1-21-2004 – Mandingo!

21 Jan

January 21st, 2004 – Iyaba Mandingo
Stamford-based poet of the people Iyaba Mandingo speaks out with words that jab and pinch and make people squirm in their seats. Whether the message is political or personal, Mandingo has a way of pointing out the inequality and injustice that continue to divide this country’s judicial system, living quarters, jobs and schools. A native of Antigua, Mandingo paints canvases with the vivid beauty and bright colors of his homeland but, in his words, he is quick to note the tensions and trials caused by racism. Mandingo’s willingness to speak out takes special bravery, because, without citizenship, it made him an easy target for INS officials. Known for criticizing the U.S. aggression abroad, from slavery to the war on Iraq, Mandingo has maintained his position as an activist-poet, even after spending a month and a half in a Hartford jail facing deportation. The timing of the arrest, on April 17, was notable. Just five days previous he had given a rousing spoken word presentation as part of the Loft Artist Association’s Spring Fling event at the Rich Forum, including a poem called “9-11” which implied that the U.S.’s own terrorism abroad had brought the terrorists to its shores. (host – Faith)

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Posted by on January 21, 2004 in * Past Features


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