Sugar Coated and Springtime

They get tired of hearing it
Ain’t nobody got to say it
But I know they get tired
Tired of these distractions
in brown colored skin
waking up from valley’s with
muscles and tendons all conscious like
Uncovering the blood on the American Flag
Tired,
tethered,
and intoxicated with
his-story
unraveling the color of bigotry on beautiful glass
smeared fingerprints
and falling stars like
why they keep sitting in?
between our comfort and a hard place
America
this be some kinda hard place
for brown colored skin in the spring time
Strange fruit popping up again on trees
‘cept
Nina ain’t here to sing us a song
After nearly 400 years
lullabies just don’t work no more
Tired of these guns accidentally going off
landing
somewhere in my purse
somewhere in my womb
somewhere in my future between lip stick and foundation
I got to warn my sons
about accidental guns
generational homicide got me on my knees
praying the badge ain’t got his name on it
In the words of Camonghne Felix:
“If we’re going to attend history, we might as well be accurate about it”
will I be left
with the fragmented pieces of my husband’s shoes

between our front porch and the living room floor
will my kiss linger long enough to bring him home tonight
or will I suffer a widow’s fate of mistaken identity
After all
These brown, tan, bronze, and mahogany colored skins
all do look the same
don’t they?
I’m afraid for your guns
they don’t seem to know the difference between friend and foe
or maybe they do
funny how bullets be mistaken themselves for judges
that ain’t got names on it
they say a gun
ain’t got a name on it
why they sugar coating it?
Cuz peoples get tired of hearing about all this black
All this oppression
All these curses
All this power like
why we won’t pour sugar on top these bodies?
Get ‘em up out the street
don’t want our bullets to get stirred up you know
getting up out of beds
loading themselves into chambers
and taking walks at night
in the afternoon
and especially in the morning
when it’s springtime

Advertisements

Sandra Bland & Black Hypocrisy

chi-ct-sandra-bland-ct0030015155-20150720

I know, I said I was resting. I also said I was a workaholic. I am resting but before I dig in deep and disconnect from the internet, I thought I’d give you something to ponder over the weekend.

What kind of woman was Sandra Bland? Can anyone tell me? Did she pray often? Did she love those around her? Who was she? Personally, I don’t know.

I’m always saddened by the deaths of anyone and the things I see taking place within the black community. However, what annoys me is when black people allow themselves to be driven by emotion and disregard common sense. It has been said that she was dead in her mugshot, for instance. Have any of you ever seen a dead body or a rotting corpse? Have you examined lifeless bodies or studied the difference between someone living or dead? How then do you know what kind of state the woman was in when she was photographed? Must we ignore the marijuana they found in her system or is she automatically granted immunity for being black? We have turned Sandra Bland into a hero, even though no one can tell me what kind of woman she was.

How do we know for certain that she didn’t kill herself? Is this conclusion a result of a personal study or are we making decisions off pure emotion? Maybe she was murdered or maybe she committed suicide but what does it mean?

It’s sad, of course. How can it not be? But the question black people should be asking themselves is why? Why do these things continue to happen to you of all people?

Why is there a greater outcry against the killing of Cecil the lion than the death of one of yours? We are killed in the streets every day. Why are you continually treated like less than a human being?

These are the kinds of questions we should be asking ourselves, not whether or not Sandra Bland killed herself. The question is not if she did it or not, the question is….why?

I am not without compassion, but I cannot allow my emotions to surpass the truth. It’s hard to sit back and watch your people die but this woman did nothing to be considered a heroine of mine. I don’t know what her life was like to be granted that title or to make that kind of a decision.

You see the truth of the matter is that a lot of people are unconscious, especially within the black community. We have no idea of what’s going on around us or in front of us. We have no understanding of who we are, who we are not, and why as a result it has led to our position or lack thereof in this land. We continue to be slaughtered in the streets under the rule of a black skinned president but you’ll hear nothing about that. Funny how dark skin can deceive dark skinned people. Blinded by the hypocrisy  we cannot see the truth for what it is. Many of you, because you wear the title of African American, completely disregard any wickedness that comes from your blood line and the consequences that happens as a result of that disobedience. This woman is filled to the brim with weed but this is your Queen. I am not Sandra Bland’s judge and her death is sad, but she has done nothing for me to admire. Oppression is real but many of you are blind to the part that you play in that same oppression. This too is futility and it is hypocrisy.

Deu 28:20 “YAH sends on you the curse, the confusion, and the rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the evil of your doings by which you have forsaken Me.

Which is Better?

confederate-flag

Question: Why does the flag on the right offend black people more than the one on the left?

Which is better? The Flag that fought to keep slavery or the one that created it? The American flag just slaughtered nine of your brothers and sisters and yet in less than a month you’re going to stand proud in it’s honor and celebrate it’s independence. An independence that began while you were in chains; for a servant has not the privilege of being invited to the feast, he is only there to serve at the table. In the words of Frederick Douglas, “What to the slave is the 4th of July?” Its time that we wake up and realize the truth of who we are, and why these things are continuing to happen to us. It is only ignorant hypocrisy, a kind of Stockholm syndrome, that makes the oppressed mimic the ways of its oppressor. But your redemption is near. The prophets and the priests and the soldiers will not be niggas too much longer. The servants of truth are on the rise and the American Flag will not much longer bleed with the stripes of our blood, for the first shall be last, and the last shall be first.

