Christal Ann Rice Cooper

Christal Ann Rice Cooper
Chris on July 3, 2017

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Poet Quraysh Ali Lansana discusses life and "They Shall Run The Harriet Tubman Poems"

Christal Cooper    3,383 Words (including excerpts)
*artwork by Lynne Perrella (http://www.lkperrella.com)
(more information at the Photo Description and Copyright Page at the bottom)

Quraysh Ali Lansana
The Storytelling Poet
and They Shall Run: Harriet Tubman Poems



        In Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained slave owner Calvin Candie (portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio) forces his slaves to fight against each other- to the death.  One slave, the Mandingo fighter D’Artagnans, no longer wants to fight, so he tries to escape, only to find himself at the bottom of a tree, pleading with his Master Candi to not make him fight anymore.


          The brutal Candi responds by ordering his two vicious dogs to literally tear apart and kill D’Artagnans, which they do with their jaws, claws, blood gushing out, the slave’s cries and screams compelling.
        

Prolific poet Quraysh Ali Lansana depicts the same evils of slavery in his persona book of poems They Shall Run: Harriet Tubman Poems, in the voices of Tubman herself, her husband John, a young boy named Isaiah, and a dog.



                  Negro dog

         thoughts on the matter of runaways
        
         don’t mind showing my teeth
         means i get to work
         my legs and savor the hunk of meat
         after i track em down

         don’t even see a coon
         unless i’m trainin or chasin
         master stick an old shirt or scrap
         under my snout and i’m gone
        
         he doesn’t let me out
         for anything else i live to run
         this cage makes me crazy
         leaves my blood funny

         coons really aren’t hard ta catch
         they have to sleep sometime
                  Page 23 from They Shall Run Harriet Tubman Poems
                  Copyright granted by Quraysh Ali Lansana  


         “Cuban blood hounds were used to track runaway African Americans.  They were tall and long and kept in cages too small for their bodies so they were always uncomfortable and it made them angrier. 


I imagined this dog was edgy.  It was only released to train for a hunt or on a hunt for an African American.  It was crazy with the notion of being free from his cage, which made him want to run, to stretch his legs. I imagined that the dog’s voice would be very brief, very staccato, very short utterances, (with) a balance of consonants and mutes to give this dog a very guttural urgency.  The dog would be matter of fact:  “I’m crazy in this cage, and as soon as they let me out, I go crazy to stretch my legs.  And I love the reward at the end of it – I love that chunk of meat.’”


         In Quraysh’s life, “chunk of meat” could be a term to describe how he sometimes felt in this world, particularly in his far right conservative hometown and home state of Enid, Oklahoma, where he lived in a cramped two-story home with his five older siblings, who made him aware of the injustices toward black people and who were an example to him of how they were to respond to this injustice – by following the Black Power Movement.


         “My older siblings had Nikki Giovanni and Amiri Baraka poems taped to the walls of their rooms.  I was saturated in the work of the music of that moment because that is what my siblings were listening to:  Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder – one of my most significant poetic influences- and Earth, Wind and Fire.”






         I was reared in a household that paid attention to social dynamics and social constructs.  Just by watching my siblings and the environment of our household I became very aware that I was different, by being a child of color.”


         By the time Quraysh was five years old, he understood the social constructs though he perhaps could not voice it at that age.  He met his best friend, Zack, a full-blooded Cherokee Indian, in kindergarten, and the two boys were close friends all the way until the 5th grade.


“He didn’t like to watch westerns.  So I’m not going to watch westerns.  He understood because that’s a direct element of his cultural upbringing.  If I were a full-blooded Cherokee I would understand why we don’t watch westerns (which) are all about mass conquest, mass genocide.I’m only one quarter Cherokee.  I didn’t understand all of that until middle school, but I was aware and sensitive to the dynamics of it at five years of age.”


         Quraysh, his older brother, and four older sisters were reared in the African Methodist Episcopalian Church.


         “We were the choir, one of my aunties was the music director, another aunt played the piano, one auntie became pastor of the church for quite some time, and my cousins and I did the offering.  The first time I ever presented anything in public was in that church.”


         Quraysh experienced his first writing of poetry when he was introduced to Beowulf in the 8th grade, which he described as his “most profound intimate relationship or introduction to poetry.” 


He was also introduced to the poets Robert Hayden and Gwendolyn Brooks (the first black writer to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for 1949’s Annie Allen), whom he would later meet in 1990, maintaining a deep friendship until her death in December of 2000.




