Nigger For Life
Book Review: by George Murevesi, Radio Host - Africa Live, Radio Awaz107.2 FM, Glasgow, Scotland
Dr. Neal Hall cuts with precision not only in the lab but also on the flesh of an establishment, which festers, on lies, indoctrination and institutionalized racism. The theme may not be favoured by mainstream publishers but Dr. Hall’s technique helps his cause. It gets you engrossed to the last page. It also gets you into that pensive and reflective mood post-reading which makes it a classic.
The seamless flow of one poem into the other is genius; it stands out as a book in the category of poetry. There is also an unpretentious approach which is liberating, no rhymes or your conventional stanzas. It is the reinvention of poetry which makes an explosive theme accessible.
My gut feeling when l first got the book was that it would be another piece of work laden with fantasies of academia. Reading through the first pages l was, however, quickly stripped of this misconception - the book is at the centre of reality. It bares the subtle as well as reiterate the brazen discrimination existent in the world’s biggest economy.
To the victims this is an empowerment, an empowering literary work that unsettles the establishment. An establishment purporting to be built on the Declaration of Independence yet some of its offspring, to borrow from Animal Farm, are more equal than others.
This magnificent work is tongue in cheek, a no-holds-battle with perpetrators and architects of race structures. Though set in America, people from all walks of life who suffer any form of prejudice and discrimination can relate to it; motives are different but the result is the same.
On another level there is a desperate call in the book, which weaves through all its various poems. This clarion call is to judge people on ability and not heredity. It is surely a world of great promise if all the suppressed people are allowed to unleash their potential. We need not look any further than the contributions of the so called people of colour in all aspects of life, be it film (Will Smith, Denzel Washington etc), sport (Muhammad Ali), music (Nat King Cole) among others. Surely the world would be poorer without the contributions made and which can be made by people of colour. Discrimination is abominable in any form and should be confined to the dustbins of history centres on the atrocities of race classes. Atrocities perpetrated daily yet pretended not to exist. Perpetrated in all manner yet.
Nigger For Life is a mirror of the generational struggles of the marginalized, marginalized not because of ability but marginalized and thrown onto the margins of society purely on the basis of a perceived wrong skin colour.
Here is a book, not for this year or the next, but for posterity. This anger is resonated in other artworks such as Hip Hop but Nigger For Life articulates it on a simplified and intelligent level yet to be climaxed.
The perpetrators must be ashamed for Nigger For Life is here to expose their duplicity and seeds of evil. A must read for all truth-seekers.
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