Surrey, September 22, 2013
The essay below was written for an American Poetry Anthology course I took at U.B.C. (University of British Columbia) in 1984. I can’t remember the professor’s name, (no luck with an Internet search) though I can still visualize what he looked like at the time: he looked like George Peppard, the American actor who is best remembered for playing the role of Colonel “Hannibal” Smith in the 1980s television action adventure series “The A-Team.” If I remember correctly, I had put off writing the term paper until the last few days before it was due. I think I wrote it over the weekend and submitted it on the following Monday. My marks suffered (I was given 32 out of 50 points) and should have better applied myself.
My essay compares two poems by two Black poets, namely Imamu Amiri Baraka, born 1934, and Don L. Lee (now known as Haki R. Madhubuti), born 1942. Both are still alive; in their late and early 70s, respectively. Both are now regarded with great veneration and recognized as two major Black revolutionary poets of the 1960’s and central figures in what was later to be called the Black Arts Movement — an informal term for the 2nd Black Renaissance and flowering of black music and culture and politics that would surpass and have an even more profound effect than the so-called Harlem Renaissance of the 1920’s, which was, at the time, the greatest Negro migration from the American south to the northern cities, particularly to Harlem in New York City. The Harlem Renaissance, to give you an idea of its influence on the wider American popular culture, gave us the likes of Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Langston Hughes, Jacob Lawrence, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, W.E. B. Dubois, Marcus Garvey, and Paul Robeson, to name only a handful of the more illustrious ones.
In Dynamite Voices, a collection of critical essays published in 1973, Lee says that he must do more than protest, since “mere ‘protest’ writing is generally a weak reaction to persons or events and often lacks the substance necessary to motivate and move people.” Black poetry will be powerful, he says, if it is “a genuine reflection of the poet and his people, presenting the beauty and joy of the Black experience as well as outrage against social and economic oppression.” Both Lee and Baraka have said at various times that Black art is fundamentally political. Indeed, to be Black in America is to be a political animal. And when I say “animal” I mean no offense, of course: I am not being a racist. I dare say the pendulum has swung far too much the other way, to the point of absurdity. Reductio ad absurdum.
In 1984, the year I wrote my essay, “Political Correctness” had not yet entered the lexicon and “Blacks” was the least pejorative or most progressive term for what we now call African-Americans. Is Political Correctness not ostensibly an insidious form of censorship and thought-control? Presently, and basically, we have been sanitized, if not sterilized. Even those of us who abhor censorship find ourselves in the awkward position of self-censoring our speech and thought, for fear of being ostracized or even perhaps being fired from our jobs. For those in the public eye, words must be carefully expressed and or qualified, lest we offend someone and are perceived as being racists in the age of Obama, our first African-American President, though Louis Farrakhan, the Head of the Nation of Islam, would argue that Obama is the first Jewish President of these here United States of “Jewmerica” — just another war for the Jews in Syria, as Nathanael Kapner, my unorthodox rabbi, would say.
Besides the outspoken and honorable Minister Farrakhan who will be 80-years-old this year, younger and equally prominent Black intellectuals such as Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West have openly and consistently expressed their disappointment with Obama; and that’s an understatement. My favorite historian and indefatigable rabble-rouser, Dr. Webster Griffin Tarpley, Ph.D., wrote a masterful book exposing Obama as early as 2008, before he became the President and outing him as a Manchurian Candidate. Would Obama get away with bombing Syria if he were white like George W. Bush? Isn’t Obama really another “Dubya” in blackface; both literally and symbolically as in Uncle Tom? Isn’t this another war for the Jewish Neocons, our new White Massas? “I picked dah cotton massa! May I get mah cornbread now massa?”
Thanks to Political Correctness, no one dares criticize Obama’s plans to bomb Syria and start World War 3 for fear of being accused and labeled a racist, or anti-Semite, for that matter. Yet, perversely, the American Media is hell-bent on fomenting Black-on-White racial violence as evidenced by the recent Zimmerman case: a Black teenager, Trayvon Martin, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a Hispanic who was ridiculously packaged and sold in the Zionist Mainstream Media as a “White person of Hispanic descent.”
But as Alex Jones succinctly put it, Zimmerman looks like Kim Jong Un, and is no more white than the North Korean dictator. So why is the ZioMedia fomenting the 2nd American Civil War between Blacks and Whites? Or was this another “Bread and Circuses” to divert our attention away from the longest and deepest depression in American history that will soon implode the nation in lockstep with the implosion of the Petrodollar & American Empire? Delenda est Carthago! Syria must be destroyed! But why? To find out why, read Jim Willie’s spot-on geopolitical analysis: “Syria, Pipeline Politics, OPEC & The US Dollar.”
