The Many Bodies of Mos Def: Notes for an Unremarkable Poem on Failure

Part of the New Caribbean Studies book series (NCARS)


Before his death after ten years of detention in the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay, the prisoner Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif wrote a poem in which he asked, “Where is the world to save the hunger strikers?” This chapter considers his question in the context of the video ‘Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) Force Fed Under Standard Guantánamo Bay Procedure,’ which has over six million views on YouTube. Offering a close, critical reading of the video set against the backdrop of contemporary police violence against African American men, it explores the limits of representations of violence while also explaining Guantánamo’s hold as a metaphor that links the still-unseen bodies of detainees to the hyper-visible dead bodies of black American men.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad del EsteSan JuanPuerto Rico

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