Monday, October 13, 2014

CARIBBEAN POETRY: Withering Dreams (A. Haiku)

                                                 Withering Dreams (A. Haiku)
                                          copyright 2014 K. Omodele

             Withered dreams are streams
              trickled to motionless ponds.
              Stagnation is death.                    

Thursday, September 19, 2013

SEEKING MAKEDA: Journey Through Affliction (Feeling)

SEEKING MAKEDA: Journey Through Affliction (Feeling)
copyright K. Omodele 2013


Fate's tormenting winds miscarried Queen's grain,
Hemorrhaged essence erupted her shame,
Then, snatched from her bust, King shackled and chained,
Fullness drilled hollow by heart-wrenching strain.

Late Mom's lullabies torched scars in her brain,
Teeth clenched as Fate pelted torrential baneful moments.
Lava, tears lament aflame,
Bare molten sorrow scorched cheeks like stained panes.

Empress Makeda balled fists through stone rains,
Soul anguished, blazing, inflaming her veins,
Scalding puddles waned formed pebbles of pain,
Wise mind*- a sword forged by life pounding change.

*Wise mind~Wisdom

Friday, August 17, 2012

Black Moses Seh: More Quotes from Marcus Mosiah Garvey

Today is Marcus Mosiah Garvey's 125th Earthday.  Blessed Earthstrong Black Marcus, my Prophet. As relevant now as he was then. Don't say that you understand, until yuh hear the man.

"This propaganda of dis-associating Western Negroes from Africa is not a new one. For many years white propagandists have been printing tons of literature to impress scattered Ethiopia, especially that portion within their civilization, with the idea that Africa is a despised place, inhabited by savages, and cannibals, where no civilized human being should go, especially black civilized human beings. This propaganda is promulgated for the cause that is being realized today. That cause is COLONIAL EXPANSION for the white nations of the world."
~ Philosophy & Opinions of Marcus Garvey,
 
"I stand before you this afternoon as a proud black man, honored to be a black man, who would be nothing else in God's creation but a black man."~ 1928
"If I die in Atlanta my work shall then only begin, but I shall live, in the physical or spiritual to see the day of Africa's glory. When I am dead wrap the mantle of the Red, Black and Green around me, for in the new life I shall rise with God's grace and blessing to lead the  millions up the heights of triumph with the colors that you well know. Look for me in the whirlwind or the storm, look for me all around you, for, with God's grace, I shall come and bring with me countless millions of black slaves who have died in America and the West Indies and the millions in Africa to aid you in the fight for Liberty, Freedom and Life."
~ in a letter from prison, 1925

"Before we can properly help the people, we have to destroy the old education... that teaches them that somebody is keeping them back and that God has forgotten them and that they can't rise because of their color.. we can only build... with faith in ourselves and with self-reliance, believing in our own possibilities, that we can rise to the highest in God's creation."

"Intelligence rules the world, ignorance carries the burden."

"Let it be your constant method to look into the design of people's actions, and see what they would be at, as often as it is practicable; and to make this custom the more significant, practice it first upon yourself."

"Among some of the organized methods used to control the world is the thing known and called PROPAGANDA. Propaganda has done more to defeat the good intentions of races and nations than even open warfare. Propaganda is a method or medium used by organized peoples to convert others against their will. We of the Negro race are suffering more than any other race in the world from propaganda... propaganda to destroy our hopes, our ambitions and our confidence in self." 

"Rise up Black Men, and take your stand. Reach up black men and women and pull all nature’s knowledge to you. Turn ye around and make a conquest of everything North and South, East and West. And then we you have wrought well, you will have merited God's blessing, you will become God's chosen people and naturally you'll become leaders of the world."

Please help spread the word to Exonerate Marcus Garvey: http://bit.ly/KqUrGh


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Great Quotes by Black Leaders About The Right and Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey

English: Marcus Garvey statue, San Fernando, T...
 Marcus Garvey statue, San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“Of all literature I studied, the book that did more than any other to fire my enthusiasm was Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey.”
~Kwame Nkrumah
"It has warmed us that so many of our brothers from across the seas are with us. We take their presence here as a manifestation of the keen interest in our struggle for a free Africa. We must never forget that they are a part of us. These sons and daughters of Africa were taken away from our shores and, despite the centuries which have separated us, they have not forgotten their ancestral links. Many of them made no small contribution to the cause of freedom, A name that springs immediately to mind in this connection is Marcus Garvey. Long before many of us were even conscious of our own degradation, Marcus Garvey fought for African national and racial equality."

