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Wow! A Reggae Tribute To My Book

by Richard Poe
Wednesday, February 5, 2003

7:55 am Eastern Time
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Pinch me. I must be dreaming.

While googling around the Web this morning, I discovered that a reggae artist named Amadi has produced a CD called “Black Spark White Fire,” evidently inspired by my book of the same title!

Amadi’s “Black Spark White Fire” is a beautiful and enchanting song. Some lyrics are a bit hard to make out, but they seem to say:

Systematically programmed, to ignore the evidence,
When all the legendary wise studied at the bank of the Nile,
Truth can never be ugly, nor beauty be false,
So why adhere to prejudice, when the writing’s on the wall,
Eh… The writing’s on the wall?

Black Spark, Black Spark,
White Flame, White Flame

All the world has touched from her hot and heated flame.

Black Spark, Black Spark,
White Fire, White Fire,
White Fire, White Fiiiiiiiire!

These verses make clear that either Amadi or his lyricist has read my book with careful attentiveness and understanding. The line “Truth can never be ugly, nor beauty be false” encapsulates what is perhaps the key point in the entire 500-page tome.

In chapters 17-19, I traced the origin of Greek philosophy to the Egyptians’ reverence for Ma’at, the goddess of Truth. According to legend, Pythagoras — widely revered as the first Greek philosopher — studied in the temples of Egypt for 22 years, and there received the foundation of his great learning. In Black Spark, White Fire, I wrote:

In Pythagoras’s view, truth and beauty were one and the same. The truth could never be ugly, and beauty could not be false. Over a century later, this principle formed the basis of Plato’s theory of ideal forms. Indeed, many of Plato’s key ideas can be traced directly to Pythagorean doctrine and to the Egyptian theology that underlay it. (page 107)

In his devotion to truth as the highest ideal and his belief in heavenly reward, Plato was far closer to Pythagoras and Egyptian theology than to any native doctrine of the Greeks. (page 108)

You can download an audio clip here. Or listen online here. Here are some reviews of the CD.

Sadly, when asked in an interview to explain the name of his new album, Amadi neglected to mention my book. He simply said:

Black Spark White Fire speaks of the sciences of which [sic] govern our world today, and how they find their origin in Mother Africa, where the Greeks and the Roman [sic] learned it all. So the spark is from Africa, and the learned Europeans blazed the fire as they gave it to the now [sic] world.

Gee, Amadi, a little plug for my book wouldn’t have hurt.

I do hope, at the very least, that Amadi paid full retail price for his copy of Black Spark, White Fire rather than buying it used through Amazon.com. If he bought my book brand new, at the list price, at least I would have gotten my $1.35 royalty out of the deal.

UPDATE (Sunday, April 20, 2003): Shortly after I posted the above message, Amadi was kind enough to contact me, graciously acknowledging that my book Black Spark, White Fire was indeed the inspiration for his CD of the same name; apologizing for his inadvertent failure to mention this fact during a recent interview; explaining that no “diss” was intended; and — best of all — offering to send me a free copy of his wonderful CD! I was also grateful to learn that Amadi did indeed buy my book at the full retail price, ensuring that I got my $1.35 royalty.

Stay tuned for further updates. Based upon our preliminary communications, I am confident that Amadi and I will succeed in working out a fair and mutually beneficial arrangement regarding the song and CD “Black Spark White Fire.”

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