This is a straight relay of shocking news reaching me not long ago (Would have done so sooner, if not for a bout of Gastro), and I’m now sharing with you as I just had time to digest the sad news. Professor Brathwaite had had as much as Job to deal with, potential loss of his home as he refers to it, now a raiding of his personal effects in New York…


Please read the email below. On May 11th 2010 our greatest living poet will be 80 years old. He is one of the greatest living poets in the English language. He is a lecturer at New York University living in university accommodations. Since 2004 over 1000 pieces (tapes, notes, texts) of Kamau’s priceless archive of interviews dating back to the 1940’s, documents related to his work and that of other Caribbean Masters have been stolen from his apartment. There is no visible signs of forced entry. The thefts are not conducted by disturbing the surroundings, but a book is taken from a shelf today and a tape tomorrow. The missing items are only discovered when the poet goes to use them for reference.

The Brathwaites have reported this breech of security to the university and to the police. They have installed security cameras…all to no avail. As creative people need there reference material around them to donate this archive to a university or similar institution so that it can be safe is no solution unless he is never to write again. I have never made an inventory of all the books in my collection nor has he. This fact has been used against Kamau in his dealings with the university and the police. How do you know the items have been stolen if you don’t have a list?

As we all claim to respect the intellectual and creative genius of , how can we show that respect in practical terms? The Brathwaites have longed to return to Barbados and live at their home at Cow Pastor, but they are constrained by Planning issues as a road is to be constructed, which relates to the development of the Airport. They wish to expand their home and house their Archive in the extension, but this issue has been pending for approximately 15 years.

“I had also hoped, when we found this place, to found my nation here – my maroon town, resistance palenque. Bring in my archives from their shattered world – shattered in Jamaica since the Gilbert Hurricane of 1988 – an archive stretching back now almost 100 years and covering from Bay Street/Browns Beach/Harrson College days, thru Cambridge, Ghana, SL, 30 years at Mona, the Caribbean Artists Movement (London), Bim, BBC Caribbean Voices, Savacou, Carifestas, paintings, sculpture (inc early postcolonial W Af, early Rastafari), Colly, Timmy Callender, Broodhagen, jazz records, tape recordings from almost ancient Ghana, from nearly every Caribbean voice of say or song

and all this a lament – the loss & dislocation of so much of this in Gilbert (see SHAR. see Carolivia Herron’s ‘SAVING THE WORD’ hear ARK – these are our documents for our last our lost millennium – and still more loss from worm and Ivan (2004) and a terrible break-in (5 March 05) – VANDALL INVASION of our hopes and consciousness”(Kamau Brathwaite 2005

Mrs Brathwaite visited Barbados in January in an effort to seek clarification on the location of the road (indeed if it is still to be constructed after 15years), so that they might proceed with a submission to Town and Country Planning regarding their extension.

If Kamau could relocate with his archive, this would be a great asset for Barbados, as he has always given encouragement and help to other creatives. What is taking place in Washington Square (his NY home) we cannot control, but surely no one can think it right that anyone should suffer in this way between the proverbial rock and a hard place? The Cow Pastor situation needs a resolution with speed.

This Native Son has brought so much honour to Barbados through his writing and the many awards he has won, such as the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, which is second only to the Nobel Prize. This year he will be awarded the W. E. B. Du Bois Award in the United States. Doubtless there will be numerous events organized internationally to honour Kamau, but his dearest wish is to live in peace at Cow Pastor with his reference material in easy access. To retire from his position at New York University, he will certainly have to continue to publish to earn a living quite apart from his desire.

Barbados has always boasted of how important Education is to us as a People; how much we admire the intellectually gifted. Can anyone remember the last writer or artist who received a car or a plot of land or an Airport reception on their significant international achievements? Musicians are artists too so I guess that is not an entirely fair statement, as Rhianna was so honoured for her achievements. I am writing this letter in the home that Kamau Brathwaite does not have to die from the considerable stress he is under before we truly show our love and appreciation.


Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2010 21:35:46 -0800
Subject: Uttar Insult! Disgrace!!
From: kamaubrathwaite@gmail.com

Tonight 10 March 10 just before midnight, in the miggle preparing for Thursday’s class and going to get it to show to the class, discover the theft (one more of thousands) of my Jamaica MUSGRAVE (MUSCRADLE) GOLD MEDAL FOR LITERARY ACHIEVEMENT 2006

Clearly the intention is to deprive me of all i own. The Muscradle, for instance, was to have been handed down to my son. When i have passed – and that is clearly being processed! – i will have nothing to show that i was here. xcept rumour. certainly no archive or estate. which after almost 80 years of labour, one wd xpect to have

I’m urging you to spread this bitter weed of word – for Xha sake let the world now KNOW about this cultural lynching


