Feature: Kufikiri Imara

Feature: Kufikiri Imara

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Black Futures Month is a visionary, forward-looking spin on celebrations of Blackness in February”. Today, we are featuring Kufikiri Imara and his poetry!


Bio:
Kufikiri Imara; born and raised on unceded Huichin territory of the Ohlone people (Oakland, California). With parents that were involved in the Civil Rights and Black Power movements of the 1960's and 1970's, he grew up in a family and community that strongly emphasized cultural awareness and social responsibility. He volunteered with Green Earth Poets Society in NYC, bringing poetry to incarcerated African-American youth. He was an early member of the Entheogen Integration Circle in NYC, supporting marginalized communities within the larger psychedelic community. His past studies with Sacred Garden Community were focused on deepening his understanding as a someone who holds space, and was focused on growing diversity. A former member of the Decriminalize Nature Oakland grassroots collective, after his efforts to help see the landmark resolution passed, he went on to head the DNO committee on Outreach, Education, Access, & Integration. He was part of the team of instructors for the first of its kind above ground training, with the former OLP, in Jamaica, on psychedelic assisted therapy that included engagement. He lent his voice to the Horizons Media documentary film Covid-19, Black Lives, & Psychedelics. He was the inaugural facilitator for the BIPOC Entheogen Integration Circle in partnership with the San Francisco Psychedelic Society. Kufikiri Imara is a globally recognized voice on championing the important issues of access, education, and inclusion within the larger psychedelic community.

Poetry:


It's hard to get free when the government treats you like animals on safari. A nation with a ruling class focused on self preservation using tactics that are draconian. Posting pictures of your plight won't help you take flight from the predators of the night. Whether your politics lean left or right, the money has the power, so we're left to fight for our rights. Politics from the pulpit don't always fit. You can't feel the revival when your mind is predicated to only thinking about survival. Hard to celebrate life when every child is born dead on arrival. These flooded streets of pain have drowned out many smiles. When you're raising yourself you don't have time to be a child. You grow bigger, but you don't grow up. The traps of your past have got you stuck. Stuck up and beat down, they jacked your shine and stomped your heart out on the ground. Live by the lead, die by the lead. Folks woke-up at your wake telling you the things they wish they said before you were dead. Only momma's clutching dead babies cry, wondering why the light was taken out their child's eyes. Pastors preach sermons to help the healing, but the tragic loss makes the words feel like a lie. Faces on t-shirts so they aren't out of sight, out of mind. You got bars on the windows like your the one doing time. Children can't play outside. Last week there was another drive-by. So much life lost you stop asking why. Numb to the pain you carry inside. Life played out like a movie, but you can't press rewind. Life played out like a houcie, quick to give up her behind. Everyday relentless like the tide and the time. No escape from the thoughts in your mind. The weight of the world weighing on you like your soul is in a grind. You search for release in a bag that's a dime. The feeling like nothing you've ever felt before, it's so sublime. You don't even notice the prison you're now inside. No visitors allowed who don't buy your lies. You're in solitary lock down so no going outside. And none of this was mere circumstance, it was all by design. Invisible hands set it all in motion long before your time. 

Hot
Hot
Hot
Hot like Black breasts feeding White babies
Hot
Hot like Haitian Summer's when backs refused to bend anymore
Hot
Hot like the bullet from a cops gun in the cold body of a Black child
Hot
Hot like the anger of parents burying their child
Hot
Hot like the breath of angry dogs on taught leashes
Hot
Hot like the crowded prison cells of injustice
Hot
Hot like the flames of a burning cross
Hot
Hot like rope burn on the neck of a swinging body
Hot
Hot like human cargo ships with water all around but not a drop to drink
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Hot like Black southern churches set ablaze
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Hot like the flesh split open from the whip
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Hot like emasculated manhood when the mother of your children is carrying the masta's baby
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Hot like congested urban living designed with no way out 
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Hot like the sweat on your brow when working can’t see to can’t see
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Hot like the feeling in your gut when your starving children look to you for something to eat
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Hot like necks in church trying to get saved on Sunday after sinning on Saturday
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Hot like a year of letting the bus pass you by as you walk everywhere
Hot
Hot like the blood running down your face when you didn't walk fast enough
Hot
Hot like diner counters when staying seated is taking a stand
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Hot like the hot comb and the chemicals used to look the part
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Hot like a people when their leaders are murdered
Hot
Hot like a city when justice is bought and sold 
Hot
Hot like venomous words spit on you for being the first
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Hot like the souls of feet that have marched for miles
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Hot like the spotlight of the worlds eyes upon you
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Hot like horns blowing songs about truths that can't be spoken
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Hot like the back door when you can't walk in the front
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Hot like kitchens when the hands preparing the food only get the scraps
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Hot like the revolutions that change the world
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Hot

Crack Crack Crack
The feeling of the whip on the back that makes the skin go snap. I say don’t talk back! Pick this. Lift that. Wash this. Build that. As a matter of fact, what’s your name? Naw, naw, naw forget that. I have something better than that. Chattel. And you can sleep next to the cattle. Human livestock was the first stock. 
Clap Clap Clap
The sound out on the pavement causing the bereavement when the drugs get shipped in. Let the war on drugs games begin! Bars on the windows and you ain’t even in the pen. Lies told about our people and we believe them!? What happened to the village we raise our children in? 
Attack Attack Attack
The sight you see in response to a people who decide to fight back. Awakened to the truth of the lies that were portrayed as facts. The fact of the matter is and has always been, we are a people from a diaspora called African. The motherland of civilization. A soil so rich the world still has their hands in, but it’s in weapons and not education. Wanting us to forget the divine proclamation that we are a people chosen. 
Facts Facts Facts
The flava on tongues tired of lies that are stale and old. We are a people of the first people, from the earth we came, and back to the earth we’ll go. Colonizers editing history to keep our story from being told. How many really know about Mansa Musa and his gold? They’re quick to put your light out in a world so cold. You see it was the truth, and not just us, that was being bought and sold. I offer a silent prayer for the ones that we can’t hold. 

Kufikiri Hiari Imara