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Monday, February 06, 2012

WHILE YOU WATCHED THE SUPER BOWL

by Ngoma


At 4:00pm
the line to Trader Joe's was down the street and around the corner
the tax office in Cairo was set on fire to protest football violence
Mitt Romney proclaimed he didn't give a damn about the poor
the lines in soup kitchens were not one bit shorter
Israel stood on the brink of attacking Iran
Union contracts were under attack
the 1% still bought box seats
while the 99% Occupied everything else
Tim Tebow was not playing
the commercials cost $3.5 million dollars per 30 seconds
Mumia Abu Jamaal still lingered in a prison cell
The U.S. still had the largest prison population
in the so-called free world
Canada suffered a Katrina moment
birthers still debated whether or not Obama is a U.S Citizen
we were not one step closer to eliminating world hunger
Even with a progressive attitude, watching the Super Bowl,
which seems to float on rivers of oil - think car ads - and beer, is not exactly like holding an
Occupy Wall Street-style general assembly in the red zone
Flava Flave in a Pepsi ad
didn't insure drinkable water in third world countries
James Brown isn't around to collect his royalties for the Volkswagon commercial
No Black performers have performed at a Super Bowl half time since Janet
There was no tribute to Don Cornelius and Soul Train
2/3rds of the worlds population with aids live in Africa
70 percent of people in the world suffer from food insecurity
in the U.S. alone a woman is beaten every seven minutes
a woman is raped every eleven minutes
but overall, there are more people in the world who do not own a TV than those who do
so who wins the super bowl in the real scheme of things
is just not so damn important - is it?


Ngoma is a performance poet, multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and paradigm shifter who for over 40 years has used culture as a tool to raise sociopolitical and spiritual consciousness through work that encourages critical thought. A former member of Amiri Baraka's Spirit House Movers and Players and of the Contemporary Freedom Song Duo, Serious Bizness, Ngoma weaves poetry and songs that raise contradictions and search for a just and peaceful world. Ngoma was the Prop Slam Winner of the 1997 National Poetry Slam Competition in Middletown, CT and has been published in African Voices Magazine, Long Shot Anthology, The Underwood Review, Signifyin' Harlem Review, Bum Rush The Page/Def Jam Anthology, Poems On The Road To Peace (Yale Press) and Let Loose On The World: Celebrating Amiri Baraka at 75. He was featured in the PBS Spoken Word Documentary "The Apro-Poets" with Allen Ginsberg. Ngoma has curated and hosted the poetry slam at the Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. Family Festival of Environmental and Social Justice (Yale University, New Haven, CT) since 1996. He was a selected participant in the Badilisha Poetry Xchange in Cape Town, South Africa in fall of 2009. In December of 2011 he was initiated as an Obatala Priest in Ibadan, Nigeria.
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