Category Archives: street art

THE PLEDGE

I pledge allegiance
to romance
of the Universal States of Consciousness
and to the essence
for which it stands
one love
under God
indispensable
with kisses and orgasms
for all!

To: Munchkin
From:C-Note
Copyright 2017 Donald “C-Note” Hooker

STRANGE FRUIT

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California
is the place to be
Fun living
is the life for me
Spacious places
far and wide
Except at C.I.W.
home to women suicides

About the Paintoem
Poem by: Cn
Painting by: Cn

We create monsters
of ugliness
but we’re scared
to look at
our own creations.
—-Cn

Strange Fruit, is an original work of wax on paper; made in the form of a collage. Done by Cn in 2017. “When I had to do an expedited visual work for the Paintoem, Life Without the Possibility of Parole, I used an image from a magazine, but drew the background,” says Cn. “I have a push, or thirst to bring attention to women issues. That’s what Life Without the Possibility of Parole is about. Strange Fruit, is to draw attention to a report that I read in the October 2016, edition of the San Quentin News. It stated, ‘During an 18-month period in 2014-15, the suicide rate at the California Institution for Women (C.I.W.) was eight times the national average for women prisoners and five times the rate for the entire California prison system.’ When I did Life Without, there was an aesthetic there. This was from a fashion magazine. This was of a white woman, a young white woman, on a very serious subject. I say to myself, ‘Hey, much support in the prisoner rights movement comes from older white women in the Catholic Church. This is an image of them. They see their younger selves in her. Promote the $#@! out of this work.’ I could have used that same racial device in Strange Fruit. With Life Without, it was about the aesthetics. It was about the shape of that image in the magazine. Later on, I realized how I could use race to my benefit. That device really did not go unnoticed to me when doing a work on women suicide. But I couldn’t play on white populism; I had to speak the truth. So a black woman had to be used. Blacks out number all the other races combined in incarceration. There are lots of ways of committing suicide, but I think the hanging is the most salient in our human conscious. That being the case, that brings in Strange Fruit. ‘Strange Fruit,’ is the title to a song, sung by Billie Holiday. The tener of the song is about all this strange fruit hanging from these trees in the South. What was this strange fruit? Nooses around the necks of dead African-Americans. That’s why the piece is entitled ‘Strange Fruit.’ That’s why there’s a noose around her neck. Why a collage? Because I had discovered with Life Without, collages create a certain depth perception. The poem, is a play on the CBS television show Beverly Hillbillies. ‘California/is the place to be/Fun living/is the life for me…’ In Black intelligentsia, and its grass roots also, they have really latched onto Michelle Alexander’s seminal work, ‘The New Jim Crow (Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.’ So here is her thesis, that 21st Century mass incarceration, and post incarceration reentry, looks very similar to 20th Century Jim Crow laws in the deep South. People generally agree with her thesis, and actively use the siren call end the New Jim Crow. Incarcerated blacks even started the Neo Jim Crow Art movement, to which this piece is a part of. I hold up Sandra Bland as our 21st Century’s Emmett Till. Emmett Till, like Sandra Bland was a fellow Chicagoan who went down South. Emmett allegedly in 1955 made a whistling sound in the general area of a white woman. He was only 14 years of age. He was bludgeon to death. His mother, from the North (Chicago), wanted an open casket burial to which a Jet Magazine photographer snapped a picture of his gruesome remains. It was the shot (photo shoot), heard around the world. Well, I’ve been holding up Sandra Bland to go with the theme of this work. She is our 21st Century version of Emmett Till. What was her offense that caused her to lose her life? It started with a traffic stop; whose legitimacy is dubious at best. But an officer who physically feels the need to pull a motorist out of their car for smoking a cigarette? An activity that is associated with a high degree of stress, to which this encounter with this law enforcement obviously was. But I think anytime a person comes in contact with law enforcement, and especially an African-American with a white officer, it is very harrowing; because an African-American never knows where this thing is going. And Ms.Bland allegedly or apparently committed suicide while in a jail holding cell for a nonsensical lane change violation. To which the officer was fired as a result of this incident. In certain activist circles, it’s common to hear women say, ‘Prisons were not designed or intended for women.'” Strange Fruit is still retained by Cn until he can find a party interested in the work. However, you can still buy prints of this piece, and other related products, at Fine Art America

[Editor’s Note ]: This Paintoem, like all Paintoems, are given to the public, to have free use rights, so long as acknowledgement is given to the artist(s).

Links to other Paintoems:
Mprisond
My Dilemma
Tears of the Mothers
Black August-Los Angeles
More Paintoems

It Must End! BLACK FEMALE BOYCOTTS AGAINST BLACK MEN IN THE PEN.

IMG_20160613_074604
So they dun killed some black boys
that’ll never grow up to be black men.
So you dun had an epiphany
WHERE ARE ALL THE MEN?

Little black boy
killed in the streets
not guilty verdict
a jury did reach
Teary-eyed sista
signed off on Facebook that day
these final words, she had to say
BLACK LIVES MATTER

I know black folks
didn’t think
George Zimmerman
was the final chapter
Cause a young boy in Missouri
got killed
to show you
Black Lives Don’t Matter.