According to a Reuters poll, 91% of the American public is opposed to an air strike, or rather, an invasion of Syria. This would be great news for peace-loving people all over the world if the rulers of America actually cared about America and its citizens. In other words, the will and voice of the American people will fall on death ears in the Jewish bought-and-paid-for U.S. Congress and Senate: Obama will surely get his green-light to destroy Syria in order to save Syria. War is Peace in our Orwellian World. Is 1776 the answer to 1984, as Alex Jones claims? The answer to 1984 in 2013 is, ironically, the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, who has now been proclaimed by the Drudge Report as the Leader of the Free World.
For the moment, President Putin has temporarily staved off the attack on Syria and a regional war in the Middle East. Honestly, and justly, Obama should do the right thing and give his Nobel Peace Prize to Putin, who clearly has earned it.
Paradoxically, a once peaceful nation and peace-loving people have bought the godawful Zionist propaganda, hook, line, and sinker. Canadians are overwhelmingly pro-war and pro-bombing Syria, “with boots on the ground,” as my once lovely and favorite liberal commentator and blogger, Laila Yuile, has advocated. And she’s a mother with young children, no less.
Does Ms. Yuile not understand the obscenity of advocating and cheer-leading the bombing and killing of other people’s young children in Syria to avenge the deaths of 400 children allegedly poison-gassed by the Assad Regime? Even if that was true, and there is mounting evidence to debunk this Zionist lie, a preemptive strike is classified as a first-class war crime by the Nuremberg Trials, which was famously prosecuted against the Nazis in 1946 by the Americans, who, if there is any justice, will soon find themselves there once more as defendants. WTF is wrong with that woman?
However, I do not really blame her as much as I blame our Media, which has also been infiltrated by the Zionists, if they do not own and run it de facto. It gives me no pleasure to say that our current Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, is nothing more than a Zionist sock puppet — that should be obvious to anyone with half-a-brain. Punica fides! Impeach Harper!
Wake the fuck up, people. Be careful of what you wish for: you just might get World War 3 and Armageddon, if those maddog Ziocons get their way and bomb Syria and the rest of the world back to the Stone Age.
Incidentally, and for the digital record, here are my Professor’s comments on my essay: “Skillful analysis. Not quite the 2500 word essay you were asked for. In this sense, your essay is undeveloped. Focusing on only two poems distorts our view of these two poets at times, especially Baraka. See note on page 3. The article I had in mind was: R. Roderick Palmer, “The Poetry of Three Revolutionists: Don L. Lee, Sonia Sanchez, and Nikki Giovanni” in Modern Black Poets, ed. Donald Gibson (Pentice-Hall, 1973).”
Upon rereading my essay, it appears to me that I was writing for fellow poets or for a “hip” audience. In essence, I was word-playing or “jamming” and responding to the two poets as a jazz musician would in a “jam session” (i.e., improvising within a tight structure or defined boundaries). Both poems simulate the jazz idiom, the idiom of the street. Black poetry, more than any other type of poetry, is often interlinked with the popular Black music of the day. Symbiotically, Hip-hop and Rap musicians would later find inspiration from these Black revolutionary poets of the 1960s.
I would posit that all the subsequent and significant Black music of the 1980s and right up to today can be traced back to these 2 poets. Rap music, once the inner-city protest music of African-Americans, has been adopted universally, due, in part, to its popular mass appeal, and due, more crucially, to the fact that it has been hijacked by the Music and Movie Entertainment Complex, formerly and generically known as The White Establishment. Insofar as White suburban kids today all over the world are as foul-mouthed and violence-prone as any American ghetto hipster nigger of the 1960s, the cultural influence of Baraka and Lee, for better or worse, cannot be overstated.
In light of my attempt at being a hipster jazz musician, adhering to the basic format of the academic paper was probably the last thing on my mind. To his credit, my Professor was hip and ‘got it’, and even said that I had an ‘original mind,’ an off-the-cuff remark he made when I went to his office to pick up my essay. I still remember being in his office and his remark all these many years later. I envied him. I envied his job and his room with the ocean view of the Straight of Georgia. It was both a breathtaking view and a breathtaking dream.