Mek dem kno – pass it on



STOLENS from Apt esp since Sept 2004 – end october 2007 + continuing

the destruction of my Caribbean POETRY bio-BIBLIOGRAPHY Project

started since 1972

NYC 1 Nov 2007

Krupp’s Lass Tape


the KB EndGame at NYU


literature at last become death


How yu fare so well for yr students but yr own WELFARE

don’t matter in this old/new racist warfare

The THEFTING of the ff items (a partial & continuing listing) from my NYU apartment means that i lose not only the items, but the notes & comments i make in margins and at the back of these books – invaluable & irreplaceable aids to re- search, writing & teaching. It also means that esp this semester (Fall 06) when the thefts have been most severe – we having been away from the apartment & NYC for almost 2 years (2004-2006) [unsublet] on sabbatical ff by lv w/out pay – that on far too many occasions, my class presentations have been cripple becau- se of a key accustomed item no longer being to hand – not to mention the inordin ate time-worry-and-energy taken up in searching for these items and the COST of replacement in the rare cases where replacement possible

We dealin here not simply w/THEFT from what shd be a SECURE ENVIRON MENT – but the deliberate UNDERTHROW & UNDERMINE of KB5 as teacher & adviser to students at NYU and as poet critic & historian in the writ- ing world

I can assure you that there’s not a single nook & cranny in this apartment that has been carefully searched & selected from. The violation is uttar. it is spiritual. and NOTHING is being done by NYU about it. Nothing Nothing Nothing Juss lettin it happen. The slow llynching not only of Kb5 but of what he represents – his part & contribution to the Caribbean Heritage

Dem teef my IDEAS now dem teefin my THINGS – but then one follows from the other. One ffalls and fellows from the first

1. God’s Trombones (rare orij ed)

2. Ngugi/Barrel of a pen

3. video – Colombe

4. video – Michael Anthony’s Hon Doc @ UWI St Augustine

5-6 Calypso Jazz – 2 CDs

7 Césaire, Thorez

8. Rodney, How Europe (2 copies)

9. Dual Cassette Manual

10. the dual cassette itself mash up because whoever was in here was trying to get it work & cdnt – or delib damaged of course

11. ditto my PROTON component set – all my presets shifted and the speakers overloaded & therefore now defective

12. LKJ, Mi Revalueshanary frenn

13 ARK mss

14 ARK CD of music

15. ARK CD of performance

16. ARK (Bajan video)

17. Missa mss

18-19 Roots & Water (Ogun) BBC video (2 copies)

20. Stephen Henderson, Understanding the new Black poetry

21. keys to filing cabinet

22 filing cabinet lock damaged, so had to have it filed open by apt

maintenance Nov 06 (see 121, below)

23. PWC Book 1 – Alma Norman orij ed. later (July 07) disc that ALL three of the Books this series stolen, rep

major work done by me in the 60s & 7Os and now

rare out of print material

24. Ken Saro-wiwa (Sable Tribute anthol)/Dance. . .to Silence

25. Clinton Hutton, Haiti Cosmology (2004) (my edited copy)

26+. Miles – all 4 cassettes from the box set/The Columbia Years + the Prestige CD set

27. Wilson Harris, Mittelholzer lectures /inc Hist, fable, myth(the orig 1970 Gtown ed)

28. Wilson Harris on Erna Brodber (xerox from Kunapipi –

removed from Harris’ Selected Essays

29. Hugh Masekela CD that inc Stimela(TrainSong)

30-31 Hugh Masekela – 2 prepared gift CDs with Stimela

32-33 First Nations CD (personal copies) from host at WBAI (first &

then replacement copy stolen and this when we in residence the

apart, tho prob taken when out – we had the locks changed mid

Nov 06

34. Dancehall CD ‘[Strictly the Best vol 25 (taken from shell – a

common practice; or the CDs taken from the 5-tray player)

35. Zora Neale, Of mules & men

36 Zora Neale, Tell my horse

37 Zora Neale, Their eyes were watching god

38. History of the Voice (KB’s edit copy)

39. Miles Davis, Jack Johnson (shell case)

40. Okot’s Song of Lawino

41a-41b NDTC 1969 rare & classic book of photos; also Dance Jamai- ca (1970). inside this book i kept the review article i did of this

work that year (1970)

42-50 + ALL the NDTC perform catalogues (about 9)

51a-51b. Miles Davis, Kind of Blue CD/both copies gone!

52. Kara Walker – large new book of her work

53. Burnin Spear CD

54. Kofi Anyidoho – video of RETURN TO AFRICA ceremony

55-69 MAGAZINES OF MY CANTAB PO (c12)+ The Harrisonian (2)

70 Capitalism & Slavery

71+. Margaret Gill’s Bajan K70 Papers, tapes & memorabilia

72 D Chad’s computer found ON when we arr back from long lv

2005 – the first sign that something WRONG here

73-79 some SIX books bought from roadside vendors, inc Joyce’s

ULYSSES, Freud, the Dead Sea Scrolls & alternate book of the


80 tool box

81-90 many CDs, some taken out of multiple (6 tray) CD player,

some taken out of their shell, some taken when i am away 1999-

2000 (inc the 4-CD set of the classic Miles Davis Quartet and

workers were in here changing windows – this is when i also miss

the tool-box – but who’s to say IS WHO take these things!!

