Open Letter

Dear George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and any other found fathering figure of this America, the precedents, and succeeding generations to this present hour;

Your plan was ingenious and is still going as calculated.  You were true pioneers. By all appearances it will continue infinitely. To all of your offspring who benefit from the subsidy of the misnamed supremacy.  It is here that I inform them aptly, that there is nothing supreme about such privilege, behavior, or mode of thinking; only indigence.  This indigence encompasses many more in the realm of complicity in the deliberate subjugation of a people and their rights as human beings.  I’m not bringing to your awareness anything you didn’t already know.  Those who benefit however may not be aware of their indirect and/or passive participation in your scheme. Your pompous nature has prompted you, either in inflated confidence or sloppy slipping, to put the essence of your plan in plain view. Hubris is a muther…, but of course you’re the leading aficionados on that too.  I see it all the time, including the entertainment industry which overlaps mine. In the film Avatar, the words put in the mouth of the military colonel defined it more clearly than perhaps ever before outside of the direct political and judicial blueprint. Of course we know it’s all political. Nevertheless, allow me to refresh your memory…

“And when we destroy it, we will blast a crater in their racial memory so deep, that they won’t come within 1,000 klicks of this place ever again. And that, too, is a fact.”

I am aware that you have no qualms about my knowing this since your control goes beyond the physical. You’ve enslaved the minds and the people themselves have become the tools, your pieces on your board. Whenever you please you can wipe the board and reset the pieces… remember the Reconstruction era and the subsequent strengthening of ole Jim. We should all know by now what was being reconstructed. Your creation was moving upward faster than you anticipated, so you hit reset and tipped the game in your favor.  You introduce ethical carrots and political pacifiers and … But as always, there will be a chink in your armor, a glitch in the functionality of this masterminded self-perpetuating warfare on the human psyche…Some of us are RE+membering who we are…

In kind regard, I am

 

One of Many

Come Go With Me

 

IMG_2779We have seen what has gone before us…

Ours must be a different path with tools of our own

Mother help us…

Come go with me

I’m goin’ b’roun’

That’s back ‘round

Going back to know

What bent and walked ‘cross

My Mama’s back

Saddled my Daddy

With distorted truth

And rode him into

Future imperfections in misdirection

Got the people banking hope

On elections

Fools be fooled

Know you not

That the master’s house

Will not fall

Beneath his tools

Fooled be the fools

With that ish

Wish upon a star

Gaze into a million gleams

They aren’t too far

They looking back

To who we truly are

Light…cast no shadow

 

Come go with me

I’m going b’roun’

That’s back ‘roun’

Back before

They disconnected our dialect and

Arrested our intellect and

Warped our sound effects and

infected us with pretext

Breathe…

And slowly with me

Wish upon a star

Gaze into a million gleams

They aren’t too far

They looking back

To who we truly are

Light…cast no shadow

 

Let us go back and see

When we could see and

Speak to the rhythm

Of the inner sound

That called thunder and

Heaven washed and shook earth and

Made her come

Forthright leaning

Into our will to

Live beyond existence

For subsistence in

Insistence on

Them giving us

Something we

Already own on our own

According to the Blueprint

Hung in Divine order

In stars and constellations

Inscribed in the Elements

28 days of Cyclical travel to

Newness, no eclipsing

This Power that is

Her’s, here,  he

United in one

Love that song

Heard cross the burning sands be

Breathing int the shell

Of man that he began

After his spirit was taken and

Replaced with a ghost

Told to him holy…not so

I see, I see, I see him sitting

By yonder door waiting for somebody to let him in

Spooked me,

Cause I’m back here round midnight searching

For our soul kept ‘neath this illusion

I’m gon’ be up all night

Til I see this thing turned upright

When we can all be

Free to be us

The way we we want to be

Or not to be,

Unquestionably

 

Wish upon a star

Hope locked

Gaze into hope, a million gleams

They aren’t too far

They looking back

To who we truly are

Light…cast no shadow

Come go with me

 

The Nature of The Game

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It seems we lose the game
Before we even start to play
Who made these rules?

(From Lauren Hill’s Everything is Everything)

As a child, I loved to get my hands on playdoh. My sister and I spent what seemed like hours crafting creature from the colorful stuff. While she focused on animals and food items, I preferred people, or some likeness thereof, considering our ages. In no time  I’d have rows of humanoid creatures, standing sitting and configured in all sorts of ways.  It was totally up to me where they were placed, what I had them doing, and what their specific roles were in my game. It was my game because I made them.  From the clump of clay, I crafted each one in the image I desired.  I gave them names, classifications, and specific roles.  They were mine. As time wore on an I began to tire of the game, I took the game to another level and would have them fight and destroy each other.  Sometimes the colors mixed due to my smashing them together. Head’s would be off, an eyeball here, an arm or two over there until I was done. At which point I pressed them back into a ball of nothing and jammed the mass back into their containers. There they would remain until I felt like playing again.

