By Rashida James-Saadiya Our genetic inheritance is precious. It is not a badge of inferiority for us to be ashamed of, on the contrary, we carry the struggles of our ancestors with pride – Tyson Amir In a 1968 essay, “The Black Arts Movement,” writer Larry Neal proclaimed that Black Arts is the “aesthetic and […]
via Black Boy Poems: Legacy And Activism In Black Literature — Sapelo Square
Askia M. Toure, poet, activist, and a leading voice in The Black Arts Movement, is April 20 Poet of the Day. Read more about this fascinating poet below.
The History Makers: http://www.thehistorymakers.com/biography/askia-toure-41
Journal of Pan African Studies: http://www.jpanafrican.com/docs/vol5no7/5.67Askia.pdf
Videos: “A History of Civil Rights and the Black Arts Movement”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiTKQRfVu1Q; “Nubian Dawn: A Goddess Smiles”: https://vimeo.com/19921546; “Black Writers Museum”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyWFwuk1WUM; “Spit Fire Poetry Fest”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFwmsjiaHeU
Cheryl Clarke, educator, poet, activist and more, is April 19 Poet of the Day. Read about this fascinating feminist poet below.
Videos: BlackPoetsSpeakOut: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQQ9jfpN-wA; “Queer Black Trouble (Kessler Lecture): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieLeQOjtkyw
April 16 Poet of the Day is Saul Williams. He is a multitalented artist who incorporates poetry, music, and other talents to create his music and spoken word. Read more about this multitalented artist below.
African American Literary Book Club: http://aalbc.com/authors/saul.htm
Videos: “List of Demands (Reparations)”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDMtaIcrfQ0; “Black Stacy”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRsgavuG4sg; “Amethyst Rock”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSR7H580e5U; “Explain My Heart”:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_vUmvAXaWc
My belated poet of the day posts are slowly but surely coming! April 13 Poet of the Day is Anne Spencer, a Harlem Renaissance poet. More information about her is listed below:
Poetry Foundation: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/anne-spencer
Modern American Poetry: http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/s_z/spencer/spencer.htm
Afro Poets.Net: http://www.afropoets.net/annespencer.html
Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum: http://www.annespencermuseum.com/poetry.php
Kevin Young, born in Lincoln, Nebraska, is April 10 Poet of the Day. Read more about this award winning poet below.
Poetry Foundation: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/kevin-young
Youtube video: “Blending Music in Poetry”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZ7s8xIp7dk
Poem “The Dry Spell”
The Dry Spell
with the warming house
my grandmother knew what to do
taking care not to wake
Da Da she cooked up a storm
in darkness adding silent spices
and hot sauce
to stay cool. She ate later, alone
after the children had been gathered
and made to eat
her red eggs. Da Da rose
late, long after
the roosters had crowed
his name, clearing
an ashy throat
pulling on long
to make him sweat
even more. The fields have gone
long enough without water
he liked to say, so can I
and when he returned
from those thirsty fields
he was even cooler
losing each soaked
to the floor, dropping
naked rain in his
wife’s earthen arms.
From The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, edited by Nikky Finney. Copyright © 2007 by Kevin Young. Reprinted with permission of the University of Georgia Press.
Melvin B. Tolson is April 8 Poet of the Day. Read more about this poet, debtor, and politician below.
Poetry Foundation: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/melvin-b-tolson
Modern American Poetry: http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/s_z/tolson/bio.htm
Black Past.org: http://www.blackpast.org/aaw/tolson-melvin-b-1898-1966
Youtube videos: “Dark Symphony” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHD0cpFAMpM, “An Ex-Judge at the Bar” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAxGibPGtPc
A Song for Myself
What . . . then?
Melvin Tolson, “A Song for Myself” from Harlem Gallery and Other Poems of Melvin B. Tolson (Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia, 1999)
Source: “Harlem Gallery” and Other Poems of Melvin B. Tolson (University Press of Virginia, 1999)