ISSUE #17 WE'VE BEEN BLACK SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME so ONE MONTH TO CELEBRATE OUR EXISTENCE JUST WON'T DO!
1) Excerpts from the Philadelphia New Observer, November 18, 1998.
Dear Black Americans:
After all of these years and all we have been through together, we think it's appropriate for us to show our gratitude for all you have done for us.
We have chastised you, criticized you, punished you, and in some cases even apologized to you, but we have never formally nor publicly thanked you for your never ending allegiance and support to our cause.
This is our open letter of thanks to a unique people, a forgiving people, a steadfast people, and a brave people: Black Americans. We will always be in debt to you for your labor. You built this country and were responsible for the great wealth we still enjoy today.
Upon your backs, laden with the stripes we sometimes had to apply for disciplinary reasons, you carried our nation. We thank you for that.
We publicly acknowledge Black people for raising our children, attending to our sick, and preparing our meals while we were occupied with the trappings of the good life. Even during the times when we found pleasure in your women and enjoyment in seeing one of your men lynched, maimed and burned, some of you continued to watch over us and our belongings.
Now that we control at least 90 percent of all of the resources and wealth of this nation, we have Black people to thank the most. You were there when it all began, and you are still with us today, protecting us from those Black people who have the temerity to speak out against our past transgressions.
Your super-rich athletes, entertainers, intellectuals, and business persons (both legal and illegal) exchange most of their money for our cars, jewelry, homes, clothing and women. What a windfall they have provided for us! The less fortunate among you spend all they have at our neighborhood stores, enabling us to open even more stores. Sure, they complain about us, but they never do anything to hurt us economically. You are a very special people. Thank you.
Oh yes, allow us to thank you for not bogging yourselves down with the business of doing business with your own people. We can take care of that for you. Please don't even trouble yourselves with it. Yes, you were very successful at it after slavery ended and even as recently as 1960, but you know what happened when you began to build your own communities and do business with one another. Some of the "lower ones" of your kind burned you out time and time again. So, why bother? In today's business environment, your own people will not support you anyway. You just keep doing business with us. It's safer that way. Besides, everything you need, we make anyway, even Kente cloth. You just continue to dance, sing, fight, get high, go to prison, back bite, get AIDS, envy and distrust and hate one another.
For your labor, which created our wealth, for you resisting the messages of trouble-making Blacks like Washington, Delaney, Garvey, Bethune, Tubman, Truth, and King, for fighting and dying on our battlefields, we thank you.
Your dependence upon us to do the right thing is beyond our imagination, irrespective of what we do to you and the many promises we have made and broken. But, this time we will make it right, we promise.
Finally, the best part. You went beyond the pale and turned your children over to us for their education. With what we have taught them, it's likely they will continue in a mode similar to the one you have followed for the past 45 years.
When Mr. Lynch walked the banks of the James River in 1712 and said he would make you a slave for 300 years, little did we realize the truth in his prediction. Just 13 more years and his promise will come to fruition. But with two generations of your children gone through our education systems, we can look forward to at least another 50 years of prosperity.
Wow! Things could not be better-and it's all because of you. For all you have done, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts, Black Americans. You're the best friends any group of people could ever have!
All other Americans.
2) COMING SOON TO THE POETS NICHE - COMMENTS FROM THE PEANUT GALLERY. The purpose of this website is to specifically "critique" the work of the poet. The moderator for the Gallery is Rose (bambam) Cooper. STAY TUNE for more details in an upcoming moni's top 10.
