The Cake Is Baked By @KolaBoof

As a Sudanese-born American-raised bestselling author who has been vaginally infibulated since birth, my rage regarding the infamous “Genital Mutilation Art Cake” is like a Hydra with many splintered heads and has scarcely been addressed by anyone in America asked to write about this issue.

The Infamous “Genital Mutilation Art Cake”

My Twitter friend @OwlsAsylum asked me to put my feelings in writing for his blog where I can be as open as I like…so I warn you now…that what I have to say is not going to be what you’re used to reading in Black American publications or even White-ran African ones.

Before I talk about what it’s like to actually live with a ‘cut vagina’ and my conflicting feelings around the whole controversy, let me quickly rehash what happened to cause this brouhaha—a Male Mixed Race Swede artist named Makode Linde (the term ‘mixed race Swede’ being shorthand for White to those of us who come from Africa) engaged in performance art in which he depicted the image of a Charcoal-skinned woman served up at a party as a living edible cake. The party, hosted by Sweden’s Minister of Culture Lena Adelsoln Liljeroth, was supposed to raise awareness about the issue of Genital Cutting in Africa. Honoring the artist’s own claims—his intention was to show how racist White people are by having the mostly White partygoers cut up and eat the genitals of the moaning, screaming Charcoal Woman. With glee, the Whites did exactly that. I’m laughing my ass off remembering it (the video)—but inside, I’m calling ‘Camel Shit’ on the artist’s supposed intent.

Let me ask those who see this as art right now. If it was Makode Linde’s intention to make the world ‘see’ how racist we are by eating the genitals of the moaning cake—then why not make the cake look like a real African girl? An older woman with big bare tits wouldn’t be having this genital cutting experience—a small child would. Certainly, I have no problem with the charcoal skin (what East Africans refer to as “Biblical Days Black”—the color of our original Cushitic mother). But it seems racially methodical to present this African image in a sexually Western stance (the large bare breasts stand at attention unnaturally; not fall to the side despite the fact she that she is lying supine—typical Western pornographic imagery that came in vogue when more than 30 million White women in 18 nations received fake silicone breast implants). Linde’s caricature is definitely not a small defenseless child receiving initiation rites in Africa. As well, notice the frighteningly garish mouth—savage teeth, swollen red lips—the stereotypical Western racist cartoon image that plagues waving Sambo figures on White doorsteps in the Southern U.S. and other grotesque Massa-Welcome images traditionally found comical by those who deny Black humanity.

Why was dreadlock-wearing Linde so insensitive to how his ‘African woman’ looked? My belief is that he never expected video of the party to reach the entire planet. He thought the ‘feel-good racist imagery’ would create a bonding experience between his lonely Biracial shell and the Superior Swedes he’s most likely sought acceptance and solidarity from all his life. Like so many new age Racists of Color, Makode Linde thought this display and all reaction to it would be confined to the upper class and their few ethnic puppets—kept in town, like most of his other art works.

Following the controversy, Linde stated, “I didn’t intend for anyone to feel embarrassed. But we’re talking about female genital mutilation—is there any comfortable or cozy way to talk about it?”

Yes there is—let me do so right now.

I was vaginally infibulated in Omdurman, Sudan soon after my birth. Infibulation in my region of Africa in 1969 meant that the muscles inside the vagina were cut loose and reconfigured ‘tighter’ (supposedly to incur ‘purity’ as the Mullahs claimed that the Koran states: “Woman is Impure”). After the tightening process, the vagina is stitched shut—you grow up having your period through a straw—which can take some women an entire month. On the outer lips of the vagina, seared in Arabic, they put the name of your father and his mosque on the left side—the right side of my vagina was left blank for the name of my future husband to be seared on with a hot poker later. My clitoris was not removed, because my birth mother was an Oromo, not a Muslim and wouldn’t allow what Arab Muslims call ‘the worm of unclean thoughts’ to be cut away. Thus I cannot speak on the horror of having no feeling, no clitoris. But protocol follows that years after this ritual—at your wedding ceremony, the groom is given a small razor. This is to slit you open so he can begin penetrating you on the ‘wedding bed’—a process that can take weeks.

