african american

Hey girl

Hey Girl.. Yes you the black one.

 

Looking at a halo graphic time lapse of my life makes me wonder what was my parents thinking. Who thrives to give birth under distress and demographic struggles? My mom did, her green eyes unlocked many doors but her skin tone kept many locked. My daddy raised with a Tuscaloosa odor of sweet corn and okra kept me on track physically but mentally I was getting my ass whooped. Who am I? A mistake? Should I been a mystery in a wash cloth after sex or a prayer of please god get me pregnant? I pick neither. Tethering the pain of can I make it in society or will God stop me from taking my life like my cousin Aaron. Closed eyes with open ears delegate my daily path while I squeeze my amethyst crystal of love while I hold my fake laughing Buddha looking for wealth. 

 

I think God hates me!I’m struggling as a mom, wife, daughter, cousin, aunt and lastly friend. I exchange my faith for love, I use my love as a guide to protect my faith. I watch television of wants and small waists that causes me to look for a cheap plastic surgeon. Who said it was right? I can’t blame society, this is a God issue. I was told don’t question him? I was told just respect and love him. My heart is seeking what you are speaking of. My brain is thriving if illegal stereotypes that is killing my soul. How can I make it in society without being an Nigga stereotype. Oh that word! That word is just an Ebonics connotation of life long ignorance. Did you pray for me? I prayed for you, but I don’t know you!. See that metaphor do onto others as you would want them to do into you. I’m a helper by nature but my gate is silent with a creek that slowly lets you in. I’m nothing to a class of 23, I’m nothing to my six kids, I’m nothing to my husband, I’m nothing to society, I’m nothing to the world but I am somebody to myself. 

 

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YES, WE SAY NO

1.      

It is out right to say, YES.
Or NO, if we wish;
We are humans, not robots,
Intelligent just as you are,
Able to think and decide,
And what we decide is canon.

Yes, we say NO.
To push on us the man-man thing,
If for the goose you say it’s good,
We, for the gander, it’s not;
But we go with mother nature,
That Eve go with Eve,
Rights, you call it,
But, Wrong, we say.

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Death Is Nothing: The True Story Of Nat Turner

Lying in this shallow ditch I hear as they arrive, the miracle of God is all that's keeping me alive,
and it is that belief in God to which each day I strive, surprised at this much faith? Just simply gaze into my life.

Was born in 1800, month October 2nd day, and knee high to a hopper when my daddy ran away,
before you climb your soapbox and begin to think that way, remember these are times when all the black folk here are slaves.

Imagine being sold like stock, to work when cold or hot, the overseers beatin people if they're old or not,
do not defy the owner, best believe you will be sick, of getting 10 to 20 lashes from the master's whip.

My last name wasn't given at my birth and that's a fact, my given name's Nathaniel but they choose to call me Nat,
the surname of my owner Samuel is what I claim, you put it all together yes, Nat Turner is my name.

I think about Old Bridget, that's my grandmother you know, they snatched her out of Ghana, brought her here to freezing cold,
she ran the Coromantee who were known for slave revolts, she watched the seeds get planted in me grow and take a hold.

I thought myself the lucky one for I could read and write, it brought me to The Bible and I learned to read it right,
then spent my childhood years admidst the Spirit up above, it fit my needy soul just like a mitten or a glove.

I ran away at first when I was only 22, I should've stayed away because I really wanted to,
but 1 month later, picture this it's me a black man free, a vision told me that I should go back and that was key.

The visions I receive I know are messages from God, Old Bridget had religion shining deep within my heart,
I will inform the brethren and won't stop until they're saved, The Prophet is the name that I was called by fellow slaves.

As 6 years pass of this I know it never is too late, the hands of the Almighty have me primed for something great,
I carry heavy shoulders for a man of 28, but then I worked the master's field one sunny day in May.

I heard a loud noise in the heavens, God what can it be? The air around me shimmered then a Spirit came to me,
I couldn't move a muscle due to hard work in the heat, the Spirit then began to speak direct and indiscreet.

