What is so ironic about the whole ordeal is that he attacked you for writing about how the Bush

 administration and other countries knew about the events that were going to take place on

the World Trade Center long in advance, and then he turns around and interviews other people

who are against the war in Iraq, and thus Bush. None of which makes anyone un-patriotic.

101 Ways Black Women Can Learn to Love Themselves

A Gift for Women of All Ages

By Jamie Walker

Finally everything a woman need’s is in one book!”—Lanette Everett, Business Counselor

*   *   *   *   *

Letter to Amiri

from Jamie Walker

 Amiri, I was absolutely outraged watching O’Reilly tonight on the show. Although I applaud your efforts in responding honestly to his questions, in giving him pure Common Sense, I couldn’t help but  think how much of an asshole he was and how rude he was. He didn’t even let you finish speaking; it was obvious he didn’t really know ‘who’ you were; never read an Amiri Baraka book in his entire life and then took one of your most famous poems and tried to distort it. It’s clear he knows nothing about the Black Arts movement, the significance of the poem that helped to fuel the movement, or in what way the poem was a manifestation of the Black Aesthetic.

What an idiot  he was! And I noticed you kept saying, “Why you keep talking about my poems from the 60s.” It’s obvious that he also didn’t pull the material himself. How very limited. What the show proved was that he knows nothing about poetry, has not read any poetry (and really none of yours or that of the Black Arts movement), which therefore makes him illiterate. Even a 7th grade English teacher knows the meaning behind that poem; and I am talking about white people and white instructors too.

It’s clear and absolutely obvious who his supporters and funders are (other bigots) and that he must have had a lot of support in actually going ‘against’ you on the show. What nonsense! I thought and hoped you wouldn’t shake his hand but thought it only decent that you did, and really do commend you for standing your ground.

What is so ironic about the whole ordeal is that he attacked you for writing about how the Bush administration and other countries knew about the events that were going to take place on the World Trade Center long in advance, and then he turns around and interviews other people who are against the war in Iraq, and thus Bush. None of which makes anyone un-patriotic.

I think he was rude and inconsiderate and clearly did not do his homework. Do any of them? I just wanted to let you know that I watched and taped the show. And those brothers and sisters who ain’t got cable are emailing me now, talking about “How can I get a copy?” (laughing out loud) I am broke as hell, too! No, really. Rudolph Lewis who is the creator of the ChickenBones Journal website at http://www.nathanielturner.com would like to know how he could get a copy of the transcript as well. You deserve a long in-depth interview with someone who really knows and understands your work and your contributions. Have any black media tv personalities had you on TV yet about the poem? Why haven’t any black magazines did cover stories on you? Black Issues Book Review hasn’t done anything —  Essence, Ebony, any of them. You should really be on the cover. This is news. It affects not only us, but absolutely everyone. Anyone who is human that has some sense; and it affects those who ain’t got no sense as well because as a result they continue to remain ignorant and unconscious. This country is sickening. The Bush administration is sickening. I am glad you have the guts and the skills to write about it and to critique and deconstruct it all honestly. I salute you! And the Ancestors from the Heavens do as well. Peace and Light, Baraka. POET-ON!!!! 🙂 THEY BETTER PAY UP!!! PUT THE MONEY AND THE HEART WHERE IT IS DUE SO THAT YOU CAN CONTINUE TO TEACH, SPEAK, AND SPREAD YOUR PEACE ALL OVER THIS LAND. I am sending you love and light. Peace and Light, Jamie Walker, Author101 Ways Black Women Can Learn to Love Themselveshttp://www.jamiewalker.org P.S. All of the  above is  unedited. I am sending as it is. 🙂 These are my feelings, straight up. Thanks for being such an inspiration to me and my generation and those in the world over for so many years. I love you. Give my love also to Amina and Ras. 🙂

In praise and support of Amiri Baraka

By Jamie Walker

Especially loved and enjoyed and appreciated yr write-up. Thank you. I was patiently waiting a response from you and knew that it would eventually come, even though so much nonsense is going on around you (or trying to). I am glad that you are not letting this get to you. You deserve very much the award that you have received and, if it were up to me, you would have received it (and many more) long ago. I especially liked this prophetic line: “Well if being anti democratic were a good rationalization for foreign invasions of countries then the United States better watch out because the Florida coup, which tricked the American people into accepting Bush as President is anything but democratic.” I also appreciate this too because I and millions of others I am sure feel the exact same way. I have been stressing this since day one: “And as for Saddam having “weapons of mass destruction” (or mass diversion as some critics say) The US has these weapons. So do Israel, South Africa, Germany, France, Italy, England, Russia, and now China, India, Pakistan. How is it the US and its allies (except the Chinese) can have such weapons, but no one else can. The answer to that, of course, is White Supremacy and Imperialism.” I’m sending you Peace and Light. Absolutely excellent, well written speech, drawing upon years of study, knowledge, research, common sense, and, above all, Truth! Continue to write and publish, Baraka. POET-ON. Neither McGreevey, the ADL, Asscraft, nor the ‘counterfeit president,’ has got anything on you. They can’t touch yr Beauty or yr Truth. In fact, it is because of yr Beauty (yr words, yr poems, and yr Truth) that they fear you because you, like many of our ancient African ancestors have the power and potential to move and lead millions; to cause us to re-think and especially to “act”; you speak directly to the spiritual and cultural needs of Black people (the masses, displaced throughout the Diaspora) and this, of course, is a threat to capitalist and colonialist/Imperialist forces. But let not that stop a great poet from poeting, speaking, breathing, living, or spreading the Truth. POET-ON, Baraka. POET-ON. Your words ring loud and true and clear, and it is well nigh past time that colonizing Others got hip. As Sonia Sanchez once noted in a class that I was taking with her this past Fall at Howard University: “This is not a time for foolish talk. This is a time for silence. We must think before we speak. Meditate. Contemplate. Focus on our ‘inner.’ Who we really are. And what this world is really about, finally. Because the enemy is not the Arabs. The enemy is always the subtext, which is you….It’s up to the poets to give the terrorists new names. Because you know they surely would have called Harriet Tubman a terrorist. And really, one of the first terrorist attacks occurred right here, in this country, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when they bombed ‘Black Wall Street’…” Was not the bombing of MOVE in Philadelphia a terrorist attack? It is true, Baraka, as Sonia often mentions, we must “maintain this earth.” We must continue to write our poetry and negotiate peace. Just know that we, yr people, who are, in truth, a baddDDD people, are here with you, praising and celebrating every last word. A luta continua,Jamie Walker, Author  🙂 101 Ways Black Women Can Learn to Love Themselves: A Gift for Women of All Ages

posted 4 October 2002   2:15am

update 14 January 2012