Thursday, April 30, 2020

April Is National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month!

Originally a poem, but later set to music. It became the official song of The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and The Negro National Anthem.


Lift every voice and sing
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us,
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on till victory is won
Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
Till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast
God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, Thou who has brought us thus far on the way; Thou who has by Thy might Lead us into the light, Keep us forever in the path, we pray. Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee, Lest our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee; Shadowed beneath Thy hand, May we forever stand True to our God, True to our native land

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

April Is National Poetry Month!

April Is National Poetry Month!

Today I shine the spotlight on a poem written by a student at Northeastern University, that appeared in the historic “Northeastern Onyx: The Black Student Voice of Northeastern University,” student newspaper.

(Author Unknown/published in 1976)

Clearly Black
Loving Black people
Each and every one
From the depths of an understanding that
African people have a cultural mission to
Carry on together
Undying love for Black People

Clearly Black
Respecting Black people
Each and every one
Because respect is due
Our potential for struggle which we must
Wage together

Clearly Black
Making a commitment
To some individual Black folks
Which you seriously maintain
So the nation can be built
From family
Real and strong

Clearly Black
Profoundly enjoying Black People
Who wears our culture on their faces
Explain it
In their movement
Illuminate it
Through their creative genius
Protect it
Through their righteousness in struggle
Caress it
With their laughter

Clearly Black
Knowing well our teachings
Which extends backwards now until
Using our ancestors' and elders' great
Practicing our accepted ideology
Every day

Clearly Black
Mutual accountability
A sacred responsibility
To maintain values and standards and ideals
To identify and correct those of our group together
Who do not

Clearly Black
Whether Colonial
Or neocolonial
Bringing death
Whether violent
Or slow
Whether that
Knows it or not

Clearly Black
Understanding our cultural evolution
Through struggle
Will make greater human evolution possible
Clearly Black
Nguzo Saba
Through which we achieve solidarity and
Before the containment
Our culture we must
Achieve solidarity and strength
We will know our victory when we see it

Clearly Black
Sitting down with those who
Love respect and enjoy Black
To define and develop our culture

Clearly Black
Our service
Our style
Our music
Our realness
Our art
Our understanding
Our fashion
Our genius
Our sorrow
Our humility
Our faith
Our joy
Our sacrifice
Our humanity
Our labor
Our goodness
Our loving
Pure as they remain
No matter who exploits them

Clearly Black
Being clear
About living for our people
And through us for the all

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

April Is National Poetry Month!

April Is National Poetry Month!

This bredren is a poet from Liverpool, an urban griot, and a professional chef. He has authored four collections of poetry. His poems have appeared in numerous anthologies. Today I spotlight Levi Tafari! Rastafari!

Levi Tafari

Spiritually rooted
Culturally aware
A mystical African Atmosphere
A cultural beat on an African Drum
Like the beat of the heart when life began
Black man's roots in a Babylon
A positive vibration in a wicked land
A disciplined man in an undisciplined land
A spiritual fight
A fight against wrong
Art and craft combined together
Music and dance for the brothers and sisters
Natural living upon the earth
But in a Babylon what is life really worth
A concrete jungle where it is cold
And a man could a easily lose his soul
A place where the sun barely shines
And the smoking of herbs is a crime
A technical place full of machines
Where a man is not respected as a human being
If you have black skin them say that is a sin
In a land of competition black skin can't win
Now the roots of black culture is here
So Babylonians you better take care
Cause we help build up your land and now we want our share
So give us our African Atmosphere
Give black culture a chance
And let peace and love advance
Cause we're coming out of your trance
And a go straight in an African dance
A cultural education for all black youths
Not a selfish education to make them brutes
Teach Black culture in your schools
Then the running in a Babylon may be cool
Because we're spiritually rooted
We're culturally aware
And we want a culture atmosphere
A cultural beat in an African way
Cause African culture is with us to stay

April Is National Poetry Month!

April Is National Poetry Month!
This brethren is a poet, a critic, an editor, an educator, and a writer. The author of "Dreams in Soy Sauce." His poetry has appeared in numerous poetry anthologies. Today I shine the spotlight on Rohan B. Preston.

