with Ulf Lindstrom, Erik Hagstrom and Erik Anderson
Institution: Claremont Graduate University (doctoral student and alumna)
BLACK MAGIC SOLILOQUY
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?
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 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