Down, down into the fathomless depths, down into the abyss beneath the stone.
Down still farther, to the very bottom of the infinite.
Where black-eyed peas & greens are stored, where de lawd sits among melon rinds.
A dark blue sound (funky & barefooted) entered & sang a tear for the people of black women (buxom & beautiful)
With happy head & cocoa filled breast nippled with molasses, & their legs sensual & long beneath short bright dresses & of black men greasy from the sun-soaked fields sitting in the shade, their guitars, the willow & the squatting sun weeping authentic blues.
These quantum’s of pure soul who pick cotton under the rant rays of the sun, who eat hot greasy fish, chitlins, corn pone, pig feet, fat back & drink wine on Sat. nights.
Who get happy & swing tambourines & sing them their spirituals, who are blessed by the power of poverty.
Who bathe their feet in streamlets of simplicity, who are torn by insolence & depression of bigot blonde America, are the essence of beauty.
The very earth
The good earth
The black earth
In these moments when my man preaches about a no good nigger woman who did him wrong, my fingers begin to pop, my feet jump alive.
The blue sound clutches me to its bosom until I become that sound.
In these moments when the sun is blue, when the rivers flow with wine, when the neck bone tree is in blossom
I raise my down bent kinky head to Charlie & shout
I’m black, I’m black & I’m from Look Back…….
Reprinted by permission of Joseph White.