Atiim Chenzira, presents Destiny Manifest: Poetry and Spoken Word exploring the African ancestry from East to West Coast and back formulating my identity and roots as a new Mainer. Atiim is a musician, songwriter, spoken word poet, community activist and family therapist originally from Oakland CA. His music is an eclectic mix of New Age Hip Hop, Old School Soul and Jazz Poetry.
Indigo Arts Alliance, in partnership with Portland Ovations, is honored to have produced an original performance event featuring three based Maine artists to be featured in the Kennedy Center’s national series, Arts Across America. This program series is a part of the Washington, D.C. based John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Social Impact Initiatives. Arts Across America was built to uplift artists and showcase art from communities and regions across the country.
From clay to sun these bones were cast to form your buildings with brick.
From ships to chains & whips 2.4 million of my ancestors sustained sharks on the middle passageway.
Those unfortunate souls who survived the disease-ridden ocean of piss, vomit, rape, and confusion
were sold like horses or cattle alongside other merchant goods...
My Red great-great-great-great grandparents were cleared like brush to build your plantations.
The fields are stained with my African ancestors' blood...
Overseers become officers.
Masters become Banks, Bosses, and Judges.
Chains become jails, debts, and ghettos.
All a trap is this and that.
They “do no more than you let them do.”
Firsts the Native, then the Black, then this sky falls on you.
I am Black like the night and the stars shine through.
I am Red like the brick that you walk on too.
I am a reflection of my ancestors and that of you...
As my genes are of trauma, and my hands are calloused
I’ve clung to the noose of injustice for a breath, and...
I can’t BREATH!
Have you ever sat up straight with the fear of death inside you when a cop car gets behind you or they pull you over blind you?
Have you ever been belittled in a courtroom for a ticket that was bogus from the start when you entered pattered heart?
Have you ever felt discomfort from the clenching purses, car doors locking, eyes in store they follow me,
or they cross the street even though I’m dressed to kill professionally?
Then you’ll never understand below the surface of this skin, degrees, ancestry where from I come or hope to be
for my brick and mortar family tree you’ve hung me from.