3) EXCERPTS FROM A CONVERSATION BETWEEN MONI &SHENITA:
shenita said: The interview (bams) was wonderful and informative. I have often wondered how I could contribute to the Poet Niche's. So many people write such wonderful poems. . .I use to write poetry, years ago, but stopped. Unfortunately, I feel that I have lost the talent. However, I have been blessed with the ability to inspire people through motivational writing. And that's what I will contribute. I don't know when, I don't know how much, I just know that it will come. . .I saw Les Brown speak this past Sunday and was "so excited," I almost came into work to use the computer to write to the Poet Niche. But, instead, I went home to savor in the flavor of the moment. It was "oh so good". . .I'm not quite sure where the Poet's Niche is heading but I'm so glad that they picked me up along the way. God, it's so wonderful to be in the company of progressive folks. . .If it's true that you attract people into your life who reflect you, I must say. . .I must be projecting a wonderful image! Your efforts to unite the family is incredible. Be blessed my sister. I'm so glad to be apart of your family.
moni said: after eating 12 chocolate chip cookies & drinking a diet coke, i sat down to re-read ur email in the privacy of my own home. . .you touched my soul with such kind words. . .i'm delighted that u got 2 see Les Brown & i can't wait 2 read ur motivational writing!! u'll never know what soul or heart u'll touch or motive with your words until U submit it. . .here's a thought! since you feel "poetry" is not quite your forte, as part of moni's top 10 (either bi-weekly or monthly), i can include a section called "FROM THE QUEEN'S THRONE". . .this way, you can use this as a forum to use ur motivational writing to uplift & inspire our members to continue reaching for the stars. . .let me know what you think.
DRUM ROLL PLEASE! I PROUDLY PRESENT THE DEBUT OF
FROM THE QUEEN'S THRONE Okay, I'm back.
Where have I been? In the bathroom crying. I just got off the telephone with Moni, my beloved, and I started crying. I had to take a moment to thank God for Moni, for allowing her to be used by Him, to assist me in my dreams and goals of inspirational writing. God, you are so wonderful!
A friend of mine once told me, "You're never given a dream without the ability to achieve it." As I grow older, wiser and closer in my relationship with God, I realize that this world will give me everything that I desire, if only I just believe. Imagine the possibilities! Imagine if you would just open your heart, again, to your childlike state. Remember when you use to dream of the possibilities? Remember when you use to think that you could do and be anything that you desired to do or be? But, somewhere down the road, you were hurt. Or, perhaps, fear settled in, and then you thought to yourself that it would be easier not to dream. Easier not to hope. Easier not to aspire for the things that you truly desire.
Well, my friends, I'm here to testify that change starts from within. I'm here to tell you that God wants so much for you. The world belongs to Him. You are made in His image. All that He has, you have access to. Your life CAN be beautiful. Your life CAN be filled with joy, happiness, peace, prosperity, AND love. All at the same time! All you have to do is believe. All you have to do is aspire to align yourself to God's will for you.
I've decided to make a change. I'm giving my life to God and I thank Him for each moment because each second of the day allows me an opportunity to surrender all of me to Him. He is blessing me in so many ways. I am constantly watching my dreams and desires manifest themselves in my life. I am constantly in awe of God! I sometimes wonder what took me so long? I sometimes wonder why I hesitated? It doesn't really matter now. I'm at home and I promised God, I'll never leave! Won't you join me?
Shenita Vanish (firstname.lastname@example.org)
4) PADMORE SPEAKS - On December 4, 1998, Ohio State University presented "IMAGING HOME" a reading of poetry by Padmore Agbemabiese. Accordingly to Padmore, it was both spectacular and quite emotional, as the audience wept as he read his poems "Just Imagine" and "Prophecy". His poems are about returning to the heritage of Anlo-Ewe oral narratives, and speaks of the anguish of African history. Padmore said he also received a standing ovation for his performance. To mark Black History Month, Padmore is scheduled to perform again at Ohio State's Drake Union.
Just so you know, Padmore is a Ghanian poet, playwright and actor. He is currently a Ph.D. English candidate at Ohio State University. He has published two volumes of Ewe poetry, essays, and articles in international magazines. He has also won a number of awards for his creative works, including Ohio State's GWEN KAGEY AWARD in 1998.
CHEERS AND A POETS NICHE STANDING OVATION FOR PADMORE!! Please feel free to email Padmore at email@example.com.
5) HIGHER EDUCATION and REACHING FOR THE STARS - TRACY EVANS is applying to graduate school in Virginia for her Masters Degree in Socio-Cultural Anthropology. Tracy also celebrated her 24th birthday on January 24. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY sweetie!!