Malcolm X
Malcolm X
"Everytime you see another nation on the African continent become independent, you know that Marcus Garvey is alive. It was Marcus Garvey's philosophy of Pan-Africanism that initiated the entire Freedom Movement which brought about the independence of African (and Caribbean) nations."
~Malcolm X
"When my mother was pregnant with me, she told me later, a party of hooded Ku Klux Klan riders galloped up to our home...brandishing their shotguns and rifles the shouted for my father to come out...The Klansmen shouted threats and warnings at her that we had better get out of town because 'the good Christian White people' were not going to stand for my father's spreading among the 'good' Negroes of Omaha with the 'Back-to-Africa' preachings of Marcus Garvey."

"Marcus Garvey was one of the first advocates of Black Power, and is still today the greatest spokesman ever to have been produced by the movement of Black Consciousness...He spoke to all Africans on the earth, whether they lived in Africa, South America, the West Indies or North America, and he made Blacks aware of their strength when united."

"They didn’t want Garvey to speak in New Orleans. We had a delegation to go to the mayor, and the next night, they allowed him to come. And we all was armed. Everybody had bags of ammunition, too. So when Garvey came in, we applauded, and the police were lined man to man along the line of each bench. So Mr. Garvey said, 'My friends, I want to apologize for not speaking to you last night. But the reason I didn’t was because the mayor of the city of New Orleans committed himself to act as a stooge for the police department to prevent me from speaking.' And the police jumped up and said, 'I’ll run you in.' When he did this, everybody jumped up on the benches and pulled out their guns and just held the guns up in the air and said, 'Speak, Garvey, speak!' And Garvey said, 'As I was saying,' and he went on and repeated what he had said before, and the police filed out the hall like little puppy dogs with their tails behind them. So that was radical enough."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
~Queen Mother Audley Moore

"...the first man, on a mass scale to give millions of Negroes a sense of dignity and destiny.”

Jomo Kenyatta
"In 1921, Kenyan Nationalists, unable to read, would gather round a reader of Garvey's newspaper, The Negro World, and to listen to an article two or three times. Then they would run through the forest carefully to repeat the whole, which they had memorized, to Africans hungry for some doctrine which lifted them from the servile consciousness in which Africans lived."
~Jomo Kenyatta


"Marcus Garvey is a prophet..."
~Bob Marley
"I & I will never forget no way/ they sold Marcus Gavey for rice..." -in the song So Much Things to Say
~Bob Marley




Please feel free to add any other quotes by leaders bigging up Marcus Mosiah Garvey in the Comments/Chat Yuh Mind section


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rodney Speaks: Memorable Quotes, Speeches or Phrases by Walter Rodney

The bomb that exploded in Georgetown, Guyana on June 13, 1980 may have snatched Walter Rodney from the physical, but it couldn't kill the Brother's words. Though they tried to blast away what was deemed a threat to the powers that were, you can't snuff out inspiration. You can't stop words nor songs of freedom. You can't assassinate conversation.
Martyrdom fueled Rodney's voice. Walter cried out about injustice. Walter lectured about social imbalances and inequalities. Walter informed about OUR history.
Walter grounded.
Walter spoke.
Walter speaks.

"By what standard of morality can the violence used by a slave to break his chains be considered the same as the violence of a slave master?"

"I would go further down into West Kingston and I would speak wherever there was a possibility of our getting together. It might be in a sports club, it might be in a schoolroom, it might be in a church, it might be in a gully. (Those of you who come from Jamaica know those gully corners.) They are dark, dismal places with a black population who have had to seek refuge there. You will have to go there if you want to talk to them. I have spoken in what people call ‘dungle’, rubbish dumps, for that is where people live in Jamaica. People live in rubbish dumps. That is where the government puts people to live. Indeed, the government does not even want them to live in rubbish dumps. I do not know where they want them to go, because they bulldoze them off the rubbish dumps and send them God knows where. I have sat on a little oil drum, rusty and in the midst of garbage, and some Black Brothers and I have grounded together.
Now obviously, this, first of all, must have puzzled the Jamaican government*. I must be mad, surely, a man we are giving a job, we are giving status, what is he doing with these guys. [The newspaper] calls them all manner of names… you know: ‘criminals and hooligans’. What is he doing with them? So they are puzzled and then obviously after that suspicion, he must be up to something, as the paper will try to imply. But we spoke, we spoke about a lot of things and it was just the talking that was important, the meeting of black people.
~ Groundings With My Brothers
*at that time Hugh Shearer was Prime Minister

