Let that breathe for a moment
I know how fast the memecycle moves, but I needed 'til
now to give you something whole

Amidst the ensuing controversy

had the same thought as several of my comrades

If Frederick Douglass had live-telegraphed his jawn
‘What to the Slave...?’
Samuel Morse might have lost his mind

In ‘08 I was home for the 4th, spent the day with generations of thinkers and strugglers strategizing how the grassroots might possibly hijack access this Obama thing
I drove somebody home on my way back North
got off Lake Shore around Foster Beach
the smoke was so thick
the flashing and thunder of the fireworks
and the smell
matched my imagination’s version of a battlefield
my passenger was deaf, so I felt like I was experiencing it alone
I had known since I could remember that the star spangled banner is war song
and I have never honored it
but that was the moment that crystallized for me that even the celebration of Independence Day is not only one of joyous erasure
but fundamentally also a grim commemoration of a hostile takeover

'we will kill our mothers and fathers and brothers to get this $, son!'

one of the signal modern historical instances of $ over whiteness

this meditation (pronounce like dis generation, so>> dis meditashun! w/versions)
is brought to you by something that has been percolating in my mind

I practice liberation historiography
and was gladdened by the
recovery of Mother's Day & Memorial Day as revolutionary interventions
in recent years

growing up I celebrated Juneteenth,  ALD, and Haitian Independence on Jan 1st
(my mother, who is Trini, makes a vegan soup joumou that I would put up against anybody’s)
we kicked it on the 4th, b/c folks was off work, but our gate was the one with the RBG balloons in the wind
place, and claiming space, have always been important

Last year was 50 years of African Liberation, some won some lost
this year T&T, Jamrock
and 50 yrs of battles in Algiers

now I live in
Bed-Stuy and
I celebrate that Fif
First time I saw a 5th of July program at the Hunterfly Houses in Weeksville...
it was revelatory
I may be 1st-generation in this country but
I was born in Brooklyn
this is my history
I went to Weeksville for the farmer’s market, and came back for everything else: freedom, garden parties, and a sense of home.

on my block
them thangs go bang
my windows rattled on the Fif too,
didn’t know
if they knew what I know
or if it was youngbloods on that die soon tip
Chains to bonds
150yrs on

I spent Saturday, like I always do around this time, @Weeksville
who famously told one young boy
‘shine your light on the world’
like old negroes sang before
‘this little light’
& my own mother later told me
‘touch the sun’,
led us in giving thanks for cold water 100+ degree heat.
Can I tell you though, that Amel started singing Amazing Grace, and time stood still
like it did before
when her mother and I and so many gathered
witnessed a celebration of Jubilee,
and like it did again after, when she closed her set with "Get Up" and the gathering rose as one
(I didn't film any of that, too present...who got that Amazing Grace clip get at me, I got 5 on it)

Copper Bronze Onyx and Gold
free as we can get
atop the bones of Revolutionary POWs
that’s Brooklyn baby
word to Frank Ocean, we made something in America
we knew gods
we new gods
we flow
this is how we celebrate our freedom
get yours


Rashida in the Ring (photo Shantrelle P.Lewis)
I see the sign
I see the sign
hey Lord, time drawin’ nigh
Sign of the judgement
sign in the fig tree
loose horse in the valley
tell me who's gon’ ride ‘im
King Jesus is the rider
sinner, come out the corner
tell me what you gonna do
where you runnin sinner?
sinner run to the rock
rock cried out
no hiding place
two tall angels
on a chariot wheel
they talkin bout the Judgement
hey look over yonder
dark clouds arising
Sun won't shine
sinner, come out the corner
loose horse in the valley
tell me who's gon’ ride ‘im
Trayvon’s gonna ride ‘im

1 comment:

  1. "If Frederick Douglass had live-telegraphed his jawn
    ‘What to the Slave...?’
    Samuel Morse might have lost his mind"


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