Tag Archives: culture

Teacher (for Ms. Gavin)

in 5th grade you opened up
a whole new world to me
a world of poetry
a world of reading and writing
of creating
a life-long love affair
that can never be broken
a world I’ve come to know
in more ways than I can count
a world of vibrant anthologies
and communal spaces
a world of greatness
of Phyllis Wheatley and Edgar Allen Poe
of Sonia Sanchez and Langston Hughes
of Emily Dickinson and Pablo Neruda
of Bassey Ikpi and Saul Williams
a world where flying
is the norm
where stories
take many forms
where truth is painted
in the seams
of dark blue jeans
and where secrets
are tucked away neatly
behind the ears
a world of refuge
for the lost and broken
a world of nourishment
for the hungry and thirsty
a world of ecstasy
for the lovers and free-spirited
a world of abundance
for the wordsmiths and hopefuls
a world for the writers
and those who read
a world for the living
and the dead
a world for the histories and herstories
of our freedom fighters
a world of many seasons
moons and stars
a world of haikus
and sonnets
of metaphors and similes
of abstractness and simplicity
a world where written word
and spoken word collide
where sweet tempos and melodies
are laced with the black gold
of the past, the present and the future
a world of mangoes and plantains
of drumming and dancing
a world of many tongues
where Kreyòl, Yoruba, Wolof,
English, Spanish, French
are claimed and re-defined
illuminating the pages they stand on
and stirring the hearts and minds
of those they encounter
a world that has given me life
when I needed it most
a world I’ve come to know
as home.

by Nadia Alexis


Posted by on July 9, 2012 in Poetry


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Today’s Call to Action: “Film the Police!”

This morning I logged onto twitter and saw a Bold As Love Magazine post that Dumi (@dumilewis) tweeted highlighting a music track that powerfully resonates with me, as someone who engages in cop watch work. “Film the Police” by B. Dolan featuring Toki Wright, Jasiri X, Buddy Peace, and Sage Francis calls on people to start doing exactly what the title says: film the police.

Why is it important to film the cops? For far too long we’ve seen and experienced instances of cops abusing their power and brutalizing people. What has typically been happening all along in low-income and people of color communities, has since been given greater attention lately because of stories of police misconduct towards Occupy Movement folks and of police detaining elected officials without good reason. Stopping to film the cops when you notice them stopping a stranger or community member, could mean: the difference between life and death, the difference between being physically or verbally brutalized and going home or to the precinct in one piece, and being able to be a witness to someone or hand over video footage to them if it’ll help their case.  If enough people start filming the cops we can create a culture of caring for one another and showing that through literally watching each other’s backs.  Whether you record the police individually or within an organized cop watch team, it is valuable. We don’t have to stand by and let cops brutalize people. We don’t have to feel helpless or just accept things the way they are. Filming the police is a great start to taking power back from the police and putting it into the hands of the people. Next time you see cops stopping someone in the street pull out your camera phone and film it (within a reasonable distance, i.e. not too close so that you may be interfering with the arrest). And if you don’t feel comfortable doing that, you could also just watch with your own eyes, too. Whether you’re out in the street or upstairs in your home looking out the window like the song says…

Thanks to Strange Famous Records you can download “Film the Police” here for FREE!  Enjoy. (I’ve been bumpin’ this song all day) 🙂

Peep these Know Your Rights resources below: (it’s important to know what your rights are, especially if you’ll be filming or observing police)

New York Civil Liberties Union – Know Your Rights Palm Cards

Know Your Rights Info, What to Expect When Arrested In NY, and Observing the Police by activist attorney Kamau Franklin

Know Your Rights – Essential Resources From the ACLU


Posted by on December 14, 2011 in Cop Watch, Know Your Rights, Music, Police


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