The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online) is an academic journal focusing on Pan African Studies

Articles from Vol. 4, No. 2, December

A Force for Good
(for john Coltrane and Ahmed Obafemi)"...I wanna be a force for good..."-John Coltrane...there was a man...a very brave, enchanted man...and he spoke of many things...peace and changethis, he said to me...he wanted to bea force to help set us freeso...
African Communion
On the altarmemories bejewel my history,some bright dreamscapes,the defiant brilliance of my early creation -not only the monumental wonders,blocked huts to vanity's kings,obelisks piercing redolent skies;memories of round circleswhere griots sifted...
"After Faces of My People by Dr. Margaret Burroughs"
1.My skin is Black, like my auntie'sWhose skin is like that of Waianapanapa and PunaluuBlack sand beaches on islandsVolcanic rocks broken down that shine like obsidianAnd black colored girls on summer daysWalking out of churches with fresh coats of baby...
A Letter to the Elders
Where were you when I needed you mostWhy didn't you let me know that you have been through the same thing tooNow you saved and don't talk about your pastWhy did you let them hide our history from us?Did you not think we would be around?Old peope always...
Alla Our Stuff
(A Found Poem for Sistas Who Have Considered Slapping Tyler Perry Because His Shallowness is Enuff)somebody almost walked off wit alla our stuffnot our brow pencils or ovaries or our favoritepair of knee high boots bought for 40% off last fallnot the...
Amazin Grace
(for the late lucius walker)"Amazin grace...How sweet the sound...That saved a soul like me...I was once was lost...Now I'm fighting to be free...Only struggleWill save you and me..."*"Yea, though I walk through the valleyof the shadow of death;I fear...
A Mile in My Stiletto Shoes
You think I don't care about the environmentWhich means you think you can walk a mile in my stiletto shoesJust because I don't take two minute showers to save the planetDon't mean I don't care as much as youJust because I don't pull out the plugs every...
Amiri Baraka Entertains in SF: "Lowku" versus Haiku, Revives Fillmore Spirit
Wearing a black suit with a kente cloth tie, Amiri Baraka, celebrating his 75th birthday, was at ease in the center stage at Yoshi's jazz club in San Francisco, as the Howard Wiley trio played. The crowd featured a cross section of racially mixed older...
Among the Missing
Girl who shares my name is missing.The seventeen-year-old child of some motherin anguish of not knowingdid not come home and now her picture hangs on this wallwith a dozen other pictures of missing.I hear the voices speaking our name into the largenessof...
A Pan African Dialogue on Cuba: From Black Bird Press News
As we see with the Oliver Stone movie South of the Border, the winds of radical change are blowing throughout the Americas, so as North American Africans we are obligated to be informed on the rapidly developing events in the Americas, not only in the...
Bad and Stuff
I'm taking everythingand that's not enoughI'm taking everythingand that's not enoughAnd he said...I'm taking everythingbecause I'm bad and stuffYesI'm taking everythingbecause I'm bad and stuffAnd we called itsubprimesubprimesubprimesubprimeBecauseI'm...
Behind the Shadow of Reconciliation
I know I am being called and god told me you don't have a choiceSeeing through eyes stand with tearsHow do I heal the pain, the inevitable cause of the systemSuffering from sale and private ownership I feel something dieing in me and I am afraidI hear...
Black Herman's Last Asrah Levitation at Magic City, Atlanta 2010
"This exclusive shit I don't share with the world." 50 CentI, Herman made medicinal - cocked up potions in ways my former's was hearsay.turned palomas christened Zora on to formulas for husbands to roll over n mitzvah,I, a black lad, proud Virginian,...
Childhood Revisited
The collective voices of warnings, hear me right.Too many grapes, purple stains on my pink shirtMy mother doesn't scold. She washes my hands in the kitchen sinkAsks me to put cans on the pantry shelf.This is my job now that I am four-years-old and ready...
