saving darfur

May 19, 2008 at 3:49 pm (africa, democratic republic of congo)

i have always wondered how and why were so many people in the WEst to invested and engaged in saving Darfur.  While the war in the Congo doesnt happen in the media.

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goodnight aime cesaire

April 22, 2008 at 9:50 pm (africa, anti-oppression, anti-racism, democratic republic of congo, poetry)

Aime Cesaire is dead/  His movement: negritude  was the philosophic and poetic expression of black self-love and self-pride.  And he was one of the messenger across continents maintaining our as blacks cultural discourse among the diaspora and Africa.  Cultural workers sucha as Aime throughout the centuries, especially in the post-slavery twentieth century created languages and fed communities throughout.  He was inspired by the Harlem Renaissance, born in the Carribbean-Martinique, and wrote about the Congo and Lumumba.

His writing gave me my first glimpses of Blackness and even though I disagree with some of articulations and interpretations of Black identity, i am grateful for the language the images the voice of a fierce Romanticism of the Black experience.

So goodnight.

check out The Root

and below: the Associate Press

Martinique poet Aime Cesaire dies at 94
By HERVE BRIVAL
From Associated Press

FORT-DE-FRANCE, Martinique (AP) — Aime Cesaire, a poet honored
throughout the French-speaking world and a crusader for West Indian
rights, has died at 94.

Cesaire died Thursday after at a Fort-de-France hospital where he was
being treated for heart problems and other ailments, said government
spokeswoman Marie Michele Darsieres.

He was one of the most celebrated cultural figures in the Caribbean
and was revered in his native Martinique, which sent him to France’s
parliament for nearly half a century and repeatedly elected him mayor
of the capital.

Cesaire helped found the “Black Student” journal in Paris in the
1930s that launched the idea of “negritude,” urging blacks to
cultivate pride in their heritage. His 1950 “Discourse on
Colonialism” became a classic of French political literature.

French Culture Minister Christine Albanel said Cesaire “imbued the
French language with his liberty and his revolt.”

“He made (the French language) beat to the rhythm of his spells, his
cries, his appeals to overcome oppression, invoking the soul of
subjugated peoples to urge the living to raise themselves up,” she
said.

His best known works included the essay “Negro I am, Negro I Will
Remain” and the poem “Notes From a Return to the Native Land.”

Cesaire was born June 26, 1913, in Basse-Pointe, Martinique and moved
to France for high school and university studies. He graduated from
one of the country’s most elite institutes, the Ecole Normale
Superieure.

Cesaire returned to Martinique during World War II and taught at a
high school in Fort-de-France, where he served as mayor from 1945 to
2001, except for a blip in 1983-84.

Even political rivals paid him homage.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy successfully led a campaign last
year to change the name of Martinique’s airport in honor of Cesaire,
despite the poet’s refusal to meet him in the run-up to the 2007
French elections. Cesaire endorsed Sarkozy’s Socialist rival,
Segolene Royal.

Cesaire complained that Sarkozy had endorsed a 2005 French bill
citing the “positive role” of colonialism. Cesaire spoke ardently
against the measure’s language, and it was later removed after
complaints from former French colonies and France’s overseas
territories.

“I remain faithful to my beliefs and remain inflexibly
anti-colonialist, ” Cesaire said in a statement at the time.

Sarkozy on Thursday praised Cesaire as “a great poet” and a “great humanist.”

“As a free and independent spirit, throughout his whole life he
embodied the fight for the recognition of his identity and the
richness of his African roots,” Sarkozy said. “Through his universal
call for the respect of human dignity, consciousness and
responsibility, he will remain a symbol of hope for all oppressed
peoples.”

Royal called him “an eminent symbol of a mixed-race France” and urged
that he be buried in the Pantheon, where French heroes from Victor
Hugo
to Marie and Pierre Curie are interred.

“A great voice has died out, that of a man of conviction, of
creation, of testimony, who awakened consciousness throughout his
life, blasted apart hypocrisies, brought hope to all who were
humiliated, and was a tireless fighter for human dignity,” Royal said.

Cesaire was the honorary president of her support committee during
the presidential campaign.

Cesaire was affiliated with the French Communist Party early in his
career but became disillusioned in the 1950s and founded the
Martinique Progressive Party in 1958. He later allied with the
Socialist Party in France’s National Assembly, where he served from
1946-1956 and 1958-1993.

Associated Press writer Angela Doland in Paris, France, contributed
to this report.