“I trust that my use of the words such as ‘capitalism’, ‘imperialism’, and ‘neocolonialism’
will not be deemed as a cover for sinister intent. My indulgence in
those terms is aimed at opposing a system which is barbarous and
dehumanizing – the one which snatched me from Africa in chains and deposited
me in far off lands to be a slave beast, then a sub-human colonial subject, and
finally an outlaw in those lands. Under these circumstances, one asks nothing
more but to be allowed to learn from, participate in and be guided by the African
Revolution in this part of the continent; for this Revolution here is aimed at
destroying that monstrous system and replacing it with a just socialist society.”
Rodney in letter in the Nationalist newspaper (Tanzania) 17th December, 1969;
walter rodney poster
walter rodney poster (Photo credit: nicholaslaughlin)
cited in Issa Shivji, 1980

"I was brought up not very far from here, in a typical range yard in Bent Street.
And there, amidst the poverty, looking back now, I can see in my mind’s eye
ordinary black people who were worth everything, who were human beings who
had strength, who had character. Never mind he may have been a cartman,
never mind the woman may have been taking in washing. When you stop to think
about it, they had character. Some of them were miracle workers, because it’s a
miracle how they used to bring up families on what they earned.And now I
cannot accept that such people must be put to do some dirty political
skullduggery – coming to court, lying, to get another man convicted of murder...
    …as I said before, you start with one thing, you end with another. The system
doesn’t stop at racial discrimination. Because it is a system of class oppression, it
only camouflages its class nature under a racial cover. And in the end, it will
move against anyone irrespective of colour. In the end, they will move even
against their own. Because, don’t believe if you are a member of that party today,
that you will be protected tomorrow from the injustices. Because when a monster
grows, it grows out of control. It eats up even those who created the monster.
And it’s time that our people understood that."
From speech in 1977,campaigning in defence of Arnold Rampersaud who was accused of the murder
of policeman James Henry.

"I try to find some meaning among the mass of the population who are daily performing a miracle, they continue to survive! Kingston is meaner then when you left it, and when you left it you probably did not know how mean it is… Today, all that matters, is the question of action, determined, informed and scientific action against imperialism and its cohorts. Just as Leonardo Da Vinci is the archetype of Renaissance Man, so Che Guevara is the ideal of Revolutionary Man. All that is required is that one should extract the essence of his life's experiences, rather than attempt to embrace his numerous suggestions concerning guerrilla warfare. The latter course has the serious limitation of being irrelevant to many objective situations (as Che knew).. I doubt whether the situation is explosive, and I doubt whether I will be here long enough to witness the explosion; but as a matter of integrity I must address myself to that question so long as I am here. Otherwise, what will distinguish me from the Philistines?"

"I was doing some paper on the Russian Revolution and it struck me that this Lenin was a person who had a tremendous capacity for intellectualizing and at the same time doing. In my own naïve way, I called this phenomenon ‘a revolutionary intellectual.’
But the professor was very hard on this statement. He said: ‘There is no such thing. One can be an intellectual or one can be a revolutionary. You can’t combine the two. Lenin may at one time have been a revolutionary, at another time an intellectual, but the moment he moves into practical activity he must abandon intellectualism.’
This was a most curious argument. I just sensed that something was wrong about it. And I felt that somehow being a revolutionary intellectual might be a goal to which one might aspire, for surely there was no real reason why one should remain in the academic world – that is, remain an intellectual – and at the same time not be revolutionary."


"Lenin as a Revolutionary Intellectual," from Walter Rodney Speaks





Saturday, April 14, 2012

Brooklyn Beast: Nineties Sick Degrees

copyright K. Omodele 2012   All rights reserved
Foto:MFR
Foto:MFR (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Wasn't much smiling in Di Nineties, East Flatbush, Brooklyn. The E. 90's was a zone of gun claps and shrieking sirens, after all, with reggae and dancehall ever thumping in the background. People on the road  called this part of Brooklyn "Vietnam." 

