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YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL

Posted by Ras Danny 
YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 03:37PM
By DAVID ANDREATTA Education Reporter, NY Post
March 13, 2006

A 7-year-old prodigy unleashed a firestorm when she recited a poem she wrote comparing Christopher Columbus and Charles Darwin to "pirates" and "vampires" who robbed blacks of their identities and human rights.
Hundreds of parents of Peekskill middle- and high-school students received a recorded phone message last week apologizing for little Autum Ashante's poem, titled "White Nationalism Put U in Bondage."



"Black lands taken from your hands, by vampires with no remorse," the aspiring actress and poet wrote. "They took the gold, the wisdom and all the storytellers. They took the black women, with the black man weak. Made to watch as they changed the paradigm of our village.

"Yeah white nationalism is what put you in bondage. Pirates and vampires like Columbus, Morgan and Darwin."

Autum was invited to speak at the Westchester schools on Feb. 28 by Melvin Bolden, a music teacher at the middle school who advises the high school's Black Culture Club and is a member of the Peekskill City Council.

Autum, whose résumé includes several television appearances and performances at the Apollo Theater and the African Burial Ground in Manhattan, told The Post that her poem was meant to instill pride in black students and to encourage them to steer clear of violence.

"I don't think there's anything wrong with my poem. I was trying to tell them the straight-up truth," Autum said. "I'm trying to tell them not to fight because they're killing the brothers and sisters."


Autum, who is home-schooled in Mount Vernon and speaks several languages, prefaced her performance at the high school with a Black Panthers' pledge asking black youngsters to not harm one another.

It did not sit well with parents.

In a telephone interview with The Post, Bolden said Autum has been "unofficially" banned from performing in a district school again and that school officials would review transcripts of future speakers.

"It's unfortunate, because some teachers said they wanted this little girl to explain the things she said to their students, but some parents don't want her on school grounds," Bolden said.

"[The poem] might have been a little too aggressive for what the middle-school kids are ready to handle," Bolden added.

Kimberly Greene, a mother of children in the high school and middle school, said she was shocked when she got the recorded phone message.

"If there are people who are upset about what she said, the schools should have talked about and analyzed it rather than send a message to everyone saying this little girl was offensive," Greene said.

Autum's father, Batin Ashante, said he can't believe the fuss over his daughter's poem.

"She's a little girl who does poetry about real things. She doesn't do poetry about cotton candy," Ashante said. "She's a serious little person."

david.andreatta@nypost.com



--
blessid love
ras danny
higher reasoning reggae time
KBOO Portland, Full Strength Community Radio
*Love is a net that catches hearts like fish.*
-Muhammad Ali
*I don't like reggae, I love it*
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 04:02PM
the future is not so dim after all.
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 04:14PM
The words that come to my mind when thinking of the people of Westchester's reaction is a little like what Jack Nicholson said "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH"....

Of course my little cynical mind looks at a word like "paradigm" coming out of a seven year old and makes me wonder if she wrote the poem. I am no age expert, but how many 7 year olds even know what that word means, let alone know how to use it intelligently in a sentence....?
papa ray
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 04:16PM
I'll try to count how many rightwing/white-wing pundits try to make a column
or two off the young poetess. Which, of course, can't hurt her noteriety
and public profile.

Actually, my own esthetic yearnings(since, oh, I guess 3 months before we invaded Iraq) has leaned toward the minstrely tradition, only w/ the participants donning
white-face for our frolics....so far, those St Louis musicians I've approached about
starring in this concept have all expressed concerns one might sum up as ' Look,
I've got to live in this town!', or something to that effect.

In a nation where more than twice as many people voted for American Idol
participants as did in the 2004 election, What Is Bad Taste??
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 04:55PM
My thoughts exactly Daniel. Even when the message is true should this father be using a seven year old as his mouthpiece? My eight year old niece also writes poetry and is considered "genius" IQ but she still parrots all her father's views, especially politically. Too bad the schools and other parents won't take a more serious look at the message though.
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 05:00PM
Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings...and a child shall lead us. Yes I.

