Take me home

Revolutionary-Suit-with-ammunition-belt-sewn-in-fashion-design-art-by-Jae-Jarrell, Take me home, Behind Enemy Lines
For real change to occur, it must come from the people. Jae Jarrell, female artist, fashion designer and co-founder of the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists (AFRICOBRA), rebuffed political revolt, instead seeking to shape and empower Black communities through artistic expression. Jarrell is most famous for her politically charged suits, including the renowned 1970 “Revolutionary Suit,” which had an ammunition belt sewn into the jacket. The tweed two-piece notably had to have an A-line skirt so that “women could march.” Never undervalue artistic expression as a powerful and necessary people’s tool for change.

by Ioki (Aoki) Pink Butler, Los Angeles native of the Crenshaw District

Introduction: I am currently an inmate incarcerated and isolated inside a cell in CIW (California Institute for Women).

I am sending to your publication an original poem I’ve written dedicated to the memories of Armias Ashegdon “Nipsey Hussle” and George Floyd.

It is my hope that it be printed in the newspaper or anywhere that will inspire and encourage all – just as the Bay View has empowered myself to continue in the struggle for freedom, unity, solidarity and consciousness of melanated Afrikan peoples the world over.

Deep, dark, rich rolling hot chocolate.

Bubbling over with pride, pain and confusion as to why??

Why??

The pantheon of tombstones for us. A people vitally owed the heartbeat of civilizations, culture, music and blood

Bred in every existent vein

Diamond mitochondrial chains yet, still … we hang? Ain’t that again strange?

Why not a hall of fame or on Washington, some magnanimous mountain peak to pay homage to the Black, brave and rested.

Asphyxiated, 

Cardiac infarctions. DOA in lieu of arrested.

Silenced and slain too soon. 

Why are we so heavily invested in crypto collectives overseas, when poverty spreads like a leprous disease.

We’ve fallen off. 

Onto main thoroughfares. Not just side streets and alleys,

Homelessness is the new franchise.

Over 1.6 million now being underserved. Kicked to the curb.

Despair flows like tears from glazed over eyes, 

Anesthetized and detached

Exploited for our souls exposed, to the blistering cold of

Black codes.

Send our sister some love and light: Ioki Pink Butler, WG2217, California Institute for Women, WB 908 Low, 16756 Chino-Corona Rd., Corona, CA 92880. SF Bay View Managing Editor Nube Brown read this poem at the 31st Annual Celebration of African American Poets and Their Poetry hosted by Bay View Arts Editor Wanda Sabir Feb. 6 at the historic West Oakland Library in Lil Bobby Hutton (Defremery) Park where the Panthers used to gather.