This night was frigid, a rigid Sunday- hard like Reagan trickle-dung policies 'gainst Black People. Four D's only used to opened its doors from Thursday through Saturday night, so this night was dead. And the boys them loved these nights when they could alms-up the sound system equipment all to themselves.
After clearing bottles and washing glasses, Nephew had attacked the floor, sweeping, de-gumming, mopping, waxing and buffing 'til the vinyl did shine like a brand new dub-plate. By then Belizean Gerald did done already restock the Bar with mostly Guinness and Dragon Stout, Red stripe, Banks, Heineken and Corona, and was shouldering unused drink  boxes into the nightclub basement.
Seemed like the minute the wuk dun*, there was a rolling then clanking on the nightclub shutter grill. The two teenagers turned down the club lights, peered out the one-way, window on the door. Nephew then popped the door and touched fists with Bredren as they traipsed in...Culchah, Irie, Roro, Moet, Dex, Jungle, Eh-Em, Blacka Shine and the whole side ah dem...in diamond sox, Travel Fox and Ballys; suede fronts and knit ganzies; Kangol, leather baseball caps, buckas and tams; leather gooses, bombers and shearlings...bouncing straight to the DJ booth. Nephew flicked the power strip and pressed the amps' power buttons and next thing yuh know, the system lights woke up. 
Speakers crackled.
Nephew twirled a plate onto turntable 1.
Sleng Teng
Sleng Teng (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Irie unsheathed his locks from his leather crown and flashed them free.Took hold of a microphone like Selassie holding the Scepter.
The youth them took crowded the booth, one by one flinging lyrics 'pon the mic, riding riddims**: The Answer, Stagalag 13, Sleng Teng, The 54-46 (Boops), The Far East - in rapid-fire ganja and Heineken- slurred Patois, Creolese, Panamanian/Belizean Spanglish. Lyrics bigging up "weh we come from": The Nineties, The Fifties, Mini-mart, Brooklyn, Jamdung, GT, Panama, Belize. Lyrics 'bout Rastafari and Africa, 'bout teenaged love and odes to Ganja.
And lyrics 'bout the Dutty Boyz, the Beast, Babylon.

Outside, the wind howled. Feather-weight paper debris tumbled down shell-shocked streets into vestibule pockets where they twirled like twisters. Sirens blared up Rockaway Parkway. Minutes later more screaming sirens are chased by a next set a cop cars down Remsen Ave. Was only ten p.m. and yet Rutland Rd. was stripped bare of people like the climax of Gun Down in the Middle of Gun Town. A night-blue DT*** car crept off ah Rockaway, stalked down Rutland Road, crossed  E. Ninety-sixth, peering, lurking...

Two, three hours soon shot pass.
Nephew re-sleeved the records and shelved them.
Gerald emptied ashtrays and got rid of empty bottles.
"Starlight ah guh swing tonight." Culchah said, yanking the belt tight on his three-quarter length goose down.
"Schuups. If ah see my baby mother in deh one more time, I gon box she dung," Dex said, matter of factually. "Every single week, Man? Is wah do she so?"
Each and every one ah the boys cocked their ears. 
Rinsing the ashtrays in the sink, Gerald responded. "Box dung who, Loco?"
Nephew grinned. "Big, mampy**** Lorna? You mussy mad."
The whole side ah them nearly drop dead with laugh.
As they gathered at the door, Blacka Shine added. "My money deh pon Mampy-Pampy Lorna. First round knock out."
More laughs exploded.
Nephew checked around. The club was in order as it should be. No traces of the boys and the session. Satisfied, he locked off the lights.
The massive***** herded through the door into the shelled-down night.