91 Goodison po video (Hazel Campbell production Kgn 1980s)

92 Mutabaruka (most of his CDs gone)

93 ditto Jean Breeze

94 Sparrow, orij CongoMan LP w/the black/white art work of

Sparrow as CongoMan

94+ Sparrow’s 120 Calypsoes (book of the lyrics)

95-96 Guillén/2 Casa de las Americas/?Egram LPs, one given me by Guillén and autographed for me by him

97 Michelle Cliff, Abeng (novel)

98+ History of the Voice – orij cassette tape w/all the Notes of details

99 one of my 3 DOWN SOUTH BLUES archive LPs

100+ Beethoven MISSA+Mozart’s MASS. 2CD set. shell w/one CD is

missing. the other CD was in the CD player & left there or not

noticed there on this occasion. this is a theft occurring since we

got back here in May 06

101 André Schwarz-Bart, Solitude (novel)


KB’s ‘Colombe’

(‘Columbus from his after-/deck’/from ROP)

reader Rubadiri Victor

in a video presentation, Teaching poetry in Caribbean secondary schools

[Cynthia James]

School of Education, UWI, St Augustine, Trinidad


the video is accomp by a booklet of background, transcripts of the entire presentation that inc poems also by Lisa Allen Agostini (‘Dudups’) and the Eng poet J C Squire, ‘There was an Indian’, which goes along with KB’s ‘Colombe’



The Bajan Performance/Reading

Frank Collymore Hall, Bridgetown, Barbados

12 July 2004

see PERFORMANCES for details


Creative Junction

104 Peter Tosh Steppin Razor (rare VHF video)

105 Robt Browning – my FILE of research Notes on his Caribb Plantation connXions

106 Namsetoura – orij photo negatives, prints & transparencies

107 Wilson Harris: The womb of space

108 Roger Abrahams, Man of Words in the West-Indies:

performance/Creo culture

109 Bakhtin, Rabelais and his world

110/115 transparencies (large) of spiders & Namsetoura

116 Delia Jarrett-Macauley, The life of Una Marson

117 Panasonic VCR Handbook Guide to Use (w/the Panasonic found

in another part of the house and the remote missing)

118/120 remotes (3 in add to Panasonic VCR) missing

121 my filing cabinet, w/all my personal papers, entered and the lock

damaged so that today 24 Nov 06, I had to have the lock drilled out

in order the get back into the cabinet

122 Rights of Passage – braille edition – perhaps the rarest

& most priceless item in my collection . Panda No 349 of 1967

123 ‘The Helen of our Wars’, the Wasafiri 21 (1995) that contains this important ?controversial article

124-130 ‘Skip’ Gates picture book of his TV Journey to Africa. some 6

other large picture books appears to be missing from this table (along w/the Nettleford NDTC set and the Kara

Walker. I think we can say now <15 Dec 2006> that some 1/3 of my

library has been pillaged here in NYC at NYU)

131 Roger Mais, Heinemann reprint 1974, with my INTRO. you can’t

imaj the TIME WASTED , the negative effect on mt TEACHING

WRITING & RESEARCH, and the sense of INSULT – that

someone, who apparently knows me & my work so well than they

can thus SELECT and damage?? – who clearly feel that perhaps I

shdn’t have what i have – after all, who is this likkle black bwoy

from the Caribbean w/all this rare & valuable STUFF – and the

terrible angst of having to look look look SEARCH for these

precious items before I can sit down and write them here as


132-133 Norman Cameron, Evolution of the negro, 2 vols (1929/34)

134 Norman Cameron, Guianese poetry: anthology 1831-1931 (1931)

another invaluable. it is probable that sev other of the rare

anthologies (the Seymour’s etc) in my PO COLLECTION are

also missing

135/136 Daedalus Daedalus vol 103: 2 (1974), : one of my most precious

items. one of my first major publications in the US: the orig ‘Af

presence in Caribb lit [and culture]’ + Moreno Fraginals’ ed

African Presence in America Latina, which contains a version

137 Muntu – the 1990 reprint – luckily the orij ed, with all my notes,

escape notice, being wrapped in a paper bag

138 Missile & Capsule, ed Jürgen Martini, U of Bremen 1984.

Collection of Papers from a crucial German/EngCaribbean Conf

in Bremen, that contains my MISSILE & CAPSULE paper

139 Robt Stewart, book on postEmancipation Ja

140-142 Stravinsky CDs: Rite of Spring, Firebird, Psalms

143 Guillén – Selected poems, hardcover first edition in green jacket

144-151 Guillén – all my Spanish (Havana) editions

152 Langston Hughes – Complete Poems -hardcover green jacket, a rara, like the Guillén at 143 & similar

153 Harris, Womb of Space

one the ironies of this situation is that because our apartment is an ARCHIVE, we don’t entertain up here. since i came here in 1990, only about SIX people have visited and since 2000, only my wife’s daughter, who looks after our mail when we are away

and more & more losses reveal themselves now we’ve started systematic searches, tho many losses reVeal themselves only when you look for/NEED the item

theft of this kind = mark of disrespect

and what about our OWN security – the same agency that can enter this apartment take things OUT can also leave things IN it

and continuing – list since 20 Dec 06

154 Barry Higman, Writing West Indian History – this book, in add to being the only and most up-to-date critical reflection of West Indian historiography, contains the only commentary of Kb5 as historian so far ever published

