Bigotry still Lives in America   

by Michael Heslop

 

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The sun will rise again shedding light on the dark clouds hanging over US in America,

Yet

The clouds have always been dark for those of US too dark to be blue in America,

So

How dark can the clouds become for those of US too dark to be blue under the bigot-elect?

No one knows for sure but as Africa is our mama, and as history not naivety is our guide, we will always bleed for the smallest progress in America,

Yet

The moon too will do its customary dance far above the dark clouds, shining brilliantly on the bigot elect and the civilized in the streets alike in America,

The rain, hopefully heavy rain, will burst through the sullen clouds to show not only America’s tears but the tears of the world for the abuse of democracy in America on Tuesday, November 8th,

There is unease as there should be about the victory of bigots in America,

Yet

Bigots have always ruled America since they expropriated it from its indigenous inhabitants,

There is fury and there will be and should be more to resist the agenda of the bigot elect and his angry band of white supremacists,

There is fear as there should be about the impending attacks of the bigots on progress as there will be,

Yet

There should also be the resolve to fight back against bigotry’s gleeful moments against progress,

These moments are inevitable as the bigots enter the centers of government to unleash their bigotry which is about all they have left to offer to America and the world,

For sure, there will be battles in the coming months and years as there must be in the streets and in the centers of power,

These coming battles will be between those who battle for unity and those who battle for division, those who battle for progress and those who battle for hate, those who battle for light and those who battle for the permanence of bigotry’s darkness that for much too long has ruled America,

The inevitable battles to come will be to define America’s soul and to give America a conscience that since the coming of the pilgrims has gone with the wind leaving it with a frigid soul for those of us too dark to be blue!

Fortified Forever by Fidel

by Keith Ellis

For Harry and Rose Williams

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Cuba, with the passing of Fidel,

the peerless protector by thought

and deed, might now be seen as widowed.

But you who in dejected mood

risk seeing widowed as synonym of weakened,

sharpen your thinking!

Turn your eyes upon Mariana Grajales,

whose numerous progeny, still reproducing,

she gave unstintingly to the causes of

of independence, sovereignty and revolution.

Upon Celia Sánchez,

as dauntless as any guerrilla

and meticulous when architect or archivist.

Upon Melba Hernández, heroic combatant

From Moncada and the Third Eastern Front

To heroine of the whole Cuban Revolution.

Upon Haydée Santa María

from whose memory of steel

the darkest acts could not drive

the words “morir por la patria es vivir.”

Upon Vilma Espín who dared to fly

from roof to roof defying Batista’s murderers.
Upon Sara González, who never tiring

buoyed the revolution with vigorous song.

Upon Marta Rojas whose brave journalist’s pen saw

early that history would more than absolve them all.

Turn your eyes upon these and many, many more,

steadfast, unbending, at Cuba’s and humanity’s call,

forever fortified by Fidel.

Liberation Theology

Source:  Clement Payne Chambers (Barbados)