The pulling down of the iron-gate shutters rumbled. The sound barreled all the way up Rutland Rd. to the Number 3 subway station and straight down to Rutland Plaza. The boys loaded six steel pins into the cylinders and clicked six locks through the pin eye holes.
Tested the gates with two tugs.
The whole crew turned, heading down towards Remsen Ave., shoulders up, chins tucked into chests to protect them from the cold.
Irie hauled up to a dumpster to hold a piss.
Suddenly, two night-colored DT cars roared, hurling horse power down the street. Tires screeched. The cars skidded and jerked into a stop right in front the teens.
Out pounced four undercover DTs, guns drawn and pointing at the teens.
The boyz stopped and braced themselves.
"Get da fuck on the wall!" The DTs pushed the boys toward the building's brick wall.
Two sprinted over to Irie, who by now done pissed on his Clarkes.
"HANDS ON DA WALL."
But Irie still had his thing exposed, so he fidgeting to zip that back in his pants.
The two DT's cocked their guns and rushed him. Each pinning an arm back, they shoved him, banged his head 'gainst the wall.
By this time, the next two officers had the other boys 'gainst the wall.
As the police searched them frantically, Culchah asked."Wah di fuck we do, dutty bwoy?"  chest swelling up.
The cop balled up a fist and cocked back his arm. "SHUT DA FUCK UP! Where da guns at?"
Culchah smirked. "Hmmmph."
As another DT frisked his body under his jacket, Nephew turned his head around. "Yo, we ain't do nuttn. Just done cleaning up my Uncles' nightclub back deh."
The officer nodded his head the nightclub's direction. "That jungle gym back there?" Chuckled. "Yeah, we saw youse come out. You got guns in there? We coming in."
Nephew wrinkled up his face. "Mek sure you dot your I's and cross you T's."
Next to them, Culchah laughed.
"Shut up and face the wall." The detective cocked his service 'matic, hand trembling. He plunked it, shaking, 'gainst the boy's head back. "Face the FUCKING wall, nigger! DON'T MOVE!""
Nephew faced the wall and rolled his eyes toward the sky. "Sir, please, why you don't tek the gun away from my head. Better if you put it on my back." Nephew insisted. "Whoever you think we are, we are NOT them."
The officer removed the gun from the boy's head and squared the nozzle in the middle his back instead. "Just don't move. Don't need no accidents, right?"
Culchah burst out. "Guh suck yuh maddah, dutty bwoy."
The officer jumped over to Culchah. Grabbed the back of boy's coat collar, ground him into the wall.
Culchah lets his body go limp.
The officer smirked and moved back over Nephew.
"Wah now offisah? How many times yuh gon search mi?" Nephew asked.
"Mek dey go bout dey business and 'llow we, nuh man," Dex said.
The officers searched each one of the boys, then collectively, the four DT's stepped back, guns still pointing.
The DT who searched Culchah and Nephew spat on the ground.
"What? No guns?" He turned to one of his colleagues, one who did search Irie. "Rooney, you check the dumpster?"
"Yep."
Unsatisfied, the DT now trolled over to Irie. Nodded and twirled his gun. "Turn around. Take that dread-head hat off, boy!"
Irie's whole body stoned up.
Glared at the officer. Slowly removed his crown. His locks cascaded below his waist.
Still aiming his gun at the boy, the DT continued. "Run your fingers through that shit!"
Irie glowered at the man.
The man bobbed the gun up and down.
Irie roughly flipped and rummaged his locks with fingers, then threw both hands in the air and held them high.
"Wha' more, OFF-I-CER?"
The officer looked around at the boys. Lowered his gun and tucked it in his waist-clip holster.
Grinning he said. "You ladies have a nice night."
Irie followed them with his eyes as the DT's retreated to their cars, jumped in and screeched off.
The boys on the wall looked behind them, then slowly faced the street.
"DUTTY BOYS, YUH."
"Dutty Babylon."
"Fuck di beast."
They continued down Rutland Road.
"Man, fuck Starlite Ballroom. Mi a guh a mih yard."
 "Banna, dat beast is a real antiman."


copyright K. Omodele 2012   All rights reserved


*work was done, finished
**rhythms
***Detective i.e. unmarked/ plainclothes
****big, fat
*****a collective like a crew, group, team or gang

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

One of Jah Son: The Slaying of Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Martin Protest - SanfordTrayvon Martin Protest - Sanford (Photo credit: werthmedia)
I been observing this whole tragedy, this Trayvon Martin incident and couple ah things are as shine, clear and bright like .357 Magnum in the tropical night. First:  racial profiling in Amerikkka is prominent. Second: in the shitstem, a young Black life is as insignificant now as it was in the days of Native Son/ Bigger Thomas. And I don't think this perception about the devalued life worth of young Africans/youth of African descent is limited to Amerikkka, it's a global phenomenon.