I Can See buckra a come
Lock-step to start a fray
Coming with them chains and munitions
But I don't feel no way
Nesta Marley, Mosiah Garvey
A flow inna me vain
Malcolm X-mas, Luther Kingdom
Mash them down again
I can hear the missiles a hum
But Jah Jah a the conqueror
At Palmares, Addis Ababa
Duppyman conqueror
Harriet Tubman, King Shaka
Show Jah love for true
Sister Nanny, and Kenyatta
Pass their grace on to you
The one Hannibal, Nefertiti,
All of them refuse to fall
Queen Mother, and Mandibi
All them are apart a me
I can see the armies rolling
But Natty a the conqueror
for our fathers, foremothers
None of them a bangarang
I can hear the mountains calling
Jah Lion a the conqueror
Love you, Papa, love you, Mama
O, Zion a the conqueror
Final conka-conka-kang

Sunday, April 26, 2020

April Is National Poetry Month!

April Is National Poetry Month!

A poet, a writer, folklorist, singer, playwright, an actor, comedienne, and an educator. An influential Jamaican figure, who opted to use her native tongue, performing in patois. Instilling pride into the Jamaican language and culture and arousing a proudness within the Jamaican people.



Sun a shine but tings no bright;
Doah pot a bwile, bickle no nuff;
River flood but water scarce, yawl
Rain a fall but dutty tough.

Tings so bad dat nowadays when
Yuh ask smaddy how dem do
Dem fraid yuh tek tell dem back,
So dem no answer yuh.

No care omuch we da work fa
Hard-time still een wi shut;
We dah fight, Hard-time a beat we,
Dem might raise wi wages, but

One poun gawn awn pon we pay, an
We no feel no merriment
For ten poun gawn pon wi food
An ten pound pon we rent!

Saltfish gawn up, mackerel gawn up.
Pork en beef gawn up,
An when rice and butter ready
Dem jus go pon holiday!

Claht, boot, pin an needle gawn up
Ice, bread, taxes, water-rate
Kersine ile, gasolene, gawn up;
An de poun devaluate

De price of bread gone up so high
Dat we haffi agree
Fi cut we yeye pon bred an all
Turn dumplin refugee

An all dem marga smaddy weh
Dah gwan like fat is sin
All dem-deh weh dah fas wid me
Ah lef dem to dumpling!

Sun a shine an pot a bwile, but
Things no bright, bickle no nuff
Rain a fall, river dah flood, but,
Water scarce an dutty tough.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

April Is National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month!

Pump Ya Fist!

These brothers & sisters were labeled dangerous, violent, hooligans, uneducated, thugs, menaces, and most wanted. Some went on the become professors at prestigious universities. Today I shine the spotlight on Sister Paulette Frye. Power to the People!


All power to the people brother:
A love with no beginning
The warmth of friendship
The bond of comradeship
The understanding of brothers and sisters
And it blossomed and grew
But the essence did not change
You are my friend, my comrade, my brother
And a Revolutionary who has my highest respect
For a new Black woman loves a new Black man
You are not mine, for you belong to the people
I am not yours, for I must serve the people
Our bodies touch and move apart
You go to another
But together we struggle, and in struggle, we learn to love
And that cannot limit us
It encompasses the entire world
We struggle to be free, we struggle, we fight to love
That all people may love
Our children will be the children of the world
Fighting for our people and the people of the world
Fighting for the possibilities of Humanity
And loving, as we want to love
This is the beginning of a love that cannot end
Not the false love of a dying society
But a new love of a new people
Fighting for a new world
Wherever you are, my love
I'll be with you as you fight
And wherever I am, my love
I'll carry you in my heart as I fight
Together we'll learn to love and we'll teach the world
“At the risk of seeming ridiculous, I will say
that the true revolutionary is guided by great
feeling of love.”

Friday, April 24, 2020

April Is National Poetry Month!

April Is National Poetry Month!

Today I shine the spotlight on an iconic Black Panther 21, a revolutionary sister, a poet, writer, Teacher, an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, the mother of the late Tupac Shakur. Rest in Power!