Mrs. Cobham-Hawkins (aka) MOCHA, has applied for her Ph.D. in African American Studies at Ohio State and Indiana University. Mocha, you should get in touch with the Padmore Agbemabiese (firstname.lastname@example.org), Ronnie Clark (rclark79@ hotmail.com) or Rodney Coates (email@example.com) who all reside in Ohio.
If anyone has any advice for Tracy or Mocha, please email Tracy at (TEvans4248@ aol.com) and Mocha at (Mocha1913@ hotmail.com). GOOD LUCK TRACY AND MOCHA!!!
6) UPCOMING CONFERENCE - MOONSTONE, INC. is holding its 15th annual celebration of Black Writing on February 12-14, 1999 in Philadelphia. According to the email I received, anyone who writes, has written, is into afrocentric books, or likes hanging out with writers should attend. Scheduled guest speakers are editors, specialists from Random House and poets such as, Sonia Sanchez, Wanda Coleman, Nelson George and Lisa Jones. If you are unable to attend, you can request their brochure and get on the mailing list by writing to Moonstone, Inc., at 108 S 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, or calling (215) 735-9598. The brochure contains information on at least 150 writers on the various panels, a griot circle, readings, book fairs, art workshops, art management, and the business of selling your work. Please check out Moonstone's website at (http:// www.naiba.com/robins/moonstone/programs.html).
7) NEW WEBSITE - Today, February 1, 1999, Negrofile E-Zine, is launching its monthly publication on technology, futurism and the new economy as it relates to people of color. Sign up for your free subscription at (http://negrofile.com).
8) SHAMELESS PLUG - Check out the front page of the Savannah Morning News, at (http://www.savannahnow.com/stories/050398/LOCsva closes.html). The artist/ painter is moni's baby boy, Gustave. Gustave is currently attending graduate school in New York. Please email me at (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you (or anyone you know) would like to commission Gustave to paint an original masterpiece.
9) THIS WEEKS FEATURED POETS ARE:
AFRICA by Padmore Agbemabiese - email@example.com revolution conversation piece by Genez Singletary - firstname.lastname@example.org WOMEN LIKE ME by Ajani Kush - email@example.com I AM A RAINBOW by Rose Ford - ROSEFORMS@aol.com YOUNG BLACK MAN by Trend (VeraCity) Truesdale (c) firstname.lastname@example.org UNIVERSAL BLACKNESS by Alonzo Carr - Angela.Jones-Carr@siemenscom.com
Check out the Poets Niche website at (www.nichemarket.com) for POEMS OF THE WEEK 23! THANK YOU POETS!!
10) STANDING TALL - Several years ago a wrote this little poem:
I WANTED TO BE
I wanted to be tall
But I built the walls
that kept me small.
Continue to knock down the walls that YOU build so YOU can stand TALL. Below is moni's poem of the week. Please feel free to email your comments, which is always greatly appreciated.
much love moni
p.s. special thanks to Pam Barnes, who continues to send me much of the information contained in moni's top 10.
BrotherMan your voyage across the placid waters, naive of the destiny which awaits you a diverse breed of ebony pigmentation, supple lips steadfast to speak the truth, and bug-eyes witnessing the injustice of it all as Master beat and degraded you in front of your family and community whose endurance unlocked the shackles which enslaved you, but warped your sense of responsibility teach my son to be a confident black man, to love himself, to be self-sufficient, not to be afraid to fight for justice in the face of prejudice, and to stand proud of his achievements, yet ready to amend any transgressions your continued defiance not to pass this torch onto your children and their children, will be your just reward cherish your woman and teach her to respect your wishes without demanding it with your fist your struggle is not with me, but within because you feel impotent each time the cross-burnings keep you indebted to society your struggle is not with me, but with blue-eyes who refuses to set you free surrender your soul not to man but to God, for He has allowed you to stay alive generation after generation father, son, husband, and BrotherMan Monica D. Blache (c)
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