Recently, I had the honor of visiting the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and The Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama. I used that word honor very carefully in this case.  It was respectfully presented, beautifully laid out, provocatively inspiring and  horrific on so many levels.  The most horrific part is that it’s still in play. ALABAMA GODDAMN!  The south may be where the stain is most visible but the entire quilt is dirty as hell. In the discussions I had while there and since, the most common question was “How could people do…to other humans?” Precisely for he same reason I treated the clay as I did as a child. I owned it.  It was for my use. I made the little creatures and destroyed them at will. So, The african, The indigenous people were systematically broken, socially and in some cases genetically engineered for the exploitive purposes of those who enslaved them.  The modern African-American, negro, nigger, is an american original; created right on this continent for the purpose of perpetual servitude to those who perceive themselves to be white. When the created objects get out of line, they are pressed back into place or obliterated all together. That’s the nature of the game, one those who are conceived as black/brown were never meant to win.  When do things begin to change, really change rather than modify? When those who are conceived as black realize it’s not their game to win and they activate the part of them that could not be wiped out. It’s in there buried beneath generations of social conditioning and system rewiring.   They must override, sweep, and rewrite the programming based on the original schematic; systematically root out the virus of white indigence and reconnect to the real Divine source. The bastardized one you were hijacked with will only lead you back to the same position, generation after generation in perpetual oppression and the victim of sanctioned terrorism… to be continued.

 

 

 

 

IF YOU ARE SILENT…

…about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.”   +Zora Neal Hurston

This is America and anything you say or do can and will be used against you if you’re Black, other, or standing against the systemic isms. Take a look back at any organization, party, movement, or individual that dared take a stand against the status quo and you will see the termination of determination in the name of the American way.  Just what is the American way? In consideration of the nature and method by which this country was established, the American way reads like a summer blockbuster; Espionage, massacres, war, rape, theft, bondage, and blood…so much blood. In reading from Safiya Bukhari’s viewpoint, from the working ranks of the Black Panther Party, it becomes painfully clear that if you refuse to flow with the program, or make any attempt to deprogram, you will be erased from the program, by the program. It’s programmed that way.  What do the enforcers really mean by “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..”  Perhaps they should finish by saying “Continue to yearn and breath in hopes of freedom while we capitalize on your needs and crushing desire for peace.” So to keep the peace, many keep quiet and shuffle through life in silent desperation: the walking dead.

Ava Duvernay pulled back the covers on the dastardly deeds in her Documentary 13th and the prison industrial complex. The startling revelation is that slavery did not die. It grew stronger and more shrewd and conniving.  The same mind that instituted it, evolved it, transformed it into an accepted institution thats still serves the desired end.  The art of slave making is social engineering at its best.  We are living proof that, as a whole, we are more afraid of freedom that slavery. It’s not just the prisons, it the public at large existing in a state of a perpetual hamster wheel. If we would see with the unclouded eye of true justice, we would realize that what must be done, must be done with a dire sense of urgency.

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Black Cat Blues

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My son texted me and his words were “Dad I feel my Blackness is deteriorating with every other part of me.” I haven’t replied to him yet…

Today another black cat crouched at the base of my step

Staring at me through my glass door

I went out to look for it and lost it

In the Black shadows

Beneath my Black truck

Then found it again

Staring black at me

At my Black face

Staring black at it

Crouched low by my front black tire

We stared right black at each other

My Black cat was in the house

When I initially got him

The woman at the place of rescue said

Black cats are more shy

Black cats are the last chosen

Black cats are almost invisible

Black cats have a bad reputation

Black cats get adopted much less and

Remain in cages longer and

Are abandoned more often

Black cats are misunderstood

Black cats are more often mistreated

Black cats are just…different

I began to wonder whether she was talking about

Black cats or me and my Black Kin characterized…

In this systematized penal aggregate

Dad, I feel my Blackness is deteriorating…

With every other part of me.