---------------------------------------

Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 05:03PM
Papa Ray, STL definately ain't ready for that one yet!
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 05:05PM
J_72,
WHAT MIR SONG IS THIS FROM?

No time to relax...got to give all we've got. -MIR
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 05:06PM
racism is racism.
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 05:07PM
heed the message....
BG
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 05:11PM
"racism is racism"?????
please elaborate.
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 05:18PM
Roots_ee, 'Iration" on the Roots Controller album... "nothin nothin will make I stop...for we risin, we risin, we risin...risin to the top...no time to relax, got to give it all we got."

Nice Shaka rhythm on that one.

--------------------------------

Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 05:28PM
bg - reverse the scenario.....a 7 year old white boy writes a poem condemning all the crime committed by black people. now what do you think would happen. and what would the response be on this board?? how about when she asked the audience to stand before reciting the black panther pledge to not harm each other, and then told the white folk to sit down and not participate??
now get it right, i am not condoning the treatment (past or present) of blacks (or any minority) by the ruling white power structure. what i am saying is that only by working together will change come.
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 05:46PM
yes j_72, yes iyah, nuff respescx...
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 05:51PM
Dirtweed. Where do you get the idea of her telling white folks to sit down and not participate? I ain't seeing that in the original post.

And if history were different, and it was black people who had a long history of opressing and committing violence against white people, I would have no problem with "reversing the scenario". As Autum said "I was trying to tell them the straight-up truth". And from where I sit, the "straight-up truth" is that white people DID take land (and much more) from black people, and they did it "WITH NO REMORSE".
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 05:53PM
Truth daniel & dirtweed...I detect strings being pulled in the wings...
papa ray I wasn't aware of those very frightening stats...but I don't follow the socalled 'reality' shows...
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 05:57PM
Daniel, here's another article from townhall.com:

Autum's performance also included commanding white students to remain seated as she led black students in a recitation of the "Black Child's Pledge," by Black Panther Shirley Williams, which reads in part:

I pledge allegiance to my Black People.

I pledge to develop my mind and body to the greatest extent possible.

I will learn all that I can in order to give my best to my People in their struggle for liberation.

. . . I will discipline myself to direct my energies thoughtfully and constructively rather than wasting them in idle hatred.

I will train myself never to hurt or allow others to harm my Black brothers and sisters . . .

These principles I pledge to practice daily and to teach them to others in order to unite my People.

Complaints from shocked students and parents led to a tape-recorded apology sent to all parents apologizing for the performance. Autum's father condemned white district officials as "racist crackers." Autum defended her poem by explaining to the Westchester Journal News that white people are "devils and they should be gone. We should be away from them and still be in Africa."

And make note of this: The official who invited Autum to speak, Melvin Bolden, is a public school music teacher, Peekskill councilman and producer of her first spoken word album.
BG
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 05:58PM
more people vote for american idol participants than the last 10 presidential elections...and it happens every tuesday night! sick sick sick sickness.
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 06:01PM
"racist crackers" "white people are devils"?

Morgan, Colombus, and Darwin are specific criticisms but these types of statements just make one look stupid, foolish and yes, RACIST!
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 06:03PM
go on-line daniel and get the whole story.
[www.abcnews.go.com]

it is the "us vs them" mentality that bothers me here. do black folk think that by castigating and shunning whitey they can attain their goals, unless their goal is to castigate and shun whitey.
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 06:09PM
for a 7 year youth who can speak "several languages..." I don't think "paradigm" is to big a word to know or use... and having a very close (black) bredrin who home-schools all of his EIGHT, er... gonna be NINE children soon come, I see evidence to mek I know it is way within her ability to overstand such a word AND many more like it...



