The elder who was MC-ing was speaking into the microphone in a slow deliberate voice.  He sat in the middle of a green grass playing field under a white canopy which shielded him from the hot sun.  A war dance was about to start, he said, in a few minutes.  A steady drum beat rumbled to life as various middle-aged men in crisp, long-sleeved white shirts began to assemble in the circle formed by the white canopies.  The MC said he wanted to thank the organizers: “It takes a lot of effort.  It’s a lot of bureaucracy to get permits to use the UCLA grounds to have our annual American Indian Pow Wow.” 

I stopped trying to buy some fry bread from the food vendors behind the inner circle.  I stopped and listened and shuddered.  What was this man saying? 

The elder continued: “In these modern times, it’s difficult to raise our kids with an interest in and a respect for the culture, especially in big cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles and Chicago where many of our tribal peoples live.” 

Homo sum: humani nil
a me alienum puto

May Contradictions:

     Stolen Land aka Private Property,
          Fighting Corruption with Nepotism,

               Global Hipsterification

Essay of the Month

Melissa Tandiwe Myambo is an author, academic

and aerobics instructor.