I can’t hear it!

Newark revisited

January 22, 2008

During the summer of 1967 I worked at a Fresh Air camp in the rural hills of New Jersey. Twenty miles away there was rioting and rebelling in the streets of Newark.

I recall making an emergency trip into that ghetto to return a camper whose mother had been killed by police gunfire. I drove the camp truck and hoped it would be my credential for safe passage. On each corner were crowds of angry black men talking and staring at each vehicle which passed by. Forty years later many corners are still the same.

I was living in Newark in 1968 when Doctor King was murdered. Five of us (all quite white) lived in an African neighborhood. Down the street was Cookie’s Plain and Fancy. We would stop in after class to play pool, shoot darts, and drink High Life. Cookie always had a shotgun behind the bar and James Brown on the jukebox. On the day he bought us a round of beers we felt like honorary members of the neighborhood.

When Martin was assassinated – it all changed. We were told not to return. We moved to the white suburbs soon after.

Evil had its way – with all of us.

whi/te boys gone
to the moon
plantin flags & stuff
why you boys goin
to the moon
dont yall think
yall done fucked up enuf
without messing
with somebody else’s world
in the beginning
it was africa
you just wanted to see
you said
& once having seen
commenced to fucking up
open up them china gates
& let’s hunt tigers in india
you whi/te boys sho nuff likes
what ever anybody else has
all ways got to be
digging in somebody’s bag
always got to be plantin flags & stuff
whi/te boys done gone
to the moon
just like they come here
talking bout it’s a
great adventure & we is
the first ones here
& plantin flags
whi/te boys gone to the moon
whi/te boys done gone to the moon
sho hope them lil brothers up there
dont show um how
to plant corn

– Kalamu ya Salaam

rises up…
wealth
true

does
not
tric
kle
d
o
w
n
.

a new year thought

January 1, 2008


peace-sign-option-2.jpg

Peace
and Prosperity
for the Poor

(for a change)

 

I will

November 15, 2007

When I can no longer walk
I will watch.

When I can no longer see
I will listen.

When I can no longer hear
I will tell my stories.

When I can no longer remember
I will make them up.