I escaped the Arab Muslim wedding, because my parents were murdered in front of me at the age of six and my Egyptian grandmother handed me over to UNICEF (to be ‘left for adoption’ after she got permission from the Mullahs—adopting being illegal in Egypt) because she could not fathom having a chocolate colored granddaughter in her White Arabic family. Through UNICEF, I was eventually placed with a Black American family in Washington D.C. and did not learn that I was vaginally infibulated until my Black American mother gave me a bath the first time I arrived in America. She and my new Black American father rushed me to D.C. General Hospital that night, horrified at the stitching between my thighs.

My life is not typical of the African girl who has been circumcised or infibulated. I grew up Americanized. My Black American parents wanted to have my vagina “corrected” at 16—but I refused because it was the only thing that connected me to my birth mother. Losing my virginity at 17 to my Black American tutor (who to me was White because of his egg-nog colored complexion) took an entire month. Imagine having your upper lip pulled up over your entire head—that’s how it feels for a ‘cut girl’ when she first has sex, you literally pass out. On one occasion in the back of his car, we got ‘stuck’ like dogs and had to be “wet” by fire hose to get us apart. It was so humiliating. Each attempt was excruciatingly painful for me, but like any teenaged girl I was determined to prove that I loved my man. Later, in my twenties traveling the world as a model and actress, I learned the value of having “pinhole pussy”—I could manipulate men with it. No matter how many of them I bedded, it appeared to each next guy that I was a virgin. And when men think they are the first and it’s even tighter when they return—they do a lot more for you. My vagina gave me all manner of problems—hormone imbalances; winter time shrinking. But because of my power over men sexually, I grew to take pride in my vagina. I refuse for instance to allow Westerners to tell me that I’m “mutilated.” I don’t accept that. I am different, but my life is not over, I am not defeated and I see myself as inconvenienced; violated—but not mutilated. With its shield face and Arabic writing, my vagina is very pretty to me.

Activists using the term “mutilation” forget that this is a Psychological condition, not just physical. We that are cut have to live our entire lives with our vagina. We have to move on and accept this horrible inconvenience and find joy in it.

I am now 42 and have given birth to two sons by cesarean—yet I am like a 12 year old down there. It does not change. This tightness that is created for male pleasure (no other reason, despite what the religious men say) is a never-ending curse of pain and ecstasy; sexual rapture bound up in brutally inhuman suffrage for the woman. I have learned to live with this—to even exploit it for my advantage. But I would not wish it on anyone. My vagina has been for men…and not for me!

So to watch a man—a man calling himself a ‘Black man’—lay on a table and holler moans that invited laughter as his friends cut chunks of his pink genitals away and at them—was so devastatingly powerful that it reduced me to loud, butchered sobbing. I couldn’t stop crying. Add to that the psychological effect of having to cope with the strangeness of Western reaction—particularly Black American friends defending this image and claiming that the intent of the art was to help girls like me.

Help us how? Who did it change? Who among the masses even understood what they were watching? It looked like a Halloween comedy show! Far and wide—people were laughing! No one watching that video thought of little African infants lying on the ground in rows between Cassava plants being cut on by dutiful old women. No one thought of that.

And that brings me to the most painful experience of the video, the one that came in the days after I watched out—the shutting out of my voice and of women like me by arrogant bougie African American writers and publications—writers and publications that would claim to speak ‘for us’ in delineating the experiences of African women and girls in public forums—yet slander my name and claim that I am “crazy” and shouldn’t be understood or have a voice.

This happened despite the fact that I am a well published author in America; a citizen of America; a Black African woman and a person who is vaginally infibulated. These Blacks at Ebony.Com, The Root and The Grio…the same ones who insisted that Makode Linde’s “voice,” however controversial, should be analyzed and understood on an intellectual basis…dismissed me, an infibulated African woman writer as someone there should be no time for—no understanding of. Herein lies the hateful core of not only Linde’s art piece, but the overall problem with Western Blacks—the innate hatred, distrust and lies they quickly attach to a Black female image when that female image threatens to Blacken them.

Certainly, because I am a noted author, published in eight countries—what I have to say will go into the canon of Black literary commentary whether people like it or not. So I say that these editorial staffs at Ebony.Com, The Grio, The Root and so many other so called Black publications are ‘pretentious,’ ‘privileged’, ‘vain’ and ‘wrongheaded.’ They want to visit Africa like a grave. You dare not be in the room. There is nothing journalistically scientific or factual about their methods when they say that Makode Linde should exist and be heard, but not Kola Boof. This is what Linde’s cake represents no matter where a Black woman goes. Routinely, you hear these American Negroes say when discussing me, “She is crazy”….but not a single one will counter “Why is she crazy?”