Malcolm awoke and saw what appeared to be the mountain of liberation
Then he was murdered
Martin started up that mountain and found there was beauty and lasting peace – he was murdered
Huey went all the way up and came down again to speak to the world of the solidarity there – he was shot & kidnapped
Eldridge saw my desire to go up and showed me the rugged path – he was forced into exile
Bobby took my hand to lead me there and I found the way rough and exhilarating
and of course, he was gagged, beaten and chained
Fred overheard their directions and took to the hill for a closer look -
What he saw made him go back down to share the happiness
When he came back in the valley, all I can hear him say was –
I am a Revolutionary
But, it made no sense, and so I just sat and listened
The next day I heard him repeat this melody as he prepared the morning meal for my child
I heard the words and still
I was quiet; Fred didn't seem to mind
He just kept doing things and singing his song
And then one day the melody of his song was taken up by the evil winds of human destruction
They heard its message and handed to him, the salary of a people's servant
The air that breathed his message to me was alive with urgency
The mountain became a reality
The tools became friends
The curves became mere objects of jest!
I could sit still no longer
I began to hum his song
As I climbed, as I felt and got up and felt again – I
sang the song of liberation

Thursday, April 23, 2020

April Is National Poetry Month!

April Is National Poetry Month!

This poem appeared in The Onxy Informer in 1981. Today, I shine the spotlight on a poem written by Juli Malveaux.


this is a poem
for george
for angela
for attica
for malcolm/martin/medgar
for little girls in pinkribbons
for alabama churches
for blackLIFE
blackLIFE is cheap

u cried niggas
when malcolm/martin/medgar
u cried niggas
but blackTEARS is cheap
u know
is cheap

the revolution
is over
no one flings
we've packed away our guns
and grenades
for another day
the revolution is over
all the warriors
have either died
or absconded
BLACKLIFE is cheap

the revolution is
n we still
niggas live
while u can
blackLIFE is cheap

the revolution
is over
but the war
has been
it ain't over yet

so cry
them cheap
do-nothin blackTEARS
the beautiful/beautiful tears
u cry
every time somebody dies
yeah cry
cheap do-nothin blackTEARS
for angela/attica/george
for all the other
n casualties
but don't forget,
if the revolution
is over
the war ain't
blackLIFE is cheap
n huntin season's still on

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

April Is National Poetry Month!

April Is National Poetry Month!

This brother was a professional revolutionary, The Minister of Information of the Bronx Chapter of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. He dedicated his life to the liberation of black people. His work shall live on and on and on.

A Revolutionary Is A Professional, So You Must Be A Professional Revolutionary”

I may – if you wish – lose my livelihood
I may sell my shirt and bed
I may work as a stone-cutter
A street sweeper
a porter
I may clean your stores
Or rummage your garbage for food
I may lay down hungry
O enemy of the Sun
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist
You may take the last strip of my land
Feed my youth to prison cells
You may plunder my heritage
You may burn my books
my poems
Or feed my flesh to the dogs
You may spread a web of terror
On the roofs of my village
O Enemy of the Sun
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist
You may put out the light in my eyes
You may deprive me of my mother’s kisses
You may curse my father
my People
You may distort my history
You may deprive my children of a smile
And of life’s necessities
You may fool my friends with a borrowed face
You may build walls of hatred around me
You may glue my eyes to humiliations
O Enemy of the Sun
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist
O Enemy of the Sun
The decorations are raised at the port
The ejaculations fill the air
A glow in the hearts
And in the horizon
A sail is seen
Challenging the wind
And the depths
It is Field Marshall Dedan Kamathi (Mau Mau)
Returning home
From the sea of loss
It is the return of the Sun
Of my exiled ones
And for her sake
and his
I swear
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist
Resist–and resist

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Apirl Is National Poetry Month!

April Is National Poetry Month!

An iconic revolutionary sister, political activist, former Black Panther Party Leader of both The New Haven Chapter and Los Angeles chapter. A political prisoner, poet, writer, mother, wife, widow of John Huggins, and educator. She was the director of the renowned “Oakland Community School,” a Black Panther Party liberation community-run child development center and elementary school. Today I shine the spotlight on this amazingly strong Sister.

