Cornbread, Fish and Collard Greens: Prayers, Poems & Affirmation for People Living with HIV/AIDS

Cornbread, Fish and Collard Greens: Prayers, Poems & Affirmation for People Living with HIV/AIDS

by Khafre Kujichagulia Abif


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Khafre K. Abif has been thriving with HIV for 24 years, and is a father of two college aged young men. He holds a master's degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Africana Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Abif is the Founder/Executive Director of Cycle for Freedom, a national mobilizing campaign founded in 2010, to reduce the spread of HIV among African Americans and Latinos. During the 75-day campaign, Cycle for Freedom will engage fourteen (14) African American and Latino communities along the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route by developing strategies designed to increase HIV testing, and confront HIV-related stigma, homophobia, and lack or mis-education.
Abif is one of five men in the inaugural class of The HEALTH (Health Executive Approaches to Leadership and Training in HIV) Seminar Program, a year long program designed to enhance knowledge, skills, and abilities for assuming leadership/management positions in the field of health with a particular focus on HIV for the next generation of African American MSM leaders and community based organizational practices.
Abif also serves as Community Educator/Test Counselor for ONE Life of Pittsburgh, PA, as well as the Georgia HIV Prevention Community Planning Group. He formerly served on the Pennsylvania HIV Prevention Community Planning Group and was the Community Co-Chair for the New Jersey HIV Prevention Community Planning Group where he ensured PIR for the group.
As a librarian, Abif managed Children's Services for Brooklyn Public Library and was the first recipient of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) Dr. John C. Tyson Emerging Leader Award. As former Director of the Langston Hughes Library for the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) at the former Alex Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, Abif was responsible for meeting the library's mission to serve as the intellectual commons of the movement to Leave No Child Behind®.
Publications include co-editing with Teresa Y. Neely, In Our Own Voices: The Changing Face of Librarianship, and is contributing author in the anthologies Poor People and Library Services, and Handbook of Black Librarianship. Forthcoming work includes Raising Kazembe, and Fall to Grace. Visit Abif at

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781491803219
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 08/29/2013
Pages: 616
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.37(d)

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Cornbread, Fish and Collard Greens

Prayers, Poems & Affirmations for People Living with HIV/AIDS

By Khafre Kujichagulia Abif


Copyright © 2013 Khafre Kujichagulia Abif
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4918-0321-9


    A Prayer

    'Mid the discordant noises of the day I hear thee calling;
    I stumble as I fare along Earth's way; keep me from falling.

    Mine eyes are open but they cannot see for gloom of night:
    I can no more than lift my heart to thee for inward light.

    The wild and fiery passion of my youth consumes my soul;
    In agony I turn to thee for truth and self-control.

    For Passion and all the pleasures it can give will die the death;
    But this of me eternally must live, thy borrowed breath.

    'Mid the discordant noises of the day I hear thee calling;
    I stumble as I fare along Earth's way; keep me from falling.

    Claude McKay


God, I used to think to be whole I had to be what others wanted me to be; that I had to wear my hair in ways others liked, that I had to dress in a style that others found attractive and appealing, and that I had to speak and act in ways that others found acceptable. In other words, my feeling of wholeness was tied to how others viewed and felt about me.

I have since come to learn that wholeness comes from You and only You, and wholeness can only be felt and enjoyed from the inside out; not the other way around.

I pray for Your children to experience wholeness, I pray that all my friends and family will someday know what it means and feels like to be whole. I especially pray that those who are not whole would cease their desire to make others feel anything less than whole—and loved.

I pray we become more like You!

This is my prayer.

In the name of Jesus,


Rev. Nazim B Fakir

    Simple Pleasures

    I hope today you have a little drama,
    hope some lover or friend or combination of both
    gets on your nerves and you have to read that ass
    to the brink of extinction.

    I hope today that you cheat on your diet
    and have a sticky-sweet desert
    that rolls your eyes back
    and makes you moan.

    I hope today you get to watch
    some stupid reality TV show
    and know all the characters by name
    and all the details of their TV lives by heart.

    I hope today you hear a song on an oldies station
    that takes you back to a time in your childhood
    before your blood betrayed you —
    I hope you do the dance you used to.

    I hope today your account balance, credit scores, and T cells
    are all high enough
    for you to go shopping
    and get what you always wanted.

    I hope today, passes
    and you do everything you have to do
    to make sure that you
    are here to do it all again tomorrow.

    Red Summer

    Psalm 8

    1 Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

    You have set your glory
    in the heavens.
    2 Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.
    3 When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
    4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?

    5 You have made them a little lower than the angels
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
    6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their feet:
    7 all flocks and herds,
    and the animals of the wild,
    8 the birds in the sky,
    and the fish in the sea,
    all that swim the paths of the seas.