Child Soldiers
1.the boy stares into the camerasoftly speaks of his shameat being forced as a young child towith the other children killa farmer and his wifeas they kneeled beneath the rebels' gunsusing the farmer's hoe to slicelegs and head, arms and torsoall the...
Everything You Wanted to Know about Hip Hop but Were Afraid to Be Hipped for Fear of Being Hopped
Hip Hop Halitosis Hip Hop Hosiery Hip Hop Haberdashery Hip Hop Hollandaise Sauce Hip Hop Alupent Inhaler Hip Hop Hysterectomy Hip Hop Viagra Hip Hop Lamborghini Hip Hop Chanclettas Hip Hop Unemployment Hip Hop Fortune Cookie Hip Hop Auction Block Hip...
Exile Island
And here in Amassoma, hundreds of years later,I come for inspiration for songs not yet sungto the town whose name excoriates my people'sconscience; I come to research into trunks of stumps.To Amassoma, exile island of helpless forebears,I come with a...
For Black Americans, 9-11 Is 24-7
a labyrinth of terror buried beneath shallowwords on revised pages of America's iniquitiesdating back four hundred years,when blacks were snatched and kidnapped,ship jacked and hijacked to America's labor andconcentration camps to be bought and soldinto...
For the New Young Bloods on My Porch
Two years two months after post-Katrina flooding, I rememberthe first time I saw y'allCamped out, sitting on my front porchChilled out in the cool shade of my cement stoopSpread eagle on the steps like you owned the placeBronzed chocolate faces, all...
From a Big B.A.M. Theory of Creation
We have broken freeof imposed forms, fromthe outrages of being boundin formal and informal cages. "Sympathy's"*caged broken-winged songbirds now fly more freely than evenBird's bop. They broke badwith breakdancingand hip/hop all overspoken word's poetry...
From One Border to the Next
From one border to the nextMy feet graze, eating the soil.Red, sticky mudSandy grainsStone pebblesMy toes curl, digging deepMy eyes to the horizonAs the equator draws her lineA taunt.Trying to force me to make a decision,To make a claim.Though my heart...
Graveyards for the Living Dead
(INSPIRED BY CONVERSATIONS WITH SURVIVORS OF HURRICANE KATRINA IN MISSISSIPPI, NEW ORLEANS &MOBILE, ALABAMA SEPTEMBER 2005)The answer is as obvious as it is confusingHidden ... Ignored ... Scared'Til the levees crumbled & washed away the camouflageSnatched...
Hipness and Sorcery
I had to become a manMarinate in the Black ExperienceBitch slap myselfOut of pre-conceived notionsOf who and whatLouis "Satchmo" ArmstrongWas all aboutBegin to dig his genius and brillianceHis warrior hipness and sorcery of struggleThe rage behind the...
I Care about Whichever Word
I care about whichever wordis used like grassor turned to twist& make a victim look like killeror heard to sing like daybreaksmelling...An octorose of warmthblendingintonightsheddeepa dance of wavesthe sun weaves inan intricate of lightof gentle...
If I Were A Muslim in Good Standing
If I Were A Muslim In Good StandingI would be like Prophet MuhammadI would fight oppression everywhereI would liberate the slaveseducate the poorfree the womenexpel the infidels from Muslim landsI would fight quisling Muslim governmentsnot sleep until...
In Passing
(for Gwendolyn Brooks)Gwenin passingI saw you in South Africa's Sowetowith the children of Nelson Mandelathe refrain of the poem -apartheid, apartheid, apartheid is overthe work has just begunBlack leaders, Black leaders,stay on the course of righteousnessGwenin...
JPAS: Dedicated to Dingane, Jose Goncalves
We humbly dedicate this poetry issue of the Journal of Pan African Studies (JPAS) to the Honorable Jose Goncalves, publisher and editor of the Journal of Black Poetry (JBP), the poetic Bible of the 60s Black Liberation/Black Arts Movement. No other journal...