"Nathaniel listen closely for these words are very true, you're looking for a purpose? Well the Serpent's very loose,
you know that Jesus lay the yolk he bore for sins of men, you must engage the Serpent for the time's approaching when,

the 1st will be the last my son and last will come in 1st, the knowledge you've acquired will most surely quench your thirst,
this great work is your task from God oh ye of flesh and bone, so go and slay your enemies with weapons all their own."

It took communication to devise those early plans, I had my 4 most trusted with me, Henry, Hark and Sam,
and Nelson too providing bits of info that I sought, these plans will take us weeks oh yes but forth they shall be brought.

I saw the sun eclipsing as a sign attack the land, it looks as though it's being covered by a black man's hand,
the bluish-green eclipse of August 1831, the final sign envisioning the slaughterfest to come.

We started going house to house and freeing all the slaves, then killing all the white folks left with hatchets, knives and chains,
we only used blunt objects to conceal our wave of smoke, I'll surely be the father to the mom of all revolts.

I speak of "we" because by now we numbered 7-0, and had the whiteness falling to the ground like heaven's snow,
we went through 55 caucasians and their pretty wives, we also killed the kids but there were some who didn't die.

The poor white families were spared, we left them all intact, they didn't think no better of themselves than they did blacks,
the point of this to whites was our reality in chains, reality depicting the brutality of slaves.

We only got 2 days before revolting was suppressed, by white mobs and militias causing 56 black deaths,
along with others killed and beaten numbered many more, I think it was 200 but I really can't be sure.

I ran eluding capture for another couple months, the white folks swore that I would pay for all these sick'ning stunts,
until the day October twenty 1831, they found me in this ditch I'm hiding in, I guess I'm done.

They tried me and they found me guilty, sentenced me to death, this happened on November 5th, there wasn't much time left,
was hung on the 11th and for days that's how I stayed, until they cut my head off and my body chopped and flayed.

I look around at blacks folks in this modern day and age, and there may be some freedom but y'all still are truly slaves,
for me though death is nothing seeing those get killed for drugs, remember me Nat Turner for the man I really was.

©2011

Author's Notes/Comments: 

This effort was inspired by a conversation that a co-worker and I were having one day about Black History. We were seeing how many little known figures we could come up with and Nat Turner’s name surfaced. After getting in depth about what we knew about him, my “creative lightbulb” was activated, and this poem is a direct result.

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indirect direction

i stand

i stand tall enough to not bow far enough to give up on fighting for me

i was chained

i was bound by the mentalities forced upon me, by the atrocities that have been tearing their way from my gut for too long, by the silence and indifference that created a forcefield around me from which i was beaten for trying to be free of

i waited

i waited for a a savior who did not come but who always has and will reside within me, for a freedom that for too long i have envied, for an equality that should equal all ideas of free

centuries and decades passed me by and though i walk with no chains, have the opportunity to prove myself if i follow the teachings and conform, and speak similarly as eloquent if not more than most: my path still reminds all of the concept this country was built to allow....FREEDOM FOR ALL PEOPLE

I am the child of the slave

screaming out in their absence while unknowingly standing over their grave

set me free! i am indignant yet brave

because if i don't behave,

even this far away, my life can also be shaved.....

Author's Notes/Comments: 

This piece was written in response to the documented history of the statue of liberty and a photograph that reminds me that there were several casts and models made before the US accepted the one that stands today. The earlier casts were of undeniably african women, but was buffered to look egyptian in order to be accepted and not seen as the taunt that it was originally intended as. It caused me to reflect on the plight of my people, who were slaves at the time and have been fighting for a freedom that this country was supposedly built upon using them as laborers while in bondage. How can we ask as americans for a freedom that we refused our own inhabitants in one way or another until this day? i am just saying... do i believe i am held down by 'the man'? no, nothing holds me, but i am the exception....