My husband and I lived in our first house for nearly a decade. In October 2019, we moved into our current house, which is four streets over from our first house. The first piece of mail delivered to my current home was this book. Months later, 2020 arrived, and with it came the COVID-19 pandemic. You would have thought I would have read this book during the pandemic. All I can say is see the meme below and offer up apologies.
Why would I offer apologies? For starters, I know the author Khari B., the Discopoet. When I attended Purdue University, I joined Haraka Writers, a spoken word performing group. He was our instructor. He helped each writer craft poetry and say it in a way that the performed words would resonate with the audience.
Since I am his friend online, I was able to see some of the haiku he wrote and posted before this book was published. Based on that alone, I knew this book would be fire, and it was. This book was the one I read during my Thanksgiving break. As I was smashing some good Thanksgiving sides like dressing, sweet potatoes, and mac and cheese, I was enjoying a satisfying journey into seeing our society from multiple viewpoints.
The book begins with a timeline to set the tone for the book. The rest of the book includes haiku on different topics. Haiku is a Japanese poem with 17 syllables where the first and third line has five syllables and the second line has seven.
Khari B. left no stone unturned when he addressed the Black community. He covered topics like religion, revolution, police murdering Black people, politics, integration, gentrification, and Black people who strive to be closer to whiteness. He also lifted up Black people who achieved in spite of snares in this society.
Each 17 syllable poem packed a punch. Khari B. is known for his mix of standard English and text message language. Don’t let that style deter you from learning the lessons he is sharing in this book.
Below, I have included two of my favorite haiku from the book.
Our Black lives matter
Not over anyone else
Not under either
Children of the Sun
continue 2 since brightly
Hate can’t dim our glow
If you are ready to laugh, cry, and get angry, read this book. When you put the book down, get up and do something to make this society better.
- The plural form of haiku is haiku.
- Ra is an ancient Egyptian sun god