Saturday, November 21, 2009

Afro-Centric post the life of Miriam Makeba

I am honored that we were given six random post to elaborate on topics that may not have been discussed in class. Since I am an African American studies minor, I have been introduced to things and people that I did not know prior. I am currently taking a history course that is concerned with female African agency. I am glad I took the course. My current research project is on a South African woman named Miriam Makeba. I was just a baby when she took South Africa, as well as America by storm. To me, she was a Queen.

Miriam Makeba met Harry Belafonte and he helped her career soar above and beyond anything she ever expected. However, her career success is overshadowed by the oppressive state her people suffered under the apartheid regime. As a young singer, she was asked to play a small part in a Movie called, Come Back, Africa. Her role was considered radical and rebellious. Ms. Makeba was offered the chance of a life time, to go to America and walk the red carpet at the premiere of the movie. It was a great success. She thought her life would take off. To her surprise, it was not. When she attempted to go back home to South Africa, she was told her passport had been revoked and she was no longer recognized as a citizen of her birth country. She had no family in America, no friends, no system of support besides the Belafonte's, whom she had recently became acquainted. White South Africans were not pleased with her role of the movie.

I told this long narrative because it made me think about "exile." How deep is this word and what is the effect it can have on one's life? I was struck with a short poem...

Take me home, I want to go
Do you know how to get there
over the water, over the mountains.
I want to go.
Do you have a home, do you live there
over the water, over the mountains?
can you claim it as yours, is it yours to claim?
I want to go.
Do you hear me? Can you see me,
I want to go home.

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