Stylish friends. Carla.
Dear revisionists, Mandela will never, ever be your minstrel. Over the next few days you will try so, so hard to make him something he was not, and you will fail. You will try to smooth him, to sandblast him, to take away his Malcolm X. You will try to hide his anger from view. Right now, you are anxiously pacing the corridors of your condos and country estates, looking for the right words, the right tributes, the right-wing tributes. You will say that Mandela was not about race. You will say that Mandela was not about politics. You will say that Mandela was about nothing but one love, you will try to reduce him to a lilting reggae tune. “Let’s get together, and feel alright.” Yes, you will do that.
You will make out that apartheid was just some sort of evil mystical space disease that suddenly fell from the heavens and settled on all of us, had us all, black or white, in its thrall, until Mandela appeared from the ether to redeem us. You will try to make Mandela a Magic Negro and you will fail. You will say that Mandela stood above all for forgiveness whilst scuttling swiftly over the details of the perversity that he had the grace to forgive.
You will try to make out that apartheid was some horrid spontaneous historical aberration, and not the logical culmination of centuries of imperial arrogance. Yes, you will try that too. You will imply or audaciously state that its evils ended the day Mandela stepped out of jail. You will fold your hands and say the blacks have no-one to blame now but themselves.
Well, try hard as you like, and you’ll fail. Because Mandela was about politics and he was about race and he was about freedom and he was even about force, and he did what he felt he had to do and given the current economic inequality in South Africa he might even have died thinking he didn’t do nearly enough of it. And perhaps the greatest tragedy of Mandela’s life isn’t that he spent almost thirty years jailed by well-heeled racists who tried to shatter millions of spirits through breaking his soul, but that there weren’t or aren’t nearly enough people like him.
Because that’s South Africa now, a country long ago plunged headfirst so deep into the sewage of racial hatred that, for all Mandela’s efforts, it is still retching by the side of the swamp. Just imagine if Cape Town were London. Imagine seeing two million white people living in shacks and mud huts along the M25 as you make your way into the city, where most of the biggest houses and biggest jobs are occupied by a small, affluent to wealthy group of black people. There are no words for the resentment that would still simmer there.
Nelson Mandela was not a god, floating elegantly above us and saving us. He was utterly, thoroughly human, and he did all he did in spite of people like you. There is no need to name you because you know who you are, we know who you are, and you know we know that too. You didn’t break him in life, and you won’t shape him in death. You will try, wherever you are, and you will fail.
Image accompanying recording: The New Yorker cover, issue date Dec. 16, 2013. Copyright of Kadir Nelson (http://www.kadirnelson.com/).
ashe. ashe. ashe. ashe. ashe. ashe. ashe.
At the end of the day, really are just words.
They cannot fully articulate how one feels.
They’re there to helps us get through things.
To give a name to what whatever you’re feeling.
To attempt to make others understand, sympathise and even empathise.
They cannot stop you from thinking, feeling and wishing it wasn’t so.
Worst of all, they cannot undo.
I love the way people’s faces distort when they are truly laughing from the heart.
1. I walked in on @Hlumz taking selfies. 2. We thought we looked cute in our pj’s, turned on the camera and realised how wrong we were. 3. @zinzipoo started taking pictures of me sleeping. That’s the moment I woke up. 4. Laugh at yourself.
Do I make myself clear
When I say that I’m
Mad over you
You make me feel like I’m
On top of a thousand hills
You do that right
Baby you’re my light
You’re my sky blue
You make me free
Come, let’s make a tribe
maybe in time
we’ll make it right
We should be flying high
This time will pass
We won’t be here for long
I prayed the void would overflow
Made it my mission to find you
This time I did it too
Life is much sweeter
Yes it is true
Since you came by here
I made it through the lean and mean
Now it’s better
With you’s better
‘it’s not him who’d come across the sea to surprise you, not him who would know where in london to find you’ - feist
- how far have you walked for men who’ve never held your feet in their laps?
- how often have you bartered with bone, only to sell yourself short?
- why do you find…
not wanting me.
the beginning of me.
the hurt, nayyirah waheed (via nayyirahwaheed)
a girl..with eyes deep enough to stand in, convictions strong enough to stand on. i’m finding the mercy of God right where i’m standing and it’s binding, it’s blinding, it’s forgiveness, but most of all it’s mine.
— Alysia Harris (via thehazelnuttt)
Chat to me on Babblr! Tumblr finally has instant chat! You won’t believe how cool it is! Add Babblr to your dashboard here: http://babblr.me/?bb_ref=share_bblr_main
I have chosen to delete all of my poems
Well, not all, but most.
Why? Because some people are mean, uncreative thieves. Intellectual property theft has been a topic that has been coming up rather often lately “with some of my artsy friends ooh-wee-ooh-wee-ooh.” It’s been playing on my mind even more since I started my 30 Day Poem Challenge. It’s simple really, people will steal your shit and claim it as their own. If not, they will use it to make money and not give you a single cent or the credit you deserve.
My poetry is as important to me as breathing. It’s my life source. It’s that shit that keeps me sane. And I have been feeling very uneasy about the position in which I put my art when I post it all willy-nilly sans copyright. So, I have deleted most of it, because like my mother has always protected me, I need to protect my baby.
I’ll figure out a new way to share my poetry with you guys. If you have any suggestions or comments, shoot.
Peace, gentle soldiers.
Anonymous asked: Ur recent poems have been incredible pieces each day I want more I can relate to "own ur pain" its like my feelings onto paper , also loved the poem about ur nose ring I'm guessing u got it for the wrong reasons @the time wat about now wld u say ur @ a great place? Without saying 2 much I've learnt matters of the heart r sacred just curious really , either way u seem like a lovely person n I wish u well both personally n professionally (mary jane gin and all)
Yep, I am in a much better place :) You are lovely. Thank you.
Mary-Jane Gin will be performing tomorrow.
I’m excited for this one. I love art, and it’s beautiful that we’ll be part of something that supports women in the arts.
Short notice, but it would be great to se you there.
Before we begin, I want you to understand that I’m not perfect either,
So if you start feeling the need to hold the truth back, please don’t.
Also, this is only a game so if you get tired, we can take a breather..
And please don’t think I’d go reveal all your secrets because I won’t.
What is my…
youfeelingwoozyyet asked: Please check out my poems on my blog and let me know what you think! I follow back. Twitter: @Woozz_
Holding hands through Christ
I lay my hand upon yours. Each finger a healing tool to bring back that smile we’ve missed these past few Sundays. You walk into church gliding, each step moving your body closer to your seat for praising God. Each hair in place, and lipstick perfect. But your heart sinks. Sister, we miss your smile.
I wrap my arms around you. Hoping my heartbeat will remind you that you are alive. You walk into church, shoulders down and eyes to the ground. Suit perfectly tailored and shoes beautifully shined. But your mind wanders, how will I make it through yet another month. Brother, we miss your joy.
- Nwabisa Tolom 12/30 (12 August 2013)