"OUR LIVES MATTER" (A Review)
[rev. writ. 1/19/17] 0'17 Mumia Abu-Jamal
Rob G. Kelly's new work of poetry screams from its very cover: "Our Lives Matter!"
In an era of the Black youth movement, often termed 'Black Lives Matter' by the corporate press
(and In fact. formally named: The Movement for Black Lives) this work seems especially written for
them, for many of the motivating factors that drove Black youth Into the streets with fevered
protest, and the often fragile demonstrations fraught with danger (here I want the reader to recall
the men, women and children confronting cops armed with weapons of war, as In Ferguson, Mo., for
example), echo here with the names of Mike Brown, Rekiah Boyd, Freddie Gray and are the stuff and
meat of poems: hymns to the dead.
Kelly's poems are prayers, written on paper, and cast into the winds of fate, like kites, or
chicks tossed from the steel nests of prison.
He shares his pain, his dreams, his visions and his hopes in these poems, which are as
interesting as they are Inventive.
Imagine how he teases and caresses words in a poem, with the surprising title: "Tonight Date
Kelly Is a sober young man, who has spent enough time In the bowels of prison to feel and
express not just his longing, but his highest, most sacred hopes: a way of living for Africans In
America (he often uses the term, 'Nubians') without the ever-present sense of dread.
Divided into 3 sections, he creates a triangle of lust, righteous indignation, and the
tenderest of loves.
He Is smart enough, and savvy enough to respect, and elevate his elders who have inspired him,
like Gwendolyn Brooks, and Sonia Sanchez.
If you enjoy reading poetry, "Our Lives Matter" may be the next book for you to buy, and feed
upon, to enrich and nourish the soul.