Thursday, January 09, 2014
Rest in Power, Amiri Baraka
Amiri Baraka has passed to the other side. A brilliant writer and thinker, Baraka left much work behind him to guide and inspire those who will come after. Above, we hear him present an excerpt from his poem, "Why Is We American?" Below, we read another one.
by Amiri Baraka
A closed window looks down
on a dirty courtyard, and Black people
call across or scream across or walk across
defying physics in the stream of their will.
Our world is full of sound
Our world is more lovely than anyone's
tho we suffer, and kill each other
and sometimes fail to walk the air.
We are beautiful people
With African imaginations
full of masks and dances and swelling chants
with African eyes, and noses, and arms
tho we sprawl in gray chains in a place
full of winters, when what we want is sun.
We have been captured,
and we labor to make our getaway, into
the ancient image; into a new
Correspondence with ourselves
and our Black family. We need magic
now we need the spells, to raise up
return, destroy,and create. What will be
the sacred word?