Good morning Revolution:
You are the best friend
I ever had.
We gonna pal around together from now on.
Say, listen, Revolution:
You know the boss where I used to work,
The guy that gimme the air to cut expenses,
He wrote a long letter to the papers about you:
Said you was a trouble maker, a alien-enemy,
In other words a son-of-a-bitch.
He called up the police
And told’em to watch out for a guy
The boss knows you are my friend.
He sees us hanging out together
He knows we’re hungry and ragged,
And ain’t got a damn thing in this world –
And are gonna to do something about it.
The boss got all his needs, certainly,
Owns a lotta houses,
Runs politics, bribes police
Pays off congress
And struts all over earth –
But me, I ain’t never had enough to eat.
Me, I ain’t never been warm in winter.
Me, I ain’t never known security –
All my life, been livin’ hand to mouth
Hand to mouth.
We’re buddies, see –
We can take everything:
Factories, arsenals, houses, ships,
Railroads, forests, fields, orchards,
Bus lines, telegraphs, radios,
(Jesus! Raise hell with radios!)
Steel mills, coal mines, oil wells, gas,
All the tools of production.
(Great day in the morning!)
And turn’em over to the people who work.
Rule and run’em for us people who work.
Boy! Them radios!
Broadcasting that very first morning to USSR:
Another member of the International Soviet’s done come
Greetings to the Socialist Soviet Republics
Hey you rising workers everywhere greetings –
And we’ll sign it: Germany
Sign it: China
Sign it: Africa
Sign it: Italy
Sign it: America
Sign it with my one name: Worker
On that day when no one will be hungry, cold oppressed,
Anywhere in the world again.
That’s our job!
I been starvin’ too long
Let’s go, Revolution!
Poem, “Good Morning Revolution.” Published in 1932.
Just…wow. I mean…goosebumps all over my body every time I read this. When he wrote "you’re the best friend I ever had," as if the commitment to change through collective power among the powerless is something that breathes life too…I just…I get a little emotional. That’s all. Whew.
Sitting in class after a long day of teaching and data entry, my mind drifted away for the discussion at hand. Events from the day played over and over in my head. Earlier in the day, the class I TA reviewed Donald Murray’s case against the University of Maryland (Pearson v. Murray, 1936). Out of…
The love, support, nurturing, guidance, and validation that white folks get everyday, everywhere especially at PWI’s is what I got from my HBCU.
My Blackness mattered. My experiences mattered. My voice was heard. No one questioned my research interests. I wasn’t dissected by those interested in using my opinions for their own sick versions of introduction to diversity, equity, and access.
Don’t ever come for my school. You will learn something real quick.
The fact is ‘black’ has never just been there either. It has always been an unstable identity, psychically, culturally, and politically. It, too, is a narrative, a story, a history. Something constructed, told, spoken, not simply found … black is an identity which had to be learned and could only be learned in a certain moment.
“Yes," Simidor said, "that’s how it is. And it’s wrong! The poor work in the sun, the rich play in the shade. Some plant, others reap. Certainly we ordinary folks are like a pot. It’s the pot that cooks the food, that suffers the pain of sitting on the fire. But when the food is ready, the pot is told, ‘You can’t come to the table, you’d dirty up the cloth.”—Masters of the Dew by Jacques Roumain
Empress Zewditu of Ethiopia was born on April 29, 1876 as Askala Maryam in the city of Harrar in Enjersa Goro Province, Ethiopia. Zewditu was crowned the queen of kings (Empress) on September 27, 1916 and her cousin, Tafari Mekonnen (future emperor Haile Selassie), was appointed her prime minister.
learned the amazing story of Juanita Harrison while reading Babylon Girls for class. she is a black woman who created freedom for herself. she escaped oppressive American racism by travelling the world, financing her stay in over 22 countries by working odd jobs. she loved every minute of it and she savored her freedom. she loved constantly being “betwixt and between.” "I like being in a country and yet feel I am of another at the same time," she wrote. she’s so admirable. a poor, black, woman who broke free of the anchors around her, to belong everywhere & nowhere all at once.
