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No matter how gentle the Black How light the skin How gorgeous the face How talented the soul How pure the intentions They will not protect us No matter how innocent the life How secure the birthright Titles will be stripped And babies tossed to wolves Because of a fear of Black skin They will […]learn more
O’ de wurl’ ain’t flat,An’ de wurl’ ain’t roun’,H’it’s one long stripHangin’ up an’ down—Jes’ Souf an’ Norf;Jes’ Norf an’ Souf. —from Ariel Williams Holloway, “Northboun’” , 1926learn more
The old woman across the way is whipping the boy again and shouting to the neighborhood her goodness and his wrongs. Wildly he crashes through elephant ears, pleads in dusty zinnias, while she in spite of crippling fat pursues and corners him. She strikes and strikes the shrilly circling boy till the stick breaks in […]learn more
I would liken you To a night without stars Were it not for your eyes. I would liken you To a sleep without dreams Were it not for your songs. Langston Hugheslearn more
Don’t know why there no sun up in the sky, stormy weather.
Since my man and I ain’t together, keeps rainin all the time.
Life is time, the time. So weary all the time.
When he went away the blues walked in and met me.
My old man’s a white old man
And my old mother’s black.
If ever I cursed my white old man
I take my curses back.
If ever I cursed my black old mother
And wished she were in hell,
I’m sorry for that evil wish
And now I wish her well.
My old man died in a fine big house.
My ma died in a shack.
I wonder where I’m gonna die,
Being neither white nor black????
Copyright 1926 by Alfred A. Knopf.
When first my bosom glowed with hope, I gazed as from a mountaintop On some delightful plain; But oh! How transient was the scene-It fled as though it had not been, And all my hopes were vain.
How oft this tantalizing blaze Has led me through deception’s maze; My friends became my foe-Then like a plaintive dove I mourned; To bitter all my sweets were turned, And tears began to flow.
Why was the dawning of my birth Upon this vile, accursed earth, Which is but pain to me? Oh!learn more
The windows of America are faceless,
incestuous screens pumiced in pure glass,
triangular, innocent, wired white hoods cropped in green glass.
Comatose and armed explorers
brought salt water from the ocean
to boil in three kettles as an offering;
The Indians smoked
on the mountaintrails
in buck heat high along the Columbia;
Lewis and Clark
their slave York,
took their salt up in their webbings;
the meat now cured,
the lumber stink off the river,
fertilize no soil without Indian blood
or red roses…
He waltzes into the lane ‘cross the free-throw line,
Fakes a drive pivots, floats from the asphalt turf in an arc of black light,
and sinks two in the chains.
One on one he fakes down the main, passes into the free lane and hits the chains.
A sniff in the fallen air-he stuffs it through the chains riding high:
“traveling” someone calls-and he laughs, stepping to a silent beat, gliding
as he sinks two in the chains….
Michael S. Harper
*A good man is hard to find; you always get the other kind.
Just when you think that he is your pal
You look for him fooling ‘round some other gal.
Then you rave; you even crave to see him laying in his grave.
So, if your man is nice, take my advise and hug him in the morning.
Kiss him ev’ry night, give him plenty lovin, treat him right,
for a good man now-a-days is hard to find…
written by Eddie Green, copyright 1999, Hal Leonard Corp.
Made famous by Alberta Hunter