Nothing about this Verdict Says Justice, Honor, or Peace

Poem about Police Violence by June Jordan

Tell me something
what you think would happen if
everytime they kill a black boy
then we kill a cop
everytime they kill a black man
then we kill a cop

 
you think the accident rate would lower subsequently?
sometimes the feeling like amaze me baby
comes back to my mouth and I am quiet
like Olympian pools from the running
mountainous snows under the sun

 
sometimes thinking about the 12th House of the Cosmos
or the way your ear ensnares the tip
of my tongue or signs that I have never seen
like DANGER WOMEN WORKING

 
I lose consciousness of ugly bestial rapid
and repetitive affront as when they tell me
18 cops in order to subdue one man
18 strangled him to death in the ensuing scuffle
(don’t you idolize the diction of the powerful: subdue
and scuffle my oh my) and that the murder
that the killing of Arthur Miller on a Brooklyn
street was just a “justifiable accident” again
(Again)

 
People been having accidents all over the globe
so long like that I reckon that the only
suitable insurance is a gun
I’m saying war is not to understand or rerun
war is to be fought and won

 
sometimes the feeling like amaze me baby
blots it out/the bestial but
not too often tell me something
what you think would happen if
everytime they kill a black boy
then we kill a cop

 
everytime they kill a black man
then we kill a cop

 
you think the accident rate would lower subsequently

 

Happy Birthday June Jordan!

My first poetry class was with June Jordan back when she had just started her Poetry for the People program at Berkeley. I was a terrified wannabe poet. Her class, her poetry, her activism, her teaching was everything.  The world is a lesser place without her light, but thankfully it lives on in her writing, and in the writing and work of so many of us.
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“I am not wrong: Wrong is not my name
My name is my own my own my own”

 

 

 

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Rough and Stuff/Don’t Mess With Our Hair

Note to administrators at Horizon Science Academy in Lorain, Ohio: Banning “Afro-puffs and small twisted braids with or without rubber bands” is not culturally sustaining pedagogy.

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Note to all Black girls in Lorain, Ohio (Toni Morrison’s hometown!) and everywhere else: We got you.

And it’s understandable why the Afro Puff is being compared to the ponytail in terms of helping people understand, but the Afro-puff is the Afro-puff. There’s no comparison. Let it reign supreme.

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The pic above is from Black Girl Long Hair where you can read all about this, including letters from the school. And thanks to  Cynthia Marie (@cynmarieMBA) who tweeted this.

 

 

 

 

Signs

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from “Beyond the Peacock: The Reconstruction of Flannery O’Connor” by Alice Walker

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Sonia Sanchez: “The Artist as Creator of Social Values”

For southern Cali folks, you won’t want to miss this event tonight: Sonia Sanchez, award-winning poet and activist, will present “The Artist as Creator of Social Values,” part of the Loma Linda University School of Religion’s Art That Health Arts and Lectures series 6:00 p.m., Thursday, May 23, 2013.

Founded by Dr. Ramona L. Hyman, the lecture series highlights  the integration of all of the arts and healthcare.

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Ms. Sanchez has published over 20 books, most recently “Morning Haiku” (2010), and has received numerous awards for her work, including a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a PEW Fellowship in the Arts, and the Langston Hughes Poetry Award, as well as the Poetry Society of America’s Robert Frost Medal. She was appointed the first poet laureate of Philadelphia in 2011. In addition to her writing, Ms. Sanchez has lectured at universities and colleges around the world, retiring in 2012 as professor emeritus from Temple University where she held the Laura Carnell Chair in English.

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Sonia Sanchez’s presentation will be held in the Randall Amphitheater at 6 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

Here’s a clip of Sonia Sanchez talking about her beginnings, what happened when she went to her first job, and her first intro to the Schomburg Center and Zora Neale Hurston:

Phenomenal Women

To all the phenomenal women, mothers and other mothers, every one…

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An amazing clip of Maya Angelou reading.

Also, a lovely piece by Bridgett Davis about her mother at Bold as Love.

Plus this. Whitney, we miss you:

Whitney Houston – I’m Every Woman (Remastered) from whitney houston on Vimeo.

And remembering those mothers who lost their children much too soon.

And to my own mother, who first taught me and continues to teach me the art of storytelling, the sound of language:

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