A fire awoke a town such as this

Listen Siblings, I come in peace,

Onitaset Kumat, as Philosopher-Poet, wrote “Maroon and Build For Self” to give unto Africans sufficient tools toward mastering our own liberation.” — The ABS

A poem from “Maroon and Build For Self” is “A fire awoke a town such as this.”  You’ll notice the mastery of verse, the mastery of story-telling and the mastery of philosophy.  This is what we ought read to our people.  This is what ought be in our bedrooms.  This is why the ABS strives to build African Blood Siblings Community Centers.  Write for more information.


A Fire Awoke a Town Such as This
By Onitaset Kumat

A fire awoke a town such as this
Where White was power in spite of the mix
And though thereat only White was present
The protected perp ordered a resent
Of mixes: quick did the sick pigs convene
About the feeding trough of racial hate
and jealousy, choosing from the ‘proud’ slate
A successful to break the mix’s clean
Alas the White arms prepared to lasso
And hang the hero of the other square
But barks of ‘clear’ made no African go
Arose were the Whites each dressing a spear
White faces warn races when they are dead
That cruelty can not long rear its head.

             -Onitaset Kumat (Available in “Maroon and Build For Self.”)

9 thoughts on “A fire awoke a town such as this

    1. You compliment me. Though, out of love, I shall inform you that ‘rap’ has a poor connotation in America. Maybe it’s connotation is better in Scotland? :)

      The deadline for your anthology is passed. Besides, my poetry has its specific audience. Were I to purpose toward an anthology, either I would alter my specificity or generalize. As a sonnet frameworks, so does an audience; this “frameworking” may reason your fancying free verse, so please understand my preference to opportunely generalize.

      Always pursue righteousness and thank you for the compliments,

      1. I wonder why on earth ‘rap’ should have a poor connotation anywhere. In many ways it is the folk poetry of the late 20c / early 21c in an urban setting; to me the connotation is one of rhythm, and of a hammer-blow on rhyming words. It is vital and modern.

        Please don’t worry about the deadline for the anthology, just submit something (in a Word doc in Georgia 11pt preferable) direct to vallance22{a}gmail.com – and don’t alter a thing, don’t alter your specificity one bit, just give us what you have got. If it works for us it works, and that’s that, no matter what the target audience may be. Look at it this way – I bet I’m not in your ‘specific audience’ but I found your poem and appreciated it.


      2. Rap has its poor connotation in paralleling minstrel shows; “rap” entertainment is less urban in America and more suburban. The largest market for rap music, by far, are suburban Whites. The appeal of rappers is that they espouse a myth that Africans are violent, untalented and ignorant–to an otherwise ignorant crowd on Africans; and as their appeal is popular, African people in America, especially the youth, tend to emulate these rappers and consider themselves violent, untalented and ignorant. It’s a poor connotation in many different American environments; after all, Lil’ Wayne is a ‘rapper’ and “You write like Lil’ Wayne” can bruise some egos–unfortunately only some. :)

        Of course I know that you meant better. Besides, maybe Scotland doesn’t have a similar racial dynamic to relate against. “White rappers” speaking to their poverty in their country, insisting their humanity against corporate exploitation and abuses makes “rap” seem good. But in America, “Black rappers” speaking to their isolated wealth, insisting against Black humanity (including themselves: Lil’ Wayne literally has a song named “I am not a Human being”) and hailing corporations makes “rap” seem bad. But again, I only tell you this out of love. Freely use your words. :) As to rhythm, it’s a staple in poetry, especially of the older variety. I remember a college course where I heard Coleridge sing. :)

        As to anthologies and self-censorship, I prefer to focus elsewhere. I had heard similar advice on offering myself uncensored by another poet after an Open Mic; however, I am coming to realize that different realizations of reality separate people. George G. M. James was assassinated. Not that I feel threatened in this activity, but certainly, in a society built on hatred, one ought most pursue what one will fight for.

