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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.


Blue said...

So are you saying she should stay in "a child's place"? Or are you simply saying people should hesitate before being quick to label her "a genius" or "a prodigy"?

Shelley said...

After discussing the article with a co-worker I found that so many people want this child to be the new spokesperson for black literacy. My co-worker is of the opinion that the article belittles the child's intellegence. I disagree. I believe we should not idolize this child as a prodigy until all aspects of her education have been proven to be of genius status.

negroartist said...

I implore you to mention link this website to your own website

I actually run, create and write all the code for the site(s) but want to keep my name and contact information private. This site was developed for everyone to use freely at no charge... in other words I will place an artist, dealer, writer etc. on here at no charge. I directly link to their site or provide their direct contact information. Feel Free to link me to your site.

Here is a short synopsis of my site:

The negroartist.com website is a presentation of people of color in America. An online portal if you will, for Black Entertainment that provides Information that will give you a better understanding of the problems we faced in the past to the problems we face as a nation today. The primary aim of negroartist.com is to encourage research activity on people of African descent and to provide vast amounts of information to the study of the African Diaspora. A historical perspective of a nation, its people, and its cultural evolution

visit the writing site(and my other sites below) for 18th and 19th century articles and letters by ad about famous African American's: