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Then among the dark-hued brothers is the Great Divide:

The New World Blacks disdain the uppity Africans

Come from across the oceans again to shove them aside

 

 

Books by Rose Ure Mezu

 

Women in Chains: Abandonment in Love Relationships in the Fiction of Selected West African Writers (1994) / Songs of the Hearth (1993) /

Homage to My People (2004) / A History of Africana Women's Literature (2004)

 Black Nationalists: Reconsidering Du Bois, Garvey, Booker T. & Nkrumah (1999) Chinua Achebe: The Man and His Works (2006)

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Of National and Racial Archetypes

By Rose Ure Mezu  

 

It is often thought and people ever say

That tribes / races are this or that way

For they share a mode of being that

Makes them who they are:

 

They say that the Ibo from Naze

And the Hebrew from Nazareth

Are vaulting, they grasp and pile-up riches,

Spread out the world over and clan together.

For these attributes, they are baited and hated;

 

The Yoruba like the Latin peoples love to live life

Free and easy, rock and tango and spray the dough

Loath to suffer, dread to fight but will plot to destroy

And in time turn the traitor leaving you in the lurch.

With them you speak but please withhold your trust!

 

Across the Niger/Nile, Northern lords are Oligarchs

In lands where nobles rule and serfs blindly follow;

Obedient to Allah, serfs pose no threat to rulers who

Use them to sow chaos across the lands.

 

Then the English and Germanic tribes, rumors go,

Are hard, tricky and wherever they go, they sow

Seeds of discord and play up differences to divide,

Conquer and instigate mayhem, leaving in their wake

Ruins in what ever land they are driven to vacate

For they so love to roam around and discover places.

All this I hear it said often!

 

But I ponder at the truth of the color of the races

Black, White and In-Between, Brown or Yellow:

That White is pink and lacks the pigment

That gives hue to strength and life but

To compensate, acts lordly superior

When all they achieve is a matter of necessity

Stuck as they are to an unfriendly terrain

Of snow, killer storms, quakes and such ills.

 

The black ah the potent hue!

Close to earth, they claim  progenitor to races;

Strong of hue, swift of  limbs and dense of reason?

Born to obey, serve and grovel around the pink race

Who swear that in truth the Maker was no fool

To have made them  kin to the jungle ape?


Who then would stomach apey insurrection

In love and war, against law and order?

Over-reaching, darkies claim liberté et  égalité

But can man and beast be bonded in fraternité

 

Then among the dark-hued brothers is the Great Divide:

The New World Blacks disdain the uppity Africans

Come from across the oceans again to shove them aside

Shamming Princedom, Chiefdom, and Sheikdom

To disdain the brothers and dazzle the bronzed sisters

Only to toss the latter aside and heap on the wives

Those polygamous cavemen these native S-O-Bs!

 

To the lordly Africans, the princes of the New World -

the Akattas are still the eels, slippery as in days of yore

For which the ancient forebears gladly shipped them off;

Hard to trust, they would sell off light-giving Orient Africa.

Loath to work, they desire and trot after the ease-filled life

Footloose and running, loving and leaving the sisters

They will not stay to bear the burden of home or heart.

These people!  One is alone who thinks to be one with them.

All this I hear said often!

 

Yet, of prejudice and archetypes, beware!

Things may not be the worse for wear

Since out of these biased-against groups, giants have

Arisen to give the lie to national and racial archetypes:

 

Did not Christ the Jew come to serve, suffer and save?

Owning all yet hoarding neither throne, land, nor staff.

Did Azikiwe, Ironsi not forsake Igbo kins to kiss their foes?

Did not Yoruba Soyinka for Igbo dignity go to prison in '67?

Did Muslim Murtala  not die for Nigeria's Christian masses?

Did Will Wilberforce not lead Whites in a fight to free Blacks?

Did John Brown not give up his life to make nonsense of color?

Did Beecher Stowe not write up a storm that burst into a big war,

Using Uncle Tom, Old Negro who in time became the New Negro?

 

And Malcolm and MLK, Jr., did they not earn death out of love?

Did Du Bois not champion the cause of Black and Yellow alike,

And loving the ancient sable soil, choose to sleep underneath

Its sun-kissed soil? while "Back-to-Africa" Garvey never did go;

But then as Garvey sailed sadly away, rays from Orient Africa's

Tropical Suns warmed his heart with love and more besides? 

Du Bois, Walker, Morrison, Baraka, Mezu and others yet unborn

Are empowered to urge their people to Work, Peace and Oneness!

 

So, Brothers and Sisters

Black, White and In-Between, Yellow and Red,


Sink the prejudices that build up these mountains that separate

That becloud the vision and make the planet hell for all.

Truly a world of wonder there would be if only we can

Let go of Labels, Prejudices and Archetypes!    

 

Source:  Homage to My People: Poems and Essay on gender, feminism, Aesthetics, Politics, Religion, Moral Values & African Tradition. Baltimore: Black Academy Press, Inc., 2004

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

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#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
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#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

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Life on Mars

By Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith, author of Life on Mars has been selected as the winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. In its review of the book, Publishers Weekly noted the collection's "lyric brilliance" and "political impulses [that] never falter." A New York Times review stated, "Smith is quick to suggest that the important thing is not to discover whether or not we're alone in the universe; it's to accept—or at least endure—the universe's mystery. . . . Religion, science, art: we turn to them for answers, but the questions persist, especially in times of grief. Smith's pairing of the philosophically minded poems in the book’s first section with the long elegy for her father in the second is brilliant." Life on Mars follows Smith's 2007 collection, Duende, which won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, the only award for poetry in the United States given to support a poet's second book, and the first Essence Literary Award for poetry, which recognizes the literary achievements of African Americans. The Body’s Question (2003) was her first published collection. Smith said Life on Mars, published by small Minnesota press Graywolf, was inspired in part by her father, who was an engineer on the Hubble space telescope and died in 2008.

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Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. "Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality."—Lisa Adkins, University of London

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The Warmth of Other Suns

The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

By Isabel Wilkerson

Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, a sharecropper's wife, left Mississippi for Milwaukee in 1937, after her cousin was falsely accused of stealing a white man's turkeys and was almost beaten to death. In 1945, George Swanson Starling, a citrus picker, fled Florida for Harlem after learning of the grove owners' plans to give him a "necktie party" (a lynching). Robert Joseph Pershing Foster made his trek from Louisiana to California in 1953, embittered by "the absurdity that he was doing surgery for the United States Army and couldn't operate in his own home town." Anchored to these three stories is Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Wilkerson's magnificent, extensively researched study of the "great migration," the exodus of six million black Southerners out of the terror of Jim Crow to an "uncertain existence" in the North and Midwest. Wilkerson deftly incorporates sociological and historical studies into the novelistic narratives of Gladney, Starling, and Pershing settling in new lands, building anew, and often finding that they have not left racism behind. The drama, poignancy, and romance of a classic immigrant saga pervade this book, hold the reader in its grasp, and resonate long after the reading is done.

*   *   *   *   *

The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 21 April 2012

 

 

 

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