         While attending Enid High School he was known as “Dear Abby”, wrote a sports column for the high school newspaper, and edited a page of student news from the local elementary schools for the town newspaper.


The movie All The President’s Men made a huge impression on him, and was eventually what led him to major in journalism at the University of Oklahoma.


During his sophomore year he started writing poetry consistently “because it was a way for me to yell on a piece of paper and not yell at a human.”


         That all changed when he started working for KWTV, Channel 9, a CBS affiliate in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma from the summer of 1987 until Thanksgiving of 1988.
         I was on my way to Northern Florida to take a job as a news director at a radio station in a small town near the swamps (where) I was to live in a trailer park for a couple of months.  The CBS affiliate called me – my car was packed – and they called me in that night for an emergency interview and offered me the job.” 


         Quraysh was thrilled, believing in ethical journalism as a public trust – giving the viewer the facts and allowing the individual to make his or her own interpretation.

         “When I got into the box of channel 9 I learned about spin, and we were by far the best news operation in the city at the time.  The general manager would get on the air for three minutes and would rant about something.  Edward Gaylord, owner of The Daily Oklahoman, would use the front page as a platform to yell back. 


Everyday I went to that job I learned what local T.V. news is about – not being very kind to black people and people of color, and perpetuating fear at a local level.”
         Perhaps the most tormenting and racially motivated moment of his career in this tiny glass box, was when he, one of only two black men working on the news side of the company, was assigned by the Managing Editor the task to greet and escort the Grand Imperial Wizard of the KKK to the newsroom where he and the General Manager were to have a meeting.


         “My Managing Editor was a good guy with a great journalism mind.  I liked him a lot.  I knew he was attempting to make a statement:  a black young employee to greet this wizard to make the statement that some of us do not condone what you are, but the Managing Editor didn’t even ask me how I felt about this chore.  I walk up to the front, and I cannot believe I have to do this.  I greeted him, he walked behind me, and I had to open the door and say, “I’m here to welcome you to the newsroom and to channel nine.”  And I imagine what he was thinking.  I opened the door for him and said, ‘Have a seat and they will be with you.”  And that is just one example of what it was like to be inside that box.”     


         He was fired in November of 1988, which in the end, was the best thing that could have happened to him.
         “When I was fired I realized how much of my own beliefs and my own way of seeing the world I had to suppress in order to do the job.  I was  completely saturated in work, and work was related to largely things that I didn’t believe in and things that made me question my integrity and my belief system.”


         He also experienced the realization that he had not been writing poetry during his time at Channel 9 because he was working six days a week, 11 hours each day.
         “Therefore I made unhealthy decisions and I didn’t have a moment of breath.  When I’m not writing I’m not healthy, I’m not my best self, and I learned that during that moment.”


         The moment he was fired he made poetry his primary focus and study of his life, and started writing again.  In September of 1989, with just two suitcases, a folder of poems, and $25, Quraysh moved to Chicago, where he lived with his previous college roommate Tom Booker (http://www.theinstitutiontheater.com/about), a comedian for Annoyance Theater.  


He eventually moved into his own apartment on Cornelia Street in Wrigleyville, where he continued to write poems.  He then moved to Wicker Park, a neighborhood saturated with the arts.


         While he earned his living working at a “document sweatshop” (a large litigation firm handling the paperwork for insurance companies during the national HMO scandals of the early 1990’s), he immersed himself in the local poetry scene, performing with the poetry groups Brothers in Verse and The FunkyWordsmyths.  He gave his first poetry reading in 1991 at the bar Borderline.  His second poetry reading was even more special, at Estelle’s, where he met his colleague, best friend, and great poet Christopher Stewart.


         In 1990, he converted to Islam and officially changed his name from Ron Myles to Quraysh Ali Myles. 
When he and his wife, Emily married on July 25, 1996 their Babalawo gave the couple the last name Lansana, which means “storyteller” in Mende,  a people and language rooted in Sierre Leone.


         “I was a practicing Muslim from 1990 to 1999.  Islam, for me, is what the military can be and has been for some young men, which was community, discipline, focus, and maturation.  My move to Islam was driven by faith, community, and it was also political.”


         During those nine to ten years being a practicing Muslim, Quraysh studied the continent of Africa and its people and learned that the Jihads were as brutal as the Christian’s colonialism and crusades when it came to forcing conversion.   He also realized that he was now interested in how people honored their ancestors and God in ways that are indigenous to Africa.       


         “I am no longer a practicing Muslim but Islam informs a great deal of who I am, but because I respect it so much and I do not follow it to the letter I do not call myself Muslim.  I have studied Buddhism, Rastafari, was raised Christian and all of those paths have formed who I am.  All of those paths are how I see and move through the world.”  


         One of those African descendants is Harriet Tubman, who is believed to have descended from the African tribe Ashanti, who fought for their own independence and claimed their own land.  Quraysh remembered her from his school years when they would display images of her on the school’s wall during February, Black History Month. 


         In 1999, while still living in Chicago, Quraysh attended a friend’s going away party and had a conversation with storyteller, performer and family member Glenda Zahra Baker, who was also at the party. 


         “She reminded me that Tubman was about 12 or 13 when she received that blow to the head attempting to come between an overseer and a young African boy named Jim, who tried to flee the plantation.  The overseer demanded Harriet whip Jim as a form of punishment and mental superiority.  Harriet refused.  The overseer got mad and picked up a fence post and threw it at the boy.  Harriet came between Jim and the fence post and took the blow to the head. 


Whenever you see images of Harriet you’ll see that her forehead protrudes a bit and the bridge of her nose and the lower part of her face is concave and pushed in and that’s from that blow. 


She was bedridden between four to six months due to the blow, and while she was bedridden the overseer tried to sell her and nobody would take her.  She used to be a house slave and now she was too ugly for the house.  Folks thought she wasn’t worth anything. 


When she recovered from that blow she could work as long and as hard as any man in the field, which is where she was put. 


Because of that blow she experienced what she called sleep or blackness – narcolepsy - for the rest of her life.  When she was in her narcoleptic sleep Zahra and I theorized that was when she received her guidance from the spirit world, from the ancestors.


Harriet was a super Christian, always in prayer, always in a constant conversation with God, and, in some ways I always felt that is why she had this bubble of protection around her and did the things she did.




I went home from that party and wrote “the leaving”, imagining what it might have felt like to have worked in the field for 14 hours in the July heat and you go back to the slave quarters and eat bacon grease and corn mush and your mom tells you this woman they call Moses is coming to free you but you must go alone.  


To know what it must have felt like to an eight or nine year old boy to leave your mom in the middle of the night.  You’re crying, she’s crying, and this mean ugly woman with a bandana on her head and a rifle in her bag comes out of this clearing and picks you up off the ground away from Mama with one arm and says, “Come on boy, let’s go.”  


And you wander into the night following this woman with a number of people you do not know (because) you do not know how to count.  You follow this woman and you cross the river, and you follow the same steps as the person preceding you so you minimize the wake and the ripple of the water and you get to the other side of the river.  You don’t know where you are; you are cold; you are wet; and you are scared.  The person who came and got you passes out for five minutes or an hour, and can’t be awakened; she just has to come out of it.  Imagine what this must have been like for this child.”



Isaiah

the leaving

my lord she gone
again  we’s in de middle
of pitch black sky

moon see us only
we pray  starin back
from de murky river

thirteen of us  i think
nigga runaways crossin
wide water wid no ripple

all cold an shiver
she gone again  my lord
why here  aint de red sea

where she go when she go
          Page 13 
         Copyright granted by Quraysh Ali Lansana

         “the leaving” is the first poem Quraysh wrote in They Shall Run: Harriet Tubman Poems and is the only poem of the collection without the benefit of research. 


         “I had no idea I would be this hooked and live the next 3 ½ years in the 1800s.  When I wrote “the leaving” I knew this was more than one poem.  It was at least a series.”


         In the spring of 2000, when he was accepted into New York University’s MFA program, he wanted to send a message with his poetry collection – that Harriet Tubman was a real human being and not some mythical creature. 
         A part of the work I wanted to make manifest is to take Tubman off the wall in public school classrooms for 28 days and remind us that she was flesh and blood and woman and black and that she did incredible things in a time where it was exceedingly difficult to do anything being a black woman and someone’s property.”


         In the summer of 2000, he and his family moved to Brooklyn for him to attend NYU.  He continued writing the Harriet Tubman poems with a pen and a journal, most of them written at Harlem’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (http://www.nypl.org/locations/schomburg).


