275-21: In Search of The White Ahaw

If you were to ask tomorrow’s farmers, they would all agree that  the White Ahaw is no myth but a very real entity.  They would say it comes in the form of a thick cloud, sagging with unwanted remorse only to burst one time on  dry black soil until the seeds dead of overdose.

Ask  the indoor field workers and they would all profess, that the White Ahaw is not a thing of legend, but a breathing and living mess.  They would say that it is like the frenzied pangs of torrential winds, forcefully licking through window panes and  door panels. Pure licks on any type of structure, on any type of history as it bawl-out  ‘Progress! Progress!’

Ask the Mystic Man Dem on Fielding Avenue and they will all attest, that to them the White Ahaw is no new-age theory but an ancient bona fide threat.  It is like bad inside-outside smoke, the kind that clings to your lungs  and muffles your voice, hiding the road to your own terms.

But see you now, looking for the White Ahaw..have you not been warned? Do you believe that you can invoke this creature and expect not to be scorned? You cannot eat its meat nor will it  work your land and it will grin as it teef  resources from your hand, what business do you have feeding this beast, child?  For the sake of tomorrow`s farmers, of the indoor fieldworkers, of the mystic  man dem who will always watch over your children, kill it and leave it there on the side of the road to rot in a pool of its own self-righteous promises.

Advertisements

Peanuts inna Baltimore

They are allergic to peanuts.

They  work at a small peanut oil processing plant.

They touch, smell and taste peanuts all day.

Pick it.

Press it.

Bottle it.

And Big Man dey watching from his high office.

 

Most don`t speak Big Man`s language.

All don`t get paid enough.

All are forced to work. There are no other jobs.

They need the little bit of cash to pay for their anti-histamine.

 

They are allergic to peanuts.

They work for a small peanut oil processing plant.

The few who speak with Big Man plea.

They show their  bleeding hives

They show their swollen eyes.

Those who can speak

Those who are not choking on the floor

scream

we are allergic to peanuts.

we are allergic to peanuts.

 

Big Man says to be quiet.

Don`t blame peanut oil, after all its done for you.

 

Big Man wipes the white spittle from the corner of his pasty lips.

 

Are you sure it is peanut oil that is the problem?

What if it was grapeseed oil?

What if…canola

what if…olive

what if…sesame

Don`t blame the peanut. Peanut is good for us.  Peanut is good for business.

He say:

If you have a problem, you should wear a mask.

If you

have a problem

you

should..

 

But don’t blame the peanut.  Peanut is good for us.  Peanut is good for business.

But we workers know that this here is a  big fucking peanut oil processing machine.

Not next type of oil,

Not what-if oil

Ah Peanut  Oil we ah talk bout.

We work here. We live here.

Mask on or Mask off

We can`t breathe.

 

Together, We spill the bottled oil on our bodies and ignite the fire.

Together, we barge the barricaded office of Big Man and forcefully bring his room-temperature body next to our burning flesh.

 

Together, We jump into the extraction machine.

Hear the bones crack.

Like the dry husk of the peanut.

275-6: Tobacco, Sugar & Coffee

Whenever Baby cries, mother would fetch a bottle of tobacco leaves, coffee grains and sugar water, shake it up and give it to baby.  Delighted, baby would expose their black tongue and yellow gums. Baby goes to sleep and mother slave puts on her high heels and leaves for work.

Tobacco, sugar or coffee will never feed a community.  Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade kidnapped Afrikans and forced them to grow tobacco, sugarcane and coffee; cash crops that did not value subsistence but prioritized profit.  The expansion of such cash crops are one of the metrics that differentiate Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade from slavery within the Motherland.  Close-minded scholars would compare these different types of slavery to diminish the ruthless and continual effects of imperialism.  Look to agriculture as an indicator.  African slave-owners had slaves, yes, to grow cassava and subsistence crops to maintain the health of a society. Agricultural techniques and culture were shared between captor and captive because despite differences, there is a respect for humanity and a reverence for the ground that provides food.  Captives, in their lifetime, could have land and be leaders in their new community.

When tobacco and sugar were exported to Europe, it was not to sustain a population, it was to quench the bourgeoisie’s greedy addiction to luxury items.  European aristocracy had no vested interest in the humanity and culture of slaves, nor did they value the soil that provided them with the commodities they desired.  They worked both Afrikan and soil mercilessly.  They were not feeding families, just potbellies and egos.  Slavery sucks. But do not put slavery in the Americas and slavery within Afrika on the same level.