They don’t even acknowledge the moaning cake.

I have slapped Amiri Baraka for repeatedly calling me a bitch at the Harlem Book Fair. While heckling me on stage, he also stated that I was a “CIA Agent” and…”really a man.” A year before that incident, my books were banned by Black American bookseller Eso Won—the top black bookstore in Los Angeles. I never had a single ‘run-in’ or altercation with anyone in or near that book shop ever. No explanation was given—my publisher was simply informed that my books and I were banned from their Afrocentric shelves.

After discovering that 12 other Black women writers are banned from Eso Won bookstore, including Pulitzer nominee Wanda Coleman—I felt something akin to Linde’s Sara Baartman cake. The perpetual cutting, mentally as well as physically, is worldwide for Black women.

One local Black radio talk show host befriended me and had a different take. He said that I am despised by Black Literati for being ‘too truthful’ in my speaking style, for focusing quite forcefully on dark skinned Black women’s issues and for refusing to accept America’s one drop rule and see Mixed Race people as “black.” This last one in particular angers them he said, because so many of the leading Black movers and shakers in publishing are mixed race blacks or Black men with White spouses and mixed offspring. Years even before that, however, I was lied on by Black American scholars that I’ve never met, as high up and influential as Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Cornel West—granted I can’t stand them and they probably knew that from reading my books. But the thing is, why would intellectual Afro-descended people be so afraid of the rising career of a Black African woman? I hadn’t slapped their friend Amiri yet. I hadn’t done anything but be an African Womanist artist.

And then there’s smaller fish like Dr. Goddess, Deesha Philyaw, Dan Billin, Dominique DiPrima, Arab-funded ESPAC reporters and so many others who gossiped incessantly behind my back and made one nefarious claim about me after the other—all without ever having met me. These are supposed to be smart Negroes and Arabs of high importance.

In the canon of Black history, they have the delusion that I am an unimportant ‘folksy’ figure (shocking and vulgar they say) who will one day disappear while they (cloaked in white collars, college degrees and visits to Harris-Perry’s Nerdland) will go on to be remembered as intelligent, fearless, Black-loving auteurs of what they called ‘the African Diaspora.’ Something more organic to them than me, mind you—because Whites owned them and they now think with the same arrogant self-importance of the White Tower. What could I, the dirty ground possibly have to say? This is very sad indeed as this is a virtual re-enactment of Zora Neale Hurston and the Niggerati of the 1930’s. And yes, as a writing talent and a critical thinker, I am comparing myself to Zora, most definitely.

One has to sigh and fan oneself, because naturally, I’m not innocent in this mess. From the beginning, I’ve been a complete bitch to anyone that dismissed my reality or my right to have a voice. I gave it right back to them with all the pent up relish of my life long suffering. But how dare an African mother come here and do that! We’re Black and we want our place in the White people’s great society—but she, our own mother, is not one of us!

Makode Linde personified more than anything the modern Black conscious when he fashioned that cake. And I promise you—the Cake Is Baked. Linde is not alone in that tar-black butchered bitch fantasy, which is why so many Blacks are defending him. Whether it be our own black sons on the radio calling us “Bitches and Hoes” or proclaiming in their latest works of art: “I don’t date Dark butts—why did my baby come out so Black—White women are better”—the Cake Is Baked. The men’s yellow icing drips down the side of our much-despised nappy heads like a golden blond weave. If we protest, we are called ‘angry…bitter.’

The violent-voiced male rapper is not a threat to the community. Barking like a dog is his right by virtue of testicles. Pathetic Nicki Minaj draped in Barbie Doll drag while referring to little black girls as ‘nappyhead hoes’ in more than two of her songs is not a threat to the community. But we, the moaning burnt cakes with savage teeth and thick red lips—our sliced up fudge-inducing pussies threaten the Black community’s Mulatto follies—their niggerstock delusions of a bright future. As I wrote in a book once: ‘The Black Woman is the most unprotected, unloved woman on earth…she is the only woman on earth…that grows unwatered.’ In America, where they believe (or want to believe)…that that Bitch in New York Harbor is their real mother…it sticks to their fingers like frosted truth. Since none of us in the Black community plan on staying black—we don’t have time to care about Black women. So of course the bougie Negro journalists must consider Makode Linde’s brand of art—he’s their sanctioned portrait maker!

