Monday, February 21, 2011

"Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery." -Malcolm X

today is the anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X-one of the greatest revolutionaries ever, and someone i personally look up to. i did a post about him a while back with some relevant quotes and sayings. today, i wanted to post a video of him speaking because i feel like his voice is very incite-ful, like Audre Lorde a riot. i think this video and the questions he poses in it are so important for us as a people. WHO ARE YOU? WHERE IS YOUR HISTORY?
i was doing some research a couple days ago about the word "Africa" and where it came from, and interestingly enough, it came from a white man (more and likely. the name's origin is a bit sketchy). in any case, however, the name did not come from "African" peoples. so, how accurate is the term "African"? i see a number of people change the spelling to "Afrikan" this an attempt to rid the the word of its etymology? but on the other hand, Dr. John Henrik Clarke says the term "black" doesn't tell you who you are nor where you come from. i think it was Maya Angelou who said something along the lines that we are obsessed with naming ourselves because someone else has been naming us for so long.

comment. think. criticize. ask more questions.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

(issues with) Black History Month & Langston Hughes

today is the first day of Black History Month AND it's Langston Hughes' birthday. i'm probably more excited about the ladder, though. Black History (education) is an extended period for me. 10 years? 20 years? lifetime? who knows... and i think black people should stop hyping it up as this once a year...only at church...on first sunday type deal. this is your life; your people; YOUR history. it's quite sad that it has to be reduced to a 28 day month, but i suppose it has to be thrust somewhere into the national US psyche, so i'll take what i can get. and my facebook is going to be bombarded with poems, speeches, videos, book suggestions, quotes, links, and everything else i can think of to honor this month...and also to bring knowledge about all the cultures that have been forgotten, erased, ignored, and degraded.

anyway, i think Langston Hughes is someone everyone knows about, but not that many people really know his poetry. his thoughts on racism, blacks, god, and religion are all evident in his poetry and i love how he can pack so much into a 4 or 5 line stanza. i've already attacked my other blog with poems by Langston Hughes, so i'll just put a few on here.

God to the Hungry Child
hungry child,
i didn't make this world for you.
you didn't buy any stock in my railroad.
you didn't invest in my corporation.
where are your shares in standard oil?
i made the world for the rich.
and the will-be-rich
and the always-have-been-rich.
not for you,
Hungry Child.

The White Ones
i do not hate you,
for your faces are beautiful, too.
i do not hate you,
your faces are whirling lights of loveliness and splendor, too.
yet why do you torture me,
O, white strong ones,
why do you torture me?

we run,
we run,
we cannot stand these shadows!
give us the sun.

we were not made
for shade,
for heavy shade,
and narrow space of stifling air
that these white things have made.
we run,
oh, God,
we run!
we must break through these shadows,
we must find the sun.

comment. think. criticize. share some poetry?