(May 25, 1969)

This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius
The rise of the Black Man
The liberation of the Black Woman
The year of the Black Panther
This is the beginning of the end of the beginning of the
Revolutionary Struggle
This is the new world
The world of guns and political direction
And shouts of no more MURDER put an end to the terror
This dying has been done
For all of us--no crucifixion, no martyrdom
There is true understanding--no ignorance
But revolutionary arrogance
We will dare to struggle and dare to win
This head, this heart, this hand, this body
Will clean itself of
This filth
These Morals
These Ethics
This spirit will strike out against
Racism, Capitalism, Imperialism, Oppression and Brutality
Huey is free--he realizes--WE are jailed
This woman will fight to the end for Malcolm, for Bobby, Eldridge,
For Huey, for Jon, for Bunchy
For Mai and for the anonymous
Black man, black woman, black child
I am anonymous so I must FIGHT
This is the dawning of the age of
BLOODSHED-No, this is the dawning of age of JUST war
Against unjust degradation, humiliation, starvation, castration,
Usurpation, abasement torture
If blood be shed for the future of the people.
Coldblooded-this is cold-blooded COLD BLOODED
Black man, Can you hear me?
We are being murdered S.O.SS.O.S

Black woman your unborn baby is dying

Monday, April 20, 2020

April Is National Poetry Month!

April Is National Poetry Month!

Today I spotlight a renaissance woman, a poet, a novelist, an essayist, a Civil Rights Activist, playwright, and educator. Recipient of numerous awards. The Real Slim Lady!


I will no longer lightly walk behind
a one of you who fear me
Be afraid
I plan to give you reasons for your jumpy fits
and facial tics
I will not walk politely on the pavements anymore
and this is dedicated in particular
to those who hear my footsteps
or the insubstantial rattling of my grocery
then turn around
see me
and hurry on
away from this impressive terror I must be
I plan to blossom bloody on an afternoon
surrounded by my comrades singing
terrible revenge in merciless
I have watched a blind man studying his face
I have set the table in the evening and sat down
to eat the news
I have gone to sleep
There is no one to forgive me
The dead do not give a damn
I live like a lover
who drops her dime into the phone
just as the subway shakes into the station
wasting her message
canceling the question of her call
fulminating or forgetful but late
and always after the fact that could save or
condemn me
I must become the action of my fate.

How many of my brothers and my sisters
will they kill
before I teach myself
Shall we pick a number
South Africa for instance
do we agree that more than ten thousand
in less than a year but that less than
five thousand slaughtered in more than six
months will
I must become a menace to my enemies

And if I
if I ever let you slide
who should be extirpated from my universe
who should be cauterized from earth
(lawandorder jerkoffs of the first the
terrorist degree)
then let my body fail my soul
in its bedeviled lecheries
And if I
if I ever let love go
because the hatred and the whisperings
become a phantom dictate I o-bey
in lieu of impulse and realities
(the blossoming flamingos of my
wild mimosa trees)
then let love freeze me
I must become
I must become a menace to my enemies

Sunday, April 19, 2020

April Is National Poetry Month!

April Is National Poetry Month!

A powerful poet and Civil Rights Activist. A dancer and thespian who has worked with The Karamu Theater, The Free Southern Theater, The National Black Theatre, and The Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Company. Her poems have appeared in numerous Black Publications and anthologies.

Jackie Earley


The Gospel Truth is that
The blacman can not be destroyed.
I sed
The blacman can not be destroyed.

He has a force, a Spirit honey
That can not be killed. He has
A Force, Energy, and Mission
To be/the Creator.
Who else could be a blacman?
Be branded a savage
Be stolen from your home
Be chained
Be broken down, destroyed
‘N sold into slavery.
Be raped, castrated,
Prostituted and brainwashed
Then go be lynched.
Tricked into separation
Poisoned with pig, and wine and dope
And in spite of all that
Survive/to sing the blues.
Survive/to holler in some cotton field
Jump Jesus! Shout for joy.
Go get clean on Setday night.
Get your hair did.
Carry your dead in some Cadillacs.
Create a language that moves a country
‘N a rhythm that won’t let ’em quit.
Then be the worlds fastest runner-
The worlds greatest fighter-
Keep, you some money
And cities full of kids.
Run up against a Sherman tank
With just an ‘ole empty bottle;
Survive all of that
‘N give birth to a daughter
who creates poetry
about what you been thru.
That is when you will know for yourself
That/the blacman can not be destroyed.
He has a Force, a Spirit honey
That/can not be killed….

