i am the music man and you're a thief

The poet rode waves that peaked on accusation and explanation:

you weren't there when whips cracked the backs
I was there I didn't see you

The crowd was shouting back to Roger as he voiced its feeling, gave air to black peoples' grievance at the commercial success of white bands imitating black bands. "The Music Man" continued. Locating himself as the heir to a culture formed from the experiences of Afrikans in enslavement. Black music is his birthright and we white people who play this music and sell it out by selling it off in watered down forms were being called to task. He said that he was there on the slave ships, that he had sung the songs of slaves, that he was those people and they were him, in him now, calling his poem, inflecting his voice with its Trinian accent, fuelling that fire that gave birth to his passion. The last verse fell off of a crescendo and he slowed down easing us to the close:

i am the music man/ i am the music man/i am the music man
and you're a t'ief.

He left the stage to acclaim from his peers. The MC came on and all he said was "Yo Red," which was my poetry call sign. Speaking to me in poetry. The whole poem was addressed to white people working with black forms. People like me. In fact, the poem was addressed directly to me. I stood there dealing with my feelings of disorientation. I was being called out, again. Twice in one night. Something was happening. Something I couldn't deny. A challenge to what I was doing surrounding myself with the signs of black cultural forms.

Wiggers and Wannabes: White Ethnicity in Contemporary Youth Culture.
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