Our Breath is the Whisper of Our Ancestors’ Defiance
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Ewuare X. Osayande’s Our Breath is the Whisper of Our Ancestors’ Defiance is the poetic testament of the post-Civil Rights generation. Spanning 30 years and including five previously published books along with new and unpublished poems, this anthology is the crowning achievement of a poet-scribe who is a faithful witness to the freedom stride of his people. In Our Breath, Osayande is our impassioned ambassador of Blackness, extolling the virtues of justice as love in poems that read like psalms and proverbs for a world on fire.
Known for his unsparing critiques of white supremacy, sexism, and class oppressions, Osayande’s writings champion movements for justice and liberation across the United States and around the world. Covering the major political and cultural events of this generation, including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the election of Baraka Obama, Black Lives Matter, the neo-fascist rise of Donald Trump, COVID-19 and the far-right attack on Black history, Our Breath is a living chronicle of our times. At times incendiary, these verses pulsate with a musicality that is influenced by be bop, hip hop and the blues. Osayande’s poetry is revolutionary for its insistence of Black humanity at a time when Black life is under constant assault.
The influence of the Black Arts Movement of the late Sixties is evident throughout this epic work. His earlier works, Blood Luxury and Whose America? featured introductions by leaders of the movement Amiri Baraka and Haki R. Madhubuti. Amiri Baraka has called Osayande “one of the United States’ most important poets.” With Our Breath is the Whisper of Our Ancestors’ Defiance, Osayande emerges as the eminent voice of the Black Arts Movement in this time.
Osayande’s poetry serves as a portal opening a bridge between the past and the present. These poems embody a reverence for Black ancestors as distilled wisdom for the future with the urgency of justice now. From the first poem to the last, Our Breath is the Whisper of Our Ancestors’ Defiance teaches us how to honor our shared humanity in resilient community with the world.FOR A LIMITED TIME, GET 25% OF ALL ADDITIONAL BOOKS ADDED TO YOUR ORDER WHEN YOU PRE-ORDER “OUR BREATH.” USE COUPON “NEWBOOK” AT CHECKOUT.