154a ISSOCO (Biba Telis) – a rare cassette of Afro Curacao reggae music: (cover left): Third World, Carru on, You can make it, Still searching, Leaking heart, Destiny, Kokplioko, Fire in Soweta [sic]. cass 19001

155 The UNESCO General History of the West Indies, Vol 3. I shd have written the Chapter of Folk culture in this vol, but was unable to do so, because in 1988 much of my archives in Irish Town, Jamaica, from which I wd have written the chapter, were destroyed in Hurricane Gilbert that year. Now I’m being faced with a human hurricane of theft

156 book on the African Burial Ground, lower Manhattan – the history, all the pics and ceremonies

157-180 AJ Seymour – ALL his books & pamphlets kept in a closed (but not lockable!) cupboard – his books of poetry, anthols and bibliogs – all rare material

181 Yoruba Poetics – a large bound mimeo txt from the U of Ibadan, Nigeria

182 J B Danquah’s RARE, The Akan doctrine of God [This loss is like a kick in my heritage – The Akan doctrine was given me by JB in Ghana in the 50s and this copy/ed is an all ways irreplaceable]

183-186 FOUR txts i use for my study of possession: Baldwin, Mountain; Lamming, Season of Adventure; Lovelace/Salt, Wine of Astonishment +

187 his Dragon can’t dance. I only realize these gone (23 Dec 06) because i go for them, working a project

188 Wilson Harris, Black Marsden – a txt I had set aside because i was working a lecture w/it

189 Eco-Piracy

190-200 AJ Seymour poems – nearly all my pioneer Caribb poets are missing; not only the Seymour; Campbell/First Poems the 1981 reprint with an Intro po by DW, and Colly’s Selected Poems

201 Geo Campbell, First Poems 1981 reprint

202 Frank Collymore, Selected Poems and god knows what else from my Collys and Seymours

203 Horace Campbell?, Rasta & Resistance

204(a)+(b) Irma Goldstraw – DW Bibliography both editions 1979 & 1984) – the only one of its kind – disc loss when on Sat evening 27 Jan 07, went for it in prep of classwork – gone

205 6 feb 07 – this is now well after the LOCKS have been CHANGED!! – not by us, but by this Housing Arrangement, so that they still have access to the apt – Bev has evidence that on 3 feb, the same day that i was reading ROP in London, the apt was entered dur her absence and now today, 6 feb. getting ready to prepare for my MR class, I find the MR book by Zamora & Faris has been stolen – again crippling my work preparation, entering more anXiety & distress onto me, onto us, chipping away at my foundations

In mid dec 06, i wrote this letter to the HOP, Comp Lit

Wed 13 Dec 06

Dear Nancy, Have been leaving messages for you (Susan, yr v/mail) since yesterday, trying to find out when i can see you to discuss this UR- GENT (un)development, really, in my life – and it is perhaps a matter of life & death and one reason why I was not in the mood for that occasion that you & Tim had so generously org for me ref the Griffin etc. One is being destabalized & threatened and i think is necessary that as Step 2, (Step 1 was getting the lock changed) I alert you the situation

Hence my need SEE you . please!

206: Joan Dayan, Haiti, History & the Gods – a key txt for my teaching, writing & research – stolen since the so-called lock-change!!

207: Islands: the 1973 Argo double cassette version of this reading. Had it all my life since 1973 and it survived hurricane & theft in Jamaica. Now gone in metropolitan New York under the aegis of a great university with great university security. As i keep on saying, by the time i lv here, i will have nothing left, lie the Old Man and the Sea who caught this fish all on his own and by the time he reached shore, it had been bitten all away by other fishes of the deep and he landed on the beach with a skeletone where before there had been all this living if captured? glory

And so help me God, we speak so much of this story in this apartment that is only natural that with all the listening & spying devices trained on us, that my second copy of Hemingway’s OLD MAN & THE SEA shd now be stolen and no doubt since the so-called lock was changed

208 The old man & the sea. I think they hoping to make it appear that i mad /we mad and get me to commit suicide. If only i had time & strength to write the story of this missilic civilization/culture in which i find myself an inVoluntary immigrant. But i sure they makin sure this can’t happen can’t happen. w./evvabody, like in On the Waterfront, lookin on scared of the POWER & therefore maskin like indifferent – and many in fact being indifferent

209 Phyllis Coard poem. This is among a pile of sheets i workin on for this semester’s Caribbean Poetry. When I was away in London on Sat 3 feb reeding ROP for the John LaRose/New Beacon Trib, THE APARTMENT WAS ENTERED dur the 2 hrs Bev is out of the house shopping etc. We KNOW this because of certain measures we have taken. Among the things taken (prob from 205) is the Coard poem. . .is the name COARD a buzz-signal since the US Invasion of Grenada and her implicated imprisonment for the murder of Maurice Bishop/himself a US target. . .