Breaking The Silence :: The Rekia Boyd Story

“Just watching the news story about that 22 year old woman who has been shot in the head, and I’m like,’I feel sorry for that family’…” – Martinez Sutton, brother of Rekia Boyd

 

On March 21, 2012, 22 year old Rekia Boyd was killed by Chicago cops after visiting with friends on Chicago’s W. 15th place. According to attorney James D. Montgomery, Rekia was with friends as an off-duty Chicago Police Detective Dante Servin told a neighboring group to “shut up” and opened fire after the ensuing exchange of acrimonies. During an attempt to flee, Rekia was struck in the head and died a little over 24 hours. Her friend, Antonio Cross was struck in his hand.

 

The defense of Servin rests on Chicago Police Department’s allegations that Antonio was brandishing a weapon and that Servin felt his life was in danger. According to witnesses and a thorough investigation of the scene, no weapons had been found. Some proffer the notion that Cross’ phone may have been mistaken, to this Cross mentions that he had the phone to his ear while he was talking in it.Cross asks, “How the fuck you think my phone was a weapon?”

 

 

The family of Rekia Boyd have filed a lawsuit for this unlawful death.

 

Her murder comes after the sentencing to 40 years in prison of another slain Afkan(afrikan amerikkkan), 61 year old Howard Morgan. Morgan shot 28 times after being pulled over by Chicago Police on February 21, 2005. The former police officer was said to have shot at the officers that attempted to p’d roll him, but no evidence of such has been found.

 

It is awfully trying to be Afkan in this country with such incidents amassing at alarming rates. It can also be even more trying to keep up. With the media fiasco that has burst forth like an alien from Sigourney Weaver’s stomach after Trayvon’s slaughter, it can be overwhelming to channel one’s energy in so many directions. According to Ohm and his law, intensity of a charge is reduced by the resistance to flow on that charge. Interestingly enough, the resistance on the charge of the attention span of most of us, is too many murdered innocent Afkan people. Yet, the mainstream media murmur surrounding Rekia’s name has elicited a response of sexism from certain sectors of the Afkan community.

 

As a writer that spent a considerable amount of time following the murder of Aiyana Jones by Detroit police, I believe the accusatory remarks of gender bias to be akin to a mark on a pregnant elephant. That is, it’s an enormous stretch. The cause of Rekia Boyd has traction, but two other considerations beyond her gender might be better fit for the researcher without an agenda to begin answering the question why hasn’t this been discussed more.

 

Firstly, Trayvon Martin’s admitted murderer, George Zimmerman, is walking free and doesn’t have a badge. This case sparked an outrage due to the elements. Now, I will never be accused of defending mainstream media, I’m sure, yet, the manner in which the details of the incident trickled down to the public caused it to garner our attention in a way that most media outlets would be fools not to bite. A young boy is murdered holding a can of tea and a bag of skittles. He was Afkan. He was wearing a hoodie. His assailant is recorded on a phone call being told by local authorities to stop following him. The killer was not charged and much of the country was made aware of a little known statute referred to as the “Stand Your Ground” law.

 

Is this to say that Rekia’s murder is less important? Why ask stupid questions? The human filter is not always made active by quantified salience. Sure, we do live in a patriarchy. Sure, this does imply certain hegemonic psychological conditioning. However, for one to automatically assume that the reason Rekia Boyd hasn’t gotten the same media attention as Trayvon Martin is due to her gender simply lacks breadth. Rekia Boyd didn’t get the same reaction as Trayvon Martin’s murder, partly because of the image presumed of Travon Martin. And also because the Chicago Police Department is not the Sanford Police Department.

