Voices and choices in read, wite, and blues.
In square rooms, At rectangle tables, We go in circles, Round and round. Triangulate the sound of heated voices Boxed out by lukewarm choices. The chill reminds us we are, in deed, In the boardroom. Check the spelling. Faces are telling. Body language is yelling. Now is the time for change. Strange how we never seem to get there. An air of confidence is in short supply. Try as you may, our intent is to stay On this topic until the horse's spirit Passes through our pounding fists. You do get the gist of this insight, right? Fight leads to flight, try as we might Flight from the bored room Years, decades, generations, centuries passing Same wheels spinning within the walls standing Supported and cemented with privilege Steam released, mold formed, few complain The rest continue the work expected Serving to perpetuate The hierarchy of the democracy The democracy of mediocrity The democracy of mediacrazy Their hypocrisy making us crazy Or are we just crazy thinking that the threads of Red, white and blue will ever be threads of love, peace, and spirituality It's our right to right the wrong Yet the wrongs continue to mutate Passing through sources cloaked in innocence When will the day break? Allowing the morning to be filled with more than mourning You do get the hiss of this insight, right? wrong! rights? wrong! as childhood dreams melt on sidewalks quick mama, gimme 35 more cents i need the ice cream man the ice cream man! he smiles his minimum wage smile as i give him mama's food stamp change my choices limited by mamas limited change liking licking my lips i consider and choose red white and blue on a stick my dreams melt into broken patterns etched into cracked sidewalks this one looks like our mother's torn body as she passes through my tightly griping fists you do get the flip of this insight, right? right? human rights? while the stench of corrupt governments seep through singed nostrils of landless farmers around the world gagging, suffocating, and gagging them until there's no food left to stock woven baskets, wooden carts and howling! growling! bellies. while greed hunts for land exchanging morsels of democratic hopes for big scoops of consumerist nightmares. while liquid gold is squeezed from Ma's shrinking bosoms accelerating the wrinkles on her sun-baked body. you do get the twist of this insight, right? Technocratic Automatic Erratic Stagnant. And seldom democratic Devoid of deliberation And cheap on some action. It's no wonder Our rights are in question Baby bruh and lil sistah Taking lessons About the American dream From screaming heads On TV screens ... It's all fantasy filled Spilled in a glossy glitz To make you forget About the truth ... But hey, It's live and in RED WHITE And BLUE! And on the corner down the street Mr. Rhythm screeches with slurred speeches As he looks deep into our eyes And shouts "Y'all betta recognize!" His bloodshot eyes symbolize Red, the bloodshed that floods our daymares and restless nights Blood on our hands, cuz the lid is too tight on corporate ties and government lies White flight and the right to gentrification White profit running the nation Blue bloods of aristocracy Telling us there is a democracy Red lines that bank some communities as outsourcing yields no immunity to unemployment lines and crimes of all kinds White lies "spinning" the truth White collars shredding their ruthlessness and greed. Blue collar cocaine is crack differences in consequences will break the backs of generations Profiting off the blues of brothas and sistas who is REALLY paying the dues? These assassins of civil rights Try to mystify and justify others' plights You do get the gist of this insight, right? Fight the urge to simply disengage. red in life's looted histories. The battle rages on beneath the mask. white in liberty and justice for all? Ask purposeful questions. blue in the pursuit of whose happiness? What legacy do we leave to our children? mommy, what's a democracy? red in our appetite for oil there'll be no spoils of war daddy, are you democratic? They say it is automatic in America white in unaccountable corporate power systemizing "isms" in every tower teacher, can i shape this classroom? blue in bruises from American barbarity mr. president, how do you sleep at night? red in sacrifices for consumerist opportunities. spirit, do you hear my prayers? white in the noise of psychological warfare. self, will you sit and engage with the discomfort? blue in the music created from those who spoke! What do these insights invoke? Voices and choices in read, wite, and blues.
In Memory of Dr. Kipchoge Neftali Kirkland July 4, 1970-March 18, 2005
On Friday, March 18, 2005, Dr. Kipchoge Neftali Kirkland (or, Choge, as he was affectionately known) unexpectedly passed away from natural causes. Long before this tragic day, Choge had entered into our lives and the lives of countless others, ultimately changing who we all are, as well as what we do. Specifically, Choge's life purposefully blended the academy with the community, the arts with the sciences, and the structured with the spontaneous. With respect and humility, we collectively share this original poem to celebrate the culture and life that is Choge.</p> <pre> For You, For Me, For Us What he gave in life,
He gave in death. Perspective. Share in my introspective insights
As I fight back tears for one of our dearest Fallen. We know now that profound grief Would soon come callin'. All in all,
I now know that angels Were hard at work. Check my claim.
We were all having the Exact Same Day. It was the only way We could hear news, This Deeply Sad. Notwithstanding was our illusion of choosin' If the date in question fit the description:
Good Or Bad. I dare say that normality Had no home
On our collective day. I'm reminded how Life and memory Are funny that way. Then came the Revolution. Phone call, email, or in person. There came a whole lot of cursin' To the sky With the heavy-loaded question: Why?! Heads up. I might just cry On this next part. I learned on a Friday that my Heart
Stopped. Stomach dropped. Screams strained my voice box.
Rolling waves of tears appeared. First I felt for Choge, Then myself, Then all of our peers. Know this for sure, Brotha Chog had no Insignificant Connection With anyone here. Be you sister, brother, current or former significant other, Parent, teacher, student, son, or Other. You Are his fellow revolutionary.
It's damn near scary how one mortal man Has combined us into one powerful hand. Ours being a multicultural fist, Raised in the name of Freedom. And Critical cultural consciousness.
Know and trust that I understand. It's almost too much to take.
So make sure you hear me on this. God Does Not Initiate
Injustice. I'm not a religious man. Spiritual is who I am.
And Family is who we be. Lean on each other. Lean on me.
Together we'll get to that place Where we find peace With Choge's passing. Be thoughtful. Be purposeful. Live well.
What he gave Us In life, He gave Us In death. Perspective. </pre> <p>Authors
Carolyn W. Jackson is a lecturer with the College of Education at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
The late Kipchoge N. Kirkland was an assistant professor in the School of Education at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.
Christopher B. Knaus is a lecturer in African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California.
Jennifer K. Outhouse-Bell is a teacher in Seattle, Washington.
Chanira Reang Sperry is an academic advisor with the Department of Education Services of the Art Institute of Seattle, Seattle, Washington.
S. Purcell Woodard is associate director of the McNair Program/Early Identification Program at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
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|Title Annotation:||Dr. Kipchoge Neftali Kirkland|
|Author:||Jackson, Carolyn W.; Kirkland, Kipchoge N.; Knaus, Christopher B.; Outhouse-Bell, Jennifer K.; Sperr|
|Date:||Sep 22, 2005|
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