--
blessid love
ras danny
higher reasoning reggae time
KBOO Portland, Full Strength Community Radio
*Love is a net that catches hearts like fish.*
-Muhammad Ali
*I don't like reggae, I love it*
BG
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 06:10PM
WELL POPS seems a little off the hinges,
but his daughter isnt all that far off base with her poem.
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 06:14PM
Whoa-A Natty congo
A Dreadlock Congo I
Whoa-A Natty congo,
A Blackman Redemption

Woe-Yo Ye, ye, a Blackman Redemption Woe yoe,
No need, no need to get jumpy
No need, and a no need to get bumpy
And a no need, and a no need to get bumpy
No need, need, need to get jumpy

Youth and youth agree to, cool runnings
Can you dig it, cool runnings yeah, one more time
A beg ya, cool runnings, can you stop it
Cool runnings, spread out, spread out, spread out
Spread out, look out

Tell you about the Blackman Redemption
Can you dig it, Oh yeah
A Blackman Redemption, can you stop it
Oh! no, Oh! no, Oh! no

Coming from the root of King David
Through the line of Solomon
His Imperial Majesty is the Power of Authority
Spread out, spread out, spread out, spread out
Spread out, spread out

No need, no need, no need to get jumpy
And a no need, and a no need to walk away
Let me tell bout ya
Cool runnings, can you dig it, cool runnings
It's one more time we want it
Cool runnings, cool runnings, spread out
Spread out, spread out, spread out, spread out

It's just a Blackman Redemption
Can you dig it, Woe-Yoe
Blackman Redemption, can you stop it, Oh! no Oh! no.

-Robert Nesta Marley

---------------------------------------------



Post Edited (03-20-06 10:14)
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 06:18PM
"a little off the hinges"? Does this father ever let his SEVEN yr.old relax and be a kid? Here's her resume from:

[autumashante.exploretalent.com]
Film:
HOT COP - LEAD
MIA - LEAD
THE HEIGHTS- SUPPORTING CAST

Television:
STEVE HARVEY SHOW
ELLEN
GOOD DAY NEW YORK
BET - SOS - HURRICANE KATRINA TELETHONE
NICK
TRL
STARS
AMETUR NIGHT - APOLLO
SHOWTIME - APOLLO


Theater:
SWEET BACK BEAT
NATIVITY NOW
TORTOSE AND THE EAGLE
THE MAN WHO NEVER STOPPED LAUGHING

Modeling:
F.I.T
PARSONS SCHOOL OF DESIGN
FASHION ART EXCHANGE
PHAT FARM
J-LO
PUMA KIDS


Training:
COLLEGE PREP CITY COLLEGE
HARLEM SCHOOL OF THE ARTS - ALL OF THE LISTED ABOVE

Special Skills:
POETRY
WRITING
DANCE -MODERN - JAZZ
SINGER
ACTRESS
PERFORMER

Surely some of these film production companies and corporations are run by crackers? Nickleodean and TRL are you serious? Which part of this corrupt culture is this guy claiming to resist?
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 06:23PM
Good for her for speaking her mind...
BG
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 06:23PM
i wish they'd use SALTINES instead.
hey, i dont expect it to be any different than an "US vs. THEM" attitude, especially when the "usses" haved been trampled by the "THEMS" for so so so so long and without mercy.
i witnessed it on friday after work again, dealing with a breddrin and helping him move from a racist apt. complex where he had been singled out by the manager for no other reason than the fact thaT he was BLACK RASTAMAN. The white manager refused to give him his deposit back because "he had violated the complex rules when he allowed Hurricane Katrina refugees stay there for 10 days," thereby ensuring that he would not get back his deposit!!!

blooooooood claaaaaaaaaaaaaat fassyhole saltine yes!
cho.
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 06:32PM
Racism is wrong. So is using your children to fulfill your ambition. Watch the video at the ABC site and tell me this CHILD hasn't been coached. She's worried about what this will do to her CAREER?!!!
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 06:36PM
<<Good for her for speaking her parents' mind...>>

