Friday, June 19, 2015

Thomas Appiah - "Why I Hate Racism" (spoken word composition)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases a video and a transcription of the spoken word composition "Why I Hate Racism" by Thomas Appiah. The words for a second composition by Thomas Appiah which begins with the words "Sometimes I feel like crying" is given in the Addendum to this post.

The content of this post is presented for inspirational, motivational, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owner.

Thanks to Thomas Appiah for these compositions. Thanks also to all those who work to eradicate racism within themselves and in societies.

"I'm Business Administration student of Humber college. I do writes [sic] poems, motivational speeches, drama, songs."

Toronto, Canada, Joined June 2012
Also read my speculations about the spoken word artist in my note about this transcription that is found below.

SHOWCASE VIDEO: Why I Hate Racism || Spoken word

thomas appiah, Published on Jan 5, 2014

Hello guys, let all speak against racial abuse against Black, white, Asian, Hispanic,Arab..
Racism has cause nothing better to humanity but loses, hopelessness, fear to abundant life....
I wish you will my support inspirational book" Time for legacy" which means give the world nothing but hope.
Our world will be better when we appreciate others for who they are not their culture...

The words to this spoken word were given as sub-titles within this video.

I believe that English may not be the first language of this spoken word artist ("Appiah" is an Ghanaian/Ivory Coast last name). I also believe that this spoken word may be best understood in the context that its composer is writing from the perspective of a person who is living in a culture that is different than his (or her) own, a culture that is racist and causes him (or her) to struggle with self-hate because of his (or her) race. That context adds meaning to the first two lines in which the composer asks (someone else?) when did he (or she) change his (or her) ethnic birth name that was given out of love to a standard "English" name. That context also adds meaning to the line "Don’t take our papers [and] be our keepers." and the verse that begins "Don’t go wild and hate your own race for nothing."

I've made one minor change in a word that was given in the video's sub-titles that I think enhances this English transcription. The word that was given in the sub-title is found at the end of the composition after the asterisk. I also added a word in a few lines that I believe corresponds to what I think the spoken word artist meant. Those added words are given in brackets.

Sometimes the sub-titles included misspelled words. Also, sometimes the words that were spoken didn't match the words that were written in the sub-titles. In each of these cases, I used the words that best fit standard English.

(Thomas Appiah)

When did you change your name?
When did you hide the gift of love?
When did you start to judge?
Why do you hate people because of their forefathers’ mistakes?

All societies have a question to answer
for the unborn, the kids, the poor.
They cannot speak for themselves,
but we can see them running in hot dreams.
We are not here to be each others’ enemies,
We are here to make a destiny which demands diversity.
I belong to a race that respects all people
not those who call for favoritism.

It is time to prepare the tables of our hearts
to empower the generation
to turn a real dream into action,
effort into purpose,
sorrow into joy,
impossibility into possibility.

Why do I hate weak laws,
weak traditions,
and weak minds
that support racial abuse?

No one chooses to be White, Black, Hispanic,
Asian, or Mixed.
No one chooses his or her parents and homeland.
No one chooses to be helpless, homeless, or hopeless.
But some of us have chosen to proclaim the term racism
in all aspects of life.
How can a society place pets ahead of people?
How can we love trees more than people?
We allow names of selfish stories to become our thoughts
instead of love.
We keep our eyes on material things which cannot love us back.

Do you know that different colors means one people?
Are you ready to look down upon your own souls and
invite owls?
Why do you judge others who don’t look like you,
Who don’t speak your language?
If you aren’t going to fly with them,
then don’t stop them from progressing.

Why are there the generals in corporations who always hire certain crowds
and forget about other crowds.*
It is another story to see folks chanting abuse on sportsmen,
friends, strangers, neighbors, tall men, short men.
If these continue, we tell others they don’t deserve to live.
What is the meaning of multicultural and ethnicity?
Why must societies reject societies?
Why must citizens reject citizens
and treat them as slaves?
Why must citizens fight [among] themselves for positions and materials?
Why must one culture appear as a hypocrite to threaten another culture?
What is the essence of the rule of law in our land,
if the law states that no one is above the law
and [then] goes beyond to reject one person and save the other person?

Why can’t a state constitution feed its members with truth?
Don’t paint a race under one umbrella, for no race is perfect.
Don’t take our papers [and] be our keepers.

Racism is a storm.
It only destroys quality
and builds a restless society.
Believing in your culture or religion without truth
is just a wicked philosophy against humanity.
If this generation continues to act speechless,
our creator will question us one day.

Don’t go wild and hate your own race for nothing.
Don’t reject any race because of one person or one thing.
Be yourself and be friends with yourself for the rest of your life.
Whatever skin you have you must love it.
No race has the standard of living
We must learn how to respect people no matter their circumstances
even if they don’t agree with us.
We need strong people with [a] sense of humor,
beauty with passion and purpose.
People with great love to handle our society not faces.
We need to unite our uniqueness and make the world a better place.

I believe regardless of our differences
We are made for this hour to experience hope.
Just believe in yourself, and leave a mark that will
bless your generation.
I know racism will never vanish but we can control it.
It starts [with] you.
* The sub-titles gave "Where" as the beginning word in this line. I believe that the word "crowds" here means "populations".

From Legacy Hsf, Thomas Appiah

October 8, 2013

(Thomas Appiah)

Sometimes, I feel like crying,
I feel like the past has hated me for nothing,
so I called my present homeless,
and called my future aimless because no one likes me,
and no one wants to see me laughing in confidence.
But in my present, I can wake up,
work hard,
reposition my mind and breathe in the light,
and feel more than worthy.
And I can call myself" a man of power and victory",
a man who was made fearfully and wonderfully,
a man who can create something out of nothing".
I am capable of making my dreams reality*.
The word that was given in this comment/composition was "publish". I changed that word to "reality".

- Legacy ( new book coming out soon)

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1 comment:

  1. This post was published in response to the racist massacre that occurred in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015. May all the nine people who were killed rest in peace.

    Here's an article about that massacre: