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Be-Side

The Home of Hakm's B-Side e-alter ego...his auxiliary brain or external hard drive...

Went to sleep in Albuquerque and woke up in Africa … as a featured poet on Badilisha Poetry! Here’s what my Executive Assistant Ronica Brooks had to say:

"Take a look at one of the latest main page poetryfeatures on Hakim Bellamy. He makes an appearance on the Badilisha Poetry Radio Show and recites his poem entitled “Place Matters”. See him as he paints a portrait of life deeply affected by what place we are in, out of, or sometimes kept from. 
Go to http://badilishapoetry.com/ to see the page feature!! Enjoy!”

Thank you to Linda Kaoma and the rest of the Badilisha family! Thanks to Diles and Atom Ortiz for helping me with the audio track!

Went to sleep in Albuquerque and woke up in Africa … as a featured poet on Badilisha Poetry! Here’s what my Executive Assistant Ronica Brooks had to say:

"Take a look at one of the latest main page poetryfeatures on Hakim Bellamy. He makes an appearance on the Badilisha Poetry Radio Show and recites his poem entitled “Place Matters”. See him as he paints a portrait of life deeply affected by what place we are in, out of, or sometimes kept from. 

Go to http://badilishapoetry.com/ to see the page feature!! Enjoy!”

Thank you to Linda Kaoma and the rest of the Badilisha family! Thanks to Diles and Atom Ortiz for helping me with the audio track!

In late July of 2012, Albuquerque Poet Laureate Hakim Bellamy was invited to a conversation. This conversation was a conversation of global proportions. For years, VSA North 4th Arts Executive Director Marjorie Neset (and NewArt New Mexico) has consistently brought culturally critical African contemporary artists to New Mexico. Formally through Global Dance Fest and now through Journeys, Neset has connected Albuquerque and Africa through her collaboration with the African Contemporary Arts Consortium. MAPP International Productions administers the consortium and regularly convenes consortium members in Africa for artistic exchanges and dialogue. This year, Hakim was invited to attend, and invited himself to blog for ABQ Arts & Entertainment. We said “yes.”
Read all four episodes of this four part article from the bottom up!
Also check out Marj Neset’s Blog “Time and Place”

In late July of 2012, Albuquerque Poet Laureate Hakim Bellamy was invited to a conversation. This conversation was a conversation of global proportions. For years, VSA North 4th Arts Executive Director Marjorie Neset (and NewArt New Mexico) has consistently brought culturally critical African contemporary artists to New Mexico. Formally through Global Dance Fest and now through Journeys, Neset has connected Albuquerque and Africa through her collaboration with the African Contemporary Arts Consortium. MAPP International Productions administers the consortium and regularly convenes consortium members in Africa for artistic exchanges and dialogue. This year, Hakim was invited to attend, and invited himself to blog for ABQ Arts & Entertainment. We said “yes.”

Read all four episodes of this four part article from the bottom up!

Also check out Marj Neset’s Blog “Time and Place”

South Africa was made even more of a blessing by being in the company of POETIC BRETHREN abroad. Marc Bamuthi Joseph, a talent I was able to see on HBO when I was first being indoctrinated to slam culture. A model and mentor who joined me as an arts presenter at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco with The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium (MAPP International out of NYC) that took me to Johannesburg. Marc’s history with YouthSpeaks alerted me to the opportunity to see Joshua Bennett, a former college poetry slam competitor (who was part of the University of Pennsylvania team that unseated College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational Champions UNM LOBOSLAM the year after we won College Nationals), friend and inspiration perform at Emonti on Bree in Johannesburg as part of the Word N Sound Performance Series. I joked that Kanye & Jay already booked the title “Ni@@as in Paris,” so we be “Bruthas in Johannes.” Or “Brotherhood of the Travellin’ Champs.” It was good to be in the space, supportive and proud of one of ours. Sir Joshua Bennett did his thing. What an amazing night to be a fan of Josh and cut up with Marc in South Africa!

South Africa was made even more of a blessing by being in the company of POETIC BRETHREN abroad. Marc Bamuthi Joseph, a talent I was able to see on HBO when I was first being indoctrinated to slam culture. A model and mentor who joined me as an arts presenter at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco with The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium (MAPP International out of NYC) that took me to Johannesburg. Marc’s history with YouthSpeaks alerted me to the opportunity to see Joshua Bennett, a former college poetry slam competitor (who was part of the University of Pennsylvania team that unseated College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational Champions UNM LOBOSLAM the year after we won College Nationals), friend and inspiration perform at Emonti on Bree in Johannesburg as part of the Word N Sound Performance Series. I joked that Kanye & Jay already booked the title “Ni@@as in Paris,” so we be “Bruthas in Johannes.” Or “Brotherhood of the Travellin’ Champs.” It was good to be in the space, supportive and proud of one of ours. Sir Joshua Bennett did his thing. What an amazing night to be a fan of Josh and cut up with Marc in South Africa!

I Got Your Black. (R.E.S.P.E.C.T.) – by hakim bellamy

(Written on Day 2 of my trip to South Africa…after Soweto)

South Africa has no secrets

That’s

The beautiful thing about it

Nakedness

That spends this amount of time

Under a microscope

Under the microscope of the world

Just looks like skin

Looks just like our skin

That’s the beautiful thing

About it

We are twins

For maternity

For paternity

We are not eternities

Apart

We are Siamese

Only separate

By seconds

And first

By

Who came out

First

By

Who got out

Second

The beautiful thing about it is

Faces

I remember never seeing

But remember

People

That walk like me

In places

I’ve never set foot

In places

I’ve yet to set foot

In places

I’m destined to foot

In place

Of me

We walk

In shared footsteps

Of pasts & futures

We wear

The same bootstraps

Of past abuses

We bear

The same backs

And the beautiful thing about it is

Our bodies

Spell “beautiful”

In different languages

But our bruises match

Our bodies

Scream “family”

In different accents

We are

An entire auction block

Of colonial detachment issues

But our siblings match

And

The beautiful thing about it is

Our music still sounds the same

From Jersey

To Jozi

It all still sounds

Like freedom

From relic retail chains

That made lunch counters

A name brand

To Woolworth flagships in Johannesburg

That up until

Not too long ago

Still sold the same damn thing

Our freedom still tastes the same

Still tastes like rice

With every meal

Still tastes like

A million and one things

Our people

Can make with cornmeal

And the beautiful thing is

We are still hungry for the same thing

We be

Drinking liberation

And speaking libations

We be

The kind of love

That only gets stronger with hatred

We KNOW labor

We don’t know “Days Off”

Cause we be no days off

Til oppression takes a mutha fuckin vacation

Took every religion

That came to en-“save”-us

The clinically depressed scriptures

And self-flagellation

Turned suffering and services

Into celebrations

And the beautiful thing is

We are a cooked book

Of recipes

For turning the chips stacked against us

Into plantains

A bake sale

Of Devil’s Pie and crow

We are never for sale

Only for certain

In South Africa

We are NO secret

In America

We are surviving

And the beautiful thing is

Our connection.

Separated by cell,

Ship and submission

Shackled to our diaspora

By a history

That won’t stop hitting is

Shackled to our diaspora

By separate

But equal experiences

Shackled to our diaspora

By shared histories

No matter

Where we’re Black

The beautiful thing is

We want the same thing.


© Hakim Bellamy October 2, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa