Modern Griots Recap: Poetic Fragments from the Afrofuturism Conference at The New School Part 2


Several months ago I attended the Afrofuturism Conference at The New School. While due to my other work I didn’t get a chance to do a recap of the event right after, it had a profound effect on me. I took all the notes I had from it and wrote a series of poems inspired by the different panels and workshops I attended.

This is my holiday present for you! I posted Part 1 yesterday and I will leave the poems up for a few weeks. Then I will probably make a small e-book chapbook out of the poems for you to buy!

Enjoy! See you in the New Year!


Day Two

What is black love?

(Inspired by Shannon Shird and Alexis Sueme Mena’s workshop about their polyamorous relationship. You can view their presentation here )

God in an infinite sense

God in a plural tense

Time stretched beyond

our known beginning and end

Love is a strengthening of the muscle

of the heart to hold

the many loves

the many voices

the many gods

into one body of beauty


Love as in boundless horizon

the continuous expansion of the mind

the universal fragmentation and

the single ship connection

the relation ship connection

the friend ship connection

the exploration of gray matter

the revealer of the skin’s mask

the question and the quest

the courage to leave, to die, to grow

and sometimes it is to return, to stay

the embrace of spirit and earth

like the way clouds love a mountain

not as possession but a finding of freedom

in knowing each other

knowing yours and another’s space

the state of grace

in being



Next poem inspired by “Reimagining Gender on Afrofuturism, Abolition and Liberation” panel featuring Joshua Allen, Jamal T. Lewis and Kiyan Willams

I Am Who I Will Be (or I Will Be Who I Am)

What would I be

if I wasn’t told what I am

if I was not categorized

Would I be sun

Would I be earth

Would I be rain

Would I be a new growth

of the universe’s imagination

Would I be able to stretch

into the far reaches of dreams

beyond the cages of this world

beyond the illusions into the

possibility of dark body

into the  spiral dance of dark body

into the creative flow of dark body

Would I realize who I am.


The Constant State of Imagination (Rage)

Dia(gnosis): Rage

The Righteous Anger. The Madness. The Why You Mad? The Mad Scientist. The Fierceness. The Fiery Passion. The Furies. The Bandit of Birthright. The Robin Hood of White-Collared Thievery. The Dreamer. The Ecstatic Spirit. The Out of One’s Mind. The Doesn’t Quite Fit. The “Too Black.” The Not Black Enough. The Cup Flowing Over. The You Too Much. The Marginal. The Peripheral Vision. The Hallucinator. The Revelator. The Wanderer. The Migrant. The Exiled. The Reject. The Bastard. The Illegitimate. The Mocker. The Jester. The Irrational Storm. The Blown Fuse. The Circuit Breaker. The Illiterate. The Multilingual. The Decoder. The Mute. The Mutator. The Ego Tripper. The Fugitive Slave. The Drapetomaniac. The Escapologist. The Battler Forcing Movement.


Dance! Dance! Dance!



Black Girl Magik (with Harriet’s Apothecary)

What is the meaning of our names

Did you know Harriet was a spy

that she changed her name to her mother’s

to hide, to flee, to find freedom

the lineage of name, the stretching of body

the survival of self beyond the (k)now,

beyond the wound

the medicine of dreams, the medicine that calls

dreams into being, medicine woman help me

remember them

My body

My mind

My feelings

My spirit

My others

Others’ me

All the me’s

From the reaction

to a state of being one.



To end my stream of poetry, enjoy a song from Jojo Abot, who performed at the conference, and a compilation of singer Daví’s keynote performance at the conference:

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