Black Magic

Image courtesy of http://beautifulbrownies.tumblr.com/

Image courtesy of http://beautifulbrownies.tumblr.com/

Blackness in full view
Open and vast
Varied and rich
Not hidden in the cloak of
your lies and shame
Blackness doesn’t need your acceptance
or validation
It just is
As it is
And my, what our blackness is!
Full-bodied power
A vivid cultural mosaic
Intricately woven
Connecting our past, present, and future.

My experiences are too often judged, rarely understood
If I let you tell it –
my story simply wouldn’t be
My existence – my truth –
buried, annihilated
At the other extreme, you’ve tried to tell
my story as if you know me better
than I know myself
Praise to the gods that there never is and there never will be
a substitute for the real thing.

My story – our story –
more hype than virtual reality
Afro-futuristic dreams—
we live them every day
Casting spells before you
can comprehend
#blackgirlmagic
#blackboymagic
Rocking it like no other before, during
or after.

Forever an enigma
Keep ‘em guessing, as Mom always says
And just when they think they’ve figured
you out – flip that shit!

My blackness is unapologetic
Will not turn down
for your comfort
It’s everlasting
Just like the storied journey passed down
from my ancestors
Label it haughty or narcissistic
It’s simply self-love
Black love and BLACK PRIDE.

The strength and resilience
of my blackness is unbreakable
as the blood I share with my brothas and sistas
Forever catching our fires like Sonia
Yielding the fire within
Bringing beauty and beyond to the world
And making history every day
Now, that’s BLACK MAGIC!

© 2016 BuddahDesmond

Spirit Women

Sisters In Spirit_synthiasaintjamesImage courtesy of Synthia SAINT JAMES.


Spirit women,
Singing songs for the world,
Baring gifts for our hearts and souls;
Moving nations,
Changing minds,
Fueling enough power to shift our place in time.

Spirit women,
Rich with love, wisdom, and experience;
Exposing your scars,
Standing in strength,
Encouraging forgiveness,
And enlightening minds on the importance of letting go—
     so our souls can be free.

Spirit women,
Natural humanitarians;
We’re grateful for you and your gifts.
We’ve found blessings in your blessings,
And relish in the deep connections we share with you.

Spirit women—
When we honor you we honor ourselves
     And our collective beauty.

Spirit women—
We celebrate you eternally.

© 2013 BuddahDesmond

Gil Scott-Heron, More than the Godfather of Hip-Hop

Image courtesy of The Second Act site.
Tell me/Who’ll pay reparations on my soul?/Who’ll pay reparations/‘Cause I don’t dig segregation/but I can’t get integration/I got to take it to the United Nations/Someone to help me away from this nation/Tell me/Who’ll pay reparations on my soul? ~ Gil Scott-Heron, “Who‘ll Pay Reparations For My Soul?,” Small Talk at 125th and Lenox (1970)
Gil Scott-Heron, famed author, poet, and musician, would’ve turned 64 on April 1, 2013.  I discovered his works when I was a teenager.  Scott-Heron opened my eyes (and ears) to new ways of combining powerful, revolutionary words with jazz, blues, and soul music.  A self-described “Blues-ologist,” Scott-Heron’s artistry carried on in the African American literary and musical traditions that preceded him.  

Image courtesy of The Guardian.

Scott-Heron’s legacy is often reduced to him being the Godfather of Hip-Hop/Rap, but there is so much more to him and his literary and musical contributions than that.  His work, ever culturally, socially, and politically conscious, served as honest, thought-provoking reflections of the times.  In one of the most astute profiles of Gil Scott-Heron,”The Devil and Gil Scott-Heron,” Mark Anthony Neal says,

For all of our memories of Scott-Heron’s political impact, his music covered a full gamut of experiences. A track like “Lady Day and Coltrane” paid tribute to Black musical traditions, while songs like “A Very Precious Time” and “Your Daddy Loves You” found Scott-Heron thinking about issues of intimacy. Well before proto-Harlem Renaissance writer Jean Toomer would be recovered by scholar and critics, Scott-Heron set Toomer’s Cane to music. Even as young activists make the connection between Black life and environmental racism, Scott-Heron offered his take on the plaintive “We Almost Lost Detroit.”  

His work represented for his/our people.  It evoked the sentiments and oft-underrepresented (or unheard) perspectives of his/our people.  And like Stevie Wonder (one of his idols), Marvin Gaye, and Donny Hathaway, Scott-Heron’s work proved that you could still reach the people the with music of substance and contemporary relevance.

So here’s to you Gil Scott-Heron! The revolution goes on! 

Discography (studio albums):
Small Talk at 125th and Lenox (1970), Pieces of a Man (1971), Free Will (1972), Winter in America (1974), The First Minute of a New Day (1975), From South Africa to South Carolina (1976), It’s Your World (1976), Bridges (1977), Secrets (1978), 1980 (1980), Real Eyes (1980), Reflections (1981), Moving Target (1982), Spirits (1994), I’m New Here (2010)

Bibliography:
The Vulture (1970), Small Talk at 125th and Lenox (1970), The Nigger Factory (1972), So Far, So Good (1990), Now and Then: The Poems of Gil Scott-Heron, The Last Holiday (2012)