 

S/He That Has Ears…

It was warm outside with that slight breeze that makes you walk to a rhythm. To me, it’s the time to be in Chicago. The winters can be brutal and I’m not into brutality of any sort. I stood waiting at the crosswalk as this brother slid up beside me with something in his hand and smooth words in his mouth.  Another hustler was the thought that came to my mind.  As he waxed on quite eloquently, I thought as I fake listened. “This guy’s pretty good.” But you can’t run game on a runner. I hung on the conversation as the amen corner.  He went on to tell me about his music and how he doesn’t charge for his because that’s a gift.
I saw an opening, a moment, a gap in his corral and whipped out my silver with a simple “Why?”
 “Because”, he began with the confidence that ran neck and neck with a story told many times over. “It’s like…my grandmother had this ruby, this precious ruby given to her by someone special as a gift.  She gave it to her daughter, my mother. She then passed this precious stone on to me. So now, I have this ruby. This thing of great value passed down to me. It’s a gift you can’t replace. What would I look like selling it? It would be disrespectful to sell it. Dishonorably even. That’s my music bruh. My music is the gift.”
He had that, I ate the whole damn pie look on his face, replete with serious but ever so slight grin. I let him lay in it for a second or two.
My response, “I hear you but the ruby is the thing, the physical thing.  You don’t sell the ruby, no. You sell the shine.  People pay you to enjoy the shine. I’m an artist, a visual artist.   When I sell a piece, it provides me with the revenue to buy supplies to make more art pieces, and that keeps growing. Plus, I gotta eat, and sleep somewhere, and get from place to place, and the list goes on.  I’m still producing art, I’m the producer selling the product.  All This is an exchange of energy. They get the art they want because it does something for them, and you get the money that serves you. It’s a divine cycle that allows for each one to continue.  That’s the essence of life. I’m not selling my ability to make art.  That would be to say cut the goose open and get all the golden eggs kinda nonsense. We the geese bruh.  We sell the golden eggs. Besides, I don’t see my ability as an artist as a gift. When you work at a grocery store or the post office and you get that check on the first, you don’t thank that man for the gift.  You earned that.  You weren’t born with a freakin’ keyboard or synthesizer attached from your fingers any more that I was with a paintbrush growing outta mine. We put the time in honing our craft with practice, practice, practice. We worked at our interests and gained, earned the expertise.  That’s no gift bruh.
A brief silence entangled him, hand to chin, pulling on a baby beard to be. His eyes met mine in a look of comprehension. “I never thought about it like that, for real.  For a minute he was stumped. Not to prolong the moment I bought one of the stickers he was clutching to sell. He thanked me and invited me o an event on the South Side, got distracted by some shorts going by and I headed on to my studio, looked him up and sure enough, the little brother was on the up and up; talented to the hilt.  I was glad I’d invested in him, in more ways than one. At the end of the day, or the beginning, or middle, this is America. Grandma told you, possibly the same one that gave you the ruby; get yo’ money, Black man.adamswabashstation2

A Resolution…

A Resolution…Prelude to the Revelation of the Revolution

Whereas, I stand in this space of knowing beyond belief that all parties involved in the crucifixion of an innocent man (men or women) shall come to terms with their nemesis, a manifestation of their own psyche, to be visited by their own iniquities.

Whereas, such nemesis shall bring forth justice and bear witness to their restitution and due remuneration for indifference to human dignity, pain and suffering based on seemingly none other that blatant disregard for otherness… in this case blackness.

Whereas, in due faith and high regard, on behalf of one who fell prey to aforementioned atrocity, I unapologetically pen these words with archetypal irrefutability of one who you believe

  1. Was born in obscurity
  2. Was born to a mother outside of the holy bond(age) of matrimony
  3. Grew up in a less than favorable neighborhood
  4. Stood for what was was believed to be right
  5. Was innocent
  6. Was condemned to death by an unjust system
  7. Was Crucified (hung)
  8. Death served the greater good of more than the deceased.
  9. Rose again
  10. Will return to claim his throne
  11. Because of his role in advocating and standing for right, gave his life so that others may live.
  12. Will be crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Whereas this work shall be an elegy for one who fits this category.  And you shall see him for what he is, even as you bear witness to his truth.

As I sit bent over this page

By bent I’m not just talking ‘bout my physicality

I’m straight bent in mind

Straight twisted up in these

Blue rags dipt in white and read wrong

I’m bent outta shape of things to come

Crammed in the slop-bucket of a chattel past

Trying to jam me in your frame of my future

I’m bent over, cramps in my hand while I bleed on these pages

Of History

But I came on the pages of mine,

Locked body, mind, and spirit
And wet up the promise like Savannah’s summer rain

Hot as fuck and just as joyful

She swelled and tarried in the sun and brought forth one of the same

Son of my fathers, son, brother, uncle, friend, and god

Locked in arms of eternal belief

That sacred relief of release

 