Letter for Bobo
Sent a letterTo the governor of Mississippi todayAsked himIf he remembersThat the ghost of Chicago BoboStill swimsin the shallowsOf the Tallahatchie RiverNot farFrom the town of MoneyWhere the only GreenThat existsIs the EvilThat Men DoOn Delta SummerBack...
Letters to the Editor
From Rudolph Lewis:I am not sure what to say about Carlos Moore. I know a lot of controversy swirls around his head. Some suspect he is a CIA agent. Nor have I been to Cuba, that is, I do not know what to think about racism in Cuba.But it can never be...
Life Expectancy
for AbdulDaryl Grigsby's question: is 55 old age for a Black man?Start with thisthere are no fritters on the burnerthere will never be smellsripe and holy as Sunday morningcorn muffins, kidney stew, tomato sliceson a Mingus morningthere will never be...
Little Debbie
Debbie Downer died todayDowned a molotov cocktail straight to the head.So no more crying, bitching or, remorse to come laterJust dried blood-laced tears that once trickled down her face.Cause Debbie was the suckerFeeding her soul off of half-shaped heartsWhile...
Little Mosque Poems
In my little mosquethere is no room for meto pray. I amturned away faithfullyfivetimes a dayMy little mosque:so meagerin resources, yetso eagerto turn awaya womanor a strangerMy little mosqueis penniless, behind on rentYet it is rich in angerevery Friday,...
Madness & Poets
(For Marvin X)All poets are mad Baba.It's in the saying of unsayablesthe seeing the unseenmad from murals of mundanenessmasquerading as meaningwe tag truth in acidwith lethal pens wecarve epiphany on theheaving breast of humanityhear me: I amGodz voice,you...
Memorial Day
I am a veteranNot of foreign battlefieldsLike my father in world war oneMy uncles in world war twoAnd Koreamy friends from VietnamAnd Congo "police action"But veteran none the lessExiled and jailed because I refusedTo visit Vietnam as a running dog for...
Mixed Love
Dedicated to Lovell MixonYou had an avtomat Kalashnikova of '47?Assembled in minutes by children in the old USSR.Kalashnikov and Heston are beaming with obscene pride:In the efficiency of the automaticIn the accuracy of your aimIn hitting the Pig's EyeFour...
My Brother Antonio
(A thank you note to the late Ieda Santos of the University of Bahia)My brother Antonio,dark poet of Brazildead before I knew you,how we could have spent our days together;Singing word songs of Bahia's hillsDancing verbsRunning skies along Salvador's...
Negritude
For Pedro Pietri, Tato Laviera, Jesus Papoleto Melendez and Trinidad Sanchez Jr.We be those NegroesBorn to Slave HandsResurrecting forgotten African GodsWhen Transplanted to New LandsMixing EbonicsWith Splanglish SlangWe be those NegroesChildren of Yoruba...
Night Rider
I don't look like noKlansman but I think likeOneThough I still wear a DashikiMy heart is covered withA white sheetI have fantasies involvingLillian GishI struggle with theseMe and my white hoodedFriends share the sameObsessionYou know the oneI don't...
Ode to Emmett
you photographnames you handsomesome might even sayyou seemed arrogant dressedin the fashion of the dayhat cocked on your headyou appeared strappingsomeone accustomedto be complimentedsomeone familiarwith the grace of loveyou eyes frame joyscent each...
On My Birthday
1On my birthday I see ghosts of colleaguesonce strutting Marxist peacocksout everywhere to create a spectacleof their plumes, a proletarian costumestill living but dead from shame of turncoatafter suffering the fatal stroke of charlatanswho had brandished...
On Not Being Able to Write A Post-Katrina Poem about New Orleans
It wasn't Katrina you seeIt was the leveesOne levee crumbled under Ponchartrain water surgesOne levee broke by barge, the one not supposed to park near ninth-ward streetsOne levee overflowed under Ponchartrain water pressureWe paid for a 17-foot levee...
