Sunday, March 19, 2006
Whoever said children should be seen and not heard....might be on to something
This next story reminds me of a Ray Charles tune...actually remade as a post mortem duet with Ray and Norah Jones last year. "Here We Go Again"...I believe is the name of that little ditty and low and behold the premise of this latest bit of local news. Pictured above is a precocious 7-year-old girl by the name of Autum Ashante. Autum is a budding poetess who some believe to be a genius if not a child prodigy. The jury may be out on that assertion, however there is no doubt that she is extremely bright and well spoken beyond her years. Miss Ashante (with the aid of her single father, Batin Ashante, a Nation of Islam poet/activist) has developed minor celebrity status performing her poems at HBO's Def Poetry Jam, The Cotton Club in L.A., The Apollo Theater in Harlem, the African Street Festival, Caroline's on Broadway, the Russell Simmons Phat Farm Fashion Show, Steve Harvey's "Big Time as well as various colleges throughout the nation. The quagmire that the young poetess has found herself in relates to poetry readings that took place at public middle and high schools in Peekskill, N.Y., for Black History Month. She allegedly called for the White students to remove themselves allowing the Black and Latin students to hear what many would consider to be a Black militant poem. Here is the poem at the center of this maelstrom:
White Nationalism Put U In Bondage
White nationalism is what put you in bondage
Pirate and vampires like Columbus, Morgan, and Darwin
Drank the blood of the sheep, trampled all over them with
Steel, tricks and deceit.
Nothing has changed take a look in our streets
The mis-education of she and Hegro -- leaves you on your knee2grow
Black lands taken from your hands, by vampires with no remorse
They took the gold, the wisdom and all of the storytellers
They took the black women, with the black man weak
Made to watch as they changed the paradigm
Of our village
They killed the blind, they killed the lazy, they went
So far as to kill the unborn baby
Yeah White nationalism is what put you in bondage
Pirates and vampires like Columbus, Morgan, and Darwin
They drank the blood of the sheep, trampled all over them with
Steel laden feet, throw in the tricks alcohol and deceit.
Nothing has changed take a look at our streets
Believe it or not...I'm not sure if I have a problem with the poem itself....heck I would be first to state that there is a lot of validity to her poem (if she did indeed write it...I didn't start using the term "paradigm" until I was in college...). But do you separate people? Everyone should hear these thoughts. But unlike many Black folk, I am not quick to label someone a genius (although Miss Ashante allegedly speaks numerous languages) when I have yet to hear her write a concerto or interpret some mathematical equation. This genius intends to pursue acting but time will tell. And having this girl espouse beliefs using a Black/White paradigm (hey I know a big word) is simply outdated, in a time when people of color are causing damage to each other without the aid of a White bogeyman. But then again kids DO say the darndest things. I believe her cd is coming out soon....heaven help us.
Posted by desmond burton at 6:10 PM