Celebrating X

49 years ago today, we lost one of our best, Malcolm X.

The Man Amidst the Men

The Man Amidst the Men

One of my favorite quotes of his which exemplifies who he was, and what he stood for at the end of it all:

“I have had enough of someone else’s propaganda. I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I am a human being first and foremost, and as such, I am for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole”.

Rest in power and paradise X. Your legacy lives on.

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Desiderata

by Max Ehrmann, 1927

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy. 

You Have Reached the Women

-By Phenomenal women from all walks of life
(representing voices from Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mexico, Sudan, Somalia, Zimbabwe and the US)

You have reached the woman
Who keeps her eyes wide open
Her pain closed tight against pessimistic winds
So she can release them in Remembrance deep in the night….
The woman
Who was never told why
She was brought up in North America
Instead of North Africa
Why she could be not be African nor Arab nor American
But every one by different ones…

You have reached the woman
Who is a mother trying to raise a woman
Who will stand up for justice and truth
Who will be successful
By being capable, confident, content
Ambitious and determined.
Who will fix things wrong with this world
Who will find her passions and create.
Pray, love, dance, live, believe.
Laugh, breath, swim, write, sing.
Hope, wish, and achieve.
Who will mend the wounds of those who cry
And sew the holes of society.

You have reached the woman
Without regrets of what was and without fear of what will….
Who refuses to fit the mold,
Refuses to give in to the expectations
Of the person she’s supposed to be
Instead of being the person she desires to be…
The woman
Whom passion drives her…
Compassion humbles her…
And faith solidifies her….

You have reached the woman
Whose words are not buried beneath her tongues,
Who crafts metaphors & similes like
She tends to the garments of her inner untouched souls:
That place she can call her own
You have reached the woman
Who has dared to stop and take stock
And realise the images in the broken mirror are not hers

You have reached the woman
Who gives thanks
With complete understanding
That what’s here may be gone tomorrow

You have reached the woman
Who understands that happiness
Cannot be bought, travelled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed
Who takes after
The movers and shakers, the truth-seekers and peace-makers,
The woman
Who is soft-spoken yet outspoken.
The one who has often fallen yet never once broken.

You have reached the woman
Who wants to be held tight,
But doesn’t want to be held back;
Who resents being told to “never mind,”
Because, little do you know,
You have reached the woman
Who would rather die trying than give up
Who has the vision and dedication to create & grow;
Who one day hopes to fear nothing but God,

You have reached the woman
Who is first and foremost
Human. Muslim. African. Ethiopian. Hareri.
Who adapts to changing circumstances
And still dares to be different
The woman
Who can reach for the stars
And still keep her feet on the ground

You have reached the woman
Who loves to learn but is still counting the days till summer
Who longs for peace but finds truth in Fanon
Who breathes in colors,
Dreams in life, dwells in languages
The woman
Who writes backwards and walks forwards

You have reached the woman
Who speaks English, Portuguese, Spanish and Swahili
Whose native tongue is Poetrese
Who runs wild in the global streets
Who dwells outside of boxes
The woman
Whose favorite book is her passport,
And her country is the earth

You Have Reached
Mouna
Sumaya
Wala
Batsirai
Mariana
Nasim
Samar
Nebila
Agazit
Cassandra

You have reached the women
Who will keep rising
Who will stand tall
Regardless of how many times they fall
Who embrace their fathers, their brothers, their sons
As they do their mothers, their sisters, their daughters

You have reached the women,
Who will not ask you –
Who are you to be extraordinarily fabulous?
Rather, you have reached the women
Who will ask you –
Who are you not to be?!

