Struggle For, Even If Its Beauty

'...You will come back.  You will stay.  Before that the spirits and our ancestors will hold a great meeting to discuss the future of the world.  It will be one of the most important meetings ever held.  Suffering is coming.  There will be wars and famine.  Terrible things will happen.  New disease, hunger, the rich eating up the earth, people poisoning the sky and the waters, people going mad in the name of history, the clouds will breath fire, the spirit of things will dry up, laughter will become strange.'
   He stopped.  There was a long pause.  Then he continued, frightening me.
   'There will be changes.  Coups.  Soldiers everywhere.  Ugliness.  Blindness.  And then when people least expect it a great transformation is going to take place in the world.  Suffering people will know justice and beauty.  A wonderful change is coming from far away and people will realise the great meaning of struggle and hope.  There will be peace.  Then people will forget.  Then it will all start again, getting worse, getting better.  Don't fear.  You will always have something to struggle for, even if it is beauty or joy.'
~Famished Road, Ben Okri

Mi Hija: May You Understand

 "The road will never swallow you. The river of destiny will always overcome evil. May you understand your fate. Suffering will never destroy you, but will make you stronger. Success will never confuse you of scatter your spirit, but will make you fly higher into the good sunlight. Your life will always surprise you." 
~Ben Okri, The Famished Road

Artists. Don't Ever Lose Your Ability to Infect Another With Your Sincerity (art).

“Art is what you give up,” 
 “Art is what you give up,”
 “Art is what you give up,”
 “Art is what you give up,”
 “Art is what you give up,”
 “Art is what you give up,”
 “Art is what you give up,”
 “Art is what you give up,”
“Art is what you give up,” he says, “if you’re trying to hold on to cash.”

Thus, so, was africa INDEPENDENCED

"Whites reasoned that even if Africans had once had entitlement to themselves as free people, such entitlement did not extend to slaves born and raised in white families-persons never free, raised at the "expense" of their owners.  But this reasoning implied that emancipating one's slaves conferred freedom upon them as a gift to which they were at best theoretically but never actually entitled.  And in the view of most whites, since even the act of being freed represented the exercise of the owner's power over the slave, an emancipated slave could never become a "free" person but only a "freed" one- a person acted upon, not acting."
~Disowning Slavery: Gradual Emancipation and "Race" in New England, 1780-1860, Joanne Pope Melish

Pictures Speak 172,000 Words (click image for hi-rez)

Pictures Speak 172,000 Words (click on image for hi-rez)

Think For Yourself

I was flying on a plan from Algiers to Geneva about four weeks ago, with two other Americans.  both of them were white-one was a male, the other was a female.  And after we had flown together for about forty minutes, the lady turned to me and asked me-she had looked at my briefcase and saw the initials M and X-and she said, "I would like to ask you a question.  What kind of last name could you have that begins with X?"
   So I told her, "That's it: X."
   She was quiet for a little while.  For about ten minutes she was quiet.  She hadn't been quiet at all up to then, you know.  And then finally she turned and she said, "Well, what's your first name?"
   I said, "Malcolm."
   She was quiet for about ten more minutes.  Then she turned and she said, "Well, you're not Malcolm X?" [Laughter]
  But the reason she asked that question was, she had gotten from the press, and from things that she had heard and read, she was looking for something different, or for someone different.
   The reason I take time to tell you this is, one of the first things I think young people, especially nowadays, should learn how to do is see for yourself and listen for yourself and think for yourself.  Then you can come to an intelligent decision for yourself.  But if you form the habit of going by what you hear others say about someone, or going by what others think about someone, instead of going and searching that thing out for yourself and seeing for yourself, you'll be walking west when you think you're going east, and you'll be walking east when you think you're going west.  So this generation, especially of our people, have a burden upon themselves, more so than at any other time in history.  The most important thing we can learn how to do today is think for ourselves.
~Malcolm X


I am tired of work, I am tired of building up somebody else's civilization.
Let us take a rest, M'Lissy Jane.
I will go down to the Last Chance Saloon, drink a gallon or two of gin, shoot
   a game or two of dice and sleep the rest of the night on one of Mike's
You will let the old shanty go to rot, the white people's clothes turn to dust,
   and the Calvary Baptist Church sink to the bottomless pit.
You will spend your days forgetting you married me and your nights hunting
   the warm gin Mike serves the ladies in the rear of the Last Chance Saloon.
Throw the children into the river, civilization has given us too many.
It is better to die than to grow up and find that you are colored.
Pluck the stars out of the heavens.  The stars mark our destiny.  The stars
   marked my destiny.
I am tired of civilization.
~Fenton Johnson