        I wish you spectacular success in your righteous pursuits,

      3. Well I stand a pace or two back from the argument about rap and, whilst acknowledging your analysis, I have heard rappers justify their art by saying it reflects a particular part of society rather than creating it. The way you’re talking about it makes it seem that the very fact that someone like myself (European, middle-aged, middle-class, and white) might enjoy or appreciate rap, ipso facto turns rappers into a 21c version of ‘minstrels’. I believe that they themselves would dispute that vigorously. What you have said seems to promote a view that the moment a white audience appreciates a black performance, that performance is automatically debased. Could I suggest with respect that that denigrates both the performers and the audience?

        You are of course correct that the racial dynamic in Scotland is different. (I have suffered racial abuse for having an English accent, and if you are tempted to dismiss that as being a relatively minor kind of prejudice, I can assure you that it was ugly and unpleasant to be the recipient of it… but I digress). Anyhow, that different dynamic allows me to take a more objective viewpoint on the matter we are discussing. My comments regarding rhythm – yes rhythm has always been a factor in poetry, but this factor is accentuated and reinforced in rap by its direct association with music.

        “…different realizations of reality separate people” – yes, but only if they allow them to become too important, only if they allow them to overwhelm things which tend to unify people.

        Kind regards, as ever,

      4. It is an opportunity to get to know you, Marie Marshall. This conversation is interesting. I should point out that many moons ago I had written a relevant article named “Of Despising the Minstrels” that disagreed with the academic Michelle Alexander’s assertion that despite despicable theatre, actors ought not be despised.

        Here are two relevant comments:

        ” . . . art that doesn’t address the ethical yearnings of a people, but merely reflect the times in a way comfortable and comforting to oppressors and the oppressed is a form parallel to the minstrels of yore.
        . . . what is the minstrel but a liar who lies for personal financial gain at the expense of a suffering, beat down people?”

        If you ever get interested, we can continue this conversation there, as matters of life are discussed in the living room. :)

        However, if you prefer to stay here, so too can we do that. As to reflections and creations, as artists, we know that they are one the in the same. :) It’ when creations are claimed realities that myth are formed then followed.

        As to the impression of someone European’s enjoyment of rap reduces art to minstrelship, that’s not my intention. Art created for White Supremacists is despicable: that’s what rap is.

        On the word ‘denigrate.’ I avoid it. It has such utility so writing around it is hard, but it’s etymology relates to–how you say–the ‘denigration’ of Black people. You would be surprised at how unconscious so-called “White Supremacy” is. I do not bother myself with the nuances. But since we speak publicly, I may as well inform my readers. But as I wrote, my intention was not your impression.

        On the prejudice in Scotland, I am not surprised. I intend to write more on the subject in a future post (more relating Ancient Greece), though maybe not in the most positive light. :)

        With rhythm, I am tempted to share with you whom I learned the rhythm from–not rappers. Nevertheless, I do want to share a very graceful, rhythmic poem that perhaps you already read: “The Brook” by Tennyson. I did not mention him earlier as the thought of a young man comparing himself to the second most quoted writer in the English canon even makes me shriek, but you forced my hand! :-p

        Finally, disunity is a common principle in “Occidentalism.” You mentioned it in Scotland with regard even your accent. It is not fitting to accuse me of disunity, Marie. In time, you may see that in rejecting Occidentalism, you can reject disunity; but Occidentalists will be disunifying.

        I would prefer this conversation in the other post: “Of Despising the Minstrels“,
        Continue toward your righteous pursuits,

  1. No, in fact I think I will leave you with the last word on the matter, as you are closer to the culture we have been discussing, and therefore should be credited with seeing it more keenly. Your comments on how rap is viewed in some quarters is very interesting

    I have enjoyed this discussion, though I think occasionally we have misunderstood each other (though not badly so). Someone to whom I am close is an ethnomusicologist over in the USA, and she and I have discussed the issue of ‘etic’ and ’emic’ viewpoints a great deal. It is a tough knot to untie.

    Ironically I have also blogged on the subject of minstrelsy, if only tangentally. I was actually writing about the practice of blacking the face (as a kind of disguise) in the ritual dances of England and the improbability that it was influenced by American minstrelsy and stage ‘blackface’.

    Thank you for introducing me to some interesting ideas.


    1. The collection of poetics within “Maroon and Build For Self” are arguably exceptional. The prosaics are instructive and inspirational, bias notwithstanding.

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