the unpopular whatever their poetry and picture and painting is to allow them to say it enables all societies to journey through them into a healing phase and so for me to censor the healers to put them in jail you know to continue to to tag them and tailgate them their movements and scan where they are it's a tragic it's some like refusing to be healed and so to me it is very important an African American woman or a man puts a monument because the community through that African American through that art collectively communally experiences a healing process so to me to deny me to put a monument for all those Ethiopians who died and gasps airplane gasps mustard gas and not to allow me is not to allow the healing take place so our thing is not racism we want an African artist in America because when a white puts the statue two societies remain divided because it is saying that Africans are unable to transfer transform using this as a process so for me we have to be greedy on that the films we have to make the monuments we have to make in doing so our community who looks like us transforms through that journey so it's not out of you know like out of hate or racism no when I did saenko for one thing I learned across the United States was the fact that African Americans were not intimidated I made it I came from Africa to Maine it buta Baraka you wouldn't the night before we start shooting in Jamaica he said I don't know and Rufi remember he said everybody spoke we had a party we didn't know what we were like gonna face a whole monster the movie just kicked everybody's butt but he said you know for me I'm in this film because not the money it's not anything what is this and this crazy Ethiopians who come from Africa and is dealing with something we're afraid to deal I'm fascinated by that and I am in it to see what the hell is this thing all about and so for me I think we enable Africans in poetry in sculpture monument painting drama movies we allow our people because when a white makes it defense takes place guilt and shame barricades itself in its own psychological encampment and no resolution that's why the United States to date had not resolved the race issue where all the Iraq Japan bombing Japan deeply most neurotic white Americans in power know their weak link our African people because their interest has not been it is like any stupid person can tell looking at black people that the United State has failed whatever it advertised you just look at the conditions of black people in South Sea in the North Carolina Island in those islands no electricity and water to date and talk about Africans helping the world so to me guilt prevents white people from trans making that necessary threshold passing that now in South Africa I said to them to me all of you are psychologically affected by what happened therapy should be in process now all of you should confess to each other in your poetry in your art to help the societies come through I was like a minister even challenged me she says you know why do you live in America if you think like this why are you living in America I told her because I don't want to be I don't want people like you to have power over me I hate the snow in America for Bush I'm a fly he doesn't care about me but I know if you got me here under your power under your jurisdiction you will smash me like a roach and I wouldn't give you that pleasure to you or took my Ethiopian Kings and so to me I'm a hiding man in America with my citizenship and waiting for the revolution really the revolution of after the African people and so for me we Africans are not mentally starting with myself I'm not talking about mentally affected people therapy therapeutic need is fundamental because we cannot deny we go through so much human like many simple things many simple things that are normal we fight with ourselves we have not reconciled our image our look our nose our lips our hair deep down I tell my students the most oppressed thing in the world is black people's hair and I say why don't you do a movie about black people's hair rising against black people meeting to kill black people because that's imagination you just create all the hairs of black people on the texture meeting at night the way black people Maroons met and say what should we do about this people they conk me they burn me they do so much whatever they're trippin I'm suffering and we should make a revolution again it's black people so we will be left alone in the way we are whatever the shape it is and so to me to me our psychological need is not a bad thing coming out of 400 years of demented disfigured legacy we deserve to have therapeutic journey and so let us not hate the artists the artists do the job of transformation they bring that they give us the opportunity to jump over that cliff that we all individually need therefore we have to fight for our artists in our image to make not a perfect an imperfect monument for all those millions of died we have to be greedy about that because it depends it is our pharmacy it is our clinic that is how we heal ourselves and so please we're gonna have a meeting here on the issue of who who is to make the monument of Woodson Carter you know he wouldn't even let him a one-day African day african-american day Black History Month to date I'll go all over America lecturing on February and black kids are intimidated to have just one month and the whole one 360 days to have one month all these white people intimidated because one month why should I even be 360 days a whole year because to me I'm a white Americans don't need one month one day it's a 360 day celebration of white power in silent postures them no forget here look at the galaxies who have they named it after all there's nothing left for us to call Dubois Saturn you know it's all Greek and Roman and everything and Washington and Jefferson and then we want to have a monument of our people that people fight us toe-to-toe and I don't want to go into our personal we know Eckland knows what's happening to us that's why we're building we're doing an artwork of African Revolution is on the wall next what because it's my wall it's because of incident and incident and I should tell you in this community we are in seventeen eighty percent no ninety nine percent black people living three white people moved in this summer black kids who have no way no summer to go built took this it was a literally a peeing wall how it on this parking lot and people come to pee and throw their garbage on a sister said we should clean we live here she cleaned it put water tires plants fantastic we said all of us who didn't do nothing next thing black kids put drawings images of themselves black people black family they put Anna wall there images and then we were called to a meeting because the four white people who live in our block don't want to see black people there so we went and my wife and me just went we should have had our camera the white woman just started the meeting you know I can't open my door every day and have to see this black thing here if you guys are inclusive and committed consider us community and remember why don't you just put flour why black faces we were shocked and we told them hey you kids put your own image is normal all human beings put their own image it's normal and and let everybody have to come in grips with it no white folks wrote Howard because Howard owned that parking lot Howard University have been here at our thirty years how it never has to this day change the bulb in my office I literally have dead lamps nobody had come to change they've never given me a desk I've always countered the desk a chair professor tenured painting televator never worked especially I recognized after like Oakland had my surgery now I need elevators badly it's always broken we sign letters and letters all of us signing nothing Howard doesn't do nothing for black students or us anything there's white womens later letter went to Howard they painted it white and the white woman came out and thanked them for painting it white and we lost the words so I retreated to my own wall Howard any are gonna have a debut in this wall they're gonna see the ghosts of black people but I'll tell you you should I'll tell you you should struggle you should struggle you should struggle you cannot be a passive spectator you can do a poetry a book club in your own context in your own basement Oakland has in his own basement you know more like meetings after meetings in his own basement and there's a meeting coming up I don't want to announce it but you know whatever you want to go I'll let you talk to me in him because I don't want the whole world to come and then Ackland kicks my butt but you should create your own basement for communal discussions don't wait for us to call you and so thank you very very much thank you very much for coming thank you hi fella Thank You professor matera Don Mattera [Applause] you

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