    9 Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

    Holy Bible, New International Version, 2011

    New Day

    New day
    New year
    New way of life

    New spirit
    New gray hair
    New appearance
    New age

    New stars and musicians
    New songs and beats
    New voice

    New software and satellites
    New technology and candle light dinners
    New ways to recycle

    New nature
    New trees and leaves
    New flowers and grass
    New Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall

    New insects
    New dogs
    New mammals
    New hogs
    New pets

    New diseases
    New cures
    New doctors and lawyers
    New prescriptions that keep us sick
    New laws to hinder you from moving forward

    New felons who are falsely accused

    New lottery winners
    Fewer homeless shelters
    New movies and reality shows
    New co-hosts
    New coupons in the Sunday paper

    New hairstyles
    New clothes
    New shoes
    New swag

    New religion
    New churches
    New ministers ordained
    New printed Bible called King James

    New careers
    New discoveries
    New words
    New money
    New job openings but not enough jobs

    New disasters
    New trials
    New regrets
    New goals

    New love
    New break-ups
    New feelings
    New desire
    New poem

    New Moon
    New Sun
    New Temperature
    New Horoscope
    New Earth

    New life
    New birth
    New fight
    New day I'm surviving to survive
    overcoming to overcome what tries to tear me down

    Tasha (Lady Dred) Dancy

    In Relationship (Bill T. Jones)

    Grown in a low-laying area in Africa
    Grown to enormous size
    Read the carbon dating
    3,000 years indicates they can live

    Baobabs, a deciduous tree
    Umbrella thorn
    Grey to black in color, rough bark
    straight thorns with small, hooked thorn
    Alongside, thorns are thin and grow in pairs
    The flowers are creamy,
    white balls, pods are a distinctive pale,
    gold-brown color, curled and twisted

    Brown-sugar brown
    Gazelle graceful
    Lovely as a lover's dream
    He dances
    His body, a live chord
    Jazz and Swing—
    Black Power

    Blind Date

    As I Was Saying
    The Breathing Show

    Phase 2

    Face stage left
    weight equal on both feet
    drop the shoulders down
    relax and breathe down
    Place the left hand over the sternum
    Take a deep breath in
    The right hand with the pointer finger comes to the lips
    Right hand and foot move stage right
    Draw left leg in to hook behind
    The right finger drops the wrist, elbow, shoulder
    And everything is moving
    back to upstage left
    as one shifts one's hip onto the left leg
    The left arm breaks over the head
    The right leg comes in and proceeds up to a posse' parallel
    Drop the right, left wrist down
    place the right wrist over the left
    Turn out right leg
    Right knee hits wrist
    arms fly apart
    Shift the weight to the right leg and lift the leg, knee and foot
    and head
    to the ceiling

    step through right hand reaches down stage right
    right leg reaches across
    Look away from hands as one comes back to the hand
    the left hand touches and hits the right hand
    the leg swings around
    stumble step left
    then right
    then left
    right yourself all weight on the right leg
    bend your arm in a serpentine shape
    hand relaxed
    release the wrist, and a wave moves through the wrist,
    the elbow, the shoulder fins a strange side attitude
    side position
    drop the leg down and parallel position
    ron de jong etudes back unto the knee
    both hands on the right knee
    look to the front
    look to the side
    hands open apart like a clock
    close back with the head
    push down on the knees
    straight up in parallel position
    and fall onto the left leg
    etudes left leg
    right leg, flexed foot

    Human spirit
    I Bow Down

    Pushing boundaries
    Sweeping through time and space

    Spoken word

    Journey towards understanding
    Dualities between any two people
    struggle to co-habitat
    to live together against all odds

    Ancestral memory

    God is still in the healing business

    Touched my soul
    Push, Reach, Stand
    Unexplored parts of myself
    Dance in the air
    Portrait in a movement

    In Relationship with Human Kind

    Khafre Kujichagulia Abif

    Mupata wesarudzo (Shona)

    Vanamukoma nana sisi vangu
    Nguva yasvika
    zuva resarudzo yenyu
    Ruzivo ruri nane pane upfumi
    Utano upfumi
    Muri mumupata wesarudzo
    Unouya panguva yevanhu vaYesu
    Kusarudza upenyu kana kufa
    Ikodzero yako kusarudza
    Pakati pedandemutande reshamwari dzepabonde
    Nekuvimbika kune umwe chete
    Pakati pekusvibisa nekusema
    Nerudo netsitsi
    Mumupata wesarudzo
    Mune chirwere cheshuramatongo
    Shuramatongo inotida tose
    Yakamirira sarudzo yako
    Ino inguva yako

    Valley of Choice

    My brothers and sisters,
    The time has come,
    The day of your choice.
    Knowledge is better than riches.

    Health is wealth.
    You are in the valley of choice—
    It comes for people in Jesus' time
    To choose between life and death.
    You have to choose?
    Between multiple concurrent relationships
    And Mutual faithfulness,
    Between stigma and discrimination,
    love and caring.
    In the valley of choice,
    There is HIV and AIDS.
    HIV likes us all.
    It does not discriminate.
    It is waiting for your choice.
    This is your time.

    Venancio Tavarwisa

    There Is a Balm in Gilead

    There is a balm in Gilead
    To make the wounded whole;
    There is a balm in Gilead
    To heal the sin-sick soul.
    Some times I feel discouraged
    And think my work's in vain
    But then the Holy Spirit
    Revives my soul again.

    If you can't preach like Peter,
    If you can't pray like Paul,
    Just tell the love of Jesus,
    And say He died for all.

    There is a balm in Gilead,
    To make the wounded whole;
    There is a balm in Gilead,
    To heal the sin-sick soul.
    Some times I feel discouraged
    And think my work's in vain
    But then the Holy Spirit
    Revives my hope again.

    If you cannot sing like angels,
    If you can't preach like Paul,
    You can tell the love of Jesus,
    And say He died for all.

    Don't ever feel discouraged,
    'Cause Jesus is your friend,
    And if you lack for knowledge,
    He'll never fail to lend.

    African American Spiritual

Excerpted from Cornbread, Fish and Collard Greens by Khafre Kujichagulia Abif. Copyright © 2013 Khafre Kujichagulia Abif. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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