Quraysh’s favorite poems from the collection are “The Trilogy Poems”:  the prose poem “long way home” in the voice of Harriet Tubman;  “faithless” in the voice of John Tubman; and “hole” in the voice of Harriet Tubman.
         “I call it a trilogy because they actually speak to one another and speak to the moment in her life and in the book about her and her situation with John, who did not believe she would ever leave.”
         In 2002, Quraysh’s final year at NYU, he enrolled in a poetry workshop under the former U.S. Poet Laureate and great narrative poet Philip Levine.  When he gave Levine his manuscript of 30 to 35 poems to read, he was confident the manuscript was near completion. 


         “He said it the only the way Phil could say it: “Q, the persona poems are fine but, you know, you need to write some narratives.”  And I had in my head: ‘That’s what Phil is going to say because Phil is one of the masters of writing in traditional narrative form and that’s the form that he champions.’”
         It wasn’t until the summer of 2003 that he realized Levine was right and that something was missing in the manuscript.  That very summer he attended a Cave Canem Workshop (https://www.cavecanempoets.org),with the goal of writing narrative poems in order to complete the manuscript.


         “With a whole lot of history books and a laptop and a manuscript, I wrote about 17 poems in the six days at the retreat and majority of them are narrative poems that flesh out the book.”
         On January 1, 2004, They Shall Run:  Harriet Tubman Poems, was published by Third World Press (www.thirdworldpressine.com).



         Presently he is adjunct faculty at the School Art Institute of Chicago (http://www.saic.edu); Faculty mentor of the Red Earth MFA program at Oklahoma City University (http://www.okcu.edu); and engaged in other projects.


         “I turned 50 this past September 13th, (and) I am on the pursuit of living the life I want to lead.  That’s the goal for all artists, and we have to make sacrifices and compromises to take care of our responsibilities.  I’m trying to avoid another full time position unless it’s a really good situation.”
         His top priority is his wife of 18 years, Emily, and their four sons ages 8, 10, 15, and 16.


         Other books by Quraysh include the chapbook cockroach children: corner poems and street psalm by nappyhead press 1995;

Editor of the two anthologies I Represent and dream in yourself, literary works from Chicago’s award-winning youth arts employment program, Gallery 37, Tia Chucha Press (http://www.tiachucha.org),1995 and 1996;

         the children’s book The Big World by Addison-Wesley, 1999; (http://www.interaction-design.org/references/publishers/addison-wesley_publishing.html)

Southside Rain by Third World Press, (http://www.thirdworldpressbooks.com) 2000;


Editor, Glencoe/McGraw Hill’s African American Literature Readerby Glencoe/McGraw Hill, (http://www.glencoe.com) 2001;

Co-editor, Role Call:  A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature and Art by Third World Press (http://www.thirdworldpressbooks.com), 2002


Chapbook Quraysh Ali Lansana: Greatest Hits, 1995 – 2005 by Pudding House Publications (http://library.osu.edu/finding-aids/rarebooks/puddinghouse.php) 2006;

co-editor of Dream of a Word:  The Tia Chucha Press Poetry Anthology by Tia Chucha Press, ((http://www.tiachucha.org) 2006


chapbook bloodsoil (sooner red) by Voices From the American Land, (http://www.voicesfromtheamericanland.org) 2009;


co-written with Georgia A Popoff Our Difficult Sunlight:  A Guide to Poetry, Literacy & Social Justice in Classroom & Community, Teachers & Writers Collaborative (http://www.twc.org) March 2011


Mystic Turf by Willow Books, (http://willowlit.net) 2012;


         Quraysh’s most recent book of poetry, The Walmart Republic, co-written with Christopher Stewart, was released on September 13, 2014 by Mongrel Empire Press (http://www.mongrelempire.org/).


Quraysh also co-edited The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry In the Age of Hip Hop by Haymarket Books (http://www.haymarketbooks.org), which will be released on February 3, 2015.



Photo Description And Copyright Information

Photo 1
Quraysh Lansana at Harriet Tubman’s gravesite.
Attributed to Georgia A Popoff 
Copyright granted by Quraysh Lansana.

