“There must be always remaining in every life, some place for the singing of angels, some place for that which in itself is breathless and beautiful.”
Howard Thurman


[June 2010]

Daniel: So tell me...

Unison: Is the sun rising or setting?

I shine the light of insight with this mic i hold
I invite your mind to dine on the rhymes i'll show
but before we take the time to recite our poems
I welcome you to arizona feel right at home –

So please feel right at home in AZ, Golden Key...
We appreciate you're here despite the controversy...
-despite the negative attention, that's been seen across the nation
bent on racial profiling and illegal immigration....
before you call us racists, please listen to me...
give us the opportunity to tell you of our state's history

So tell me...

Unison: Is the sun rising or setting?

do not allow this unsettling entity, sb1070
lessen your perceptions rejecting all that is meant to be,
we're steadily forgetting our history and its memories,
replacing it with msnbc, cnn and mtv

so pleasedon't consume the news' sound bytes
I defuse and kill lies and make the burial right.
When i tear mics, you feel like the stereo bites,
you start to marginalize when you stereotype.

So understand, there's more than what appears on the surface-
please spare me your ears until they're clear with discernment.
You must learn the history lying behind the furnace
called phx, arizona... Its about time you heard it. –

So tell me...

Unison: Is the sun rising or setting?

Let me take you back to the first century AD...
The Hohokam Indians first settled the area of Phoenix, AZ
Developing a system of canals taking advantage of the water flow
From a river then known as the Rio Salado

And although the Hohokam people mysteriously disappeared
Years later the canals were found by pioneers.
The canals became the central building block of an emerging city
At the same time bringing together a divergent community
Bringing Mexican and Anglo settlers together
To share the resources and live in harmony despite the weather.  

So contrary to the popular belief that Phoenix is inhabitable,
the Hohokam show that even in extreme conditions, anything is possible.
The canals – a picture of innovation and creativity
are an important link to our state’s storied history

They provide an indelible legacy
giving hope that community and racial solidarity
donthave to be mere historical memory
....but perhaps even a present day possibility

So tell me...

Unison: Is the sun rising or setting?

before arizonas inception, the land was built under unity,
beauty manifested in tradition of community.
Diversity synonymous with tolerance- equality
that's far from the concept of dominating colonies.

No hatred, we know the hohokam natives
built flowing canals establishing civilizations.
And years later, pioneers found traces
 of a city so famous so they came and remade it.

 And history conveys their technology of ancient
 was equal to egyptian systems of irrigation.
 And later when the white and brown man came in,
 their legacy is a city known as Tempe, they collaborated. –

So tell me...

Unison:  Is the sun rising or is it setting?

The name Phoenix is a metaphorical allusion
the rising and rebirth of an ancient civilization
And just as history can reveal an ancient past,
history can point to our state’s future path

So as we deliberate the future of Arizona
Look no further than our state flag.  
It depicts a golden sun – that leaves one
to ponder the question:
Is the sun rising or is it setting?  

If we draw once again from ancient tradition,
we see that Jewish scripture provides us with a vision
to answer our state’s most pressing question:
Is the sun rising or is it setting?

You see the scripture says,
if one will provide for the needy
and free those from captivity
if we pour out justice and feed the hungry
Then it is promised, that the sun will rise over our horizon
and our desert be like a well-watered garden

We must know our identity because without knowing where we come from
we can never reach our destination

We must know our history. Because it is our Golden Key
to the bright hopes of tomorrow.

So tell me...

Unison: Is the sun rising or setting?

its time we flee the illusion and shine to be the solution
so see to it we seek truth and i dont need no exuses...
And accordng to the scripture, the only way to do this is by feeding the needy
and freeing them from abuses.

by speaking for justice, rain relief to the dying
so now the hatred is declining while the phoenix is flying-
i'll be emphasizing that it's time we start finding the truth that's in hiding...

Unison: To me, the sun is rising.     

My Heart's Cry

APA Convocation (ASU 2010)