Presidential Election
now these women all in a tuff
Who dey think they is
calling out Hillary Clinton
that ain’t enough.

Bill Clinton’s Crime Bill was passed 22 years ago
So where have you been?
You just now dun figured out
black men
been languishing
in these pens?

I say It Must End!”
and I swear I mean it too
cause it’s year twenty two
and I still ain’t got no letter from you.

Come on Sistas
y’all out there
loud mouth protesting
But you ain’t talking to me
you talking to them.

When I hear dem women speak
Mr.Charlie,
let my men free
Y’all make good sound bites
in dem public squares
But alone
in my prison cell
your voice is not there.

You can Instagram, Tweet, and Facebook all day
But when it comes to really giving bac
writing a letter
you have nothing to say

You’re speaking to the media
and whoever will listen
about what have you done
wit our men
you know
the ones locked up
in the pen

Now he’s been down thirty
Me
just twenty-two
Now I don’t know
What you got going on
but I never heard from you

When was the last time
you sat down and wrote him a letter?
I know he dun sent you five
and you still ain’t got bac
with some jive.

Where all the Sistas in the V.I.?
Just Snow Bunnies and Latinas
supportin your men
So the question gots to be asked
Where Have Y’all Been?

When I see a Sista
I can’t laugh
I can’t cry
All I can do
is die inside

For twenty long years
I ain’t never been
One of these Sistas
Brotha

Let alone
one of dey Lovers

You ain’t never seen me
up in the V.I.
Wit one of dem Sistas
who be lookn so fly

So you damn right
I’m bitter
Wit a Heart so cold
Colder than Sister Souljah’s
Coldest Winter

Cause where all these Black Women been
Since they dun hauled all us men
to the pen

Ain’t nayer a Sista
ever wrote me a letter
never gave me a chance
if I had words to say
to make her life better

But you won’t put paper to pen
Cause a real friend
you might find in the end

Just a bunch of lonely Black Men
dying for communion
without kin
Kinship
Friendship
Relationship
Companionship

A message to the Black Woman
come heal a Brotha
I know you think
your protesting and marching
is something true
But Black Women
ain’t writing Black Brothas
and that has meaning too

Some Brothas don’t care
you’re just now coming
late to the party
But I do
alone in my room
longing for a Shawty

Cause each year
tops the year before
of prisoner exonerations
Ain’t making excuses for the
guilty
but ain’t all convictions
real you see

25 years to  life
for stealing aspirin
for a teething daughter
getting more time
than committing manslaughter

So you’re just now discovering
Black Men are locked
and you wanna protest
Am I supposed to be impressed?
Nah,
I’m depressed

Some men
in the pen
have been driven
to psyche meds
cause Black Women
dun left us for dead
I’ve chosen another route
instead
So let it be said
in the verses
you’ve read
It Must End!
BLACK FEMALE BOYCOTTS
AGAINST BLACK MEN
IN THE PEN

by Cn

Editor’s NoteTo read another epic poem by this poet, check out: THE CRIMINALIZATION OF OUR AMERICAN CIVILIZATION (This Is Not A Manifesto)

WHO AM I

Who am I?
The cool calm and collected kid wit hoop dreams?
The innocent kid wandering through the concrete jungle watching the flashing red and blue lights from police sirens as they give chase to the up and coming Hood stars?
Who am I?
The young boy looking up to Lil Sc60by and holding onto his every word wanting to be just like him?
The kid that traded his hoop dreams to become a R6llin Sixty Crip like Boo Manuel NewHouse Uncle C•Dog Lil Fee Peanut Blacx Mouse Big U Baby Wino and so many more?
Who am I?
The teenager kid that stays fly chasen paper in and out of jail? Becoming a young tiny loc line presser?
Who am I?
The 18 year old kid fresh out of Y.A. from doing 3 years and 6 months feeling like the world owes me?
Who am I?
The 18 year old young nigga that just passed for six figures?
Buying expensive jewlry fly whips in out the club drugged up?
Who am I?
They hot head kid that popped his blower over his chain?
Who am I?
The kid facing murder charges that didn’t stick?
The kid that thought he was untouchable having money?
Who am I?
The kid that had to face them murdered charges that I thought I beat?
Who am I?
The kid that took 17 years in the state pen?
Who am I?
The kid that been gone for 13 years that grew into a man?
Who am I?
The man that looked back and realized I wasted my life?
Who am I?
They constantly ask me time and time again?
The man wishing I could turn back the hands of time so I could tell that cool calm and collective innocent kid to follow his hoop dreams?
Who am I?
The man wishing I could go back.

written by Sauce

THOUGHTS

Thinking of you
I miss you all the while
Those kind eyes and beautiful smile
My days are still bright
But I miss you terribly at night

Times are  coming close
For you and me
And happy I’ll be
Just you wait see

You’re always on my mind
And I will have you know
That right from the start
You stole my heart
Only memories of the two of us Cause I’m thinking of you

by JUJU