LASANA  M.  SEKOU
b. 1959
Liberation  Theology
in para,
brazil,
a lawyer said
military police invaded the house
of a peasant farmer,
raped his daughter
forced the family to watch
and made him,the farmer,
whose father could as well have been a carpenter–
carry a heavy cross for four miles
until he collapsed
with exhaustion
and still
you mean to tell me
that you have not seen the nazarene?
in cuba
before the triumph of the revolution
before marti
and before madre mariana’s conception of maceo
lived jose antonio aponte
who rose phoenix-clad macheteros
against the death-white tyranny of slavery
in a sparkling sun-dawn battle
they called the conspiracion de aponte
he was captured
he was quartered
his head placed on exhibit
and his hands nailed to a tree
and you will tell me
that you have not heard of this
of this messiah who came
and lived till death for us?
and did you not see
when we people
like flaming tongues of palm sunday branches
raised a savior on high
passing over the streets of st.george’s
proclaiming the science and faith
in the fifth year morning of a second coming
before the sadducee sentence
festered a thorn-crown of bullets
and nailed maurice to a bitter cross?
did you not weep then too,
stinging-nettle-laced-tears of vinegar blood
when green beetle soldiers,
the imperial horde
and their impudent soiled spots of oecs,
gairyseaga and the other failures too
made buzzard swoops
and cast treacherous lots to see
who would wear
the seamless innergarments of that christ?
and when they stabbed
jesus christ in guyana
wasn’t it father darke who bled to death?
then when they slaughtered the archbishop in san salvador
was it not the son of man who lay there
riddled for our silence?
and when they shot lionel laine
did you not hear how jesus
was gunned down in a haitian slum?
and when they bombed him to kingdom-come
didn’t we bear rodney’s body from the cross?
and when che passed over
didn’t you hear
how they tortured the christ in higuera?
so when they hanged poet malaise
in south Africa
didn’t you see adoni
dangling there?
and when they killed sandino
whose father was a small farmer
whose name could as well been joseph—
didn’t you hear him say
tyrants do not represent nations
and liberty is not won with flowers?
unto caesar what is caesar’s then
and unto the people the wealth of their labour
and when jacquiline fell
under the crucifix of mutinous guns
didn’t you see christ fall
and grace the thirsting earth
with blood and water?
and didn’t you hear the child,
as a rainbow arching from within her womb,
the child people said she carried for him, within her,
didn’t you hear that child say:
                       it is done
                       still, i&i live
                                  to come again
                                  like a thief in the night
                                  like a guest-unannounced
                                  like a double-edged sword
                      like a light that shineth into the darkness
                                  to proclaim
                                  the glory of true liberty
                                  to sing the peoples’ praises
                      to shout showering hosannas of living rain
and still you mean to tell me
that you have not yet seen
the likes of the Nazarene?
Source:  Clement Payne Chambers (Barbados)

Freedom

Freedom

by Michael Heslop

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Freedom isn’t free for those fighting for it,

Freedom is always written in the blood and tears of those who fight for it,

Freedom is paid for with the lives and pains of freedom’s fighters here, there and everywhere,

Freedom is never a gift for those who know the emptiness of its absence,

Freedom is torn from the power of those who hate it by those who don’t know it,

Freedom is not anything or everything,

No, Freedom’s the start of life for those who never know it,

Freedom is like fresh air for those with no air to live,

For those who cry for life in vain for want of a life worthy of living,

Freedom is manifest power for those below to defend their right to life,

Freedom creates the spaces for those who never knew it to put in place rights that eluded their lives for generations,

Freedom gives those below the chance to live in peace instead of fear from those who are self-described as civilized,

Freedom gives those who never knew the space to express the dignity and power they have always had and perhaps didn’t know,

Freedom is the friend of slaves, serfs and all those locked up in oppressive systems whether in mind, body or both,

Freedom in the end is a treasure for those who not only yearn for it but are willing to die for it!

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Muhammad Ali’s Dramatic Recital of His Poem on the Attica Prison Uprising

Reblogged from Moorbey’z Blog

Muhammad Ali Givez a Dramatic Reading of Hiz Poem on the Attika Prison Uprising

The world famous boxer Muhammad Ali read a poem he wrote for the the Afro-Amerikan victimz of the 1971 Attika prison massacre

 

 

It was a career defining encounter for interviewer Cathal O’Shannon, who praised Ali’s deftness in that area and noted that the champ said things “he would not have been able to say in America.”

It’s doubtful that O’Shannon was referring to the name calling, part of Ali’s campaign to draw Frazier back into the ring. (The champ got his wish less than two years later, when he defeated Frazier at Madison Square Garden in the second of their three fights.)

What’s more likely is that O’Shannon was alluding to the original poem Ali recites from memory, one minute into clip above, after orienting Irish viewers to the previous fall’s Attica Prison uprising, still the deadliest in U.S. history.

Ali imagines himself in the shoes of a black prisoner, responding to the white warden issuing a final ultimatum. His reply, which could be taken as a call to arms , but which Ali touchingly calls a “poetic poem,” takes the form of a dozen tercets:

Better far from all I see

To die fighting to be free

What more fitting end could be?