You can compromise on strategy and tactics, but not on principles.” (Barack Obama)

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me drinking water

February 6, 2007 at 7:01 am (democratic republic of congo)

maia-profile.jpg

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equatorial sun

November 2, 2006 at 6:21 pm (democratic republic of congo, Motherhood, women of color)

Equatorial Sun

U.N. people

Stay in their trucks

Black insults

Thrown too much

To walk into

Blazing huts

America is having nightmares

Bared

To the world

Thousands of women

Are telling thousands of women

Stories

Survivors ascending

Out of flesh and jail

Buried

In mounds

Underneath flexible trees

They ask me

Where I am from

Red white and blue

American Pie DVD

And snow

When I get home

Heart of darkness

Recedes into night sky

Mythology

Of Congo chains

And slave

Gangs no name

Shame no money

Can’t destroy gun games

So the living is forgotten

Can’t name the life

That you’ve brought in

What it’s like to be dark

In light of logic of economics

That is cutting

Necks of rape survivors

On fire

Pregnant bartered

We’ve fallen into oblivion

Never reciting

Deaths of these martyrs

Innocent mothers

Street children quartered

In war

Every language creates

Difference between women

And whore

They call themselves

Same as they called me

Sister

Mama

Messenger

Has flown home

U.S. buys men

And women

And plays war with itself

We tune out

By turning on the news

We could choose to refuse

Good news

Somebody’s war

Is our gain

Our reign on this earth

And 4th world

Will emerge like herds

Of gazelles running

Through hills

And U.S. dollar Bills’

Military territorial hell

Gangbanging

Women to prove

They have something

Left to spill

In the 4th world where

Tupac is born hundreds

Of times day

And he prays to his mama

Not voice

Of the voiceless

But of choices

To enjoy life even when

She’s loaded with 50 kg

Manoc and groceries

Lives like fallen rice

Women who

Look like women who hold me

Through tears

I’m hiding

In my dreams

The Congo stretches

Like an equatorial

Bird’s wings

Soaring over diamond

Petal flowers

And gold studded trees

Richer than mahogany

Feet stomping

Out a drum beat
And women survivors

Are dancing with their children

Singing for amani

That leaves them breathless

Rather than helpless

With bones of the deathless

They are building

A civil society

In my dreams

Blinded by

Cover of a war

That we created

But still refuse

To see

In the Congo

Black light shines

In the middle of day

Women sway in layers

Of peacock colors

And young men

In mismatched military

Take-those-offs

Carry their gun by the barrel

Over the shoulders

Whistling Dixie

Caught in reflection

Of what we are willing to believe

Of just one more survivor’s

Dream

As long as there is

Women and color

There will always be hope.

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butterfly riot

November 2, 2006 at 5:33 pm (anti-oppression, democratic republic of congo, middle east, poetry, women of color)

Butterfly Riot

Fur:

Not allowed to defend

Ourselves

Throwing rocks

At fenced wells

Watching gold butterfly

Lingering over sand pools

Quickly evaporating

No water

For thirsty

Except in jail

Majority breathes

Air that’s indigo soot

Shit stained back streets

And broken butterfly dreams

Speak history from dominant revisions

Plantation textbooks

Written in masters religion

Encaged in global genocide

Can’t hold us down

Can’t afford to hide

From suffering mama’s corn-rowed mind

We walk down the street

See who’s been left behind

Hearts encased in tanned hide

Protecting lungs

From crack filled highs

From black Jim lies

To gun gang strife

From revolutionary dreams

To jury and judiciaries

Pick us up we’re hurting

Each of us

Only got one heart

Bursting

Every assumption

Circling

Each other grabbing

Crumbs under a table

While mama

Rocking a rich man’s cradle

Telling African

Childhood fables

There is no real difference

Between assimilation and apartheid

Silk:

Marketing inversions

To destroy middle

Capitalism’s success

We mend a boat

To pick up

The bereft

Shipwrecked

Reaching for the dessicated

Dehydrated dream

Inside yellow butterflies

Exo-skeletal chest

Don’t offer us

Another way

Of dying died too

Many times before

Demarking conversions

To destroy middle

Passage conquest

Paper:

The village children

And I throw crumbled newspaper

Off the mountains

To see what happens

‘How come they don’t understand

That they can’t have such large families

And be liberated?’

A moth floats by and blurs

Our vision just one more

For the revolution

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day of the dead

November 2, 2006 at 5:28 pm (democratic republic of congo, Motherhood, women of color)

1. yesterday and today i marked playing cards for divination.  decorated the cardboard playing card box in duct tape stickers and clear acrylic paint.  they predict happiness for me.
2. as long as there are women and colors there will be hope.

3. good combinations:  knitting and watching youtube; roses and halloween; orange juice and soymilk; peanut butter and honey; yoga and chocolate.  i love the process of domestication i am engaging in.  soft wild fur.  warm breath of contentment.
4. a friend calls herself a wolf mother.  i feel profoundly mammalian recently. i have a new body.  i am beginning to look pregnant.  i feel like a wolf for the first time in my life.

5. i miss the congo.  everyday i look at the photograph that esperanza gave me.  she and i and about 6 other women sitting in front of the red cross building in uvira a year ago.  i light candles for these ministers wives living in a war zone most of the world ignores.

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