Autum Ashante Child Prodigy
Autum Ashante’ of Mount Vernon, N.Y., has performed at HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, the Cotton Club in Los Angeles, the Apollo Theater in Harlem, the African Street Festival, Caroline’s on Broadway, the Russell Simmons Phat Farm Fashion Show, Steve Harvey’s “Big Time,” a prestigious Grammy Foundation event, and at universities and other venues across the country. She recites her verses not only in English, but also in fluent Swahili and Arabic (she attended the Islamic Darul Arkam School in Mount Vernon). The city of New York honored her with a proclamation for inspiring “her peers, as well as adults, while also demonstrating the power of a father’s love, the importance of education and the limitless boundaries of the human mind.” New York City councilwoman Yvette Clark called her “one of the most precious young talents that this world has ever known.”
Autum Ashante, in 2006 was a precocious home schooled 7 year old when she was invited to perform at a public school in Peekskill Ny for a Black History Month Program.
After asking white students to remain seated while she led Black students in a recitation of the Black Panther Party Child’s Pledge, reads in part:
I pledge allegiance to my Black People.
I pledge to develop my mind and body to the greatest extent possible.
I will learn all that I can in order to give my best to my People in their struggle for liberation.
I will discipline myself to direct my energies thoughtfully and constructively rather than wasting them in idle hatred.
I will train myself never to hurt or allow others to harm my Black brothers and sisters
These principles I pledge to practice daily and to teach them to others in order to unite my People.
She then recited her original poem that stunned the audience. This was her poem.
White nationalism is what out you in bondage
Pirate and vampires like Columbus, Morgan,and Darwin
drank the blood of the sheep, trampled all over them
with steel, tricks and deceit.
Nothing has changed take a look in our streets
The mis-education of the She and Hegro- leaves you on
your Knee 2 grow
Black lands taken from the hands, by vampires with
They took the gold, the wisdom and all the storytellers
They took the Black woman, with the Black man weak
Made to watch as they changed the paradigm
of our village.
Nothing has changed take a look at our streets!!!
There was such an outcry and many complaints from the parents of the students who attended that school, that school administrators sent a letter of apology
to everyone in that district.
” Autum defended her poem by explaining to the Westchester Journal News that white people are “devils and they should be gone. We should be away from them and still be in Africa.”
And make note of this: The official who invited Autum to speak, Melvin Bolden, is a public school music teacher, Peekskill councilman and producer of her first spoken-word album.
Who is surprised? If you set aside a separate holiday for Black History Month in the public schools, if you set aside separate graduation ceremonies, college dorms, academic departments, recruiting programs, and government contracts and subcontracts by race, you send a message that hard-core racial separatism is not only acceptable – but desired.
Autum Ashante’ is the natural offspring of militant multiculturalism and government-sanctioned identity politics. We reap what we sow.