The Gospel Truth is that
The blacwoman can not be destroyed.
I sed
The blacwoman can not be destroyed.
She has a Force, a Spirit honey
That can not be killed, She has
A Force, Energy, and Mission
To be/the Creator.
Who else could be a blacwoman?
Full of amazing grace!
With the face of eternity,
Queen of the Human Race.
Who gets sold into slavery
Crushed, clothes torn
Raped, yet refused to mourn?
Be calling for your man
And be looking for your son.
Be greeted with a face of white
Be beat and stripped, then sold.
Have your fetus robbed each year.
Watch your mutilated baby die
Yet sing some cracker’s “lullaby.”
Be worked worse than your man.
Watch him beaten, see him cry.
Know/that he disappeared one night;
Yet/send your kids to school on time.
Keep all of them alive.
Survive to be a grandmother.
Build a church before you die.
Leave a gleam in some man’s eyes
That creates a daughter who poets
Who writes glory in the sky!
Just for you to understand
Why/the BlackOnes will survive.
And that’s the Gospel Truth…

Saturday, April 18, 2020

April Is National Poetry Month!

April Is National Poetry Month!

Today, I shine the spotlight on a revolutionary brother, a poet, and former member of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense Harlem chapter.

Lemme Tell You What My Black Is All About

My black is about rhythm, sound
soul and hurt and joy
My black is sweat droppin
finger poppin, hallelujah!
Booga-a-loo little sister down the street
My black is lumpy beds and
tcb and all the good in life
down to the black bone of God
and Moosey and Sharon and you and
a sanctified shout at break of day
Big black Paul Robeson lives!
I saw him
I say Malcolm lives!
Garvey lives!
Karenga is
Imamu is
preacher king went up on the mountain
and walked to the sun
SHANGO is black thunder
clapped down on trembling honky hearts

My black is about people who
know they saw the birth of time
and touched by God
moved thru death and slavery

Centuries long
to stand now, with the light
in one hand, day in the other, saying:
"beast-what will it be?"

But later for that
My black is about Moosey and Sharon
We black
and can't nobody else know what that means...

Friday, April 17, 2020

April Is National Poetry Month!

April Is National Poetry Month!

Today I spotlight a South African poet, a political activist, an influential figure in the Pan-African Movement, an educator, and an author. This brethren founded The Black Arts Theater in Harlem and was a founding member of The African Literature Association. Inaugurated in 2006 as South Africa’s First National Poet Laureate and recipient of many awards, without further ado I present Bra Willie!


All things come to pass
When they do, if they do
All things come to their end
When they do, as they do
So will the day of the stench of oppression
Leaving nothing but the lingering
Taste of particles of hatred
Woven around the tropical sun
While in the belly of the night
Drums roll and peal a monumental song...
To every birth its blood
All things come to pass
When they do
We are the gods of our day and us
Panthers with claws of fire
And songs of love for the newly born
There will be ruins in Zimbabwe for real
Didn't Rap say,
They used to call it Detroit
And now they call it Destroyed!
To every birth its pain
All else is death and life

Thursday, April 16, 2020

April Is National Poetry!

April Is National Poetry Month!

An autobiographer, an educator, and a prolific poet who published over 300 poems and 13 books. The recipient of the Sidney Bechet Creative Award for creating a new jazz and blues haiku literary genre. Ranked as “one of the best and most neglected poets of the 20th century.” Today I feature one of James Emanuel masterpieces.


Black is the first nail I ever stepped on;
Black the hand that dried my tears.
Black is the first old man I ever noticed;
Black the burden of his years.
Black is waiting in the darkness;
Black the ground where hoods have lain.
Black is the sorrow-misted story;
Black the brotherhood of pain.
Black is quiet iron door;
Black the path that leads behind.
Black is a detour through the year;
Black the diary of the mind.
Black is Gabriel Prosser’s knuckles;
Black Sojourner’s naked breast.
Black is a schoolgirl’s breathless mother;
Black her child who led the rest.
Black is the purring of a motor;
Black the foot when the light turns green.
Black is last year’s dusty paper;
Black the headlines yet unseen.
Black is a burden bravely chanted:
Black cross of sweat for a nation’s rise.
Black is a boy who knows his heroes;
Black the way a hero dies…

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

April Is National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month!

