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gangsters / & drug dealers / they don’t just sit . . . / ain't it funky, ain't it funky?





When They Flooded New Orleans

                               By Rudolph Lewis


We did nothing, but wept

in our air-conditioned rooms

while our folks sweated

all their fears. All in our heads


ain't it funky, ain't it funky?


After it all, blood & death

the underbelly of black life unfolds

on tv, in journals, in head scarves

wheelchair & stroller . . .


ain't it funky, ain't it funky?


An American, a neighbor

begs for a bottle of water

up to his knees in water

tissue paper, diapers & milk.

Baggy pants toss aside indignities

& raid a market . . .


ain't it funky, ain't it funky?


for his woman &

her babies—gangsters

& drug dealers

they don’t just sit or bend over

they won't be punked . . .


ain't it funky, ain't it funky?


& do nothing

we all addicted to

love & respect, we

wring our hands; stars yet shine


ain't it funky, ain't it funky?


There's ghetto in soap dramas  & the struggle.

Life was sweet before the floods came

we tell our children . . . they smile

ain't it funky, ain't it funky, now?

posted 27 November 2005

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Yes, just like reality t. v., except this was LIFE.Miriam

Nice poem Rudy- have you heard this song about N.O.? http://www.hurricanesong.comKam

yeah, the brother gets a lot out of that one page. I think I like Legendary KO's George Bush Doesn't Care. It's far less sentimental, pathetic. KO's work carries force and power, attitude and action. His is the spunky voice of the poor. Our work's got to be fully charged, capable of moving mountains, should be greater in capacity and courage than bone-shearing bullets. KO does this. 

I ain't no poet, lyricist--but I'm trying to do what so many are not doing, what I think poets and writers should be doing in these times, to see and move people to action, rather than pity and excuses. Maybe that's too much to ask of a poem or a song or of poets and writers. Some may call it social realism, propaganda. Art has a social utility, in any event.

I'm quite amazed by the invective and satire of Ibo journalists. They cut up power elites like razors the flesh, or Muhammad Ali's left jabs, looking good and staying within the rules, at the same time. Check out  A Mother Like Stella Obasanjo and Baroness Lynda Chalker. We  could learn a lot from them in dealing with our power elites, artfully. But we still into Jet and Ebony celebration of individual accomplishments. We need to liberate that praise mode.  We still counting rocks and square feet, the brightness of glamour, living vicariously, while the people go to hell in a hand basket.  We must take our stand outside of the status quoRudy 

No one ever accused me of handling black elites with kid gloves. I've challenged Mike Tyson to a fight and ripped everybody to Condi to Colin Powell to Michael Jackson, see my latest attached.Kam

You certainly trash MJ. But it seems to me he's an easy mark, now. He's on a downhill slide. What you expose is a lot of personal garbage of the socially ill. The Ibo journalist chose persons that could really threaten him, even have him killed. Maybe "power elites" rather than "black celebrity elites," on their way down, is what I'm getting at.

The Ibo journalist is a tightrope walker, staying just within the rules of free speech. He criticizes the President's deceased wife of corruption, only a month after her death. That's real balls, it seems to me, ain't afraid to lose them kind of attitudeRudy

How about my calling for Bush's impeachment before his first inauguration?Kam

How about ragging continually the incompetence and lap-doggishness of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), black mayors, black state politicians that work against livable wages and dignity for the poor?  Forget about their personal habits. How about black demagogues that sell out to union czars and corporate corruption? How about black intellectuals who spend most of their time teaching rich white kids, and ain't got no time for the poor? There are many targets you could choose that might put you in real danger. Let's not join the frenzy. There's more to do than be cute. The call for impeachment is provocative, but it's not programmatic. I'd prefer you call for the impeachment of the CBC, its dissolution, as a waste of taxpayer money.Rudy

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



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#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

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#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

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#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.” We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.

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The Persistence of the Color Line

Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency

By Randall Kennedy

Among the best things about The Persistence of the Color Line is watching Mr. Kennedy hash through the positions about Mr. Obama staked out by black commentators on the left and right, from Stanley Crouch and Cornel West to Juan Williams and Tavis Smiley. He can be pointed. Noting the way Mr. Smiley consistently “voiced skepticism regarding whether blacks should back Obama” . . .

The finest chapter in The Persistence of the Color Line is so resonant, and so personal, it could nearly be the basis for a book of its own. That chapter is titled “Reverend Wright and My Father: Reflections on Blacks and Patriotism.”  Recalling some of the criticisms of America’s past made by Mr. Obama’s former pastor, Mr. Kennedy writes with feeling about his own father, who put each of his three of his children through Princeton but who “never forgave American society for its racist mistreatment of him and those whom he most loved.”  His father distrusted the police, who had frequently called him “boy,” and rejected patriotism. Mr. Kennedy’s father “relished Muhammad Ali’s quip that the Vietcong had never called him ‘nigger.’ ” The author places his father, and Mr. Wright, in sympathetic historical light.

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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

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update 10 February 2012




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Related files: For Stan Tookie Williams   Postcard from Hell  Ode to Bowling Balls   When They Flooded New Orleans   The street I live on is dying   Will the people ever wake up?    I Choose Us: The African