Amiri Baraka’s “Black People” vis-à-vis Don L. Lee’s “A Poem to Complement other Poems”
Vancouver, May 1984
Strip a man of his language, his dignity, his individuality, his potential, and you have reduced him to the thing called the American Negro. Close the shutters. Stay indoors. After two hundred years, the animal you have kept has broken your chains; and this is just the beginning: he will break anything that you have, even your faces, especially your “jellywhite” faces. Savages, madmen, street punks, revolutionaries, terrorists, anarchists, anything but slaves. We do not want your “stoves and refrigerators and record players,” because we oppose slavery of any kind. You cannot make us slaves to your affluence and materialism, and the money you “whiteys” print and possess cannot be used to “control us.” We do not need capitalism anymore than we need your modern equivalents of plantations: “Sears, Bambergers, Klein’s, Chase and the smaller joosh enterprises.”
Make no mistake, we are not dumb niggers who “smash windows” to loot those stove and refrigerators. If not Marxists, we are realists. We are fully aware that the foundation of the new society rests on the violent destruction of the status quo. In a savage land where guns outnumber men, women, and children, “smash the windows” and “Up against the wall mother/fucker this is a stick up” become the revolution’s only hope for success. Keep in mind that this is not violence for the sake of violence, but violence for the insurance of a new “World where black children grow and learn.” Nor is it random violence committed by the individual but organized violence committed by the collective. Hence, the importance of togetherness and mass mobilization as suggested by “Our brothers are moving all over,” and “Let’s get together and kill him my man, let’s get to gather the fruit of the sun.”
Quite obviously, Baraka’s poem, “Black People” is a black revolutionary’s rallying cry to arms. The objective or goal is clear: to incite the violent overthrow of the establishment in the fastest way possible. Hence, there is no time to be wasted on eloquence, obscurity, and verbosity, if the poet is to propel the speed, movement, and direction of the revolution. And if the revolution turns at all, it will begin in the streets. Hence, street language or slang is not only appropriate, but necessary. Furthermore, battle zones are defined by streets. Enemy territory is “Washington Street” and “Springfield”; home territory is “Broad Street” and Market Street.” In essence, the straight-forwardness of the conventional paragraph (the shape of the poem itself); the urgency and informality of the contractions (i.e., “let’s,” which is repeated four times); and the idiom of the ghetto (i.e., “money don’t grow on trees no way, only whiteys got it”) do not contradict or impede the urgency, mobility and direction and goal of the Black Revolution.
Vandalism, looting, and revenge are really not solutions, but are merely pressure valves. How is one to achieve dignity, humanity, and beauty in acts of vandalism, looting and revenge? Violence does not ascend man, but rather, it descends man. No, violence is not the solution for Don L. Lee. He rejects it in his “A Poem to Complement Other Poems.” For Lee, it is not political violence which gives back the Black man his dignity, humanity and soul; but rather, it is the spiritual inner development offered by Black poetry and music which allows the Black man to regain his dignity, to repossess his soul, and to realize his potential.
Indeed, it is rather pathetic to hope for the total and violent destruction of the White Establishment at a time when more realistic integration is possible, plausible, and probable. Even something as basic and long overdue as “rest rooms on ‘greyhound’ buses” begin to apologize for the degradation and dehumanization of Blacks in the past. And just as the discrimination of “Southern outhouses for Negroes” moves toward the decency of “restrooms on buses,” so must the “make believe nothing on corn meal and water” of the Negro move toward the “better and realreal together” world of the “necessary black self.”
In short, this movement forward constitutes “positive change.” A shift in personal lifestyle (“a nigger hippy”); a shift in political persuasion (“a nigger conservative, a nigger liberal”) constitutes negative change, because “niggers don’t u know niggers are different.” In other words, preference for political parties and lifestyles are basic human differences that do not advance the Black Cause. Similarly, to absorb oneself in the idleness of “standing on the corner, thought him was cool” or to absorb oneself in the myth of the superior White man as epitomized by James Bond (“nigger wanted a double zero in front of his name; a license to kill”) is to delude oneself of the harsh realities of the ghetto and unemployment; is to delude oneself of the brutality of the White Establishment and the possibilities of enrichment through Black Culture (“like I don’t play saxophone but that doesn’t mean I don’t dig ‘trane’ [John Coltrane]”).
Whereas Baraka advocates the violent assault on capitalism, Lee’s assault on capitalism takes the form of criticism not against capitalism per se, but against Black men who have been co-opted by the White Establishment without realizing that they have been co-opted by their enemies and their propaganda:
Change: him wanted to be a T.V. star. Him is.
Ten o’clock news.
wanted, wanted. Nigger stole some
lemon & lime Popsicle
thought them were diamonds.
change nigger change.
