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Alternative Proverbs: Trump's Favorite "Irish" Blessing Is Actually a Poem Written By a Nigerian

Trump shares his "favorite Irish proverb" during his St.Patrick's Day address, but it's actually a poem written by Nigerian writer, Albashir Adam Alhassan.

Last night Donald Trump gave his first St. Patrick's Day address alongside Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny.


He began his speech by addressing the importance of America's relationship with the Irish. "As we stand together with our Irish friends, I’m reminded of an Irish proverb – and this is a good one, this is one I like, I’ve heard it for many, many years and I love it," said Trump.

He proceeded to share the following quote: "always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue, but never forget to remember those that have stuck by you."

It turns out that this "Irish proverb" that Turmp claims to love so very much is actually a poem credited to Nigerian writer and banker, Albashir Adam Alhassan, born in Kano State, with no known ties to Ireland.  Read the alternative Irish poem below.

A White House spokesperson told The Hill that the poem was “originally supplied in an email on March 8 by the State Department via the National Security Council, as building blocks in advance of this event. These building blocks were supplied in the context of the Shamrock Ceremony and were ultimately used in the prepared remarks for the luncheon."

Ok, whatever.

All of this is just too good for folks to not make fun of. I mean, where do we even begin?

Though an opportunity to roast Trump should never be missed, there has been some speculation as to whether or not the poem is actually written by Alhassan, as it appears on a number of websites as an Irish proverb. The Guardian is reporting that the quote first appeared in a journal back in 1936. There's been no confirmation from Alhassan as of yet, but either way, we're not letting Trump live this one down that easily.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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