And you shall call him Kalief

He shall come and take his stand

And for that stand he will die

Choked out on this American pie

He is flesh of my flesh and bone from my bone

And little bits of home

Son of man, spawn of God

He struggled beneath that cold rugged loss

I hear them drums a beatin’ and the trumpets soundin’

Krown him, krown him

 

My teared eyes squint ‘neath the furrow of my brow

For Browder, Kalief, Kalief

Wherefore have they forsaken you

They knew just what they did

We pour a little out for my homie

This cup shall not run dry

As surely as the sun shall rise

And he shall so indeed,

We will walk the walk of walks, hand in hand

You will tell me the story of the stories unstored

From beneath the lash, and slavers chain

And then shall only truth remain

Never the same

Never the same

Some mama’s baby boy

Out there in the back yard chasing butterflies

Transformed into a man

Came forth and took a stand

 

And you shall know him as Kalief

He did come and take his stand

And for that stand he did die

Choked out on this American pie

He is flesh of my flesh and bone from my bone

Son of man, spawn of God

He struggled beneath that cold rugged loss

And laid down life for us

I hear them drums a beatin’ and the trumpets soundin’

Krown him, krown him

 

(An Elegy for Kalief)

In Consideration of A Second Coming

George Junius Stinney, Jr. was 14 years old.  George Junius Stinney weighed about 95 pounds. George Stinney, Jr. was a little black boy.  George Stinney was accused of murdering two white girls. George was coerced with trickery and an ice cream cone into saying he did it. At least it was said that he said he did it.  There was no record of any confession. They decided on his life in 10 minutes.   George didn’t know. George didn’t know. George didn’t know what the grown-ass men surrounding him were capable of.  George spent over 80 days in jail away from his family.  They ran George’s family away. He never saw them again.  The grown-ass men killed George. The United States by way of South Carolina, specifically Columbia, electrocuted a scared innocent 14 year black boy…and the real perpetrator got away.  George died for his sins.  Since Jesus died for sins.  Is George like Jesus? They say Jesus came back. Does George get to come back

When they electrocuted little Georgie, he had no idea what they were about to do.  He was so scared he could barely talk.  Them grown-ass men took Georgie to that death chamber and since he wasn’t big enough to reach the headpiece, they sat him on a bible. Just boosted up that little black boy with the word of god to get him a little closer to death. Georgie sat right on top of that book of life, waiting for them grown-ass men to try and fit that too big mask on his little head.  His skinny little body was shaking like a leftover leaf in winter. Except it was summer when they murdered Georgie. Actually it was late spring. June 16th to be exact. Hey that’s Tupac Shakur’s bearthday.  He was murdered too. His killers went free too. He was betrayed too…like Jesus. Was Tupac like Jesus? Was Jesus like Tupac?  Jesus came back.  Tupac might have been Jesus. Damn, they killed him again. Hail Mary, come quick see/Hail Mary, come with me…” Those are Tupac’s lyrics. “Ya’ll waiting on me like ya’ll waiting for Jesus to come back.”  Tupac said that too. He was on a cross on the cover of his final CD, crucified just like Jesus. If Jesus was Tupac, would people pray to Tupac? Would white people pray to a god that didn’t look like them?

Remember the ice cream cone Georgie was licking on while following the grown-ass men down the concreted hall with no idea what was happening or where he was going? That was kind of like his last supper before the death knell.  Jesus has a last supper.  Perhaps it was better that ice cream.   Jesus had his homies around him. Georgie had grown-ass men with ill intent. It appears Georgie had it worse. Jesus got to wear his own clothes.  They put Georgie in prison stripes.  “…and by his stripes we are healed” (Matthew 53:5) Was that verse about Jesus or Georgie? I’m leaning toward Georgie.  I wonder if they’ll paint Georgie white one day, put some blue eyes in his head, and write a holy book with him in it.

When the grown-ass man pulled that lever with that cold clinking sound and that hot electricity hit George’s little body, that made-for-grown-criminals-not-for-innocent-little-boys, death mask popped right off Georgie’s head.  His eyes were bucked wide open running over with tears.  Clear liquid ran down the corner of his mouth and dripped onto his stripes.  You know, the ones we are healed by. And what did the grown-ass men do.  Slid that mask right back on that boy’s head and finished killing him.

10857930_10152585678988990_6525988710469530350_nI wonder if anybody said, “it is finished.”  Georgie died by electric chair in 1944, in Columbia, South Carolina. The youngest to die by capital punishment. Convicted of first degree murder. In 2014, George Junius Stinney, Jr’s status was vacated. Does that mean Georgie gets to come back?