210-214: FOUR Martin Carter’s: The Art of Martin Carter; Web of October (Roopnaraine’s study of Carter), the David Dabydeen bilingual (1999) and the new (2006) University of Hunger – the most definitive Carter collection so far

215-217 THREE McKays gone from cupboard: Banjo, Banana Bottom, My green hills of Jamaica

218 Tradewinds CD that contains ‘Cricket in the Jungle’ used in my NL classes

219 my new precious xpensive COSENTINO, The sacred arts of Haitian vodoun – disc GONE when i need it 20 feb 07 for grad class

220-225 RADIANCE. this a project i had lined up the Spr 2007 grad semester. the LIST of the items to be used and the pile of TXTS & MUSIC for the course. the whole thing is removed from its pile in my study and this wd have been done dur our sabbatical absence 2004-2006. An xample of the brutal and intentional cripple of my work. It was to be Part 3 of my MR/MR xploration

226 Neville Dawes, The last enchantment – the txt i use the anansesem from for my NL classes. Because of these losses, KB5 now has to spend more & more time in the Library where before his home was also his Library

227 THE CAM/Caribbean Artist Movement Newsletters – my bound ts set. This theft rips out all my work in London in the 60s with the Caribbean Artists Movement. is rare & very precious personal & Caribbean doc and its theft clearly indicates that the person doing this is an xpert in my work and in Caribbeana. I realized this doc was not on the shelf tonight (Sat/Sun 3-4 March 07 2:39am) when writing a letter about my work w/ CAM. The last time i ‘see’ the Newsletters was when I lend them out for the Xhibition of my work in Bobst Lib on the occasion of my 70 b/day celebs here at NYU

228 A-Z of Jamaica, the rev edition


KB’s ‘Colombe’

(‘Columbus from his after-/deck’/from ROP)

reader Rubadiri Victor

in a video presentation, Teaching poetry in Caribbean secondary schools

[Cynthia James]

School of Education, UWI, St Augustine, Trinidad


the video is accomp by a booklet of background, transcripts of the entire presentation that inc poems also by Lisa Allen Agostini (‘Dudups’) and the Eng poet J C Squire, ‘There was an Indian’, which goes along with KB’s ‘Colombe’

see also the disappear of the Roots & Water (BBC) video of Ogun #18-19


Mother Poem

London: ATCAL 1980

talk/reading of the poem at ATCAL Conf, U of Warwick 28 Sept 1980

2 cassettes pub by ATCAL & also in National Sound Archive, Br Instit of Recorded Sound

231 Roots – the Casa de las Americas Prize edition

232 Ogun (monograph: “african’s Ogun). This book disappeared AFTER Nov 2006 a/c to the dated LISTS of BOOKS we’ve made since this dastard begin to happen

233-35 Duke Ellington Sacred Concerts (3 CDs) [have had to buy again the 2 of these now avail. So this is another aspect of the ONSLAUGHT – not only destabilization of absence; but a redoublement of insecurity & xpence]

236 “Gods of the Middle Passage” Caribbean Rev IX:4 (1982), 18,19,42-44. another bitter loss. the search for this cost me much in blood tears & many terrible hours cking and looking and hoping to find and lost me/cost me the chance to have this repub in the Afro-Hispanic Rev now they’ve become interested in such things

237 Roots of the Blues – Alan Lomax Field Recordings.

‘they’ left me, so far!!, ‘The Blues roll on’ and

‘Sounds of the South’

238 In add to the blowing out of my speakers, the CD tray is no longer working and the door of the tape re- corder was forced, so that it’s very difficult now to TAPE w/certainty on the component set

239 Romeo & Juliet (the VHF of Zefferelli’s classic Shakespeare). clearly other VHFs are stolen but I’ve not yet been able to determine which – one only finds this out when one reaches for an xpected item

240-242 The people who came Bks 1,2,3 the orij eds edit by KB5. another rare of v/personal item/achievement. This is stolen dur the Spr semester 07 – after the Alarm, AFTER so-called new lock put on the door

243 WORDS UNCHAINED (Chris Searle). i only disc this gone from the KB5 shelf when i go for it while working on the anthol of Caribb Abolition po 27 July 07

as i say, the person/persons who came in here – who got in here – who was let in here – is certainly v/intent to DAMAGE me all they cd

244-249 PWC Books 1, 2,3 series ed (in 2 eds KB5), w/Bks 2 & 3 mainly writ by KB [31July 07) major work done by me in the

60s & 7Os and now rare out of print material

250-251 Ian McDonald: Essequibo, Mercy Ward

252 This teefin is RELENTLESS – now one of our earliet po anthols, the irreplacable SALKEY (ed), Breaklight. As I say, by the end of time here, I WILL HAVE NOTHING LEFT. serve me right for being a black poet & collector!! I think this is not only GREED but ENVY & INSULT – what shd >>I << have such a treasure