A dope sister, a slam champion, a poet, a performer, an educator, a scientist, and a Maryland Center for the Book Honoree. Her work was featured, at The Reginald Lewis Museum and numerous Baltimore publications. Today I shine the spotlight on Tonya Maria Matthews A.K.A. JaHipster.


Grandma, get your gun.
The wolves are in the yard.
They have come for the children.

You ain't really got to shoot at nobody
just aim for the moon
graze Alpha Centauri's shoulder
let stardust rain down
knock the devil on his ass
make him think twice
bout comin roun' here so quick
soooo slick
no more.

Grandma, get your gun.
The wolves are in the yard.
It's feeding time.

Destiny is a delicacy
promise quite tasty and
legacy will stick sweet to your ribs
like family reunion barbecue.
Revolution can be a bit lumpy
but goes down smooth like your mashed potatoes.
Grandma, get your gun.

Used to be safe out here in the country.
Young kings and queens could run through the fields
sniffing daffodils
but now the daffodils have been replaced
by snapdragons
breathing down their necks
fires of hellish existence burning away
memories of how to be royalty.
At every corner a new definition of Venus
fly trapping the children's souls
swallowing their consciousness whole
convincing them the natural state of their spirit
is not beautiful.

New-age roosters have turned the babies into
forgetful farm foul
coops are filled to overflow
with eagles
thinking the life of a chicken is acceptable
that flying is overrated.
The weasel has become bold and
the fox fearless
they'll come up over around the fence
into the yard in broad daylight
to snatch your eggs.

Someone taught the jackal how to play the drum.
Now he's tap tap tap tap tapping to the beat
tap tap tap tap tapping to the beat
has mastered the boom-bip
watch the children form a line behind him
shaking their groove-thang.
He'll dance them out the village.

Grandma, the piper's price is too high.
Just shoot him.

I know we hid the guns
to protect the babies
but now sisters are being
prostituted by hair dye
pimped with fashion.

I know we hid the guns
to protect the babies from misogyny
misandry, misanthropy
but now brothers don't know
how to defend themselves.
Swapping chains for puppet strings
watch them knock each other out.

Grandma, get your gun shove it down throats
make them eat their words
make them stop eating us for breakfast.

Grandma, get your gun
get the buckshot, get the hollow-point bullets.
Grandma, get the camouflage.
It is time to stop playing
because life was never a game
freedom never will be and
our survival never is.

Grandma, get your gun.
wolves are in the yard.
Grandma, get your gun
wolves are in the yard.
Grandma, Grandma
get your gun
and give it to me.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

April Is National PoetryMonth!

April Is National Poetry Month!

Today I shine the spotlight on Sister Eunice Saunders. This poem has appeared in numerous Afro Revolutionary periodicals. A dope love poem, honoring the Black Man!


I knew a man,
Son of a gun!
Skin smoothed blackness
Held delight baby
spelled me stilled
In the suede of
That man was tall
He was short
Bony, he was fat
Intellectual, gusty-lusty
Bold, shy, that guy
And when we walked
It was his shoulders
When he walked
Eyes when he talked
With a voice that
Touched below my awareness
Go to my sensual yes-ness
Grabbed my body
From sighs and cries
To his honey
Right there
Where he held me
Until I turned
And knew him
For what we was
A black man
I knew once
Son of a gun!

Monday, April 13, 2020

April Is National Poetry Month!

April Is National Poetry Month!

Today I shine the spotlight on a revolutionary brother, a poet, a playwright, a pivotal figure in “BAM,” an essayist, and a scholar. The One and Only Marvin X!


“A Love Supreme.”
Our fight for that
Long deferred dream
The essence of
My being- My blackness
Bloods shooting crap in
the alley darkness
Laughing instead
of crying
Fuck you
Ray Charles singing
“Georgia On My Mind.”
Paul Robeson's Othello,
Soul Sublime
Kiss my ass

Sunday, April 12, 2020

April Is National Poetry Month!

April Is National Poetry Month!

Today I shine the spotlight on this revolutionary sister, a rebel with a cause, a political activist, an iconic Black Panther (BPP), and a former member of the Black Liberation Army (BLA). This Sister has written an autobiography entitled, “Assata: Autobiography,” detailing the events that unfolded on the New Jersey Turnpike and being granted political asylum in Cuba. Without further ado, Let me drop this jewel.



