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Omekongo wa Dibinga


Country: United States


www.omekongo.com

Biography:

Omekongo wa Dibinga was born to Congolese parents in Cambridge Massachusetts. His first CD, A Young Black Man's Anthem, won the 2003 Cambridge Poetry Award for "Best CD." His first book of poems, From the Limbs of my Poetree, was published in 2004 through Free Your Mind Publishing, which Omekongo founded in early 2004. Other CD's include Reality Show, which is Omekongo's first hybrid spoken word and hip-hop CD. Omekongo has been published in Essence Magazine, Sister 2 Sister, and several other publications.

A dedicated educator and community activist for over 20 years, Omekongo plans to continue focusing on improving cultural understanding and growing greatness among all of humanity's children, because, as Omekongo believes: "We are only as humane as our most inhumane soul."

Related Podcasts & Events:

The African, The American

Some people desire to inquire
What my name means because it sounds so “powerful:”
“OMéKONGO”
Like I need to play some drums when I say it

Others ask if it’s my “birth name”
As if it’s any of their business
But short of the intrinsic inclination to input inhabitants in
Pre-determined non-pensive packages
Few people ask me what it’s actually like
To be an American in Africa,
And an African in America

’Cause for real,
I feel like I need to relocate
To the center of the Atlantic Ocean
Because I am truly caught in the middle

The African, the American…
I’m remixing Angie Palmer’s words
From “I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor”
To “I’ve been dissed and I’ve been torn”
Because I’ve been torn between being
Called the American nigga and the African bushboogie

I’m torn between having to speak “African”
To prove I’m African in America
And speaking French
To prove that I’m African
In francophone African countries
What???!!!

I’m torn between the gangs
And the “tribes” both practicing ethnic cleansing
I’m torn between seeing one set
Of my belabored brothers die for hot diamonds
And my other beleaguered brothers
Living to be iced out
But it still doesn’t even out

I’m torn between
Trafficked African sex slaves having hymens torn
And American child porn
I’m torn between
Dealing with the child soldier
And the child gang-banger on the corner

I’m torn between
Dealing with African military leaders
Showing our kids they don’t need school to rule
And rap artists telling our kids
They don’t need school to be rich or cool

I’m torn between
Corporations using both
My communities as a toxic ditch
I’m torn between “I’m Mobutu Sese Seko”
And “I’m Rick James, Bitch!”

And I don’t know
Whether to laugh or cry sis’
Because as proud as I am
To be who I am,
I sometimes feel like
I have an identity cri-sis

Now I know why
I’m so fond of “Transformers” cartoons
’Cause the way folks want me
To change up,
I might as well change my name
From Omékongo to “Optimus Dibinga”
Until people realize that
In getting past my name and frame,
There’s “more than meets the eye”

But whether I be the American countryman
Or the transcontinental African
I know that both identities
End in “I-Can”

So I know I can be, be me,
Let my words do the talking,
And my actions do the walking

Because I will never fit into your box
Whether I got a fade or some locks
So when you’re trying to figure out who I am,
And which stereotypical categories I cover,
I’ll be covered in content
If you just called me, “That brother”


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