You have reached the women
Who genuflect to the power of language
Whose swords are ballpoint, felt tip and fountain
Who believe that revolutions don’t get televised
They get poeticized, ripped, & spit at open mics

So let us now leave you
To desilence yourselves
In the language of your truths
Translating if you choose

So please, speak your peace
After the beep

© November, 2010

I Get Out

Lyrics for Lauryn Hill’s “I Get Out”

I get out, I get out of all your boxes
I get out, you can’t hold me in these chains
I’ll get out
Father free me from this bondage
Knowin’ my condition
Is the reason I must change

Your stinkin’ resolution
Is no type of solution
Preventin’ me from freedom
Maintainin’ your pollution
I won’t support your lie no more
I won’t even try no more
If I have to die, oh Lord
That’s how I choose to live
I won’t be compromised no more
I can’t be victimised no more
I just don’t sympathize no more
Cause now I understand
You just wanna use me
You say “love” then abuse me
You never thought you’d loose me
But how quickly we forget
That nothin’ is for certain

You thought I’d stay here hurtin’
Your guilt trip’s just not workin’
Repressin’ me to death
Cause now I’m choosin’ life, yo
I take the sacrifice, yo
If everything must go, then go
That’s how I choose to live

That’s how I choose to live…
No more compromises
I see past your disguises
Blindin’ through mind control
Stealin’ my eternal soul
Appealin’ through material
To keep me as your slave

But I get out
Oh, I get out of all your boxes
I get out
Oh, you can’t hold me in these chains
I’ll get out
Oh, I want out of social bondage
Knowin’ my condition
Oh, is the reason I must change

See, what you see is what you get
Oh, and you ain’t seen nothin’ yet

Oh, I don’t care if you’re upset
I could care less if you’re upset
See it don’t change the truth
And your hurt feeling’s no excuse
To keep me in this box
Psychological locks
Repressin’ true expression
Cementin’ this repression
Promotin’ mass deception
So that no one can be healed
I don’t respect your system
I won’t protect your system
When you talk I don’t listen
Oh, let my Father’s will be done

And just get out
Oh, just get out of all these bondage
Just get out
Oh, you can’t hold me in chains
Just get out
All these traditions killin’ freedom
Knowin’ my condition
Is the reason I must change

I’ve just accepted what you said
Keepin’ me among the dead
The only way to know
Is to walk then learn and grow

But faith is not your speed
Or you’d have everyone believe
That you’re the sole authority
Just follow the majority
Afraid to face reality
The system is a joke
Oh, you’d be smart to save your soul
Oh, when escape is mind control
You spent your life in sacrifice
To a system for the dead
Oh, are you sure…
Where is the passion in this living
Are you sure it’s God you servin’
Obligated to a system
Getting less then you’re deserving
Who made up these schools, I say
Who made up these rules, I say
Animal conditioning
Oh, just to keep us as a slave

Oh, just get out
Of this social purgatory
Just get out
All these traditions are a lie
Just get out
Superstition killing freedom
Knowin’ my condition
Is the reason I must die
Just get out
Just get out
Just get out
Let’s get out
Let’s get out
Knowin’ my condition
Is the reason I must die
Just get out

Tribute to X

Feb 21, 1965 47 yrs on but your legacy lives on.
Tribute to the man amidst the men-the man who spoke truth, regardless of the consequences.

I am a man amidst the men
The personification of black pride
And the heights to which people can rise
I was and still am
One of the most misinterpreted and misunderstood
People of my time
I present to you
One of the most fascinating and personal histories
Of the 20th century

I am
Unapologetically bold and brazen
Uncompromising in my values
Unwavering in the truth I speak
I say it like it is
After all,
Truth is truth

I was schooled on the streets
Locked up but liberated
Physically incarcerated but mentally emancipated
And then proceeded to school the streets

My thirst for knowledge, wisdom & understanding
Can never be quenched
I demand, first & foremost
Human rights, not civil rights
I don’t beg for respect, I command it
I could start or stop a riot

Rather than mold myself to the world,
I mold the world to myself
I refuse to settle for status quo
The constant exploitation and degradation of my people
I strive tirelessly
For the betterment & empowerment
Of the black race but for humanity as a whole

“I have had enough of someone else’s propaganda
I’m for truth
No matter who speaks it
I’m for justice
No matter who it is for or against
I’m a human being and as such-
I’m for whatever and whoever will benefit humanity as a whole”

I’m convinced ill make progress
Or I’ll die trying
I prefer to die on my feet
Rather than live on my knees
If I can die having brought any light
It is due to ALLAH
Only the mistakes have been mine

And who am I?
I am El Hajj Malik El Shabazz
I am Malcolm X!

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