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Happy Black History Month

carter g woodson

Happy Black History Month to all of my brothers and sisters that descended from Africa . As my brother Gilbert Richards always reminds us, Black History didn’t start with Slavery and is more than the history of African-American/Black people in America.

This month, let’s celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of our ancestors by paying homage to their legacy and putting in the work to build on it.

No matter what your knowledge of our history is, learn more. No matter what your accomplishments and achievements are, do more. No matter how many people you uplift with the wonderful community service you do, strive to do more. No matter how many people you greet and smile at, smile and greet more.

Envision yourself helping your people escape from the Pharaoh. Think about what it would be like to conquer Rome. Can you see yourself leading forces in the French Revolution? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to take Edison’s inventions and make them better. What about creating an Almanac and designing the streets of our nation’s Capitol. When you make Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches do you say Ashe in honor of our ancestors? Do you ever wonder how all that food is transported across the country without spoiling? Have you read the Three Musketeers or the Count of Monte Cristo? When you thank Abraham Lincoln for freeing the slaves do you also thank Frederick Douglas? Do you yell Yele and Amandla Awethu in your sleep? What would it have been like to stand at the steps of the Lincoln memorial and to deliver one of the most important speeches ever delivered? What are the Souls of Black Folk saying to you now? How did Superman become Man?… and while I’m at it, why does Black History month even exist?

No matter who you are, no matter where you are in life… Dream Big, Give Thanks, and Go Forth on building the history of tomorrow through your hard work today. ~ Sean King


Poetic Voices’ marks celebration of black history

‘Poetic Voices’ marks celebration of black history

PoeticVoicesPhoto Credit: Stephan StarnesAnna Marie Sprowl delivers one of her many poems to CRC students and staff at the Poetic Voices event on Feb 13.

Elizabeth Witt, Opinion Editorial Assistant

March 1, 2013
Filed under News

Students and staff trickled into the Recital Hall at Cosumnes River College to observe Black History Month through Poetic Voices, a poetry reading event held on Feb. 13 featuring three prominent and published writers whose roots are right here in Sacramento.

Emmanuel Sigauke, an English professor at CRC, organized the event for students, faculty and community members as an opportunity to celebrate African-American culture in a creative and expressive way.

“This is an honor for our Black History Month,” Sigauke said as he introduced Laura Cook, Anna Marie Sprowl and Sean King as the guest artists at this event. “Bringing them to CRC is a dream come true.”

In Sacramento, poetry events are held almost every night of the week and Sigauke wanted “to bring interesting, poetic voices to campus.”

As a preface to the guest speakers, Sigauke invited audience members to come up and share some of their own poetic work in a “mini-open mic” setting.

“I always want to involve the CRC students,” Sigauke said as he spoke to the crowd of more than 40 students and staff members, including CRC President Deborah Travis.

Alexander Stallings, a 19-year-old theater and radio broadcast major, was one of the students who shared his work at the beginning of the event.

“It gives more of an understanding of how important this is in African-American culture,” Stallings said. “It gives me inspiration.”

After students read their poetry, each guest spent about 15 minutes sharing their own work with the audience and left many members wanting more but still feeling inspired.

Each poet spoke of individual emotions, feelings and experiences.

King’s ending line in his poem about Martin Luther King Jr. was that “you cannot assassinate a spirit, you can only kill a man.” Cook advised to not “wander too long in other people’s darkness.”

Along with the historical and cultural insights, Poetic Voices also embodied emotional elements.

“Poetry is a passion,” said Alexis Senegal, a 26-year-old psychology major. “It has the ability to reach and connect and get attention, and that’s incredible.”

– See more at:

Long Live the King


You can not assassinate a spirit
You can only kill a man
You can not assassinate a spirit
You can only kill a man

The untimely end to an era
Hope shattered
Hearts broken
People left to deal with dreams deferred
Slain visions of freedom
Stretched out and lying on piss infested street corners
Previously desecrated on
By America’s king of exploitation

I have a dream

The towering civil rights leader
With a voice hot like an inferno
The man who had become known as Dr. King
Humbled to his knees
Forced to face the only fate
Life has guaranteed for us,

With him the hopes and dreams
Of millions looking to him as their prodigy
Of millions looking to him as their prophet
Of millions looking to him as their leader
Of millions looking to him as their savior

One man who would take the cross
And give his life for humanity
One man who would mount the burden
Of millions of fearful souls
And will them to freedom

Or so they hoped
Or so they believed and prayed
When his heart quit thumping
Hope was lost
Time stopped
People were forced
To deal with the reality of trying to get somewhere
Without someone holding their hand and
Leading the way

Many gave up
Many quit trying
Figuring oppression was the destiny of life
But for some
The fight got stronger
The intensity of their spirit increased from the addition
Dr. King the man, was no more
But his spirit was forever
Determined to continue the fight
Against oppression
Determined to continue the fight
Against injustice
Determined to continue the fight
Against inequality
Determined to continue the fight
For freedom

It was a cold gloomy day
On April 4th, 1968 when a man
Oozing righteousness from his every pour
Was assassinated
Killed by a government intoxicated by the
False perception of playing God
But they failed

And to think,
They would attempt to assassinate the spirit of a man
With a man made tool of destruction
A ludicrous presumption to say the least
Yet they keep trying
And with each death I grow
Soon to become a figure so enormous
So colossal
That I will be able to tuck in a cannonball position
And roll to freedom
Crushing all opposition in my path

When they say Dr. King is dead
I hesitate
Then I laugh
Because I know his spirit
Lives vicariously through my soul
And if you look close enough
You can see the gleam of his eyes
Tucked carefully behind mine

They still do not understand
The only thing that can kill Dr. King is we
If we give up the fight for right and run
Fortunately we’ve just begun
And maybe this time they will understand

You can not assassinate a spirit
You can only kill a man
You can not assassinate a spirit
You can only kill a man