Notes on the first Meeting
of the First Poet's Church of the Latter Day Egyptian Revisionists
At the outset, Dr. M told those gathered for the first meeting that the Minister of Business advised him to cancel the meeting because it was not necessary since he had not handled the first order of business, preparation of articles of incorporation and bylaws. Gregory Fields, Minister of Planning, agreed that those documents are priority. Dr. M assured the group at the next meeting those documents will be available for their consideration.
Dr. M was asked to explain his vision for the church. It's a poet's church yet today every North American African is a poet. Ask any person on the street coast to coast and they will tell you they are in the studio making beats and rhymes, so the people are the poets, thus we are a church of the people, especially those conscious of their creativity.
We are a social activist church. We are not only concerned with problems but with solutions. Talk is cheap if not followed by social action. Gregory Fields, Minister of Planning, explained the AME traditon of acquisition of land and propertry and that the First Poet's Church should follow that tradition. He explained in a very detailed manner how things can be done collectively.
The only problem is the behavior of people once success is achieved. Dr. M said this is why his book How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy is a required text for membership, for unless we detox and recover from our addiction to white supremacy (type II White Supremacy for Pan Africans who suffer over identification with the master, according to Dr. Nathan Hare), we lack the power to transcend greed, selfishness and materialism or conspicious consumption.
Dr. M explained his vision of leadership. Although I assume the responsibility of leadership, my vison is that we are all the leaders, we are all the central command. During the Vietnam war the socalled Viet Cong moved into Cambodia. The Americans claimed they expanded the war into Cambodia because it was now the location of the Viet Cong's central command. The VC came on the news to say, "The Americans don't understand they cannot destroy the central command because we are all the central command!"
Those present gave their vision for the church and as choreographer/dancer Raynetta noted, there was a oneness of thought, a unity of mind as per the vision.
Aries Jordan, Minister of Poetry and Youth, said the language of love should be the official language. Indeed, there was a momentary psycholinguistic crisis over the word utopian, whether the church was an impossible dream or an achievable goal. Utopian had to be defined but Dr. M said we will have many psycholinguistic discusions because there is no consensus on definitions and usage. What do you mean by freedom, he asked? What is blackness? What is a woman, a man?
For sure, brother Gregory said, we must escape darkness as we interact with each other. Don't look at each other and see darkness but light. We are children of light, not darkness. Let us walk in the light and see the light in each other.
When Aries said her ministry is the children, Dr. M agreed with her that the focus is the youth. We are here to pass the baton to you young people, speaking directly to Aries and Jermaine, the youngest in the group.
But we are here for all of our people, the young and the elders. Dr. M said at the Academy of da Corner (essentially his street ministry) he is approached by youth and adults who need to vent and demand he look in their eyes as they discuss their grief and trauma from living in a hostile environment. There are mothers who need to discuss problems with their daughters and sons, and fathers worried about their daughters, so we must serve all the people, young and old.
The meeting finally ended with prayer and a few departed. When Jermaine got up to leave, Dr. M told him to hold up because Part II was about to begin. Before Part II began, Ramal went to his car for a drum. When he returned and began drumming, Dr. M opened the Poet's Bible, the Journal of Pan African Studies Poetry Issue which he guest edited. Ptah Mitchell, Minister of Poetry and Philosophy, called it the Bible because it contains the new Pan African Consciousness, a wide range of thought on reality in the new millennium. The group took turns reading from the Poet's Bible, including the following poems:
For Gwen in Passing by L.E. Scott, New Zealand, read by Eugene Allen
Going to the Village by L.E. Scott, read by Ptah Mitchell
Dr. Nigger by Dr. Neal Hall, read by Jermaine
No Black Fight by Marvin X, read by Marvin X
Poem for Clara Muhammad by Marvin X, read by Ptah Mitchell
Wish I Could Fly like a Hawk by Marvin X, read by Ptah Mitchell
A Mile in My Stiletto Shoes by Aries Jordan, read by Aries Jordan
Letter for Bobo by Shaggy Flores, read by Eugne Allen
Medical Mythology by Ramal Lamar, read by Ramal Lamar
--Dr. M, Prime Minister, First Poet's Church of the Latter Day Egyptian Revisionists