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Saul Williams' Open Letter to History

dev@hard
November 2, 2008
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0

In the group of politically-minded artists, Saul Williams leads the pack. Last night, he sent another well-written moving letter called ‘An Open Letter to History’:

Dear History,
For too long have I pondered your meaning, memorized dates of battles, years of servitude, decades of injustice, named eras after movements, mourned the extinction of species, cursed founding fathers, worn vintage suits and cloaked myself with references of your hold on me.

I have walked through museums wondering how it is that greatness had lived and died all before my time. Parts of me feared becoming great because it seemed to include a price of death and a postmortem glory that my memory could never resurrect. I’ve stared at paintings dying to catch glimpses of the painter, closed my eyes to listen to songs that drunken ghosts dance to, and all the while I’ve fought to FREE the present to BECOME.

In 1995, I stood with poets in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge, barking metaphors at the new moon of the summer solstice wedging words into it’s craters, sewing seeds through nightly wind.

In 1996, I forced the ocean back with words, fathered planets, climbed pyramids, and began to decipher the sirens song to conjure the dream-filled Children of the Night.

In 1997, I stood with prisoners in our nations capitol bending bars with the power of thought as wordsmiths served sentences and Hip Hop diddy-dandified itself: stealing golden calves from the Old Testament to smuggle into the lavish crib of Pontius Pilate for it’s birthday party

In 1998, I swallowed fear and sun-danced on film reels, projecting a me that had not been into a me that ever shall be.

And HERE I stand, ten years the difference and witness to changing hands.

Dear History,
I beat you. I stand a generator of generations bearing witness to a world that we are holding accountable for past actions. Me and my friends, we’re changing our diets, re-inventing marriage, check-mating capitalism, re-defining ethics, replacing cruelty with compassion, and have sworn not to re-elect the sins of the father.

We are casting our votes for so much more than a lesser of evils, but for change, and greater insight, for wisdom out of the mouths of babes, for races that bleed into ONE.

Dear History,
You are behind us and we are no longer looking back. We are standing on the threshold of new times, new days, new worlds, and charging forward without battle cry or trumpet, while cynicism, apathy, and cowardice take their place beside you, behind us.

Dear History,
We no longer believe in you. We have invested our our thoughts and dreams into the present moment and opportunity to shift our reality into one that does not resemble your dog-eared books.

We stand on the shoulders of those who have dared to dream and on the necks of those who have wasted their time and ours proclaiming a past past its prime.

Dear History,
Blitz! It’s my turn now. You can have your mounds of flesh, leather boots, cannons and sabers, nooses and guillotines, warships and fighter planes, trails of tears and blood, genocides, dungeons and dragons, ghost stories and fairy tales……….

Come on guys! Help me out! ~ Saul


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