Friday, January 15, 2010

Even in Death They Sing Their Spirituals

cold, hurt, and sorrow.
streets of despair.
these streets stretch from one end to the other
and connect like a maze from which very few can fully escape.
despair sits on this country in most places like a charm,
but there is a special gray death that loiters in the streets
of an urban Negro slum...

and the distortion is as old as its sources:
the fear, frustration, and hatred
that Negroes have always been heir to.
it is just that in the cities,
which were once the black man's twentieth century "Jordan,"
promise is a dying bitch with rotting eyes.
and the stink of her dying is a deadly killing fume...

it is the tone,
the quality of suffering each man knows as his own
that finally must be important,
but this is the most difficult to get to.

LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka)




  1. Hi Patrick,

    I've been trying to get a hold of you since the Earthquake and I figured that this was the only way that I could.
    I was devastated when I heard about what happened in Haiti and I kept thinking of you and your family.
    I can't say the regular "I hope that you are OK" because I don't think it is appropriate and mainly because I don't believe that one can be OK after something like this. Reading this post only confirms it.
    I'm working on donations at the moment but do let me know if there is any way that you think I could help (you)--other than the methods listed on here.

    Hang in there my friend.

  2. I haven't been fine for a while, but yesterday I finally recieved news that the 4 family memebrs in Haiti are alive and well. Except for my aunt who was driving on the bridge at the time of the earthquake, and suffered some injuries (she is recoverying and doing well now), no one else was hurt. In addition, all their homes are standing with little to no damage at all. My family and I are relieved, I cannot even begin to explain! But our sadness for our country of origin and fellow brothers & sisters is still inherent. We are all doing our part to donate and volunteer, and pray.

    Thank you, Astrid. Your outpour of support means a lot.

    FYI, we need to exchange e-mail at some point.

  3. Patrick,

    I am relieved to hear that your family is alright and that their houses haven't been destroyed completely by this catastrophe. I am glad to hear that your Aunt is recovering from her injuries.
    I haven't stopped thinking of you and your family since the earthquake and I can only hope that through the International help, the people in Haiti will be able to get through this. Unfortunately this is a slow process but hopefully, with time the country and its people will be able to reconstruct themselves after this tragedy. However I cannot imagine how traumatic this must be for most there.

    PS: here is my email: astrid[underscore]chitou[at]
    Email me whenever you can.
    Much love,