I believe in living.
I believe in the spectrum
of Beta days and Gamma people.
I believe in sunshine.
In windmills and waterfalls,
tricycles and rocking chairs.
And I believe that seeds grow into sprouts.
And sprouts grow into trees.
I believe in the magic of the hands.
And in the wisdom of the eyes.
I believe in rain and tears.
And in the blood of infinity.
I believe in life.
And I have seen the death parade
march through the torso of the earth,
sculpting mud bodies in its path.
I have seen the destruction of the daylight,
and seen bloodthirsty maggots
prayed to and saluted.
I have seen the kind become the blind
and the blind become the bind
in one easy lesson.
I have walked on cut glass.
I have eaten crow and blunder bread
and breathed the stench of indifference.
I have been locked by the lawless.
Handcuffed by the haters.
Gagged by the greedy.
And, if I know anything at all,
it’s that a wall is just a wall
and nothing more at all.
It can be broken down.
I believe in living.
I believe in birth.
I believe in the sweat of love
and in the fire of truth.
And I believe that a lost ship,
steered by tired, seasick sailors,
can still, be guided home
to port.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

April Is National Poetry Month!

April Is National Poetry Month!

An award-winning poet, an educator, an editor, and the founder of Louts Press that has merged with Dudley Randall Broadside press to become what is now Broadside Lotus Press. She has written numerous collections of poetry and her poetry has appeared in various African American publications. The Naomi Long Madgett Award is given out annually for a collection of poetry written by an African American. Today I spotlight Detroit’s Poet Laureate Naomi Long Madgett!


I've come this far to freedom and I won't turn back
I'm climbing to the highway from my old dirt track
I'm coming and I'm going
And I'm stretching and I'm growing
And I'll reap what I've been sowing or my skin's not black

I've prayed and slaved and waited and I've sung my song
You've bled me and you've starved me but I've still grown strong
You've lashed me and you've treed me
And you've everything but freed me
But in time you'll know you need me and it won't be long.

I've seen the daylight breaking high above the bough
I've found my destination and I made my vow;
so whether you abhor me
Or deride me or ignore me
Mighty mountains loom before me and I won't stop now.

Friday, April 10, 2020

April Is National Poetry Month!

April Is National Poetry Month!

An award jazz poet, an author, and publisher. A spoken word recording artist who released numerous jazz poetry albums. The founder of The Watts Repertory Theater Company. A Civil Rights Activist and a pivotal figure in The Black Arts Movement. Today, I shine the spotlight on Jayne Cortez.


My friend
they don't care
if you're an individualist
a leftist a rightist
a shithead or a snake
They will try to exploit you
absorb you confine you
disconnect you isolate you
or kill you

And you will disappear into your own rage
into your own insanity
into your own poverty
into a word a phrase a slogan a cartoon
and then ashes

The ruling class will tell you that
there is no ruling class
as they organize their liberal supporters into
white supremacist lynch mobs
organize their children into
ku klux klan gangs
organize their police into
killer cops
organize their propaganda into
a device to ossify us with angel dust
preoccupy us with western symbols in
African hairstyles
inoculate us with hate
institutionalize us with ignorance
hypnotize us with a monotonous sound designed
to make us evade reality and stomp our lives away
And we are programmed to self-destruct
to fragment
to get buried under covert intelligence operations of
unintelligent committees impulsed toward death
And there it is

The enemies polishing their penises between
oil wells at the pentagon
the bulldozers leaping into demolition dances
the old folks dying of starvation
the informers wearing out shoes looking for crumbs
the lifeblood of the earth almost dead in
the greedy mouth of imperialism
And my friend
they don't care
if you're an individualist
a leftist a rightist
a shithead or a snake

They will spray you with
a virus of legionnaire's disease
fill your nostrils with
the swine flu of their arrogance
stuff your body into a tampon of
toxic shock syndrome
try to pump all the resources of the world
into their own veins
and fly off into the wild blue yonder to
pollute another planet

And if we don't fight
if we don't resist
if we don't organize and unify and
get the power to control our own lives
Then we will wear
the exaggerated look of captivity
the stylized look of submission
the bizarre look of suicide
the dehumanized look of fear
and the decomposed look of repression
forever and ever and ever
And there it is