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  • Akosua Biraa

We are our history

In this country

for a dangerously long time

never seen any genuine confrontation

so fat and so sleek, and so safe, and so happy,

and so irresponsible, and so dead.

God forgives murder

in some bizarre way, to be a milestone

has made them criminals and monsters

dreaming of anything like “the final solution.”

I am speaking as a member of a certain democracy

from a public point of view,

great esteem which is not easily distinguishable

has no moral authority

if it is distinguishable, from love.

This problem, which they invented

has no moral justification

part of my responsibility—as a witness—

for whom they gave their lives.

History is not the past.


It is the present

would not be an eccentric patriot

but a raving maniac.


We are our history.

This piece is composed solely out of phrases taken randomly from James Baldwin’s (2017) “I Am Not Your Negro: A major motion picture directed by Raoul Peck”.

This book is great testimony to how brilliant the script is for Raoul Peck’s (2016) documentary—of the same name—on James Baldwin. In it, Peck cinematically envisages the text that Baldwin drafted—but never got to finish, on the lives and assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evans, Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr.

As to be expected, Peck’s documentary is highly educational and powerfully put together—just like his (2000) film, “Lumumba”, on the assassinated Congolese freedom fighter and African nationalist Patrice Lumumba, who served as the first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

I am also eager to watch Peck’s (2021) HBO documentary series, “Exterminate all the Brutes”, in which he explores colonialism and the origins of white supremacy, as well as his (2017) historical drama, “The Young Karl Marx.” They are on my Must Watch list.

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