Rhyme As Response To Glasstire’s Review of Otabenga Jones and Assoc Mural


A writer Betsy Huete for art website (Glasstire) based in Texas has reviewed and made an observation about an Otabenga Jones & Associates mural that is also a component to a larger project supported by Creative Capital titled The People’s Plate.

The writer has overlooked some important issues that get overlooked when only discussed from one frame of reference. There is nothing personal towards the writer and I’m sure honest legitimate critique is welcomed but one must truly look at the writing about the black artists lately.  Controversy has circled black artists like the rings around Saturn. The YAMS collective, Kara Walker’s project are a couple of examples where race is part of the work but is not the entire work. It seems that many of these critics think race is all there is to it. They neglect to dig deeper, investigate, research, or even just ask some plain old black folk who would know about these things what is this about. Their view, the (European/Western) view seems to be the only view worth considering and exempt from immediate dismissal.

We must not forget how all black music that is arguably a major part of American music wasn’t called art, trash, etc. Maybe the black visual artists should pull from that playbook and rethink how they navigate within the art world and its thoughtless descriptions, critiques and associations.

Nuff said.. one can only present this interesting writer’s response in rhyme form to the writer’s perspective.

Rhymes From Emancipation Park
This mural goes 1 for the money.
2 for Houston zone.
3 for historic neighborhoods with food deserts unknown.
3rd, 4th, and 5th Ward, Sunnyside, Acres Homes
Harrisburg, South Union, South Park, Yellowstone
Kashmere Gard, South Acres, Hiram Clark, Clayton Homes
Like it’s only one audience for Otabenga Jones.
What you know about supporting one of Houston’s own?
But this is a waste of time as far as responses go.
You should’ve wrote about this a few months ago.
But you’re mislead
If I could give Glasstire grades on ignorance, you’ll make honor roll
and I would place big gold star on your forehead
This that hipster privilege
You gave this about much thought
As a rock give thoughts about quantum physics.
You said a whole lot but you ain’t said a whole lot.
If whole foods would come around they’d take the whole lot
High prices where they know folks don’t own a whole lot.
Whole food shows up with a quickness, when the hipsters
Mid class ladies and gentsers
Gentrifed the whole lot
Of fish and chicken/ ways of living
Poor people’s property
Come up missin’ on the stove pot
But if you know the game / you know it’s an old plot
A place you may NOW live in
Visitin’ spaces you don’t know.
Talking about places without an escort you know you won’t go.
The mural says power to the peeps/ not promises it can’t keep
You act like black folks don’t drive down main street.
You act like other folks and cultures can’t read
And there’s only one location black folks can be.
Well, they drive down multiple lanes,
But your review is singularly ultimate lame.
You bout as linked to this hood as all the links
On George W. Bush’s blinged gold chain.
Give humans some credit, your review needs a re-edit
And ask yourself exactly What’s a food desert?
It don’t only mean vegan vegetarian
It also means the only grocery stores around the area in
The T-R-E is Fiesta and H-E-B
Elijah Muhammad said don’t eat pork/ he didn’t say don’t eat beef.
Too bad you didn’t dig deep and sink your teeth
Into the book on How To Eat
To Live not how to live to eat.
You too busy reading “How to Live by Writing Silly Critiques”
Dewey, Danto, Greenburg aint chillin’ in these streets,
Less Art Theory more art being…
Are all the people in the Tre
Supposed to go to restaurants every day?
How much you pay you say?
You forgetting the economic part, where they won’t loan money
For businesses to start
Suck out the resources, remove the schools and courses
Part by part in tiny morsels and small portions
Move quick like the metabolism, Betty update your activism
downgrade your pacifism.
Change ya rhythm.
When the influx of white folks start, police begin to patrol the dark
They restructure the park, and then build super marts
With multicolored shopping carts
And you probably saying to yourself
“Those people” should probably start
To make a fuss
We do, you just heard your info from the media but not us
You wrote and I quote
“reinforcing poisonous sterotypes about the neighborhood without paying proper
credit to the countless residents that have worked tirelessly to keep it from being one.”
How do you know?
You probably went to a school without knowing “those stereotypes”
Only just “seeing one” at night on B.E.T. and on
Your video player
Human beings come in multilayers
I wished you presented a more thoughtful review
But you a recruit of the cracktire crew not realizing the tire
Is running thin on asphalt, glass out, gas out
And at some point you’re gonna have to retool, remove, redo, and refuel
Or you be looking like the donkey lost on main street
Ass out