March 16, 2006

The Mouse that ROARED. At seven.

Wow, now here's a first. Okay, it's not the first time an author's work has been banned, but um, she's ...Seven. The New York Post reports that home-schooled and multi-lingual Autum Ashante's poem "White Nationalism Put U in Bondage" was seen as a bit, um, excessive for the Westchester middle and high school in Peekskill, where she was asked to perform. She's a poet, and has already shared the body of her work at the Manhattan African Burial Ground and on television. But, there's nowhere like school districts to help artist get their work banned, and it was the school performance that tore it.

You'll have to make the call as to whether Ms. Ashante is only parroting what she hears at home in her heavy and dramatic blank verse -- how many times does a seven-year-old get to use the word 'paradigm' in her poetry? (How often do you?!) -- and you may disagree with her only addressing certain students with her call to action and pride - I know I do - but no matter what you think of her personally, it's pretty ironic that it took a SCHOOL to shut her up, a school to make phone calls to parents, a school to apologize for the words of a 7-year-old, just in case her art offended. Open wide the halls of learning, that all may enter in... and maybe be offended and sue.

Of course, now she's got visits scheduled with Al Sharpton. And may I just say that New York will now never hear the end of this? Be careful of mice with keyboards.

2 comments:

a. fortis said...

Of COURSE with Al Sharpton. Who else? Dare I ask, who next? ;)

TadMack said...

Jesse Jackson, anyone? Hillary?