Better surely than in some bed

Where in broken health I’m led

Lingering until I’m dead

Better than with prayers and pleas

Or in the clutch of some disease

Wasting slowly  by degrees

Better than of heart attack 

Or some dose of drug I lack 

Let me die by being Black 

Better far that I should go 

Standing here against the foe 

Is the sweeter death to know 

Better than the bloody stain 

On some highway where I’m lain 

Torn by flying glass and pane 

Better calling death to come

Than to die another dumb

Muted victim in the slum

Better than of this prison rot

If there’s any choice I’ve got

Kill me here on the spot

Better far my fight to wage

Now while my blood boils with rage

Lest it cool with ancient age

Better vowing for us to die

Than to Uncle Tom and try

Making peace just to live a lie

Better now that I say my sooth

I’m gonna die demanding truth

While I’m still akin to youth

Better now than later on

Now that fear of death is gone

Never mind another dawn.

The poem draws to a close with an inexpert but heartfelt sound effect.

The poet – whose maternal great-grandfather was born in County Clare – went on to knock out his opponent in the 11th round.

The trailer for the documentary, When Ali Came to Ireland, featuring Cathal O’Shannon, is below.

 

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Oh Haiti! 

 Oh Haiti!

by Michael Heslop

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Oh Haiti, why do vampires want to kill your fighting spirit?

Do they want you to stop fighting for your land seized by savages?

Oh Haiti, why do they leave you so often in darkness?

Do they not want your children to see their crimes against you?

Oh Haiti, why do they leave your children, those born and those waiting to be born without light?

Tell me Haiti, why do they suffer you so much beautiful Haiti?

Tell me Haiti, when will you free your cherished dignity from the boots of those who stifle your dreams?

Can someone tell me why?

Why do the vampires punish Haiti for so long?

When will Haiti make revolution again to erase its pains and misery?

When will Haiti’s dreams to live like the mighty nation it is be realized again?

Freedom’s fighting for power without knowing the hour to end Haiti’s pain,

Tell me…..someone please tell me….when will the land of Dessalines be free from the vultures?

Those with the blood and spirits of Haiti’s heroes never cease to fight the vultures sometimes in blood stained streets and alleys, too often in elections with known results favoring the merchants who sell Haiti’s soul to the vultures and sometimes with sincere prayers to their Gods trying to win their freedoms from long years of sufferings and indignities imposed by vultures,

Yet

The blood of their martyrs continue to flow and the vultures are still flying high and their servants are still selling Haiti cheap amidst greater oppression and outrage in this valiant land,

When will the children of Dessalines and L’ouverture embrace revolution again to give honor to their ancestors who defeated the mighty armies of slavery and slave masters in 1804?

When will the freedom loving people of Haiti learn the lessons of their ancestors and end the slavery of the vultures and their creole servants in high places?

Tell me……someone please tell me…..when will the oceans of blood of Haiti’s warriors be dignified?

Those who fight for freedom in Haiti will hug on to revolution as their only salvation like their ancestors did, when and only when, they refuse to be ruled by vultures and when vultures are unable to rule them anymore,

Then and only then will every single drop of the rivers of blood of Haiti’s martyrs and every single humiliation of its people be avenged,

Then and only then will Haiti’s dignity be restored to light the darkness of the vultures and their creole merchants!

 

 

 

The American Nightmare

The American Nightmare

by Michael Heslop

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I don’t seek the “American dream”,
I don’t want a “dream” that has become a nightmare for millions,
Instead
I seek freedom so that I can dream dreams bigger than the “American dream”,
I don’t seek the “American dream”,
That’s a nightmare that has bankrupted millions in America,
Instead
I seek dignity to labor without fear,
I strive to dream beyond borders about countless millions whose dreams have wilted thanks to the American empire,
I don’t yearn for the “American dream”,
Instead
I dream of the millions of Native peoples, Africans, Latinos and poor whites who have lost their will to dream in America,
They have lost their will to chase the fleeting illusion that is the “American dream”,
I don’t seek the “American dream”,
I avoid illusions which are smoke screens designed by wolves for those too gullible to recognize it
Instead
I dream of revolutions designed to smash illusions and end nightmares,
I dream of freedom to set the captives free of dreams that encage their lives in perpetual debt,
I don’t seek the “American dream”,
Instead
I dream to wipe out inequality that suffocates millions in America who are prevented from achieving the “American dream.”
I don’t strive for national dreams
Instead
I dare to dream for peace and freedom for everyone on the planet,
I dare to dream that nightmares become real dreams for Americans and all others who inhabit our planet!