“The Great Black North” Anthology in concert: February 26th, 2014, 6 pm – 7:30 pm, Riverdale Branch, Toronto Public Library
Spoken-Word poetry performance by Ian Keteku, Farafina Rojo and Balan Santos (guitar):
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. . .
“Black His Story” (February 2004)
From under the griot tree the groundhog arose,
and this is how his story goes . . .
His story has always been pure as snow and clear as rain.
Clearly, his story was written, recorded, and remembered to be right
and white as he is.
His story is not finished,
the story tellers continue to diminish our exposure to the gory details
that are nonetheless real.
Shield yourselves from the sun,
wear sunscreen and all of that shit.
Shitstory is made up of pointy white hoods telling falsehoods
and passing them into law.
Shitstory is no more than picking a nigger to string up.
His story is bullshit
in the form of chronological sequence with the realness removed
to make him look good,
even though his face is still hidden by a pointy white hood.
Invisible like the Man who would remember soon enough when they
let him out of the machine.
Invisible like the hand of Big Brother reaching down to smother
the words that we wail
or the songs that we speak.
I was here, but I disappear.
I am everywhere.
I am an impossible existence made possible by the spirit of persistence.
I am an impossibility that was eradicated, annihilated, and still I rise
from a past that has been vapourized.
“You heard we quit? No way, bullshit. I told you before
I come back with more hits,
I provide right flav…”
Our story is misconstrued.
Confused, Infused, and Abused by his story.
But my story’s a mystery when used in place of his story.
In this atrocious condition we concede to the cowardly volition
of historical tradition.
The imposition being that we were separated, lost, forgotten,
and freed somewhere along the way,
but since “freedom is slavery”
we are still subjugated today.
So when we rise up and see our dark shadows,
we know what is to be done
during the six weeks of optic white winter that hide us from the sun.
Continually they avert their eyes,
waiting from Spring to arrive.
But seasons are reversed
so they shiver from the frigid breath of the earth,
and hyporthermic evil cannot be nursed back to health.
Blackness may be cursed
but the sickness will swiftly target the wickedness of power and wealth
and those were last shall soon be the first.
The first of the month is a yesterday of birth
signified by the magnificent amethyst and a strong black fist.
Born from her story that his story denied
we respond to the question of prejudice with pride.
And all seasonal synchronicity aside,
how can our story be adequately displayed during
a month of merely 28 days?
Black His Story is an oxymoron,
but it nuh easy fuh see
when truth is expensive and ignorance is free.
. . .
Kevan Anthony Cameron / Scruffmouth writes: “This was the first poem I ever penned with the intention of performing at a Slam, way back in 2003/2004, in anticipation of the Black History Month Slam on February 2nd, 2004, which was a day after my birthday. I share my birthday with notable poets such as Langston Hughes, Saul Williams & Big Boi from OutKast, so I write with the intention of divine intervention.” (Quotation from Vancouver Poetry House website)
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