Imagine that in this age of information or misinformation, people are still being judged by what they wear and how they look. In Truth, Trayvon had a right to be in the neighborhood, his father lived there. What made him suspect? The reasons Zimmerman perceived him as a threat was because he was Black and young. Like Yusef  Hawkins and countless others, Trayvon was killed because of his profile, for how he was perceived as a Black youth. You think if Trayvon woulda been White and wearing the said hoodie in the rain in that community Zimmerman woulda track him down and kill him? Listen to the 911 tapes, Zimmerman sounds calculating, like he's setting up a defense for what he knows he wants to do. And when the 911 operator tells him not to follow the retreating Trayvon, Zimmerman ignores the advice and follows the boy anyway. He tracks him down. Confronts. Slays.

Is like if young, Black men are bearing the cross-hairs for crime in societies round di world.




Thursday, March 22, 2012

When I-ngels Cried


When I-ngels Cried (to Chassidy and Cam)
©K.Omodele 11-13-07

In an urban landscape which crumpled my soul
Where ulterior motives are brushstrokes by
shardy images of an elusive and
scarred-face dream, I barely noticed when two I-ngels* sighed.


In the solace of an early summer lake
in May, when bird chat was an Ella-scat, and while
soothing powder blue caressed over luscious green
and jerk-seasoned smoke, I clearly saw two I-ngels smile.


On the day the sun refused to shine, when freedom
rushed away like a ship on a West African tide
Seperated by bars, brick, glass panes and misery,
my heart tumbled like a stone when two I-ngels cried.
©K.Omodele 11-13-07





 
* Angels

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mother To Son: Divinity Within





 Copyright 2012 K.Omodele

This fog-filled Sunday morning, just one hour after the cock did crow, a mother snatches some dung-smeared eggs right from under a fowl and runs some stand pipe water over them. She storms through a back door clutching three warm eggs, tracking mud on the hand-polished, hardwood floor with her Bata slippers.
She sits the eggs inna old enamel bowl and turns to her son and squares off, hand akimbo. Brows dig furrows while her eyes fling daggers at her eleven-year old boy. 
He lowers his eyes.
She wrinkles her mouth around a word but then press her lips taut as a goat-skin drum.
"Un-GOD-ly? So they say." 
She jabs a finger in his chest with every thumping syllable.  
"I more spiritual than whole heap ah hypocrite wha' you see go to church every week, whether 'pon Sat'day or two time 'pon Sunday. Ah sure I more righteous than thiefin' Parson Brown with them t'ree pickney and t'ree different babymother outta di same damn congregation."
Her son's back is pressed against the rough, board wall.
"Mek ah tell yuh dis, mih Son! See here, going to church don't mek nobody Godly or righteous. Nuff ah them in church 'pon Sunday, dirty and bad mind. I don't have to go to nobody church to pray; live and treat people good. Yuh have One single Almighty but plenty ways fi express yuh love for Him. Every church want say their way is the one an' only way. That is wha' yuh call religion an' doctrine. I don't deal with religion; I deal with culture. Seven culture have seven different ways of expressin' love for The Mos' High. But, Son,  when yuh want talk to God, if yuh really want talk to HIM and feel HIM, don't bother look around out deh  for HIM."  
She  grips his sagging shoulder firm with one hand, but caresses his chest gently with the next. 
"Yuh muss find Jah within yuh heart, mih Son. A church will only give you belief an' faith.The pastor or di priest can tell you bout rituals and rites. How after the cow jump over di moon, she drop dead and mek horse fat. But yuh want find spirituality? Know yourself and yuh will find divinity within."
The boy pick up his chin off his chest, hoists it up high.
Copyright 2012 K.Omodele



Friday, March 16, 2012

Martyrdom: Patrice Lumumba (To Divide and Rule Was Their Only Plan...)

We must canonize our own saints, create our own martyrs, and elevate to positions of fame and honor black men and women who have made their distinct contributions to our racial history. ~ Marcus Garvey

I only gave voice to words of freedom and brotherhood, words they couldn't accept. Just words. ~ Patrice Lumumba

 A whole heap ah lessons can be learned from ourstory, Black stories, African stories. Anytime I think 'bout Patrice Lumumba, the Divide and Rule concept bounce 'round mi brain  and I can hear Jah Cure chant 'bout how it "is their only plan...." I, Kaya, done say it already: the so-called Cold War was actually fought in the Third World amongst poor people. The so-called Super Powers only postured and plotted, and is we in the Caribbean and Africa and Asia who actually bust we gun, killing we own people, in the name of Capitalism, Socialism or Communism. "We sick an tired of yuh ism, schism."