Unlike Baraka who seeks the violent overthrow of American capitalist society, Lee seeks the cohesion of the Black man and woman as a means of building a new society. The release of anger, hostility, and frustration though Black music and poetry is a centripetal expenditure of energy. The release of anger and frustration through vandalism, looting, and the indiscriminate slaughter of Whites, on the other hand, is a centrifugal expenditure of energy. In other words, Black music and poetry rotate toward the center of the Black man — his soul. In contrast, violence rotates away from the center, leaving the soul empty and spilling over into the mindless mayhem and murder of the mob.
For Lee, violence is never completely satisfactory, no matter how just or necessary it may seem at the time. Violence only begets more violence. For this reason, Lee’s dream of the “realreal together” world rests not in his faith in revolution, which only perpetuates more death and destruction, but in his faith in Black culture, which has sustained, and will sustain the Black man in America.
In a skillful attempt to make Blacks aware of Black culture, Lee incorporates jazz in his poem. Not unlike the famous jazz saxophonist, John Coltrane’s “Ascension,” a forty-eight minute composition based on the repetition of one musical phase, the last thirteen lines of “A Poem to Complement other Poems” is based on the rhythmic repetition and slight variation of “change” and “know the real enemy.”
Moreover, the tendency of the stresses to fall on the second and fourth syllables gives the poem its jazz or staccato rhythm: “Know the real enemy. change. Know the real enemy.” Furthermore, onomatopoeia is employed in these thirteen lines also. For example, “change your change/your enemy change” strikes a very strong semblance to the rhythmic locomotion of the Freedom Train. Like a crescendo in music, the last thirteen lines build up expectation and excitement not unlike Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero,” to use a better-known musical reference. Hence, it seems possible to both visualize and to hear what Lee suggests: the ascension of man through the Arts.
To focus on just one poem by Baraka is perhaps unrepresentative of his overall philosophy. However, it seems to me that he was the most visibly militant of the Black poets of his generation, and his poem, “Black People” is a prime example of this militancy. In poems like “Evil Nigger Waits for Lightening” and even in “Speculative Hipster” Baraka has toned it down a notch or two. It is true that in these poems, he does seem to be on the same wavelength as Lee, when he advocates for the development of Black consciousness and Black culture.
Undoubtedly, both Baraka and Lee subscribe to Mao’s famous dictum that power comes out of the barrel of a gun. But as poets and the intellectual leaders of their Race, both Baraka and Lee also believe that Black poetry and music and Black culture, in general, will play a vital and critical role in shaping the Black Self and Black Collective. This must logically be their default position as poets and men of the arts. This may also be the only hope of advancement for the Black Race, from a cultural point of view, at least; and to hell with the White Establishment if it does not approve, Baraka might add. Lee will probably ditto that.
The Truth Seeker is a good site that combines overwhelming evidence and videos proving the Sarin Gas attack was launched by the anti-Assad Rebels, though they should more accurately be called mercenaries, paid for by the Saudis and trained by the C.I.A. and Mossad.
Political Correctness is Jewish! Most people think Political Correctness dates back to the late 1980s, but it actually has a long history that dates back to the Jew Bolsheviks just after the First World War (1914-1918). Here are some informative videos on Cultural Marxism and Political Correctness.
Update: November 30, 2015
Amiri Baraka passed away on January 9, 2014 and I only found out today when I came across this video of him reading his poem “Somebody Blew Up America” on a thread at Lasha Darkmoon‘s site. I am posting the video here as a pertinent update and summary of what the Black Arts movement of the 1960s was really all about, now that I am fully jew-wise. Here are excerpts of my own post/comment in response to the video.
Baraka doesn’t really name the ROTHSCHILD JEW in his poem; only a very jew-wise listener like you and me will get it, but someone who isn’t jew-wise will just infer the DEVIL is the “WHO?” in his poem. A great PITY.
I don’t want to speak ill of the dead, but I have heard that Baraka was funded by the CIA, as certainly E. Michael Jones has proven the Black Panthers were. Jones argues that the Black Civil Rights Movement was a massive social engineering PSYOP.
Was Amiri Baraka a useful idiot or paid asset in the so-called Black Civil Rights and Integration Movement? — which, in hindsight, has failed miserably, and which, 50 years later, can clearly be seen as nothing more than a JEWISH FANTASY-cum-PSYOP of using Blacks as a proxy army and shock troops to destroy Western Christian values and kill Whites in America.
Here is the video in which E. Michael Jones claims kikejews more or less created and financed the Black Panthers in the 1960s: https://youtu.be/Z-CRUbHQl5Q?t=1295 Jones also claims the same thing is happening with ISIS being another kikejew proxy army. But most regular Mooners already know that.