Writing legends Amiri Baraka and Maya Angelou dancing on ashes of Langston Hughes buried under Artwork in the atrium of the Schomburg Center.
Highlighting the ancient African rite of ancestral return, on top of the tiled artwork titled, Rivers. Others poured ceremonial drinks from five rivers and read four poems of Langston Hughes.
Similar ceremonies were scheduled for five rivers: The Mississippi, the Coatzacoalcos in Mexico, the Murrumbidgee in Australia, the Amazon in Brazil and the Congo in Zaire. (Feb. 22, 1991)
“I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins. My soul has grown deep like the rivers. I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young. I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep. I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it. I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset. I’ve known rivers… Ancient, dusky rivers. My soul has grown deep like the rivers.”
via vince cushite FB page
Wow. I’ve been here. I walked over this.
Contemporarily, I’ve heard the phrase “dancing on ashes” used insultingly. Both are in reference to celebrating someone’s passing, though. I guess it depends on whether or not one likes the departed.