By Askia M. Touré
lamont b. steptoe, a black Jeremiah, a living shaman,
visionary/prophet/witness: a combination of Walt
Whitman, Jimmy Baldwin and Langston Hughes.
Slave-prophet, Magi of words, Mau-Mau of Memory,
gentle avenger of Ancestral honor. Vivid journeyman
whose destination is the stars. Far-seer, fire-breather,
Mojo man. Skilled short-verse master. Magician of
metaphor. Dream-weaver, Speaker of forbidden
truths, who resurrects our Inner Child. Courageous
lamont of Sorrow’s throbbing tambourines, riding
our hidden dreams. Djali of Pittsburgh, Blues-voice
of slain neighborhoods, innocence, communal
raptures. Fire rituals enhanced by ghost-voices
Blues-wails, and night-trains across this awesome
landscape. History as bass-beat rhythm in an
Oracle’s mouth. lamont restores the sacredness
of Poetic Myth, Voice and Memory. The righteous
Reverend commands the Nommo: All Hail,
Chillun, to Maybelle’s boy!
“Maybelle’s Boy!” Copyright © 2007 Askia M Touré.
Reprinted with permission from “Mother Earth Responds: Green Poems and Alternative Visions”.
Askia M Touré is one of the co-architects of the Black Aesthetics Movement of the 1960s along with other notable poets such as Amiri Baraka, Jayne Cortez, Sonia Sanchez and Larry Neal. He has won numerous awards including the American Book Award in 1989.