Miyamoto is Black Enough Marks Juneteenth with New Version of “Burn / Build”
Before Miyamoto is Black Enough had a name, Andy, Jeff, and I were already messing around with a few tracks. We arranged Andy's 21 together with my Greatest arranger of pan is an Indian, to come up with what is now 21 for Jit. We played with a couple other tracks. I was yet again in my life deeply heartbroken by the senseless death of a black person by vigilantism and beliefs of white supremacy. Trayvon Martin was on everyone's lips. But I had lived through, and marched on behalf of countless before that. With the acquittal of Trayvon's murderer still a fresh wound, John Crawford was shot and killed in Ohio and Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO. Among the things my writing has always done, is respond to the time, and in 2014 I wrote Excerpts from the Elegba treatise which wondered about what I might do now, 'I' being me, being blackness, being those of us still in the streets. Black songs and poems and rhymes are meant sometimes to conjure, to ninja, to seem to appear one place and crop up elsewhere. Black songs and poems are still songs and poems made in captivity and so they are still quilt-map, and sweet chariot. The 'treatise' was/is a poem/song in and about grief. It wants us to stay in the cut, prepare, and live. It wants us to create space by raising space, by razing – space(s). It recognized (in 2014) that a cleansing was necessary. To find a place where we can start anew, where we can build, we must burn.
Again, I wrote this 6 years ago. The song/poem's moment has come. The burning is a cleansing and already new phoenices of understanding are arising out of those fires. Juneteenth, is arguably America's most important black holiday. It recognizes both our freedom, and what extraordinary measures were employed to keep that freedom from us – what extraordinary measures we have had to employ to keep it for ourselves. A six year old track is ready today to go to school for us, to take us (even the composers) to school, to a discovery of what we might make new for ourselves. Juneteenth is the right time. We are the right time. Miyamoto is Black Enough is the right time. Burn. Build.
Roger Bonair-Agard for
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Listen to "Burn/Build" on Soundcloud.