Our Hair
1. What We Learn from Madame CJ WalkerThe curved cast iron laid on our palms like a sin.We knew what the metal clasped jaws could do to natural hair.Kehina, who had inherited her father's Patowami grade,was the last in priority and so, was assigned to...
Piece of Meat or Piece of Mind
woman gives birth to life but racism and sciencewant to abort her roletrying to find another way for human kind to be borngenetic rearing, no longer god fearingbut ... no matter whatthey can't replace usgot to have a uterus to reproduce lifefrom eve...
Please Stay Strong
got laid offgot babiesgot a manbut still ain't got no honeygot laid offgot babiesgot a loving manbut still ain't got much moneyguess i'm gonna haveto call uncle samget a little help from the manto help me pay my duesmomma's old andpoppa's still cold...
Pokeno
- for my grandmother Mae Kennedy and her Club WomenNana played Pokeno with real womenThere was grand mystique in the Queenskings, spades, jacks, hearts, diamonds, and clubsdrawn on big square cardsand the plastic discs chipsin blues and reds, blacks...
Praise Poem for Lilly
You are dazzlingand bedazzling.You astonishas the churches of Lalibela carved from bedrock astonish,inspire as triumph at Adowa inspires.You are precious as the obelisks of Aksum, liberated from exile,voluptuous as the Blue Nile bending from Lake Tana,falling,falling...
Prize and Award: Chinua Achebe and Haki R. Madhubuti
Chinua Achebe (above), author of "Things Fall Apart," has been selected to receive the 2010 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for his "unprecedented impact in literature."Achebe, professor of Africana studies at Brown University, has written more than 20...
Qaddafi's Apology for Arab Slavery: A Dialogue between Poets Rudolph Lewis, Sam Hamud and Kola Boof
This dialogue follows the apology for Arab slavery by Col. Qaddafi of Libya, North Africa. It is good that we can reason together, especially in light of so much ignorance on the planet, along with propaganda and revisionist history. We think our Sudanese...
Quake
What is this Haiti?Who are these Haitians?Where is this Haiti?I'm an American, can't find no map.What is this island without any trees?Who are these Taino? These Arawak?Who is this Columbus?Who discovered a landSo rich and lushHe said "this must be IndiaAnd...
Reasons
I got reasonsreasons for warreasons for inner peacereasonsfor my reasoningit ain't randomyou can put it on the margincall it fringeit's a matter of the matterya condition is inor the paradigm yalens is inif its crazy to be sanethenyou knowhow a doubleconsciousness...
Remember Me
I want to be remembered.I want my name said.Remember I was the daughter of Ernestine,who was the daughter of Nettie,who was the daughter of Connie,whose mother I do not know,but still remember to remember.I want to be remembered for remembering.I want...
Sanctuary
Screaming gently comes the NightAnd again I face my Soul & laughI weave Musical webs to trap the StarsCasting nets of Doo Wop & Cool Bop, Bomba, Jazz & BluesA determined seeker of your mix of sweetnessAn uncaged Night Bird flying freelyAscending...
Slam-A-Lot
Shit Slam Squat & Pee Slam Bacon & Eggs Slam Ham on Rye Slam Shit on Shinola Slam Spit & Drool Slam Vomit Slam Back Alley Wino Piss Slam Maggots Crawling Out An Open Skull Slam Backstabbing Slam Eviction Slam Ass on Pavement Slam Prescription...
Songs from across the Ocean Divide
1Thereyou watch African Magican hourly addiction for manyor Super Storyon Thursday nights with lighthereI am racked in fantasiesof the interdependence of men and womenand the complementarity of light and darka human narrativeand when you switch channelsto...
Sweetgrass Baskets Come Back Home
Mrs. Rosalee lives a long lineage of African artistryalong the shimmering coastline of South Carolinaaqua-blue Atlantic waves splash a monotonous refrain;her smooth dark hands break bulrush and crop sweetgrasslike a well-oiled machinelike the lapping...
