From Auction Block to Oval Office
About the Project
On January 20th, 2010, millions of Americans will reflect on President Barack Obama’s first year in office. Even if they do not want to, newspapers, magazines, television and radio broadcasts will flood our minds with opinions about this historic moment. Bookstore shelves will be overflowing with books commemorating the occasion, recounting the steps which led up to the election, analyzing the president’s decisions and their impact on the American and global economy and culture. Only one of the books on those shelves will be a collection of one hundred poems written in the first one hundred days of Barack Obama’s presidency by a hip-hop generation Black man, a missing and much sought-after voice in the national dialogue.
In From Auction Block to Oval Office, award-winning poet kahlil almustafa presents a collection of 100 poems written during the first 100 days of Barack Obama’s presidency. These poems explore the hopes, fears, contradictions and complexity which come with the election of the United States’ first African-American president. As President Obama confronted political and cultural problems hundreds of years in the making, almustafa took on the poetic challenge of writing one hundred poems. Written in the voice of a young, African-American male, a romantic revolutionary and an intellectual, these poems capture a nation teetering between danger and opportunity, cynicism and hope.
From Auction Block to Oval Office is not a collection of pro-Obama poems or anti-Obama poems. These poems are meditations and mantras, punch-lines and prayers, adding a vital alternative to the coarse, polarized tone of the current political discourse. Most importantly, From Auction Block to Oval Office poses the questions: What if all Americans wrote a letter to the president? What is we all stopped to reflect and write 100 poems?