My Poetry Corner August 2017 features the poem “Eyes of Liberty” by Mutabaruka, a Jamaican Rastafarian dub poet, musician, actor, educator, and talk-show host. Born Allan Hope in December 1952, he grew up in Kingston, Jamaica, where he trained as an electrician at the Kingston Technical High School. Marcus Garvey’s son, a teacher at the trade school, influenced his world view and awakened his Black awareness.
As an adolescent, Mutabaruka identified with the Black Power Movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s that swept across the Caribbean. His poems became a means to changing the political system in Jamaica.
“Because they say that the pen is mightier than the sword, in that case it was a gun! So we used the pen instead of turning toward this what dem call revolution that was in we that was fashioned and shaped in us,” Mutabaruka told his audience at a book signing in San Francisco in April 2005. Continue reading