 

Much of the information surrounding Rekia Boyd is unfortunately one-sided. We have a police officer we know very little about being protected by a department in a political machine notorious for corruption and cover-ups. The situation should be understood thusly, Antonio got shot in the hand and charged with a misdemeanor assault on a police officer. White terrorism with a bit of propaganda as garnish. However, it makes the story less chewy for a media sponsored by corporate bottom lines, whether the bias is white liberal or white conservative. The initial media presentation of Rekia’s murder was that of an innocent bystander being shot as a police officer defended him Self. This is what trickled down to the public. The reaction of most to the story was to wait for more details to surface. There wasn’t much for an outburst to develop from. George Zimmerman didn’t take the initial steps to make him Self look justified as a citizens killing what at that times was a 17 year old that much of the world thought looked like a 14 year young child by the images of Trayvon we were presented.

 

As stated, this piece isn’t to defend the mainstream media, I don’t get paid enough to defend any established structure. I am simply addressing those that may be soiling Rekia’s name by limiting their thoughts to a prescribed agenda reaction. There is a genocide happening in the United States and Rekia is just one of the many victims of this ethnic wipe out to go without a large media presence. It hurts to read that the reason for her lack of attention is such a small detail when there are more obvious reasons she hasn’t been spoken of more largely. Furthermore, when the media doesn’t work in the way you wish it to, take the media into your own hands. Ask President Obama why he hasn’t spoken about a murder of such appalling circumstance in his own city, he is the only one that owes you that.

My Response To Porgy and Bess On Broadway(2012)

Editor’s note: Before we delve into this piece, would like to take the time to thank Nikki for such an eventful weekend in New York City. Asylum will always be indebted and I’m sure I would have never been exposed to much of what I have been if it had not been for your extended loyalty and commitment to our family.

 

 

An understanding must always be undertaken when discussing figures of history: I’m discussing what has happened and was recorded of a person. Often, in Afkan discussion, we mistake what we have heard of a person from source 1082 and not what we may have actually witnessed for our Selves or known of someone from primary accounting methods. I never met Dubose Heyward, I may have liked him. I never knew Malcolm X, may have disliked him. So, in my efforts to write critiques regarding historical figures, I attempt to be objective for the sake of my ignorance, and subjective with regard to my complete knowledge of Self. That is not saying I have complete knowledge of Self, for my Self is a dynamic, subject to change; I am, however, referring to those elements that have remained core components that I can be sure of in as much as I’m sure the Sun will remain in a fixed enough position for the Earth to round about its axis.

 

A part of this Self, I speak of and know of is my need to bond with those of my Afkan heritage. The romantic element of any nation, tribe, religion, any grouping of humans, is exactly that which that unit’s cohesive agent is. We are all bound by emotional strands, physical ecological realities, or we are not at the same time. Logic allows for a cold, or objectifying treatment of life, yet it doesn’t remove the fact that all of life is living and that all of the living are dependent or interconnected in some way. It is the romantic ideology that compels the will to act in a manner suitable for sacrifice and commitments that cold logic cannot always clone. The cowardly can be logical; the cowardly cannot always be faithful to the trust of those that need them to be in the face of ominous circumstance. When the braves of a people are limited and must resort to the employ of cowards to do that which even the brave flounder, it takes an emotional appeal that extends into the imagination, not the analytic recesses. In this regard, it is always necessary to know what every imagination, what every creation, and thus what every artist and creator, has in their mind and what is the response to these creations on the collective mind. It must be remembered that the phrase “Uncle Tom” originated not in the sphere of objective reality, but in the imaginations of a White woman for a white male audience. Yet, how often do we hear White males using the phrase colloquially? How often do we hear or read Afkan peoples using it?

 

Now, in mentioning all of that, what are you preparing us for, eh? I don’t mind White writers writing whatever they choose; I just don’t wish to allow it to pass without a critical eye for symbols and messages that are born of the taints of White privilege born of European global domination that allows Whites to continuously feel comfortable crafting pieces about Afkan of all eras and periods. Media images have defined movements and cultural behaviors since the written word appeared, and it should be the effort of any Black(Afkan) media analyst to regard all works composed by other than Afkan about Afkan to be held as propaganda that could spark mass gas chambers to be filled. If I am to be applauded for critiquing the works of Tyler Perry or even Aaron McGruder, I shall not be of the type of rat’s bastard spawn, filled with insecurity of my own culture and skin, that I can’t critically assess those that helped to forge the stereotypes and shallow witticisms that plague the works of the aforementioned.

