Suzette Love, MPA, MEd

with Ulf Lindstrom, Erik Hagstrom and Erik Anderson

Institution: Claremont Graduate University (doctoral student and alumna)


Music and video performance

The work I am presenting is a spoken-word piece entitled Black Magic Soliloquy. It is laced with an original jazz-inspired musical track. It was written to pay tribute to the power and the struggle of the African Diaspora. It takes the listener on a journey of Black History from 1614 to the present. It is an international collaboration with young musicians and producers from Europe and the United States.

Black Magic Soliloquy

By Suzette Love/Vibe/BMG Music Sweden 1992

Peace comes only from desperation,

The desperation of tears, endless death, and oppression.

It is the women who fight the hardest for peace.

We are the ones who tire of black burial clothes.

We grow weary of blue gunshot wounded bodies

and the kiss

of cold frozen lips.

In Los Angeles, there are lost angels of every class,

creed and color.

The gun and the needle make no discretion between black nor white

and neither brown nor yellow.

This is a world in which to be safe means to survive.

Though I am tired, I must go on.  Though I am weary,

I must go on. My arms my legs, my back screams out for rest. . .

I must go on.

Ten days in the wilderness,

Fifteen days in the wilderness,

Thirty days in the wilderness.

Forty Years in the wilderness.

Yet I must go on.

The Americas have cast me out

into the coldness of the seas, into the bitter salts as if,

they know not from whence I came.

And mother Africa casts her eye upon me as if I were a prodigal child.

She knew my fathers but she

knoweth not me.

To whom do I cry

and where do my tears fall?

The sea,

my freedom.

I am free to sing, free to cry, free to dance, and even free to die,

and though the salt is bitter and the waters deep,

it is the place

where I shall sleep.

Where I am free to sing, free to cry, free to dance and even free to die. . .

The universe keeps right on past 2000 never end,

and we’ll keep building sandcastles, in fairytales we have no sins,

when the sleeping giants wake one day and change their attitude,

what will we do?

Black beauty, black like coffee, black power, black joy, black blues,

black rhythm, black girl black boy

Black Magic.

Black Magic.

Black hands in the sand the foundations of the earth.

Black drums beat the joy and the pain of new birth.

Shaka, Askia, Mandingo, Nzinga,

Black power flowed from the tips of their fingers

Baraka my king, Giovanni my queen,

and I find my joy in the blackness of being.

Marley understood the suffering so well.

He could even make white folk understand the suffering.

Dred became something to be proud of.

Black coarse, nappy, soft dred.

Dred, a symbol of the survival of the black man on earth

During the age of slavery, colonialism, neo-colonialism,

in the first, second, and third world.

There is a fourth world to come

when the devils of this age,

those who bought our freedom

and even those who sold it

will reap the harvest of their lot.

In the fourth world to come

Marley’s voice will be the one herald angel

heard in its streets and cities saying

Wake up and live now.

Wake up and live!

Suzette Love ©Vibe/ BMG Publishing 1992

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