Spacecraft reached out for poems for NourbeSe Philip, and asked for her to suggest a poet that she admires to fly with her. What came about was a collaboration w/ poet J. Otok Bitek.
Brief bio of J. Otok Bitek, courtesy of Wikipedia:
“Juliane Okot Bitek is a Kenyan-born Ugandan diasporian writer and academic, who lives, studies and works in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.”
Philip notes that the collaboration, “If/Shall” is a work in progress.
Philip also shares some notes on the subject of the poem:
In 2015 I collaborated with the scholar Omar Berrada at the annual Tamaas workshop in Paris, France. We were exploring issues of racism in Morocco, particularly in the wake of sub-Saharan Africans attempting to cross to Europe from Morocco. As part of our exploration Omar brought to my attention The Treaty of Peace and Friendship With Morocco, signed in 1787, between the United States of America and Morocco. If/Shall is based on this Treaty. I presented the first draft of this poem at our presentation at the end of the workshop. The treaty has been in existence for 232 years and remains the “longest unbroken treaty relationship in United States history.