Archive for the ‘Africa’ Category

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Remembering Hugh Masekela
And the Americanization of Ooga Booga

 

Today, my annual poem acknowledging Black History Month is shared.  A griot, musician, storyteller, and teacher, Hugh Masekela was forced to flee to the United States (USA) from his home in South Africa (USA), and he carried with him the rich culture, heart, and treasure of its people to six continents.  Masekela proclaimed a “promise of the future” and, at the same time, he projected a look to the human heritage and legacy many thought were irretrievably lost.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven:  and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.  And immediately I was in the spirit:  and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.  And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone:  and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.  And round about the throne were four and twenty seats:  and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.  (Revelation 4:  1-4, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Acknowledging The Precious Things (02/01/2017); Prophesying By Music Ministers (11/06/2017); Poem — What’s In A Name? (06/05/2016); Poem for Amiri Baraka (01/15/2014); Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela:  An Acknowledgment (12/12/2013); GOD Speaking Through Song? (11/01/2013); Why Not One Bible? (11/02/2013); Recognizing True Prophets (05/02/2013); Jesus, A Party Animal? (05/03/2013)

 

JOHANNESBURG GOLD

For Jazz Giant, Hugh Ramapolo Masekela (1939-2018)
Black History Month 2018

 

What for?  A dust pouch fat after blasts to make the rock release its grip

To be never unknown in a place where slick is hip

A brief applause that pushes the cigarette salesman away

The wail of the coal train whistling through the starless day

From this side of the cavern to the next, from this side of the pain, to the other

It’s what I would do were I free to love again

It’s what I would do because I love my brother.

 

What for?  I stand, I teach, Pan African oneness, Negritude, escape from apartheid death

Or Miles Dewey Davis challenging me, calling forth my every living breath

Mbaqanga beginnings heard where the little head boys don’t graze

Six continents to span, to finally say, I’m here, Diaspora home, and praise

Our ancestors saying, I am here, and, free at last, and my own man

I am here and free, in a strange, new ingot hoarding land.
What is wrong with moving, changing, growing, never still

Loving long enough for sons to receive an overspill

Hear me under the earth, come up from down below

Never let injustice quench the light of possibility, or cage Unohilo

We are always safe in the arms of love, and the bishop’s gift was not by coincidence

Hear the trumpet calling us to heritage without mystery to “Ooga Booga” with new excellence

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©Michael Andrew Williams, 2018.  All rights reserved.

 

Acknowledging the fullness in the body of Christ, there is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

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THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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