Thursday, May 29, 2014

Why her jelly shook...Celebrating Buttzilla (1980-2014)

Dear Comrade Sekou:

Buttzilla Timbuktu (1980-2014)
I am quite afraid that while many Black people are uncontrollably distraught over the death of the Black poetess Maya Angelou they may overlook an equally significant recent passing of an African American artists and activist. Of course, I am talking about Buttzilla Timbuktu. She died last night in Crown Heights, apparently the victim of acute beef patty overdose. Let me share a little about why Buttzilla will be remembered as a giant of modern-day Black culture.

Buttzilla Timbuktu, born Neecy Jenkins in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, was always outstanding. At nine months of age, she already weighed 75 pounds. She was a very special student, skipping elementary and most of junior high school because there were no classroom seats to suit her. She dropped out of high school, but that did not discourage her hunger for attention, which she readily received wherever she went.

At 25, Buttzilla met Rev. Al Sharpton. She joined the National Action Network (NAN). Impressed with her outgoing personality and her way of attracting men to the organization, Rev. Sharpton appointed her the head of the Irvington, New Jersey chapter of NAN. She remained as chairperson for three years until the chapter was converted to a slot machine hall. But she continued her political pilgrim's progress by developing an insatiable appetite for bean pies. One night, during a bean pie eating binge, Neecy Jenkins found her true African American National Identity and adopted the name Buttzilla Timbuktu, in honor of the Motherland and her wholesome pastries.

One afternoon, while shopping for bathroom tissue at the Atlantic Terminal Pathmark, Butzilla was discovered by the famed artistic producer Fart Pappy Corncob. That is when her career as a pioneering Black cultural icon began. She quickly found herself garnering leading roles in numerous novelty rap videos. She was best known for her twerking performance in Dimwit Green Teeth's groundbreaking film RUBBER BOOTY. But her star really took to the heavens through her appearance in Hoghead Toejam's three-hour epic BITCH, 'HO, MUTHAFUKIN, BITCH, 'HO. Of that performance, the New York Times critics raged, "Vulgar. Loud. Stupid..." The New York Post added, "Broadway bound!..." And the New York Amsterdam News continued, "Butzilla Timbuktu is a Revolutionary Black genius whom we hope will never forget our enthusiastic praise by remembering to buy advertising in the Black press."

Visionary cultural leader
Butzilla, after conquering the screen, turned to literature. She became a poet. Her inspiring collection of blank verse, I KNOW WHY MY JELLY SHAKES, became an instant sensation, selling hundreds of copies on curbside book tables across Brooklyn. In the book, she proudly explains:

My jelly shakes,
freely willed,
loose and obscene,
and lusted in the 'hood,
by homeys up to no-good.
And on the subway,
my jelly shakes,
shakes on me good...

Buttzilla Timbuktu enjoyed a large and loyal following among young and morbidly obese Black women. They saw her as a political and cultural role model. Said Sheneekwa Mathis, president of the Buttzilla Timbuktu Literary Circle, upon hearing of her idol's demise today, "When Buttzilla arrived at our meetings the room shook and swayed. It was emotion and basic physics. She left a trail of busted sofas across the Tri-State region. We will miss her. But we can all take comfort in knowing that we can all be like Buttzilla. And we probably will."

So, please, Comrade Sekou, don't let the TV and the politicians slight or ignore our sister Buttzilla's contribution to the community. And don't listen to Comrade William either. He just doesn't like Black women. Let us celebrate the legacy of Sister Buttzilla Timbuktu.


Mofarrakhana Jackson

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou: Even the lame go unspared

By Sekou OSEI and William PLEASANT

Maya Angelou (1928-2014)

"Generally Speaking, Negro writing in the past has been confined to humble novels, poems 
and plays, prim and decorous ambassadors...

Richard Wright

The Negro writer who seeks to function within  his race as a purposeful agent has serious responsibility. In order to do justice to his subject 
matter, in order to depict Negro life in all of its manifold and intricate relationships, a deep, 
informed, and complex consciousness is necessary; a consciousness which draws for its 
strength upon the fluid lore of a great people, and moulds this lore with the concepts that 
move and direct the forces of history today"

(Richard Wright, Blueprint of Negro Writing--1938)    

It must be said that one of the  political struggles that must be waged is around the question of aesthetics and art. But this struggle must be tied to material and political goals, or it will collapse--as it has done before--into commercialized symbolism or worst. A truism says that "time" catches all of us, even the "lame." Maya Angelou just left the world in death as everyone will do at some point. And now, Afrocentric, middles class Negroes will come up with something to celebrate; to rationalize her years of formally silly tropes, her sentimental Black petit-bourgeois narcissism as "art." 

Her's was a poetry of personal grandstanding. While there may be those who argue that she was once "left," but so was Gus Hall of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), who spent his time reading the "winds of change" rather than the impotence of the disorganized and mis-organized US working class. Bob Avakian was "left," too. Exploring the crannies of his navel, he prophesied a spontaneous revolutionary storm with the regularity of December 25th and the infantile breathlessness of Santa worship. While neither Hall nor Avakian pretended to be artists or poets, they, nonetheless, had a lot in common with Maya Angelou. They all wallowed in sterile performances as social insight and political prescription. Angelou, like them, substituted vulgar symbolism and metaphorical extrapolation for anything even approaching a material understanding (or expression) of the imperative historical task at hand for the ascending class in this country or elsewhere. In the end, Maya Angelou merely demonstrated an artistic and political propensity to celebrate the color of the clock while intentionally mis-appreciating the critical nature of the TIMES.

Again, many will insist that Maya Angelou was a communist, even a radical fellow traveler who was once investigated by the witch hunting House Un-American Committee (HUAC), but that only demonstrates that the US Left lacked and lacks any political/artistic standard to determine who it chooses to embrace other than the declarations and denunciations of the STATE.

