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*A Poem for the Black Lives Matter Movement

For black men and women, these are no ordinary things:
A broken taillight, cigarette, cell phone, a spoon,
pocket knife, hoodies in 85 degree heat, skittles, a toy
sword, a toy gun in a children’s park, a toy rifle in a store

that sells toy rifles, a black wallet — and most lethal of all,
your black body. And driving with a four year old in the back
seat, your love in the front seat does not draw the picture
of a family going out to dinner, or coming home

after visiting grandparents, or just out for a drive to rock
your child to sleep. Running, jogging, or even just sitting
are no casual events. When the siren calls each ordinary
thing turns into chance, life or death waiting.

 

**********

About the Author:

Mukoma-wa-NgugiMukoma Wa Ngugi is an Assistant Professor of English at Cornell University and the author of the novels Mrs. Shaw,Black Star Nairobi, Nairobi Heat, and a book of poetry, Hurling Words at Consciousness. Logotherapy (poetry) is forthcoming. He is the co-founder of the Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature and co-director of the Global South Project – Cornell.   In 2015 he will be a juror for the Writivism Short Story Prize and the prestigious Neustadt International Prize for Literature.  He is currently working on a book tentatively titled The Rise of the African Novel and the English Metaphysical Empire: Language, Politics and Identity that looks at the African literary tradition.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

6 Responses to “No Ordinary Things | Mukoma Wa Ngugi | Poetry” Subscribe

  1. Gathoni wa Wairura July 8, 2016 at 5:53 pm #

    Thank you bwana Mukoma wa Ngugi, for this poem so beautifully put together for such a sad reality. I pray for the day that a black man will not have to be deemed guilty until proven innocent, heck! he doesn’t even get a chance to prove his innocence. #blacklivesmatter

  2. India July 19, 2016 at 3:48 am #

    Thanks for the insihgt. It brings light into the dark!

  3. nhlanhla July 27, 2016 at 7:07 am #

    well summarised,we ought not to forget our beloved brothers.

  4. Chiamaka August 5, 2016 at 4:06 pm #

    “-and most lethal of all, your black body.” That hit me hard. Well written!

  5. http://www./ November 3, 2016 at 6:12 pm #

    She is from what I have seen today. That all can change depending on what objectib ebidence comes out. I also saw Rene Stutzman retweet the parody video of Crump, DLR, Natalie, and Corey. Natalie did not like it, especially the name of the video (Scheme Team).

  6. fifa 12 ultimate team coins hack February 24, 2017 at 12:26 pm #

    i like to think that a crappy training run = a good race day! i tell myself that i’ve slogged through my share of crappy runs and now it’s time to have a great one on race day.those do sound like good explanations, but don’t get too caught up in overanalyzing it. relax, rest up and get ready for a great race!

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