Photo 2
Django Unchained move poster.
Move released in the United States on December 25, 2012
Fair Use Under the United States Copyright Law

Photo 3
Scene from Django Unchained depicting D’Artagnans is being attacked by Master Candi’s dogs at Master Candi’s command.
Fair Use Under the United States Copyright law

Photo 4a
Jacket cover of They Shall Run The Harriet Tubman Poems

Photo 5
Drawing of the Cuban bloodhound Spot.  Spot was one of two Cuban bloodhounds used to guard the POW camp at Andersonville, Georgia during the Civil War.
Public Domain

Photo 6
A plate drawing of Iron gray bloodhounds attacking a runaway slave.
Dated in the 1800s
Attributor unknown.
Library of Congress – Public Domain

Photo 7
Tommie Smith (center) and John Carlos (right) showing the raised fist on the podium after the 200m in the 1968 Summer Olympics. Silver medalist Peter Norman from Australia (left) joins them in wearing Olympic Project for Human Rights badges." This mural in Newtown, Sydney has been in Leamington Lane for 40 years. When State Rail built the stabling yards across the other side of the tracks they erected a concrete noise wall that now prevents rail travellers from seeing the work.
CCBY2.0 License

Photo 8
Drawing of the Cuban Bloodhound, Spot.  Spot was one of two Cuban Bloodhounds used to guard the POW camp at Andersonville, Georgia during the Civil War.
Attributor unknown
Public Domain

Photo 9
Baraka addressing the Malcolm X Festival from the Black Dot Stage in San Antonio Park, Oakland, California while performing with Marcel Diallo and his Electric Church Band.
Attributed to David Sasaki from San Diego, California USA
Creative Common Attribution 2.0 Generic License

Photo 10
Trade Ad for Marvin Gaye’s Album Anthology
April 27, 1974
Public Domain

Photo 11
Stevie Wonder on August 21, 1973
Attributed to Motown Records
Public Domain

Photo 12
Earth Wind & Fire:  Left to right: Maurice White and Philip Bailey performing at the Ahoy Rotterdam, The Netherlands 1982
Attributed to Chris Hakkens
CCBYSA

Photo 13
Quraysh Ali Lansana’s sixth grade class picture.
Third from left, front row.
Copyright granted by Quraysh Ali Lansana.

Photo 14
American Indian Boy with Shovel at the Dwight Mission School in Oklahoma
Photo attributor unknown.
Photo taken from 1914 to 1953
Burke Library Archives (Columbia University Libraries) at Union Theological Seminary in New York
*Images can only be used for scholarship, teaching, and resource purposes.

Photo 15
Scene from the 1956 movie, The Searchers, where John Wayne’s character spends years looking for his niece (portrayed by Natalie Wood), who was taken by Indians.  In this particular scene, John Wayne and his men have just attacked an Indian community.
Public Domain

Photo 16
Reverend Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, usually called the A.M.E. Church, which is a predominantly African-American Methodist denomination based in the United States. It was founded in Pennsylvania, in 1816, from several black Methodist congregations in the mid-Atlantic area that wanted independence from white Methodists.
Public Domain

Photo 17
1918 African Methodist Episcopal Church, Cairo, Illinois
March 7, 2011
GNU Free Documentation License

Photo 18

Photo 19
Robert Hayden
Fair Use Under The United States Copyright law

Photo 20
Gwendolyn Brooks at the Miami Book Fair International in 1985.
CCASA 3.0

Photo 21
First edition jacket cover of Annie Allen
Fair Use Under the United States Copyright Law

Photo 22
Quraysh Ali Lansana at his Enid High School Social for the orchestra and band
May 10, 1980
Copyright granted by Quraysh Ali Lansana

Photo 23
Movie Poster for All The President’s Men
Release Date April 9, 1976
Fair Use Under the United States Copyright Law

Photo 24
Quraysh Ali Lansana from the video “passage”
Attributed to Kurt Heintz
Copyright granted by Quraysh Ali Lansana.

Photo 25
Oklahoma City’s News 9 CBS logo
Fair Use Under the United States Copyright law

Photo 26
Edward L Gaylord (May 28, 1919 to April 27, 2003).
Fair Use Under the United States Copyright Law

Photo 27
Oklahoma Publishing Offices in downtown Oklahoma City
Attributed to Butzer Gardner
CC BY SA 3.0

Photo 28
Three Ku Klux Klan Members burning a cross in Denver, Colorado
1921
Photo attributed to Denver News
Public Domain

Photo 29
Quraysh Ali Lansana
Attributed to Melissa Wilson/Artful Photography
Copyright granted by Quraysh Ali Lansana

Photo 30
Quraysh Ali Lansna
Attributed to Carolyn Ferrari Photography
Copyright granted by Quraysh Ali Lansana

Photo 31
Quraysh Ali Lansana
Copyright granted by Quraysh Ali Lansana

Photo 32
Tom Booker
Copyright granted by Tom Booker 

Photo 33
View of North Avenue on Wicker Park
Attributor unknown.
GNU Free Documentation License

Photo 34
Christopher Stewart
Copyright granted by Christopher Stewart 

Photo 35
With Quraysh Ali Lansana, Emily Lansana and J Alan Love at Washington Park Arts Incubator.
February 2013
Copyright granted by Quraysh Ali Lansana.

