Sunday, July 31, 2011

somalia: nevermind by amir sulaiman

black faces
white tongues
the smell of sea water
taunts with sarcasm
drink me

oh somalia
im sorry i couldnt be there for you
but while you were trying to to get your daughter
to drink her urine
a singer died
while your children
were falling from the tree of life
scattered bushels of rotten fruit
some whiter children were shot

oh somalia
only if your beautiful wasnt so black
only if you were
gaza or
libya or
bahrain or
egypt or
norway or
england or
japan or
or the moon
i would mention you in a poem

only if you had
oil or
poppy or
timber or
rubber or
white people
i would mention you in my prayers

oh somalia
only if your beautiful wasnt so black
the world has grown accustom to watching you die
since i was a child
somalia - synonymous with suffering
african meant adversity
an african struggling was like
a fish swimming
a dog barking
somalia meant starvation

nevermind the magic in your poetry
the glowing saints rising from your lands like a thousand moons

nevermind the beauty of your beaches
the utter perfection in the hips of your women

oh somalia
only if you didnt wear the resemblance of eve
like an ornate funeral shroud
we wouldnt see you as our sin
and avert our gazes
in shame
turn our faces
to blame
only if your lack of the worldy
didnt remind us
of our lack of the other-worldly
perhaps then we would mention you

oh somalia
only if your beautiful wasnt so black

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

god loves mexicans and kazakhs more

Elenamary shares an interesting intersection between Latin and Muslim culture in God loves Mexicans and Kazakhs more

dead poets society

I just recently learned about the passing of two poets who were a big part of their respective scenes. Will "Da Real One" Bell was based in Miami and David Blair was based in Detroit. At times I've been moved by both of them and I was sad to hear that their voices were silenced.

Blair - Being Black in America

Will "The Real One" - So I Run

New Times: Will Da Real One's murder left many questions
Detroit Metro Times: Poet and singer/songwriter David Blair passes away

Saturday, July 16, 2011

is the glee project racist?

Just putting the question out there...
For those who don't know, The Glee Project is an elimination-based talent show where the winner will get cast in a multi-episode arc on the show Glee. The show started with 12 contestants. Each week, the contestants sing, dance, rap, perform in videos. The "bottom three" are given a chance to save themselves with one more song. The loser of the week is eliminated.

The show started off with 4 out of the 12 contestants being people of color (or as W. Kamau Bell says, "obvious ethnics"). One identified as a black gay man, one who identified as a biracial woman, one Nuyorican Latina, and one man who (as far as I remember) never talked about their background but was pretty obviously of African descent (possibly biracial). That last guy was the first one eliminated. And in the first four weeks of the show, all but the black gay man were eliminated. Coincidence?

The world of Glee is at times like a cross between a Bennetton ad and an afterschool special so I certainly wouldn't argue that the creators of the show are racist in a crudely exclusionary way. But I do suspect that the writers of the show would have trouble writing extended story lines dealing with race and ethnicity.

Planet Grenada: is glee racist?
Racialicious: When will Glee stop ignoring race?


From Recipes for Disaster

"But what if I get caught?"

"'re already caught. Better ask yourself- what if you get free?"