I fear that time will one day run so far away from me that I won’t be able to run and catch it, like I do now. I won’t be able to sprint and strain and lose my breath to grasp at its tail and dwell in the shadows of what little remains. It will get tired of me postponing it, disrespecting it, misusing it. Time can only handle so much abuse. I keep neglecting the now for later, in a little bit, tomorrow, the future. Until finally I look up and see 00:00. Time does run out, you know.
#AprilWritingChallenge - Day 1 - I contradict myself when...
I contradict myself on a daily basis.
Like when I say I want to lose weight but eat a Lindt chocolate truffle, right after going to the gym.
Or when I vow to support independent filmmakers but watch their entire films on YouTube.
When I claim there’s nothing satisfying like water but don’t drink enough of it.
When I say I want to dye my hair but can’t imagine altering it in that way.
I contradict myself when I promise to respect time more but spend hours on Tumblr.
Or when I say I miss my family but don’t call them as much as I should.
When I say I love someone or something but don’t say it enough.
And the list could go on and on. These are superficial, everyday contradictions. I, of course, also have deeper contradictions to deal with. About identity, sense of self, time, happiness. But I’m starting to realize that not all contradictions are bad. We don’t always need to talk the same talk and walk the same walk. It’s okay to have complex, conflicting, diverse ideas and expressions. That way, people can’t box you in as one thing and one thing only. You become multiple. That multiplicity gives you much more freedom to act, feel, think and be as you imagine and not as others wish.
This beautiful pic (and caption) is from the Girl Rising FB page, it’s a contradiction of sorts too :)
Several days of shooting required that Azmera carry around an ensera, a water jug. Feeling a little guilty, Richard (Director of Girl Rising) constantly offered to carry the ensera in between takes, only for Azmera to refuse each request. Finally, the two reached a compromise, with Azmera handling the sound bag and Richard taking the water jug. The ensera, an exhausted Richard would later admit, was a great deal heavier than the sound gear.
This morning, around 6am, I was waiting for the bus that take me to work. A car pulls up and the driver tries to talk to me. “Oh, baby you look so good. Can I drive you to the station?” “No, thank you.” and I expect that to be the end of the conversation. However, he doesn’t pull off and he…
it’s important for Black people to be able to represent ourselves. fortunately, with the internet, websites such as Youtube seem to be the place to do that considering we are quite far from owning our own images in popular television and film. internet webseries have much more…
Malcolm X: Panel discussion, WINS Radio, February 18, 1965
You're doing all you can to encourage it, Malcolm-
Not encouraging it.
-with your inflammatory and demagogic language-
No, no, I don't-
Oh yes you do.
I don't encourage it; but I'm not going to sit here and pretend that it doesn't exist.
Another white man:
Don't you incite Malcolm? Don't you incite?
I don't think so. How are you going to incite people who are living in slums and ghettos? It's the city structure that incites. A city that continues to let people live in rat-nest dens in Harlem and pay higher rent in Harlem than they pay downtown. This is what incites it. Who lets merchants overcharge people for their groceries and their clothing and other commodities in Harlem, while you pay less for it downtown. This is what incites it. A city that will not create some kind of employment for people who are barred from having jobs just because their skin is Black. That's what incites it. Don't ever accuse a Black man for voicing his resentment and dissatisfaction over the criminal condition of his people as being responsible for inciting a situation. You have to indict the society that allows these things to exist.
“Diaspora is simultaneously a state of being and a process of becoming, a kind of voyage that encompasses the possibility of never arriving or returning, a navigation of multiple belongings.”—Paul Tiyambe Zeleza
“Identities are about questions of using the resources of history, language and culture in the process of becoming rather than being: not ‘who we are’ or ‘where we came from’, so much as what we might become, how we have been represented and how that bears on how we might represent ourselves.”—Stuart Hall
Our new weekly feature profiles blogs and/or tumblrs curated by Africans, on the continent as well as in the diaspora. The posts will highlight influences, genres, and point to the kinds of work being produced by young…