Patrice Lumumba was charismatic and warm, and at the time the only Congolese leader who  genuinely stood firm for anti-tribalism, anti-regionalism, anti-imperialism,  and African Unity. Like Walter Rodney, he was quick to speak out 'gainst fuckery- that is, exploitation and oppression. The man proudly wore the robe of African Nationalism. But you done know, the powers that be couldn't stand to see a strong, fully independent Congo, united and  in control of her own natural resources.
Patrice Hemery Lumumba was born on July 2, 1925 in Onalua, in Kasai, Congo. In a country made up of a couple hundred tribes/ethnic groups, he was the son of farmers who belonged to one of the smallest- the Batetela ethnic group. Back in them days Congo was a colony of belgium and Lumumba was mostly Western-educated, he attended Christian primary and secondary schools. He became a postal clerk and was an active member of the évolués (Western educated Africans and Asians). He wrote essays and poems for Congolese publications and press. Just reading about his earlier life, one could think Lumumba woulda been the perfect colonial puppet, once Congo became independent in 1960. But nah, man. The belgians flung him in prison twice, first for embezzlement of post office funds and later for inciting an anti-colonial riot. 
He helped found the Mouvement National Congolais (MNC)* in '58, and eventually became president of this organisation. In December that said year, Lumumba and a team of MNC members attended the All-African Peoples' Conference in AccraGhana. Hosted by Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and this event served like steel sharpening steel- Lumumba honed his Pan-Africanist focus and his tone grew into militant nationalism after attending this conference. 

Map of Territorial Control during the Congo Cr...                                    Image via Wikipedia
Leading up to independence in 1960, belgium knew it had a problem with Patrice Lumumba's popularity amongst his people. He was staunchly nationalist and was against tribal division, conflict and war. In other words, he was against Divide and Rule. He fire-burned the cloak of neo-colonialism. When the belgians held a round table conference in brussels to stage who and who would run Congo, which leaders were "suitable" to protect belgian interests- especially the resource-rich Katanga and South Kasai states/provinces, it was really a ploy of picking puppets.
Lumumba at the time was in jail on the riot charge**, but his MNC party members and supporters in brussels refused to participate without Lumumba, they demanded his freedom. 
Babylon released the chains and Lumumba was flown in to brussels. The man stepped in to the conference room hours after sitting in a cell.
Elections were held in May. Over 120
mostly ethnic or regional parties participated.  But the MNC united across ethnic lines and regional divisions and triumphed. The party named the thirty-four year old Lumumba the country's first Prime Minister.  Joseph Kasavubu of Abako (Alliance des Ba-Kongo, organ of the Bakongo, one of the largest ethnic groups in the Congo) was made President. 
Then came Independence Day, June 30th. The ceremony in which the belgians "handed over" the Congo to the Congolese deliberately excluded Patrice Lumumba. In fact, leading up to the ceremony, king baudouin paraded around the capital in a car with Joseph Kasavubu. (The newly formed constition named the prome misnister the supreme power and the president the ceromonial leader)  During the ceremony, Prime Minister Lumumba was excluded from speaking and sat quietly observing. But after the belgian king's paternalistic speech about how "...The independence of the Congo is the crowning of the work conceived by the genius of king leopold II, undertaken by him with courage and continued by Belgium with perseverance...", Lumumba could restrain himself no longer. He rose, took the podium and delivered his famous Tears, Blood and Fire speech, reminding the world:
"... no Congolese worthy of the name will ever be able to forget that it was by fighting that it has been won, a day-to-day fight, an ardent and idealistic fight, a fight in which we were spared neither privation nor suffering, and for which we gave our strength and our blood. We are proud of this struggle, of tears, of fire, and of blood, to the depths of our being, for it was a noble and just struggle, and indispensable to put an end to the humiliating slavery which was imposed upon us by force..." Read Prime Minister Lumumba's Independence Day Speech in full (AKA The Tears, Blood and Fire Speech"
It was this speech that sealed Patrice Lumumba's fate.
In the days and months that followed, the country descended into chaos. Divisions formed along ethnic and regional lines. Other Congolese political leaders exploited their associations and ties, but Patrice held on to his Nationalist conviction, determined that one, undivided nation would be the best approach. "The more closely united we are, the better we will resist oppression, corruption, and those divisive maneuvers which experts in the policy of 'divide and rule' are resorting to."
When the mineral-rich province Katanga seceded under General Moïse Tshombe, it was done with belgium's support. After all, belgium had economic interest in the Katanga region and was nervous of Lumumba's nationalist views. Since it was newly independent nation with an inexperienced army, Lumumba appealed to the UN and even America for assistance in keeping Congo unified. When neither helped, Lumumba asked the Soviet Union for planes to help move troops to the Katanga region. This further alarmed belgium and America. Kasa-vubu, with his more moderate tone dismissed Lumumba as Prime minister. Patrice in turn announced the dismissal of Kasa-vubu from presidency. So now you had two seperate governments claiming legitimacy. Now up comes Colonel Joseph Mobutu with his CIA- backed coup d'etat, taking advantage of the weak, divided government. Mobutu deposed both leaders and placed Lumumba under house arrest. 

Lumumba then briefly escaped but Mobutu's troops quickly tracked him down and put him on a flight to Leopoldville. They paraded him, beaten and humiliated, in front of journalists and diplomats. Then at Mobutu's villa the Prime Minister was further humiliated when he was beaten in front of TV cameras for the world to see.
Still, belgium wanted more blood and demanded that Lumumba be delivered to General Moïse Tshombe of Katanga. Mobutu complied and Lumumba was again beaten savagely during the flight to Elizabethville where he was seized by Katangan soldiers led by belgian commanders. On January 17, 1961, Patrice Lumumba was killed by firing squad commanded by a belgium officer. His body was then chopped up, dismantled and dissolved in sulfuric acid to hide evidence.
When I analyze the stench, Mobutu was backed by the CIA because he screamed anti-communism. Tshombe was backed by the belgians because he did their bidding and could be manipulated. Kasavubu was a moderate. But Patrice Lumumba was just too independent/non-aligned for the Europeans and Americans. Remember, this was the Cold War era. African nations were gaining independence from the colonizers, who were determined to install puppets. Lumumba stood firm and refused to be controlled. 
So babylon used their brains, divided and conquered. And though they may taint Lumumba every chance they get, it is up to us to uphold his legacy.
Never gone, Never forgotten!
Congo! Lumumba! Uhuru!





* Congolese National Movement
** The belgian government planned a five-year program that would eventually grant Congo independence. The program was to begin with elections in December 1959, but the MNC cited, and sighted, this as a deliberate plot to place belgian puppets in the government before independence. The nationalist declared they were boycotting the elections. The belgians fired back with oppression and persecution. On October 30 there was a clash in Stanleyville and thirty people died. 


Patrice Lumumba Speaks:
“Slavery was imposed on us by force! We have known ironies and insults. We remember the blows that we had to submit to morning, noon and night because we were Negroes!”

"We are neither Communists, Catholics nor socialists. We are African nationalists. We reserve the right to choose our friends in accordance with the principle of positive neutrality."

"Who will ever forget the massacres where so many of our brothers perished; the cells into which those who refused to submit to a regime of injustice, oppression and exploitation were thrown?" (referring to atrocities committed against the Congolese people by the belgians since the time of the time of the Congo Free State)

Question: "Some of your political opponents accuse you of being a Communist. Could you reply to that?"
Lumumba's Answer: "This is a propagandist trick aimed at me. I am not a Communist. The colonialists have campaigned against me throughout the country because I am a revolutionary and demand the abolition of the colonial regime, which ignored our human dignity. They look upon me as a Communist because I refused to be bribed by the imperialists."
(From an interview to a "France-Soir" correspondent on July 22, 1960)



Your favorite revolutionary's favorite revolutionary:
“...the greatest black man who ever walked the African continent. He didn’t fear anybody. He had those people [the colonialists] so scared they had to kill him. They couldn’t buy him, they couldn’t frighten him, they couldn’t reach him.”
Malcolm X (speaking about Lumumba at an Organisation of Afro-American Unity rally in 1964)



“We must move forward, striking out tirelessly against imperialism. From all over the world we have to learn lessons which events afford. Lumumba’s murder should be a lesson for all of us.”
~
Che Guevara 





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