My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter

My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter

by Aja Monet

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My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter is poet Aja Monet’s ode to mothers, daughters, and sisters—the tiny gods who fight to change the world.

Textured with the sights and sounds of growing up in East New York in the nineties, to school on the South Side of Chicago, all the way to the olive groves of Palestine, these stunning poems tackle racism, sexism, genocide, displacement, heartbreak, and grief, but also love, motherhood, spirituality, and Black joy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608467679
Publisher: Haymarket Books
Publication date: 05/30/2017
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 168
Sales rank: 189,521
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Aja Monet is a Caribbean-American poet, performer, and educator from Brooklyn. She has been awarded the Andrea Klein Willison Prize for Poetry and the Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam title, as well as the New York City YWCA’s “One to Watch Award.” She is the author of The Black Unicorn Sings and the co-editor, with Saul Williams, of Chorus: A Literary Mixtape. She lives in Little Haiti, Miami, where she is a co-founder of Smoke Signals Studio and dedicates her time merging arts and culture in community organizing with the Dream Defenders and the Community Justice Project.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Author's note xi

The labor movement xiii

I Inner (city) chants 1

The ghosts of women once girls 3

Language frontiers 4

If speaking is belonging 6

What my grandmother meant to say was 7

If ever you find yourself on the j train 9

Wit 11

For the mothers who did the best they could 12

When the poor sing 14

Jungle gym 15

564 park avenue 17

On asking my grandmother about santeria 18

An offering 19

Limbo 20

Ree ree ree 23

Tardiness 25

My parents used to do the hustle 27

Birth, mark 28

Shell shock 30

Reflection 31

Legacy 32

District two 33

Inner healing 34

Footnote 35

Give my regards to brooklyn 36

II Witnessing 41

The young 42

Irreplaceable 45

The first time 46

The whistleblower 48

71st and collins 51

#sayhername 53

Cook county 56

I'm just doing my job 57

Dark matter 58

Black joy 62

It is what it was 66

Survival of the richest 67

Starkville city jail 68

Mobile technology 70

America 72

When in french country 73

Every drop counts 74

For fahd 75

A voice from azadi square 79

The giving tree 80

We are 83

A storm in a teacup 86

Solidarity 87

Sentiments of the colored women 89

Nehanda taught me 92

My mother was a freedom fighter 94

III (Un)dressing a wound 97

When in doubt 99

Billie's flower 101

Album credits should include all the bed maidens 102

Niggas in paris 103

Nobody's fault but hers 104

The body remembers 105

Logan square 107

Is that all you got 110

Let's don't 115

The emerging woman after aborting a girl 116

A small luxury 118

Dream deferred 119

Each poem i take my pedestals and bury them 120

You make holy war 122

Unhurt 125

Slow season in titusville 128

I say i love you 129

Selah 130

Mi vida 134

La riad hammam 135

The ways of the many 136

Daphne 137

A portrait 138

Tomorrow 139

She sweats 143

Daughters of a new day 145

Acknowledgements 149

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