Photo 36
A depiction of Muhammad receiving his first revelation from the angel Gabriel. From the manuscript Jami' al-tawarikh by Rashid-al-Din Hamadani, 1307, Ilkhanate period.
Attributor Unknown
Public Domain

Photo 37
Map of Africa representing the different ethnic groups as of 1996.
Attributed of the United States Central Intelligence Agency
Library of Congress Geography and Map Division.
Public Domain

Photo 38
Ashanti girl dancing cultural Akan Dance, Surrey Fusion Festival 2010
July 17, 2010
Attributed to Brendan Lally
CCA 2.0 Generic

Photo 39
A woodcut image of Harriet Tubman
1869
Woodcut artists unknown
W.J. Moses, printer; stereotyped by Dennis Bro's & Co
Public Domain

Photo 40
Glenda Zahra Baker
September 2013
Story telling at Arts Incubator in Washington Park 
Copyright granted by Glenda Zahra Baker 

Photo 41
Earliest known photograph of Harriet Tubman, age 33, and the white child she took care of.
Photo taken in 1855?
Public Domain

Photo 42
Harriet Tubman
Photo 43 (1) (2) (3) (4) and (5)
The five images are from an article in SOMERSET STUDIO magazine July/August 2014 issue, pages 40 – 47.
The article PATCHES & PASSAGES:  Decoding the Underground Railroad and its artwork is written and created by Lynne Perrella. 
http://www.lkperrella.com
Copyright granted by Lynne Perrella.

Photo 44
Harriet Tubman
Public Domain 

Photo 45
Statue of Harriet Tubman located at the
Ypsilanti District Library in Ypsilanti, Michigan on 229 West Michigan Avenue
Artist Jane DeDecker
Photo by Dwight Burdette
CCA3.0 Unported.

Photo 4b
Jacket cover of They Shall Run The Harriet Tubman Poems

Photo 4c
Jacket cover of They Shall Run The Harriet Tubman Poems

Photo 46
The New York University seal
Fair Use Under the United States Copyright Law

Photo 47
Harriet Tubman in 1911
Public Domain

Photo 48
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture's building at 515 Malcolm X. Boulevard (Lenox Avenue) was constructed between 1969 and 1980, and opened to the public in 1978. It was designed by Bond Ryder Associates. A link tot he Center’s original building, the former 135th Street Branch, was built in 1991, designed by Davis Brody Bond. The building was renovated in 2007. (Source: 'AIA Guide to NYC (5th ed.))
March 29, 2014
GNU Free Documentation License
CCASA 3.0 Ported, 2.5, 2.1, and 2.0 Generic

Photo 49
Philip Levine
Public Domain

Photo 50
Cave Canem Logo

Photo 4d
Jacket cover of They Shall Run The Harriet Tubman Poems

Photo 51
Web logo of Third World Press
http://www.thirdworldpressbooks.com

Photo 52
Quraysh Ali Lansana
August 2013
Attributed to Koren Liburn
Copyright granted by Quraysh Ali Lansana

Photo 53
Upper left – Quraysh Ali Lansana
Upper right – Emily Lansana
Bottom Photo – Quraysh and his four sons

Photo 54
Jacket cover of Southside Rain

Photo 55
Jacket cover of Role Call:  A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature and Art

Photo 56
Jacket cover of Dream of a Word:  The Tia Chucha Press Poetry Anthology

Photo 57
Jacket cover of bloodsoil (sooner red)

Photo 58
Jacket cover of Our Difficult Sunlight:  A Guide to Poetry, Literacy, & Social Justice in Classroom & Community.

Photo 59
Jacket cover of Mystic Turf

Photo 60
Jacket cover of The Walmart Republic

Photo 61
Jacket cover of The Breakbeat Poets:  New American Poetry In the Age of Hip Hop