 

 

I tend to hold this view especially when applying my sword and monocle to period pieces. Especially period pieces written by Southern Whites born during the late 1800s (any hundreds really, but those really get the McNulty treatment). Such a piece is Dubose Heyward’s Porgy, which is the book that became the play that became the operetta, that became the wonderful and entertaining Broadway production my sister from another sex act entirely treated me and Brie to the past weekend. The production of the Broadway performance was superb in execution. David Alan Grier’s “Sportin’ Life” was vivid and captured the essence of the trickster beyond even the work it Self through his use of obvious stage contraptions that were not actual props(i.e., his constant leaning on stage scaffolding, a device that lesser skilled talents might abuse to the detriment of a convincing performance). The colorful clothing arrangements complemented the rich vocal assortment, which, like that blending of cast costumes, cascaded in a harmonizing that captured you from the opening act to the last. It truly was an event to behold. An experience worthy of all that vibratory magnetism that surrounds much of Broadway, and those works which come to represent it in real time.

 

Porgy and Bess, the Broadway musical, is the story of a crap game gone bad when a local drunken dope fiend, Crown, loses and kills the fader, Robbins. Without telling too much of the plot, although you should expect spoilers, Porgy, a crippled beggar gives the drunken dope fiend’s lady, Bess, a place to hide after she turns down the offers of the local dope dealer, “Sportin’ Life”. And although the production is awfully compelling, I couldn’t resist the urges of my analytic process when watching a musical rendition of a crap game of Afkan gentle folks acted in front of me in a sea of predominantly White ticket buyers. I immediately thought of Ice Cube’s “What They Hittin’ Foe?”(Amerikkka’s Most Wanted(1991)) and other Hip hop mentionables that have often gone under fire by the same class of Afkan that will most likely be defending the White Heyward and Jewish Gershwin. As an Afkan (Black) media analyst, it is has become an almost impossible task for me not to question the motives of why a particular cultural artifact, whether well meaning or not, actual or just practical for storytelling purposes, was used. This is especially the case for productions with cultural Afkan overtones and predominantly Afkan casts. I have a right to question anyone outside of the Afkan experience, I don’t care if your mother sucked fifty Afkan penises in the back of her father’s car while she grew up in an Afkan neighborhood; all Afkan can’t tell the Afkan story, why should it be so easy for those other than Afkan to do it?

 

 

It often needs to be thought about, who trained Afkan film writers, other Afkan film writers, or other than Afkan film writers? Was it not other than Afkan peoples that had their hands on the development of film first? Did the Afkan somehow fund a movie production to teach other than Afkan people how to write for film and film going audiences before other than Afkan people wrote for film and all other than Afkan audiences? Have I somehow confused you here? Do you need to read this all over? Please, I’ll wait right here…

 

Where did the mammy caricature originate? Although the depiction of women of an imaginary small Gullah village named, Catfish Row — symbolized in the Broadway performance by nine (my numerologists readers should have a field day with this play given its use of complete and incomplete notions {the play starts with a child’s birth} used throughout the scripting) planks of wood holding up the wooden set where the thespians performed– these women are very much styled as the mammy. In fact, all of the Afkan women in the play would easily fit into that type with the exception of Bess, played by a very alluring and just damn fine Audra McDonald, whose type is the whore, the loose and easily accessible licentious dark woman, or Jezebel/Sapphire, a caricature often associated with Afkan women. The male characters, although slightly more robust, still capture elements of the slave narratives as sold to European American audiences. We have the Buck exemplified by the drunken Crown. This savage rapist image that allowed for Ku Klux Klan memberships to swell, oh wait, that could have possibly allowed(yes, I’m moving my right hand closed around an open circular space in a jerking up and down motion), after the release of D.W. Griffith’s ‘Birth of a Nation’. Although the trickster image appears heavily in Gullah and Yoruba lore, in the character of Sportin’ Life it takes on the elements of “slickster”, not buffoonish in any manner, but the sophisticated fast talking caricature spoken of in J.A. Rodger’s “From Superman to Man”.

