Mental Liberation travels through Omaha


September 1st, 2011

Omaha, NE – The Malcolm X Center presents a “Mental Liberation” poetry jam, along with a traveling museum, this weekend.

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“I am not angry, I am anger, I am not dangerous, I am danger,” recites spoken word artist Amir Sulaiman, performing on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam from his poem “Danger.”

“I am abominable stress … relentless. I’m a breath of vengeance. I’m a death sentence.”

In an interview with KVNO News, Sulaiman said when he writes, he’s speaking for the voiceless.

Amir Sulaiman's CD of spoken word poetry, titled "Like a Thief in the Night." (Photo Credit Amir Sulaiman)

“This is not me expressing my own personal issues,” he said. “This is me speaking on behalf of many other people, so I mention Native Americans, I mention women, I mention Palestinians, and I’m not any of those. It is really just an expression for these people that may not be able to express themselves.”

Sulaiman will step on the stage in Omaha for a poetry jam on Saturday night. He is originally from Rochester, New York and now lives in Oakland, California. When he speaks, his words poetically flow to their own beat. Since Omaha is the birthplace of Malcolm X, a national and international icon, Sulaiman said he hopes he says something that moves people to action.

“Go from the heart to the tongue to the limbs,” he said. “So that we can make a better world for everyone, for all people all creation, for all animals, the plants, the environment … and everything.”

"Necessary!” an exhibit exploring "the life and legacy of Malcolm X,” will be on display in Omaha, NE the birthpalce of Malcolm X. (Photo credit Black History 101 Mobile Museum)

The Black History 101 Mobile Museum will also be moving through town. This traveling museum with over 3,000 original artifacts is led by founder and director Khalid El-Hakim, from Detroit, Michigan. For this stop, El-Hakim said “Necessary,” an exhibit exploring “the life and legacy of Malcolm X,” will be on display with about 200 treasures, which include letters and documents signed by Malcolm X along with photos.

“History best shows us the blueprint to success,” El-Hakim said. “If people are able to walk through a museum like this, and see artifacts … to see something that sparks an interest and makes them want to go dig deeper into our history, then I think that’s very important and very effective as a teaching tool to get people inspired to look at history.”

The Black History 101 Mobile Museum will be on display this Friday and Saturday at the Malcolm X Center in north Omaha, where Amir Sulaiman will perform Saturday night.

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