POME FOR DIONNE WARWICK ABOARD THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER U.S.S. ENTERPRISE
Askia Muhammed Touré"ENTERTAINING TROOPS"
Damn! . . . Baby, when I saw all that warmth,
that joy, that life
sucked in by the savage eyes of Beasts
raining "democratic' death upon the yellow world
of Vietnam, I almost cried.
YOU!--decked out in gaudy mod colors
mini-skirt riding high above regal honey thighs,
raped by the Dollar Juggernaut--"ENTERTAINING TROOPS!"
Black Princess chained upon the Modern Auction Block,
listen while the Auctioneer shouts above my rage:
IN! ! !"
from Natural Process, An Anthology of New Black Poetry, 1970
[This week's poem was chosen to honor Stevie Wonder for coming correct last week after a storm of protest greeted the announcement he would be performing at a benefit for the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces. Askia Muhammed Touré, activist and leading figure in the Black Arts Movement of the '60s, wrote his Pome toward the end of that decade, during the U.S. war on Vietnam. This latest victory for the nternational BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) campaign targeting the apartheid state of Israel shows again that not all the lessons of the '60s have been lost.]