- Joseph AfroAboriginal Martinez II
Forgotten Prophets is a call to action to abolish police & prisons in the United States of Amerikkka. Using the archetype of Jesus, I critique how people are suppressed by imperialism, policing, and distractions that lead them to normalize violence to and against us. It shows that if we look into history we can observe a cycle of oppression, whether we are freedom fighters, political prisoners, prisoners of war, or everyday people that capitalism exploits.
Despite the violence, we have never entirely been defeated. This is a poem of resistance rooted in the necessity for abolition not only as an idea, but an action. A proclamation that policing & prisons kill, literally. If we do not fight for abolition in the United States of Amerikkka, we are allowing ignorance to be the bars that serve as cages for our mind. Victims of this system are so common that they become numbers left to rot, forgotten by most but not all. From Palestine to St. Louis children are being killed or locked up because capitalist governments are more concerned with profit than serving people.
This poem is universal and personal. Inspired by my friend King Moosa, a 14 year old who spent 4745 days in a cage unjustifiably charged as an adult, and J.P. Martinez, my older brother who’s still locked up because his addiction was criminalized instead of treated. Conversations with these two have been priceless, King Moosa is now free and doing necessary work to get our people behind cages liberated. Abolition work is personal because of those I refuse to forget and communal because this work will continue in collective struggle till we FREE THEM ALL!
Abolition, like this poem, aims to dismantle all the cages that exist in this country: mental, physical and spiritual. This is a poem that pays homage to art as a form of resistance and the many that have been and are forgotten. Their names fill the empty space on these pages.
Jo Martínez II (a/k/a/ AfroAboriginal) is a Milwaukee-born Afro-Boricua: Poet(a), Cultural Worker, Organizer, Drummer, and Educator. They currently live in Miami, FL and are part of Voices: Poetry For The People, a collective that helps people rediscover the power in their voz. Their work has led them to understand that poetry and organizing IS theory in action, which leads to the systematic change we need. Words guided them to Liberty City helping youth and commUNITY realize that art is a tool of liberation and poetry is the voice of truth. More at @AfroAboriginal47.