• Akosua Biraa

MY DUNGEON SHOOK






Time catches up with kingdoms

in the twinkling of an eye

that suffering and dancing country

morally bankrupt and politically unstable

their dimes and quarters

merciless formulation

for generations

predictable wishful distortions

spiritual aridity of my life


conscious blacks, who must, like lovers

all your lives

insist on, or create, the consciousness

of the others,

saved from the holocaust,

accept them with love

remove this cloud

world as a fixed star

loud on Freedom






This piece is composed solely out of phrases taken randomly from James Baldwin’s (1963) “The Fire Next Time”. This book is a brilliant study of Black struggle for recognition and freedom in the USA, contained in two essays. As always, Baldwin serves as an eloquent witness of racism in everyday life in the USA, during the 50s and 60s. Baldwin speaks to the urgent and long overdue need to address racial inequality through love and social justice, otherwise the consequence will be dire; thus, as a caution he says


“God gave Noah the rainbow sign.

No more water, the fire next time!”


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