Tainted Soul
Tainted Soul by T. Ptah Mitchell. Berkeley, California: Blackbird Press, 2010, pp.148. $15.00.This book is a film script about one of the North American Afrikans ( NAA's) who hijacked a plane, landed in Cuba, got fronted on by the government, thrown...
The Coldest Double Standard
There's a plague in the land,And it's killin' like cancer,I've searched high and low,Haven't found an answer,After all we've been through,I deserve an answer,Why do we hold our own people toThe Coldest Double Standard?How they make us "do" us?What's...
The Emmett till Blues
What they use to just do and just done it to me,they doing it directly to all yall now, doing itand doing it and doing it to the world.Shoot and cut and smash my head in,take me to the river, sink me down -you call that religion? Yeah, yeah!It hadn't...
The Human Race
it's a beautiful day here at Equator gardensand events are just getting under wayplease note that this is the first racethe first race of its kind ...and it's post timewe've got some great thoroughbreds running down the linebut to begin a fine young...
The Poets
We are supremely honored to have the privilege to assemble this collection of poets from throughout Pan Africa and the Afro-Asian-Indigenous world. We are simply elated to present a variety of poetic expressions from North American Africans of every...
They Make a Wall against Armegeddon
they was talk'n all night longtell'n ole stories, evaporat'nsweat. liquor. laugh.painting the face of their motherbetween them, gospelcrisp and oldall the action in a straightjacketin that room, old brother cain,old sin, the black work, shame,reworked...
Things Are So Random after the Womb
(in the time of George W. Bush)A nundressed in blacktaking pictures of the Popeon his death marchdressed in whiteproof of what?both are childlessmoving on beyond Godand his prisonersat the airport in L.A.and the Métro in Parisand in the streets of Madridyoung...
Torrent Called Katrina
Sometimes this world seems a supine staircase of inevitable trialsas limitless and unfathomed as those torrents called Katrina were onceall consuming and devoid of affirming geysers; fluidly serene museand the long liquid play of copious rewardThe rains...
To the Beat
Brown suburban dancer, the downtown beat of the bongos play no more.The rhythm of manicured lawns vibrating in her soul and white picket fences hasreplaced the hip hop harmonies of long ago.Brown suburban dancer electrified by the magnetic pulse of the...
Transformation
now that the guns are silentnow that the rains have beaten the bloodinto the soil that nurtures our foodnow that children are orphanednow that wives are widowednow that men whose mind have been destroyedreturn with limbs missingeyes glazed overthoughts...
Two Poets on Politics in Oakland: Ishmael Reed and Marvin X
Update: Oakland's New Mayor Jean Quan; OPD Killing ContinuesThe more things change, they more they stay the same.... New mayor, same old shit with OPD killing another unarmed black man, brother Jones. Jean Quan is Oakland's new mayor, the first Asian...
Untitled: Nykimbe Broussard
If I had one wish it wouldn't be for the skies to always to be blue,It wouldn't be for all the homeless people to have shelter,And it wouldn't be for all the little boys and girls to have shoes on there lil feet.Excuse me for my lines, the next few might...
Wish I Could Fly like a Hawk
Wish I could fly like a hawkjust soar above earthsilentgliding smoothno noisesilentobserving allmadness belowrats scurryingsnakes in the grasswish I could fly like a hawksometimes in motion stillwings frozen in flightyet movingwish I could be hawkabove...
Yard Bird's Bitter Sweet Suite
They LaughedAt The WonderIn*G...The WonderingYellow JacketYard BirdHoveringIn HummingBird's Eagle HuedHim*His*Fears...Levitating The DivineNector Of The ShadowScented BlackHoney Suckle RoseIn The Key Of SeaSons Of Shafted WheatSharecroped ChromoZones...
Yo Yo Yo: Australopithecus Afrensis
yo...yo...yo...in case you didn't knowI'm a woman, a mother, dred daughta, soul loversweet solid chocolate rock of Jah womanhoodmoney in the bank, soul sistahknock on wood it's all goodafter the years of tearsthe fears...the liesthe criessomebody better...

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