There, fixed that for you...
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 06:36PM
yes I! Stamina!
papa ray
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 06:48PM
Brothers and Sisters on this board, and to all of us who's 'white' :

In my years of pursuing musical paths and occasional truths,
it has been my experience to watch the dynamic in this nation of black folks
calling white folks on the carpet. Many of us who are on this path have perhaps
directly & indirectly been questioned/suspicioned/dismissed by those who
are black as to our motives and ends. Long ago I learned a good lesson:
DON'T TAKE IT PERSONAL EVERY TIME. And try to have the humor about
runnin's that an objective view can give you; even when venom is directed your way directly it so often really has nothing- to- do- with- you. Just the moment
and the timing. Objectivity will grant you understanding as why someone
is questioning your sincerity or intentions. I found out long ago it's better just to do you works and go on thru.

It is a dynamic of human nature we see regarding this precocious young lady,
from those who are appalled to those who think she's the best thing sinced sliced bread. Well, personally I'd lay some upfull music on her and the dad and say
'call me in the morning if it's not better'.

Saturday night I ran into a gentleman I had not seen since 2000(at least), and of course we both are getting on in years. At one time, he voiced his suspicions and dis-like of me being involved in promoting reggae(this must be 24 years ago), going so far once as saying something to the effect that I was running a plantation(I guess the proof of that was my booking shows here in town). 24 years later, when he comes up after so long, my greeting was a sincere warm smile and hug....I'm not telling this to make any point except we are all humans
who turn and change in this life. And going through life may find you standing
in unity with those who at one time denounced or dismissed you, working for
the same outcome.

As Curtis Mayfield once said,
'it's not about simply to win,
try to shake a hand and make a friend'. Yes.
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 06:55PM
There's good reason to call the man "Papa". Give Thanks Elder.
BG
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 07:01PM
yup, i agree totally papa ray....having overstanding of where the next person is coming from will get you farther, everytime, than putting up resistance based on whether or not it's right or wrong. good words Papa ray.
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 07:07PM
I will certainly shake ya hand next time we meet Papa Ray, blessid wisdom ya spread, Iyah!



--
blessid love
ras danny
higher reasoning reggae time
KBOO Portland, Full Strength Community Radio
*Love is a net that catches hearts like fish.*
-Muhammad Ali
*I don't like reggae, I love it*
buttah...
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 07:11PM
Yeah...i don't think she should have gone about it the way she did--in asking them to seperate themselves like that...unification gone out the window.
oh and can i be nit picky & say i don't like how her name is spelled?
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 08:55PM
it is called 'free sppech'
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 08:56PM
perhaps its a reference to KMT ie. Autum-Ra . . .rather than a reference to the season Autumn?
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 09:46PM
Daniel wrote:

> Of course my little cynical mind looks at a word like
> "paradigm" coming out of a seven year old and makes me wonder
> if she wrote the poem. I am no age expert, but how many 7 year
> olds even know what that word means, let alone know how to use
> it intelligently in a sentence....?

The obvious answer is not many. However, note that she is described as a "prodigy", which most 7-year-olds are not. She also speaks several languages, so I would venture to guess that this 7-year-old possesses a vocabulary that does not fit the typical 7-year-old paradigm.

Peace,
-RV
riffy
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 20, 2006 11:11PM
Why is so arduous to cast a vote in an election where our leaders are being chosen?

