Arts

'The hate that killed Dr. King is not buried with him': Watch a poet take down Trump's America

It's the latest video in our Poetic License series, and it all started with a text...

Watch a poet take down Trump's America: 'The hate that killed Dr. King is not buried with him' 1:28

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On November 8, Joshua "Scribe" Watkis got a text from his father. Scribe is based in Toronto; his dad lives in Florida. And that message, sent on the verge of Donald Trump's election, spurred him to write this poem — the latest installment in the CBC Arts video series Poetic License.

As the hip-hop and spoken word artist explains, the things he's witnessed in his father's home country greatly inspired the piece — which reflects on America's history of white supremacy before taking a deeply personal P.O.V.

"I became afraid for my father's life." - Joshua "Scribe" Watkis, spoken word artist

"I've seen ridiculous amounts of racial tension, long before the election," he says. "Monkey posters of Barack Obama, Confederate flags, black and white students on the verge of violence after school."

"With the uptick of overt hatred and blatant racism, I became afraid for my father's life," he says.

"When the KKK endorses a candidate and the endorsement isn't rejected, red flags go up for me as a black man. So I wrote out the fears I felt while talking to my dad, as the election map turned more and more red. It was a reminder that while things have changed, they have also very much stayed the same."

Find Scribe on Bandcamp, Twitter and Instagram. Watch Exhibitionists Sundays at 4:30pm (5 NT) on CBC.

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