Run It Back
A black and white photograph of several Black Americans rioting in the street in the 1970s.


This column is a reprint from Unwinnable Monthly #157. If you like what you see, grab the magazine for less than ten dollars, or subscribe and get all future magazines for half price.


Kcab ti nur.


Hello! This month we’re travelling in my little time machine to the year 1973 and focusing on two films which (to a greater or lesser extent) take Blaxploitation and turn it on its head! In many ways they feel like fever dreams full of fantasy and power – so here’s some poetry which embodies that feeling within The Spook Who Sat By The Door and Ganja & Hess.

Now can a martyr ever truly die?
Asked men with heads bowed down to face the ground,
The killer’s stars and stripes they still do fly,
Whose hand will be the one to take them down?

Do you remember what it is to smile?
For teeth to show without the force of blade?
Good sister I know it has been a while,
Since all those promises of change were made.

What if in villain’s lair there could be found,
And broken all the tools that hold us here?
Tomorrow’s children could escape the mound,
Tomorrow’s children could escape the fear.

Now sister take this old forgotten blade,
And rid yourself of man’s insipid curse,
Death’s wings are clipped and now is he unmade,
And burn the flowers – send away the hearse

Our brotherhood of steel is coming near,
No more dashikis, now’s the time for guns,
Our sweat and spit must be this warship’s steer.
Give the oppressors nowhere they can run

Dear sister, now’s the time to bathe in crimson,
To let the red smother you in pleasure,
Luxuriate in this sanguine freedom,
Come join me in this joy without measure

No thrones, no slaves, a world anew,
We will see it through.

Beloved sister join us in the manor,
Where Man will never shackle us – not ever.


Oluwatayo Adewole is a writer, critic and performer. You can find her Twitter ramblings @naijaprince21, his poetry @tayowrites on Instagram and their performances across London.


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