253 Vivian Virtue, WINGS OF THE Evening – rare pub of a rare book of poems – Virtue is one of our early WI (Ja) poets who spent most of his working life in the UK. The person who took this book and the BREAKLIGHT above knows his or her West Indian lit – esp whats rare & most valuable – in add of course to my own most precious work – both early & rare & my MSS

254-257. as i have reason to look for certain po titles, in add to the VIRTUE (253, above) and the two Ian McDonalds (250-51), i now find gone (16 aug 2007): Keens-Douglas’s famous Tanti at de Oval and Savannah Ghost; and Jean Breeze also very famous (all these rare) RIDDIM RAVINGS and her POSTER POEM – Riddim Ravings

258. I get up this morning Sat 25 aug 2007, still working the ANTHOLOGY – the Haiti kweyol section – and first thing i go to the shelf for LIBETE, an anthology of Michael Dash and somebody else. THE BOOK IS GONE – like, as I say, this person keeps one step ahead of me and every txt i need, he/she needs also. The whole day is taken up and now writing this

It means that the person is still coming in here, despite the new key/locks (which Management has copies of anyway) and despite that when we go out, i now LOCK the door to this room since it has a single key. but despite the so-call keys and the so-call locks, entry continues here and so do our losses – loss of book, loss of time looking, loss of psycho energy worrrying fretting and loss of time at finishing my Projects, since nearly every mo is fraught t with having to SEARCH & WORRY

259-265. all the tapes i dubbed from key LPs against such theft – since CongoMan and ROOTS OF THE BLUES Album already GONE – the six cassettes tapes of my LPS ) spoken word mainly) GONE. prob same time as LIBETE

266. 3 sept 07 – LABOUR DAY. this morning we went to take out our mini-camcorder in its black case – to ready it for a Class Project this semester STOLEN – GONE//the thing about this THEFT and the set of books we bought from a wayside bookseller in 2004, is that in both these cases, these items were wrapped up and stowed away – they had to be diligently searched for. But since this person or persons had TWO YEARS to search in, they wd have coVered everything in this apartment, since as I say, NOTHING CAN LOCK AWAY – and even our filing cabinets – all four of them, have been carefully disabled

267 Tricia Rose, BLACK NOISE

despite the so-call change of lock & key, many/most times when we go out together – which we have to do less & less! – there is eVidence of some kind of intrusion

268/11 sept 07 disc LOSS (cf 105/the Robt Browning) of my research on the PIONEER PRESS of Jamaica. both these taken from my RES FOLDER the BIO-BIB of Caribb Po – so they went /they goin in EVERYTHING

269-279 There was a box full of books of poetry which on Sept 4 2007 we pull out to begin inventory. We go out together for several hours on Sept 12 2007. On 18 2007 sept Bev opens the box to begin work and finds the box half empty – an estimated 10 or 12 books gone. On Friday 14 Sept I had written Asst Dean Lipman for an appointment, in response to his offer towards the end of last semester, to see me about this situation. Elaine Jones had agreed to come along w/us to this appointment. Lipman did not respond my letter so that on the dat we disc the theft from the box – Tues 18 Sept, i asked Bev to speak with Lipman about the worsening continuing situation since is clear now that despite the LOCK/KEY change the apt continues to be entered. Lipman, far from honouring his invitation to talk, now refers us to University Security

280-285: 23 Sept 07 – I’m now working on GUILLÉN and find the 3 Havana editions of his Obras Completas – yes – MISSING

286 1 Oct 07 – Black+Blues my only copy of the Casa de las Americas Premio edition – gone

287 2 Oct 07. The Surveillance factor. when this thing started, we assumed it was Homeland Security/CIA spying on me – profile of Terrorist or of Black Danger. pho tapped. I’m sure there are bugs all over the apt. letters & packages opened. After a time it seemed to shift to pure teefin of this narrow range of Caribbean books and books i need/use for my teaching, writing & research But I’m hit this evening, collecting my mail from the office where my mail is invariably tampered with. sometimes gets kept back from delivery to my BOX for ages on xcuses of being wrongly addressed etc etc etc – certainly not true. But this evening we have a classic. My Longman royalty statement from London is in my box, but the address window is BLANK. so how then wd the mail person know WHERE to send/place the letter. In other words, the env had been OPENED – you cd tell from the FLAP – and then put back in badly, w/the address not showing. in add, the covering lett from Longman has been reMoved – or shall i juss say ‘missing’??

