Friday, July 9, 2010


No folks, not Jill Scott, Gil Scott Heron. What, you haven't read about this? I bet you've heard of Nigger Jim and Edgar Allen Poe.

Well, I know you've seen, or heard of Sex In The City, but what about Black Thighs?
Huh, what do you know about that?

Don't tell me you've read The Night Before Christmas and not, Before The White Man Came? Yep, you've seen Message In A Bottle, but what about Message To The Messengers? Who wrote the words to that piece and what was the message? Hint: It was a message to rappers by the Godfather. Nope, not James Brown.

Okay, maybe this is not fair. Maybe all your books got lost in the washing machine or in the brainwash. But I'm just saying, I am sure you've heard about Broke Back Mountain, but what about On Coming From A Broken Home, huh? Have you read that? Surely you've heard of Hill Street Blues, but what about The Get Out Of The Ghetto Blues? Come on now folks, Woman Are From Venus And Men Are From Mars, or Whitey On The Moon, do you know anything about them?

Damn, don't take this ass whoopin personally but sing along with me... "home home on the range, where the dear and the antelope play, where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the skies are all sunny all day". Now, do you know the words to "Home Is Where The Hatred Is"?

Well, if you've been stumped, it's gimme time. I mean, who hasn't seen Waiting To Exhale, but what about "Waiting For The Ax"? Come on, I know you've heard about the old negro and his Uncle Tom's Cabin, but what about the lyrics from "The Klan", huh, have you read them?

You guys are starting to piss me off. But maybe I am speaking to the wrong crowd, so I'll direct my attention to the old school audience. Now, which of you has not taken a quick peek at the soap operas All My Children and The Guiding light? Okay, but what about the lyrics from Save The Children and The Guided? Wait, I have an easier one. Everybody knows a little something about Days Of Our Lives, but what about "Lady Day And John Coltrane"? Do you know anything about that literature?

I am sorry, how could I have been so careless. I should have made this a black thang. Okay, here we go. Er'body has danced to the Sooooul Train, but what about Your Soul And Mine. I mean, have you heard of that? But wait, who can forget Denzel Washington's performance in Walter Moseley's Devil In A Blue Dress, but do you know anything about "Me & The Devil"? Huh, have you heard of that?

Oh lawd, I am crying because this ass whoopin is hurting me more than it's hurting you, but I can't stop this train. No, not the soul train, this train of thought.

Speaking of a thought, I am thinking about writing Oprah to make a few suggestions. See, she has this book club thing. Well, although she has included a few books written by black folks, I'd like to included a few must read selections. Granted, she has championed the popular black writers like Toni Morrison (4 times), Bill Cosby (3 times), Maya Angelou, Pearl Cleage, Lalita Tademy, Sidney Poiter and a few others, but those are feel good authors. I mean, they are "safe" authors. But I have to admit that I did love two of Toni Morrison's book and A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines. And I Know Why A Caged Bird Sings... but let me get back in form.

Instead of Oprah reaching out to included another book by William Faulkner (his 4th), I think she would be the greatest black woman that has ever walked this earth if her next three books were by Gil Scott Heron, The Last Poets and Paul Mooney.

Hey, if a lying white dude can get on Oprah's list, why can't she give the drummer some. If Gil Scott Heron, who has his masters degree from John Hopkins University, can go to jail for killing a mocking bird, surely we can throw him a bone by checking out his 2010 I'm New Here, and all of his earlier works. Besides, we all could use a little history lesson, couldn't we?

Er'body knows about Juneteenth and Martin Luther Kings Birthday. What about the American poet and author Gil Scott Heron? Okay, maybe he didn't kill a mockingbird or Harper Lee(the author of To Kill A Mockingbird), but why is her book considered an American Classic? Is it because her book spoke about the mistreatment of colored folk? I know the name of another book that's considered an American classic. As a young student, I was required to read that mess. I bet we all know the name of that book!
I don't know why the caged bird sings but every closed eye ain't sleep. My eyes have seen the glory...

This post was inspired by my friend Maxine Beneba Clark and her collection of poetry... Gil Scott Heron Is On Parole

Her latest post is titled, Being Alice Walker's Daughter. Check it out.


Moanerplicity said...

I tend to agree, Carey. Far be it from me to criticize Her Oprahness, but there are times she appears somewhat remiss, and I'll wonder WHY she'll give so much screentime, face-time and shine-time to already NOTED authors (actors/films as well) which would do well WITHOUT her queenly stamp of approval, when many times there are equally, if not superior people/artists of Black and Brown skin who've written gems, created diamonds, or are themselves talents with urgent voices, who never receive their proper due. Something SHE could reslove, if she wanted to, or saw fit to.

Gil would be a good start. Gil would probaly not only school her devoted audience, but no doubt he would school Miss Winfrey as well.


CareyCarey said...

Yeah Moan, I am not too concerend with Oprah being schooled. Well, that's my girl and I don't have a bad word to say about her. I am thinking more on the line of schooling black folks who seem to have become pacified by sucking on hind tit. I think we have fallen asleep and thus need to be awaken by reading REAL American classics.

Gil ran into a few problem but so did William faulkner. And, he's dead. I think he committed suicide.

Maxine Beneba Clarke said...

Wow Carey - I'm honoured!

It's true what you say about the BIG O championing 'safe' authors...although I did see her interview lesbian Jamaican-Chinese poet StaceyAnn Chin once. I was absolutely gobsmacked to see her on Oprah!

CareyCarey said...

Hi Maxine,

I am just thrill that you didn't cuz me out for biting off your title :-)

It's interesting that you mentioned Oprah and the lesbian writer. I don't know if you ever read my post on Oprah, but I said she is the greatest black women on this earth. Of course "greatness" is hard to define but I challenged my readers to bring a contender, and the replies were interesting.

Oprah has a very tough job because her job is a business, which means she and her company are in it to make money. However, her influence around the world is second to none.

Back to you. I love love love your poetry. If I ever get filty rich or moderately rich or find $10,000 dollars under my mattress, I am coming over there to sit stage-side while you do your thang. You thrill me.

I love to converse with writers. They are a very interesting lot. The gentleman above (Moanerplicity) is a writer and he always leaves me sratching my head. I mean, he's a very good writer and poet, so he works me mentally.

On a side note, my stuff probably leave people scratching their heads out of confusion. I mean, they're probably looking stunned and saying... "What the hell, was that about?!"