 

 

I do not in any right feel the need to be “fair” to a writer’s work who has direct descendants that not only owned slaves but apparently lived pretty well-off because of them, so I’ll write this out rightly, the women are shown as the unifying force of the story, very much like the mammy caricature is shown as the leader of the Afkan people. Whether objective reality supports this or not, and whether I support this or not, this is the continued message throughout the piece. We see a much respected Porgy being chastised by the women who will not give him his cane as a means of keeping him immobile to convince him towards their thinking. It is also the women that alienate Bess and instruct her not to seek Porgy for a rest haven. It is also the women that embrace her and invite her to the community picnic held on the island where she is left to be raped by Crown (a rape scene on the stage was very impacting given the level of groping by the actor Phillip Boykin). I was happy to see a media production where an Afkan man is seeking to not only commit to an Afkan woman, but also to defend her, sure. I’m also pleased to have seen a performance whereby a group of Afkan women that are married to Afkan men come together to defend an Afkan man. I’m also pleased to point out a production that points to the historical reality of the Gullah. I do believe I’ve been kind enough to this child of Afkan slave torturers.

 

It should noted here that Heyward wrote Porgy based on an actual Afkan that was considered to be a criminal. As an informally trained White writer whose family had fallen from grace after the Emancipation Proclamation and subsequent fall of the South, Heyward had been persuaded to write a piece about Afkans that would allow him to compete with the more sophisticate White writers in the community of writers that he belonged to. As stated before, I probably would have really liked this guy. But, I have to ask, if Heyward were an Afkan understanding how powerful imagery works in writing as well as how imagery transcends cultures, would he have gone with an Afkan story of a criminal and whore? It is a compelling story. Porgy and Bess is much more intricate than its critics have allowed it, and much more complex than Gershwin’s adaptation, replete with inconsistency after inconsistency, frames it. I do agree with Langston Hughes, Heyward was able to do what most of his White counterparts crafting the Afkan experience elegantly and poignantly. However, I still must wonder if he were forced by conscientious responsibility to pick a storyline, would it have been that of a crippled beggar forced to defend an Afkan drug addict from her murderous and rapist lover? Porgy, and its variation, Porgy and Bess, is an ugly tale. It is a very dark piece. Heyward’s ethnicity and his family’s background only makes the piece more dark for me.

 

Certain questions ought to be raised. Why is it when an Afkan portrays Afkan women as needy, drug addicted, and weaker than enamel dentures soaking in lemon juice, they are attacked for being born Tyler Perry? Yet, those descriptions were written with Porgy and Bess in mind. Has it become a part of our culture that only White Jewish males are allowed to go unquestioned with depictions of Afkan (Afrikan Amerikkkan) women in roles stereotypical or demeaning? Had Tyler Perry been the director of “Color Purple” instead of Steven Spielberg, would we have demanded the lynching party we usually rally together behind films that display women in no different manner than the Jewish film maker? We laugh when White women attempt to exhibit our styles, yet we let a White Jewish man tell us how our “Girlfriends” should act?

 

I don’t mind anyone doing whatever with media. I do have a problem when I can’t ask questions in the same country “Birth of a Nation” and “Colors” were filmed. I know what impact images can have on the lives of individuals and thus communities. Afkan pretend to endure for the sake of artistic value, and yet, the Anti-Defamation League would have their balls deep down Tyler Perry’s esophagus if he crossed the same lines we allow his Jewish counterparts to cross since the early 1900s in media. I am appreciative of classic works such as Porgy and Bess. I thought the imagery of an Afkan community coming together against White terrorism in the form of brutal and draconian police detectives was refreshing. But White Jewish liberals have always had a soft spot when it comes to violence in their exploitation; ask an NAACP member. However, I would ask anyone reading this to consider whatever facts and accurate insights or perspectives I provide with this piece.

 

I also don’t have any extra fucks to give with those that might label me filiopietistic here. As known, I am an Afkan loyalist and my works aren’t of the academic type constructed by intellectual cowards hiding behind objectivity for the sake of grants, loans, tenure, or appearances on some news anchor or political pundit’s couch positioned just so precisely for camera purposes. Excuse my existentialism, but every human is at war, and every collective formed due to warlike circumstances either of environment, animal, or other human collectives. Good writers don’t toss words on pages and make classic literature no matter how much Western theories of evolution might suggest such goofy notions. A lot of thought goes into a masterpiece, and a lot of impact occurs with collected thought. My job is to ask the questions that you don’t when thinkers hope you aren’t.

 

As always, thanks for reading this…