Malcolm X and Angelou in Ghana

On the black hand side, other pundits would style Angelou as a distinguished Nationalist. After all, she did welcome Malcolm X to Ghana. But that was long ago, in a galaxy far away with regards to WHAT NEEDS TO BE LEARNED AND DONE NOW to staunch the fascistic consumption of our people in America and in the so-called Motherland. The truth of the matter is that, like Malcolm X, Angelou was at best a guest of a faltering neo-colonial regime. And her presence in Ghana, like that of Malcolm X and other Black expatriates at the time, failed to advance the cause of Pan Africanism or the Black Liberation Project one centimeter.

Was Maya Angelou a kindly, elderly lady? Probably. Did she throw what political and cultural clout that she had at the time behind the Supreme Court nomination of the arch neo-fascist negrophobe Clarence Thomas? Indeed! Was she Bill Clinton's poetic jester? Most certainly!

Clarence Thomas, the scum of the earth.

Was Maya Angelou an inspirational figure to many Black writers, particularly female writers? Yes.
After all, what literary artist would shun fame and a steady paycheck and fail to worship those who strived for such blessings'?

But Maya Angelou was no Phyllis Wheatley, who elegantly pleaded her very humanity to a vicious American slavocracy. Maya Angelou was no Sojourner Truth, who could shout down the fortress of white supremacy and sexism  with but a breath. Maya Angelou was no Zora Neal Hurston, who could sensuously weave in words a people's tapestry of suffering and struggle.

Phyllis Wheatley
Sojourner Truth

Zora Neal Hurston

Maya Angelou must be appreciated as a victim and beneficiary of her time. Like many members of the contemporary negro-ratti, particularly the female variety, she found her niche in the cultural toy boxes of white liberals. In death, she joins the pantheon of NEO-MAMMY DOLLS, tearjerkers and pacifiers, that crowd America's bookshelves, for the benefit of retail exploitation and nothing more.

Just leave it at that.


Thursday, May 22, 2014


By Sekou OSEI

Dedicated to our contemporary Black journalistic concession:
Or  they observe nothing and celebrate everything.

Old African
 black man with characterful face Stock Photo - 9425796 

              As men
                            at once blue
                                                           the eyes of
lit match

           As we ride buses
                                     to be working

           As on point
                             of cowardly
                                  of image
           of righteous
           under the corporate
                                                 a “Buckwheat” democracy
                                                                                       the eyes of
            As NEGROS
                            drink their
            Dancing to


As huge Gorillas
                   snarl and growl
                                 outrageous teeth
                                                    beat their
                                                    Black leather
                   in a silent movies,
                                         that quickly becomes
                                                                                         switched on
                    only to
                                                                   of lets

            As centrists
                               teaching journalism
                               of celebration
                                                   of lets
                                                             Becoming soaked
                                                                                       the rain is not falling.
           As an East African
                                                 Blacks of the West,
                                                                          the need to sensationalize
                                                                                               Black trivia
                                                                                               As militancy.

Just Do it !

           While, the not so
           secret to be foretold
                                 the rationality
                                  of the psychopaths
                                                         in power,
           Of colorful Negros
           wearing a color
                     with their isolated
                                    the eyes

          So with the
                       grand fake gold earrings
                       over weight Black
                        of three hundred pounds of beads
                                 on their
                                                       to affect
                        the mirror shadows
                                   only to be seen
                                    as an empty
                                                       paper cup
                                          of Marcus Garvey
                 As this grand mammal
                 before the projector
                 As these centrists
                                 host stages
                      who argue
                                  the question
                                                   of race
                                                                   the fight
                       Who claim
                                          to fame
                                                            to be a forced concubine and harlot
                        to a Saudi princeling of US money
                                                                          a Pakistani restaurant called
                                                                          ISI to fight Moscow in Kabul.   

                       While the editors
                                                                       to celebrate,
                        through long hours
                                                  of multi-tasking
                                                  phone tag
                                                  and multi-tasking
                                                         head games
                                                         of empty
                      Whose media
                                has no role
                                of giving informred presence
                                for Black people are good for symbolic
                                                           FEEL GOOD
                                                           never to be informed
                                                           of how to wage their struggle.
                                 Because, they don't need to rock
                                                                            the boat
                                                                            of a
Barack Obama made numerous promises when he ran for president. He ...

          As history unplugged
                                this film projector
                                                  of this snarling gorilla.
         As Black mothers
                                  of Texas
         Become members
                                  of silent movies
                                        as state-run social services kidnapped their children
                                                with the silence
                                                                       of make-believe
                                                                       Black newspapers,
                            Who don't produce
                                                                 who  men
                                                                                once stared at once blue skies,
                                                                                looking for insight,
                               only to see the inadequate
                                                                           of pedophiles
                                                                           in sport showers
                                                                           of Pennsylvania,
                                       were wordless
                                                       about sportsmen
                                                                                           of the Bronx
                                                                                                    for months. 
                                For these celluloid gorillas
                                                                   lack the vision
                                                                                     of relevance
                                    who pretend to be journalists
                                    never understood that there was
                                    a duty to throw a light on
                                    the state of affairs of the people and their
                                    There is the plight of
                                                                          because their vision is plugged into a 
                                                                           projector of convenience.
                                                                           Because of their tie to machine
                                                                           of empty images,
                                                                                    they observe nothing
                                                                                     celebrate everything.

                  For image gorillas, its easy to pledge criticism,
                                                            but harder to be critical.
                                                            For these gorillas, only ask us to
                                                             but never to think.
                  Perhaps history will
                              show we must unplug
                                                    the projector to relevance.....