“If you ever think about me, and you ain’t gonna do no revolutionary act, forget about me. I don’t want myself on your mind if you not going to work for the people.”

— Fred Hampton

Soooo… I’m glad we finally got a movie on a grassroots revolutionary buuut…

We really should question the whole premise of such a movie having to be trojan horsed through the story of the guy that helped kill him. By that logic, where’s the biopic on Lee Harvey Oswald, John Wilkes Boothe, or even James Earl Ray? The writers, the twin brothers Keith &…

pardon the rivers on my face

but I’ve seen too many closed into earth

without their insides ever seeing the light of day

what say you when your lover’s womb

is the middle passage the ancestors

never made their way through

when spirits are thrown overboard

before they ever reach shore

lines under my eyes all silt and sink

every poet’s words bout motherland

or sea crossing was a holy hand of nature

was Oya’s breath whispering gales of the decades

old levees behind my eyes

watched parts of me crumble into an ocean

wide as god’s mouth last year

Photo by Fernando Lopez of People’s Media Front

I live across the street from a former housing project in New Orleans. It’s now turned into “mixed income housing.” There’s a police jeep outside of nearly every major building and I’ve been told by a resident that there’s a cop that lives in every one of those buildings. That resident also told me that there’s literally a curfew and rules around how folks can gather. The first few years of living there I thought half the apartments were empty because the neighborhood was such a ghost town. I’ve never seen a Black working-class neighborhood in my city be so…

lest you be lassoed by the hood boy/ be noosed back to the wretched limbs of your family tree / lest all you try ghosting come back haunt yo’ happy home/ creep up your children’s spines like that crack-head did ya mama’s fire escape/ that one night in Brooklyn/ just a vagrant truth looking to be fed/ might set flame in they hearts/ turn it kitchen and whip they bloodline like it’s stir fry/ leave embers in they throat/ turn they mouth trap house till they open it and you get all the smoke

got a whole gang gang of…

Obama’s Kill LIst by Emory Douglas

War is big business. PERIODT. It’s never about patriotism. It’s never about nationalism. It’s never about pride in your homeland, father or mother country. Hell it’s not even about self-defense. What it’s about, what it’s always been about, is one nation brutalizing the shit out of another nation to rob its resources and/or make the other nation work for it for the other nation’s benefit. Sounds like a jack move to me. But hey, what war isn’t rooted in enough violence and theft to be interchangeable with a good old fashioned street robbery? What capitalist business ain’t a hustle? And…

What’s Capitalism?

Capitalism has the power to eclipse our vision, to remove our eyes and replace them with dollar signs if for nothing else, by repeating the same lie a million times until the whole world believes it.

So first we need an understanding of capitalism, what it is and how it functions in order to properly diagnose why words like socialist and democrats will never mix with it. Let’s start with an etymological breakdown of the word capitalism. The root word capital means money that is accumulated to be used to invest to exploit the labor of workers to…

Brooklyn circa 1991

When I’m eleven in the sixth grade I learn the weight of a Tupperware lunch case. Correction: I learn the weight of a Tupperware lunch case at a Brooklyn public school in 1991 where all your friends eat free lunch. A public school where your friend Kareem casually shows you his razor blade under the lunch table. The razor blade his brother Lateef, aka infamous tag artist MACK of the Decepts told him to carry for protection. Maybe my lunch case, too, is a form of protection. An incessant reminder that I am not and never will be one of…

The other night I found out that my Great Grandmother’s brother was a hustler named Romalus. Heard he was the man when it came to running numbers in New Orleans and that nothing moved on Rampart St. without him knowing about it. Known for adorning both his hands in diamond rings and even a diamond or two in his teeth, Romalus used to pull his black Cadillac up next to his kinfolks’ house in the 7th ward, not too far from where I live now, step out his ride and stunt like the neighborhood superstar he was. All this told…

I don’t necessarily need to leave the country to explore the richness of Black culture in an Afro-colonial setting.

Step off the plane and make my way to the CTA train station adjacent. First marvel at the giant spinning fans whirling above me. Then ogle the massive cylinder funneling down towards the black tunnel awaiting the approaching train serving old America vibes. I could be somewhere in the 50s, or on set of an 80s movie emulating 50s vibes.

Still (nigga) from Jay-Z’s “The Story of OJ” video. Rings prescient now…

There’s this grainy old tape of Biggie Smalls when he first came out in the early 90’s. In it, he’s got his arm hanging casually around the shoulder of one of the rappers from an infamous group at the time named Onyx. His eyes are characteristically low, one cockeyed as he looks into and simultaneously away from the camera. “Yeah,” he says,”we coming after all you Big Willie crackers…” and he continues on about how he and his generation of rappers plan to make their big come up into riches through the rap game. His fellow Brooklyn “God MC” Jay-Z…

A Scribe Called Quess

The Ellisonian Basement is a collection of my writings on Blackness & visibility in the post-modern world, OR Duboisian double consciousness under surveillance.

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