So Digging means to present, perhaps arbitrarily, varied paradigms of this essentially Afro-American art. The common predicate, myself, the Digger. One who gets down with the down, always looking above to see what is going out, and so check Digitaria, as the Dogon say, necessary if you are to dig the farthest star, Serious.
— Amiri Baraka, Digging: The Afro-American Soul of American Classical Music
… That time Amiri Baraka was basically like, "Don’t worry about whether you see me. You see my impact."
The Dogon are an ethnic group living in the central plateau region of the country of Mali, in Western Africa, south of the Niger bend, near the city of Bandiagara, in the Mopti region. They are reported to possess advanced astronomical knowledge, in that their star system “with no instruments at their disposal [, tracked] the movements and certain characteristics of virtually invisible stars,” revealing precise knowledge of cosmological facts only known by the development of modern astronomy.
The Dogon believe that the brightest star in the sky, Sirius, has two companion stars: pō tolo (the Digitaria star), and ęmmę ya tolo, (the female Sorghum star).
Sirius, in the Dogon system, formed one of the foci for the orbit of a tiny star, the companionate Digitaria star. When Digitaria is closest to Sirius, that star brightens: when it is farthest from Sirius, it gives off a twinkling effect that suggests several stars to the observer.
Baraka was like …
Digging means to present - however I want to, without outside concern - the many styles of black artistic excellence.
Baraka is both the common predicate (as in the action, as in the thing being done, as in “The digger dug the well.”
He is the worker and the work. He is a concept not easily understood. He is the “One who gets down, with the down, always looking above” to see what is being presented (which is not necessarily him). If you want to understand him - “Serious” or Sirius, the brightest star -you don’t necessarily look to him, but rather to what is near him. You look to see what shines brighter, what multiplies as a result of his working. You look to his impact.
Baraka was all like … "When you see them, see me."