288-289 7 oct 07 -HA Vaughan, Sandylane & other poems – the 1945 RARE orij AND the Bim reprint 1985 – also precious & rare. STOLEN w/in the last two months because i was using these txts for a paper i am currently doing

290 Lamming’s Natives of my person – the orij London hardcover edition 1970

291/92 ****’s BIOPIRACY – that along w.the GENOMES

294 Calypso Rose – ‘kon kon kon’ (echo of MASKS?) on cassette tape – this and another cassette tape taken c 5 October +

295 one 36-roll of film (one of set of 4) to be taken to be processed printed – prob same 5 October 2007

296 Rohlehr’s A SCUFFLING OF ISLANDS — one more important & hard-to-get book since pub in the Caribbean & a precious gift from the author

297 Wilson Harris, The secret ladder (out of print) – used in my MR classes since 2000 – gift from Wilson

298-300 2 ZIP machines and a computer diskette machine

301 new in-progress mss on the lass days of Claude McKay

302-312/Oct 30 2007 my working copy of BELOVED. so that today (Tues 30 oct 07) was not able to prepare properly for my class, since i needed the NOTES for Beloved. was prob stolen on Fri afternoon 26 Oct, when we simply went downstairs at the front of the building to see a friend get a taxi – not more than 15 mins!!

This is the single most cruel crash because that large hardcover edition carries THREE YEARS OF NOTE (S) on the MR aspect of the txt and its loss puts paid now to the plans i had to publish my MR ideas on this work

BELOVED and a whole bunch of poetry books from a shelf – a whole BUNCH – about 10 -12 PTP-size books i wd think – perhaps even moro – because on this occa- sion there wasn’t time to do the usual surgery of care- ful xtraction – knowing we had not really left the build ing, the PIRAKE had to GRAB – Beloved was a target – yes – they kno by now this is a central textbook in my work & teach – so that must be stolen and destroyed to me. lay waste my soul w/sword of wickedness. the rest was ‘TEK SOME MORO FROM THE MOOR’ – in fact looking now, i see is TWO shelves grabb up

and meanwhile the UNIVERSITY continues to do nuffen; refuse to act on my emergency solutions – clear- ly the idea is to lv me to be destroye(d); while we get up out of bed at 3 in the morning & search the whole again & again – hopeless hope – until about 7 this morning

so you see, the undermine the underthrow is pandemic – not only the item, and the love & cherish & meaning of it, but the health

313 Carnegie’s WAGES PAID – this is another rare item, pub by Casa de las Americas and in my view, the best novel on slavery written in English. MY ONE & ONLY SURVIVING COPY IS NOW STOLEN FROM MT STUDY ROOM

314 WIDE SARGASSO SEA. so all three books i need for my work this week – Beloved, WAGES, WSS – all w/my teachinng notes – are GONE

Since this person – clearly an XPERT & CONNOISSEUR of BOOKS and of my WORK – creativem research & teaching – for all we kno a TEAM!! – had to be in some way given access to our apt – or lives in the apt & has access to a KEY – NYU, who put me in this apt that i pay high rent for w/24/7/365 security, shd really be responsible for this really quite dangerous situation since access to teef books, tapes, cds and docs, cd also inVolve all sorts of other ACTIVITY that cd endanger our lives and/or our freedom. Already we are prisoners here – can hardly lv the apt for fear of continuation stealing – since NOTHING has been solved; far less going on holiday or even going out on lectures or po readings

The TEEF also while impoverishing me materially and even more spiritually, is also no doubt making himself/herself WEALTHY, most of my rare books are fetchin and wd fetch thousands of dollars on the rare book/collectors’ rarkets. even on Amazon, i see quotes as high as $5000 for some of my type of books. And as i say, there are no personal locks in the place. the University has full access to here at any time. and all our filing cabinets – did i tell you – have been disabled – locks gone or broken off

With the NYU admin xpressing NO INTEREST CONCERN IN THIS and RECCO my GOING TO THE POLICE – before i mean they even sit down and talk with me. . .i can only become even more disturb than ever and feel is time i begin to inform the wider world about whats happening here before i perhaps DISAPPEAR raising the issue of the quality of our universities’ liberal illiberal mock and mocking deMOCKracy

Robt Bobb suggests that perhaps i better put my things in STORAGE (esp since i can’t control my lock & key)


We find ourselves living here in like a state of SIEGE – finding hard to lv the house and when you go out, dreading what might have eloped meantime, despite the simplistic measures we’ve taken, inc having the lock/key changed

When I find a book these days, is like a victory. is like a kind of compensation! as if the teef(s) is doin us a favour to lv SOMETHING (for the time being!) behind

12 Dec 06 . 20 jan 07 . 10 feb 07


13 feb 07

Until this NYU undevelopment, i cd assume that if i cdn’t find something, it was somewhe THERE. Now if i can’t find something, I have to assume its STOLEN and go into a PANIC about it and find myself a woo-dove mourning the loss esp of the 3-years work in BELOVED.

the loss of the rest of my life

of my world

13 feb 07/1 nov 2007


This amazing eVent – process reaLLY – has one bottom-line one meaning. In this enVironment there is no RESPECT no RESPONSIBILITY accorded towards mwe. therefore ANYTHING GOES. ANY ABUGRAVE TORTURE & PUNISHMENT until you are ?softly destroyed = I shd NOT BE HERE w/this sort of ARCHIVE = WEALTH = WEALTH KB5 30 Mar 2007
What this xperience, which i may well not SURVIVE, is teaching me, is that RACISM

