black memoirs

5

Malcolm X and Maya Angelou in Ghana, 1964.

Malcolm X on his last visit to Accra had announced a desire to create a foundation he called the Organization of Afro-American Unity. His proposal included taking the plight of the African-Americans to the United Nations and asking the world council to intercede on the part of beleaguered blacks. The idea was so stimulating to the community of African-American residents that I persuaded myself I should return to the States to help establish the organization. 

We all read Malcolm’s last letter to me.

Dear Maya,

I was shocked and surprised when your letter arrived but I was also pleased because I only had to wait two months for this one whereas previously I had to wait almost a year. You see I haven’t lost my wit. (smile)

Your analysis of our people’s tendency to talk over the head of the masses in a language that is too far above and beyond them is certainly true. You can communicate because you have plenty of (soul) and you always keep your feet firmly rooted on the ground.

I am enclosing some articles that will give you somewhat of an idea of my daily experiences here and you will then be better able to understand why it sometimes takes me a long time to write. I was most pleased to learn that you might be hitting in this direction this year. You are a beautiful writer and a beautiful woman. You know that I will always do my utmost to be helpful to you in any way possible so don’t hesitate.

Signed
Your brother Malcolm 

(Excerpt from Maya Angelou’s memoir A Song Flung Up To Heaven)

Book: “I’ll Never Write My Memoirs” by Grace Jones

Legendary influential performer Grace Jones offers a revealing account of her spectacular career and turbulent life, charting the development of a persona that has made her one of the world’s most recognizable artists. #ReadingList

you ever wanna make friends with someone in particular but that easy breezy “hey, whats up” you offered up weeks ago (that didn’t come out nearly as easy and breezy as you intended btw) didn’t seem to take so daily, from way across the room, you just watch other people oh so effortlessly chat them up and you wonder to yourself, what could they possibly be talking about for that long, how did they make them smile like that, and more importantly, why can’t i do that???

-The Song of Roland-

Roland and Olivier are inspired by Charlemagne’s knights (confirmed by Jun Mochizuki herself, I asked her!).
One famous epic poem about them is called The Song of Roland and is about the Saracens embushing Roland, Olivier and other knights because they were informed by a traitor (roughly resume). Olivier died and Roland is mourning him. Later, Roland, nearly dead and knowing he has no chance, he blows a last time into his olifant horn, bursting his temples and well…die. (ಥ_ಥ)

The fanart represents the CLXIII and CLXIV part:

/CLXIII: He finds his companion, Olivier. Against his chest he pressed him, tightly embrassed./

/CLXIV: […] and Olivier he loved so much, he is moved; he begins to cry. “Olivier, beautiful companion, on no earth there would be better knight than you!”/

Sorry for the bad translation, I used the french version and it was in complicate form (not old french but nearly ha.ha.ha. orz). But this helps at least to understand why I draw Roland mourning Olivier c’:

CAGED BIRD

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom. 

Maya Angelou