Why I Hate ‘Identity’ by KingLeonidas

idenitity

First off let me say that anything that triggers the urge in me to write a proper blog post must really be something. And this post is way overdue…

This isn’t a review so I’ll just jump right to it. Identity is a single recently released by poet (among many other things) KingLeonidas under local label Kindred Republic about the identity crisis that plagues many Guyanese- confusion about culture; confusion about blackness. Before you go on reading you can have a listen to the single here.

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And now…my reaction to the single in sequence:

1. Indifference – I didn’t know what to expect so I wasn’t optimistic but neither was I anticipating something that was outright horrible. I know he does good work but I can be a tough egg to crack.

2. Interest – He’s talking about things I’ve pondered over…He’s pretty much speaking my mind right now…

3. The ‘eh’ moment – This was the exact moment it occurred to me that…this guy is speaking in a Trini accent. Hol’ on now…

4. Anger – You’re talking about Identity crisis and speaking in a Trini accent. Are you kidding me?

5. Seething anger – REALLY WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON I EXPECTED BETTER FROM YOU!

[Aside] Now a lot of people might assume that at this point I’d figure out that that was the point right? That I’d recognise the irony in the situation from the get-go right? Wrong. Wrong because I’ve heard it time and time again. Poets, musicians, tv personalities all lose their sense of identity at the first opportunity. They’re Guyanese before the camera starts rolling and every other Nationality under the sun as soon as a mic is shoved in their faces. So yes, I do believe I had a legitimate reason to be taken aback.

6. The ‘I just had water thrown in my face I feel like such an idiot’ moment – Right at about 2:06.

7. Euphoria – OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG I’M IN LOVE!!!!!!!!!!

I completely lost it! I mean, I was beside myself with excitement. For one, someone else was finally saying what I’ve been preaching all this time. And two, this guy took what I’ve been struggling to conceptualise for months and condensed it into 2 minutes and 35 seconds of PURE GENIUS! On the first try! And it was better than anything I would have ever written! I felt like someone had just lit a fire in me or something, nothing has sparked this much excitement in me in a long time. And let me just say- it was a long time comin’! So the big question is, if this poem is so amazing then why do I hate it so much? One very shallow reason of course…only because I didn’t write it first.

Do We Live?

Originally posted on HarsH ReaLiTy:

‘Everyone gets to be born – which is a lot of people’

~ My 4 year old daughter a short moment ago at bedtime.~

I wish I could have said to her that not everyone gets to live though, dear – but I am glad I didn’t. So I say it here. LIVE the best you can. That one chance we all get could evaporate today.

We can never be reminded of that too many times.

~IW~

 

 

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Part three.

You appeared in my dreams too often,

A stranger.

Before I could put a face to your name, 

Before your name knew the inside of my mouth, 

Before time said, ‘Okay. Enough.

You, were a prayer in my mind,

Over and over.

That shadow of a doubt that followed every relationship

That nagging voice insisting, ‘he is not the one’, and

he was not my friend,

and how unfair,

That there are people in the world that can recite a million things about you

When I’ve been waiting to meet you for the better part of my life.

And when finally you came,

You didn’t stay

Because it wasn’t you, but your voices sounded the same, and I was blind,

and forgive me baby,

but seeing is difficult when all your other senses get in the way.

And isn’t it crazy,

That conversations hang like corpses in the closets of ex-lovers we are still trying to forget?

Lovers that keep secrets of night and dawn folded under their tongues,

Who can probably describe to me in great detail exactly what you tasted like,

That night.

In the park.

Three years ago.

When I lay in bed less than a hundred miles away,

After my third breakup

With the same boyfriend.

And isn’t it funny, 

That even fate has a sense of humor

It takes experience, 

To rip the wool from over our eyes

And after we have given,

So much of ourselves freely to strangers we have met along the way

I can only hope,

That when time

Finally clears a path from where I am, to where you are

That they’ll be enough of us left over,

To still be able to call it home.

“You can’t do that! Stories have to be about White people”

rebeldarling:

Have a read…

Originally posted on Media Diversified:

Young Writers of Colour

by Hip Hop Teacher

I’ve spent almost two decades teaching in English primary schools, which serve multiracial, multicultural, multifaith communities. I want to explore two things I have noticed.

1)    Almost without exception, whenever children are asked to write a story in school, children of colour will write a story featuring white characters with ‘traditional’ English names who speak English as a first language.

2)    Teachers do not discuss this phenomenon.

Furthermore, simply pointing these two things out can lead to some angry responses in my experience.

Why are you making an issue of race when children are colourblind?”

is an example of the sort of question that sometimes gets asked.

Well let’s look at that. If children were writing stories where the race of characters was varied and random, there might be some merit in claiming that children are colourblind. However, even proponents of racial…

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The Lost Verse

You’re the kind of thing I keep in that part of my brain
Where I store stuff for later
After my six hour slumber

Will I remember you when I wake up?
When my body serpents across the sheets
and sky darts its tiny fingers into my still sensitive flesh?

Oh, how morning hurts sometimes
It’s arrogance is petty
Not all thoughts are sins,
We are not all trying to be born again

I just need a grip
Or a nail
Or something to cement you to my frontal cortex

Anything to keep you at the front of my mind
Anything to have you as you are

Unchanged,

Unblemished,

I’m fading.
I’m not looking for commitment–
I’m tired.

All I ask
Is that you resurrect in my mouth instead of retreating into a memory

Give me something to look forward to,
and I vow to never keep you prisoner again

What I try to d…

What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat,’…. And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come. — Maya Angelou

Performance is key to getting students hooked on writing poetry

Originally posted on Mass Poetry:

 

MassPoetry is sponsoring school programs to promote poetry, especially spoken word poetry. This interview with Dr. Susan Weinstein is the first of a series of stories on the benefits of spoken word poetry in the classroom. Dr. Weinstein is an associate professor of English and Director of the Secondary English Concentration at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

  

Dr. Susan Weinstein believes there are many ways to successfully teach students to write poetry, but she is convinced there is one crucial element that can’t be left out: performance. “It doesn’t have to be open mic or a slam contest. It can simply be having all the students read their poems aloud to each other.” Weinstein, an associate professor of English and Director of the Secondary English Concentration at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, has a counterintuitive reason for believing performance us crucial. She believes there is…

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