(because thats what it is, even tho you will turn it rounn, say it isn’t so, accuse me of thin-skin ignorance, of mistaken identity(!!) – in other words, that i muss tek what i getting an shet up)

comes in many guises & disguises and is like a snake coif round & round the so-call culture of the West and i say ‘so-call’ because any entity which is corrupt in its instincts and its actions out of these instincts, cannot be grace w/the good name of ‘culture’ – a word indeed coined & cultivated in the West as a paradigm superior to other social life-forms

And i am saying this w/some elation also because for the first time at last, i am faced with the reality of what we have -learn & teach – in our holy BOOKS – which now i clearly see as nothing more than forms of clover propaganda – designed to speak w/the ear of the serpent – design to triX & falsifly. design to allow you to garasp the hand of the sword and its scimitar, believing this steel to be points of honour and edges of a welcome ceremonial

that is so easy to learn and teach and kno very little about the world. so easy to develop sleeves of hypocrisy & blandishment; to avert the eyes from the crisis when is not us involved in the malescream

but with this submission to holocaust here in this apartment for the last 2 years and clearly far longer than that but then w/out eyes of understanding, i can tell you that we are sitting in the middle of a nest of RACISM – a word – see what i mean? – that you not suppose to use – but if is not that, whats Louima and Sean Bell and Rodney [in California/who still wanted to ‘get along’] and Mary Lou Hamer and what happen to Michael Jackson and Jack Johnson and to all those Haitians turn back from these shores?

I mean it leads to other things too – to other forms of corruption – through its various forms of violence & sadism and the laddering of ego-centrism and superiority – all this so easily so quickly becomes slavery all over again and imperialism all over again – or rather – continues these oppressions these hells these nagasakis

so that my being here – a black ass from the Caribbean, writing my poetry, winning a few prizes which don’t go anywhere (racism again), teaching a very successful and mind centering course for some 15 years now, possessing, as a result of centuries of livication in the desert – where we shd have had nothing – shd have eaten stone – but i am one lucky to collect bread lucky to break it into manna, happy to serve the few fish of ashes into something we cd share transform(ed) in/to simple feast

because of these things – not submitting to the status crow – continuing my self – reaching amazingly, despite all that desert – perhaps because of it – towards RADIANCE and sharing this vision and teaching it too as (again) a sharing in the classroom

so that there is, in my 77th year [now 78] – a HERITAGE – the miracle of a heritage – something soon to pass on into harvest – that the people i come from wd have something from this one person – as from others too – we all in this smalls together – gathering

that this wd have to become too much for the RACISTS – thats how i see this disrespect – this violent anger that i shd have this books & papers & tapes & all these manuscripts and drafts towards long poems – when really i shd be hanging from that tree – WHO YOU – WHO ME – how dare to be SOMEbody

so lets slip in- into the apartment and TEEF whats there w/a problemO – even when we turn our backs for 10 mins – let us pirake & unprivilege this archive – let us bite him down to NUFFEN – knowing fully well that there will be no response of outcry no REMEDY from the rest of the society/community becau dem racist too –

you might not say so – but for all these years in this building, hardly a one ever even say hello far less smile or try to strengthen the day w/us – instead you either stann up in the doorway of the elevator so i will like have to sQueeze you past or when i come in/get in, yu squeeze yrself into the a corner and freeze the surrounding air – if you cd press a buzzer of alarm and call out ROBBERY OR RAPE yu wd – because you can’t help it – thats the thousand years of snake trap round yr neck, lookin at mwe thru yr eyeballs

is even worse outside on the street – you can’t see me no more pan the sidewalk, so is mwe got to dodge you or get lick-down and if i hit you – so it seem – you ready to call fe police who you kno – because yu see in out here all the time – will chain me to the 19th cent railings of the sQuare and make me piss my shoes – i see it all the time – along the action black – inside the Park

the same student who in class might sit attentive, even smiling, taking notes – outside will hardly ever recognize me – unless she want to ask a Question and then is Hi Professor How are ewu – but otherwise, you knock me down the same way janitor – or zigging on the cell, head down, i have to stop to stop you crashing into this blk man you cannot see,

and i will see you raise yr eyes in anger or alarm because you think is me who blockin you,

who threatenin YOU – UP SOUTH

Racism says that people like me have no COMPLIANT – have no RIGHT to make complaint and if/when you do, there is NO REDRESS unless of course you attempt VIOLENCE – which they see in you anyway, even in their dreams –


is when you shd be back hoom w/yr own people

wid dem own crypto-racist problems

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One response to “{Part 1} Kamau Brathwaite disgraced abroad and at home, where is Justice? LITERARY ICON OF BARBADOS REPORTS CONTINUOUS THEFT OF MEMOIRS AND SOUVENIRS – NY POLICE IGNORE CLAIMS”

  1. CUNY-alumnus Avatar

    Very well written post you wrote here. As a blogger to another, I recognise how tough and how much energy it takes to conjure up something substantial. Respect.

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