Voodoo Child in The Promised Land

IMG_0192I can’t show you what I want to show you

But I can tell you what I saw

In a little family graveyard splintered with new spring grass

And little bits of moon on the ground scattered

Like a lit mirror shattered on somebody grandma’s

Brand new carpet slid beneath

That old living room furniture

Looking brand new with the plastic still on it.

I saw it,

I saw her

Out there in that field with all them dead folk.

Just skippin’ ‘round like she was home

Just as happy seeming, like she wasn’t alone

Wasn’t but about four or five

With cute plaits in her head

And a little dress on

The Easter Sunday kind

With sprinkles of moon all over it

Out there in the dark

Just picking flowers

Had to be daffodils

Just growing right there among all them dead folk

And there she was just fanin’ that dress

And snatching them flowers up out’ the ground

Like they was handin’ them to her.

Like she was receiving gifts from all them dead folk

Just beyon her stood a line of huge live oaks

Just stretching out their big ole arms like

They were protecting her.

Not from the night or the dead

But protecting just the same

The Spanish moss hung like the sleeves of a preacher’s robe

Raised up high and mighty over all them dead folk

She paused for and seemed to look my way

I stared back like she saw me from a TV screen

That I couldn’t turn off

Then she went right on back to doing what she was doing

Like nothing was gon’ stop her at all

Not time, not beggin’, not hopin’

Out there in that field under the moonlight

With all them dead folk.

 

 

In Consideration of A Kingdom: Two Sides To Every Story

On February 15, the Marvel Film, Black Panther hit the Big Screen. Not only was the film epic on multiple levels, but the responses on opening night. It felt like a family reunion, bigger even.  I arrived ten deep and a friend jokingly inquired as to when my mix tape was coming out.  There were photographers and radio stations. I think I even saw a black carpet. For me, it carried a deeper meaning since, as a child of the comics, I only had Black Panther (T’Challa) and Power Man (Luke Cage) and Storm (Ororo Munroe) . My other favorite was Nightcrawler (Kurt Wagner), he is blueback.

Sure I’ve heard all of the pundits speak about it not being a black film or how people are so excited over a fictitious character and how we still dropped million$ into a non black organization and barely support black films. If someone delivers good news, it really doesn’t matter the color of the mouth.  Black Panther is an illustration, a parable of the possibilities.  What would Africa be had it not been colonized? Had it not been stripped, raped, and impregnated by the ones with the biggest guns and smallest hearts? How far our spirituality linked with impending inventions would have advanced us had it not been for a mass interruption, spiritual rerouting, and consequential disconnect with the ancestral paths, the cosmological connections that already had a knowledge of life beyond this planet? Where would be be had we not been injected with an overdose of patriarchal martial destructive genes spliced into our cerebral conduct? Be aware that when I speak of Africa, I speak not of Africa as a continent only because we know her children stretch way beyond that real estate.  This Afrofuturistic vision, Black Panther, in the incubator of the imagination gives us a glimpse of the possibilities.  It was birthed from the imagination: the seat of greatness.  Greatness inspires greatness…or awakens it.

Now let’s look at our hero T’Challa and his proposed antagonist, Erik Killmonger. If you haven’t seen the film, tune out.  This is a spoiler alert. Wakanda, under the rulership of a reign of Black Panthers, prides itself on being untouched by the world at large, thereby avoiding wars, outside influence, rendering it free to develop to its fullness. Killmonger, a misplaced  Wakandan, spouts razor sharp truth in almost every statement about the colonizers and what a revolution should be about.  His method is to use the power, wealth, and developments of Wakanda to set about the freedom of the oppressed through warfare. Although seemingly ruthless in his quest and temporary claim to the throne, you must understand that he, unlike T’challa, has experienced first hand the maggots of oppression eating the soul of a people. These two men reflect Professor Xavier and Magneto from the X-Men series, Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Dubois, Dr. King and Malcolm X, the SCLC and the Black Panther Party.  The story isn’t new.  It’s not about who is right and who is wrong.  It about what the truth of what we need as defined by the ones who need it. What we must realize is that they are two sides of the same coin. The night and the day of a complete revolution. The ebb and flow of the same man. This is most evident in the underground (allegory) fight between the two Panthers.  It not one against the other, it’s one against himself.  T’Challa, in the end makes good on the hope of Erik when he decides to extend the hand of liberation beyond Wakanda.  There comes a time for a reckoning within, united by a truth that may not always be pretty. Fact or fiction, the power is there if you care to find it.  Now is a time for using what you have to do what you can with it. A time to cease the war against ourselves and flow into the power of One: One people, One purpose, One love.

Killmonger