Babylon shitstem days are numbered
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 21, 2006 02:07AM
While I think people should be saying things like what were said in her poem, I can't condone incouraging separation of any kind. Separation breeds misunderstanding and misunderstanding ends up in wars. We should be speaking out against all oprresors, whether it be whites oppressing blacks, chinese oppressing tibetians, or any other oppressors in the world.Calling an enitre race devils is racism.
garden of delights
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 21, 2006 03:16AM
The thing is I don't think you can really say that white racism and Black "racism", if you call it that is equivalent. It's like this- say you had a family member who abused you mentally and physically and you grew to hate them (eventhough that is not a healthy response)-you grew to dislike them because of what they've done to you not who they were or what they looked like. With white racism I think it's different. Many whites haven't even had any personal experience with black people, yet don't like them. The reasons may be that they think Black are ignorant or inferior. That to me is "pure" racism. Black racism is based on actual and severe negative experiences over several generations. The more you learn about history the angrier you may become, and it's a task for many to come to some inner peace with this situation and experience. It's painful and you may need to really draw upon spirituality to get through. But no, coming to the conclusion that whites are devils is not the right way..
garden of delights
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 21, 2006 03:36AM
One big problem is that white Americans are not ready to let go of the notion that we were always an innocent and basically fair nation. Apologizing for slavery is even a big no no-lol ( not that it would change people's hearts,but you'd think it wouldn't be controversial) Most white Americans are very far form acknowledging white privelige. I though this would be a good place to post this excerpt
by Peggy Mcintosh
.............................................
the complete article is here: [www.anarchistblackcross.org]
..........................................
I decided to try to work on myself at least by identifying some of the daily effects of white privilege in my life. I have chosen those conditions that I think in my case attach somewhat more to skin-color privilege than to class, religion, ethnic status, or geographic location, though of course all these other factors are intricately intertwined. As far as I can tell, my African American coworkers, friends, and acquaintances with whom I come into daily or frequent contact in this particular time, place and line of work cannot count on most of these conditions.

1. I can, if I wish, arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.

2. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area that I can afford and in which I would want to live.

3. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.

4. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.

5. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.

6. When I am told about our national heritage or about "civilization", I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.

7. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.

8. If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege.

9. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the staple foods that fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser's shop and find someone who can deal with my hair.

10. Whether I use checks, credit cards, or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of financial reliability.

11. I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them.

12. I can swear, or dress in second-hand clothes or not answer letters without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty, or the illiteracy of my race.

13. I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial.

14. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.

15. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.

16. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of color, who constitute the worlds' majority, without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.

17. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider.

18. I can be sure that if I ask to talk to "the person in charge" I will be facing a person of my race.

19. If a traffic cop pulls me over, or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't been singled out because of my race.

20. I can easily buy posters, postcards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys, and children's magazines featuring people of my race.

21. I can go home from most meetings or organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in rather than isolated, out of place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance, or feared.

22. I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having coworkers on the job suspect that I got it because of race.

23. I can choose public accommodations without fearing that people of my race cannot get in or will be mistreated in the places I have chosen.

24. I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help my race will not work against me.

25. If my day, week, or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it has racial overtones.

26. I can chose blemish cover or bandages in "flesh" color that more or less matches my skin.

Elusive and fugitive

I repeatedly forgot each of the realizations on this list until I wrote it down. For me white privilege has turned out to be an elusive and fugitive subject. The pressure to avoid it is great, for in facing it I must give up the myth of meritocracy. If these things are true, this is not such a free country; ones' life is not what one makes it; many doors open for certain people through no virtues of their own.
Re: YOUNGSTER'S BLACK-POWER POEM RILES SCHOOL
March 21, 2006 10:49AM
gonna be held high and untouchable in the pseudo elite who will by they own laziness endup having this child marginalized.

swing the pendulum to the far right or far left, be seeing the same folks talking all the talk but predictably afraid to walk that walk.

do or die, or at least feel some intense physical pain and worry to forward the vibe, ideology, agenda whatever.

wether it be a dad hi fiving in this or that campground bout how his kid did this or that, i look at the picture of this lil girl and see a child that wants to shine for her parents, like all kids do.

tell homeboy - her dad - come on out to vallejo and walk thec walk homey and see 200k in bread raised to do a show that brings folks together and helps apologize for all that happened and then offer up solutions and possibilities for folks to live under the same sun,

i will hold my breath
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