Who Killed McDuffie? A definitive question


Jamala Rogers performed this powerful poem since the 1980s, always wondering about the author. She would update the names with the latest police murder. Sadly, there was a never ending roll call of black children, women, and men that made the poem ever relevant and timely. After the Trayvon Martin murder and changing the names and cities yet again, she finally found him on Facebook.

Harold Lee Rush aka Hakim Al-Jamil is a creative artist who has used his talents in theater and spoken word to raise the consciousness of his community. You can hear him dropping knowledge on “Live with Harold Rush” at Chicago’s 893FM WKKC radio.

http://www.haroldleerush.com/

https://www.facebook.com/events/1508495839167809/

Who Killed McDuffie?

A definitive question

By Hakim Al-Jamil

his brain was crashed

cranium crashed

skull fractured/broken

all the way around

but they said those who beat him

didn’t kill him

so who killed mcduffie?

maybe it was the same ones that didn’t kill

clifford glover/randy heath/jay parker

claude reese/randy evans/luis baez

arturo reyes/bonita carter/eula love

elizabeth magnum/arthur miller

and countless others

when there fingers slipped or

they musta tripped

maybe it was the same ones

who didn’t kill

jose torres/zayd shakur/fred and carl hampton

jonathon jackson and george jackson/ joe dell

twyman myers/spurgeon winters

and a few hundred others

perhaps it was those who didn’t kill

lumumba/che/amilcar/biko/fanon

mondlane/marighella/cordero

and quite a few thousands more

do you suppose it may have been those

who didn’t kill

the indians and mexicans

who didn’t steal african people

halfway across the planet

who didn’t loot our customs/cultures

religions/languages/labor and land

who didn’t steal a continent

and claim that they discovered it

who didn’t bomb the japanese/

vietnamese and boriqua too

do you think it might have been those

who didn’t kill at

attica/watts/dc

detroit/newark/ el barrios

at jackson state, at southern u

at the algiers motel

who didn’t shoot mark essex for

16 hours after he was dead

ask them and they’ll tell you

what they didn’t do

but they can’t tell you

who killed mcduffie

maybe it was one of those

seizures unexplainable

where he beat himself to death

it wouldn’t be unusual

our history is full of cases where we

attack nightsticks with our heads

choke billyclubs with our throats

till we die/

jump in front of bullets with our backs/

throw our selves into rivers

with our hands and feet bound/

hang ourselves into rivers

with our hands and feet bound/

hang ourselves on trees/in prison cells

by magic

so it shouldn’t be a mystery

that nobody killed mcduffie

he just died the way

so many of us do

of a disease nobody makes a claim to

the police say they didn’t do it

the majors say they didn’t do it

the judges say they didn’t do it

the government say it didn’t do it

nixon say he didn’t do it

the fbi/ cia/military establishment

say they didn’t do it

xerox/exxon/itt say they didn’t do it

the klan and nazis say they didn’t do it

(say they were busy in greensboro and wrightsville)

I know I didn’t do it

that don’t leave nobody but you

and if you say you didn’t do it

we’re right back where we started

looking for nobody who killed mcduffie

you remember nobody don’t you

like with de facto segregation

where they said the schools were segregated

but nobody did it on purpose

like when they said there’s been

job discrimination for years

but nobody it intentionally

that’s the nobody we’re looking for

the one with the motive

to kill mcduffie

and you see, we MUST find

this nobody who slew mcduffie

because the next person

nobody will beat/stomp/hang or shoot to death

won’t be mcduffie

you should know the reason of

who killed mcduffie

it’ll be you or someone close to you

so for your own safely

you should know the pedigree of

who kill mcduffie

you should know the reason of who

killed mcduffie

you should remember all those forgotten

who died of the disease

nobody

makes a claim to

so we won’t be here asking

who killed you

Courtesy of Jamala Rogers and her book Ferguson is America: Roots of Rebellion

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