Isa 49:14- 16 < Read it. Though you have forgotten Yah of host, the Almighty Power has not forgotten you.

The Twins Had a Brother

b-and-w-silhouette1

dem twins lived around the corner
boys
chocolate
tall and smooth skinned like
dem twins
didn’t know they had a brother tho
till word got round bout the mind he left on his mother’s front porch
that ain’t a metaphor
his brains divided itself between the concrete and front porch of his mother’s front yard
I heard the dice did it
the way it be running across the concrete
acted like it didn’t know better
than to come walking out the palms of hands
like it didn’t smell the misery of struggle between the cracks
like it ain’t hear the whispering of people on top the rocks
feel the oppression slipping outta the hands of wanna be gangsta’s
why it ain’t just stop before turning up numbers
maybe dem twins woulda still had a brotha
it was a block of them that seen it
almost as normal as a street fight
the way lives don’t matter in the hood
all because of dice
and dollar bills
ain’t know dollars were so expensive
till it expended ole boys life
I wonder if he rolled a seven or eleven
Wonder what he ate for dinner last
Or how that dolla ended up in his pocket
Or if the dolla knew what was coming
But anyway it was a block of them who seen it
some got carried off to hide outs from ole boy
and some was taken out of school
I wanted to go too
go away from the stench of prophecy behind my house
away from the Isaiah’s and Deuteronomy’s leaning against they mama’s voice
making it sound all crazy like
and dem Leviticus’s standing on the corner
akin like the ground wasn’t still warm from ole boys blood
just around the corner from my house
when I found out
that the twins had a brotha

Freedom: The Illusion

There’s a strange fruit

hanging from the trees

but not the kind of Billie Holidays days

with

blood all on the leaves

but these

are a different set of trees

and they bear a strange fruit

called ignorance

with an illusion up its sleeve

an illusion so thick

sometimes it’s hard to breathe

I feel like I am in the days

of Dr. Martin Luther King back when

black folks marched and sang songs

and Martin had a dream but,

what exactly was his dream?

I found myself

asking myself

over and over these things

what exactly was his dream?

I thought and so my thoughts led me

to February 1818,

here was born Fredrick Douglas

a man who also had this dream

To not have to work the cotton fields

courtesy of the curses

was his dream see to

not be so dark

so black

this too was his dream and in

1845 he found himself

on the “winning” team.

Tired of hearing screams of being slapped up

he slipped up into a secret society.

Wanting to be a part of this world so badly

he joined the American Anti–Slavery Society

mistakenly joining a secret society

determined

to tear him away

from his own

society

This was his conclusion

Mr. Douglas my friends

got caught up in the illusion.

So being women some of us and

enjoying the company of women the other half of us

our thoughts led us to some women tales

we thought

well most certainly

we can get our answers from Mrs. Ida B. Wells

But as I studied her story in search for this dream

my mind began to drift away

as I saw that she too had this dream

she too had this purpose

she too wanted to escape

the curses

Blinded by a fake reality

she too joined a secret society

also known as the NAACP

created by Jews

but led by intelligent fools

with black skins

who sought to escape the bodies they were in

So

like Douglas

Ida became confused in a world of turmoil

that led her to believe her own confusion

she too was caught up

in this Illusion

but we had to figure out some way

somehow our own existence

our own being

therefore we continued our search

for Martin’s dream

our thoughts destination

had to steer towards education

so take it

it’s yours

this led us to of course,

W.E.B. Dubois.

something about this man caused an excitement

that ran through you and me we

became amazed

and began to admire his level of maturity

when it came to intellectual ability so we thought sure

“Now this man can school me.”

However, with him too my mind became stumped

as I ran across this myth

and

found that my admirer was in favor

of the talented tenth?

To my astonishment

he too had this dream

He too wanted to be on what he thought

was the winning team

(even if it meant only 10% of the winning team)

see because Dubois didn’t understand the curses

he created the crisis

magazine

so as we caught up to Dr. Martin Luther King and we

heard his many speeches singing “I had a dream!”

we too began to lust for this very dream

even if it was not real

all we had to do was feel

feel like we had this dream

even after our depression still lingers

and our arthritis can still be felt in the fingers

and our AIDS rate keeps growing

and our blood stops flowing

even in the midst of the curses

and the confusion

we’d still rather give ear to this Freedom

the illusion.

Break the Chain

44p078

Thought I saw her self-esteem in the carpet.
Her back bearing the burden of bare floors
and
forks that scraped the bottom of clay plates
Thought I saw pain on the side of her state
of mind.

Thought I saw her spirit cut low like the grass.
Scattered pieces of forgetfulness floating fluently throughout her bones
that
clung its skin like melted wax welding its warring arms wildly in the sun
I asked her
Why she allowed herself to suffer she said, “I’m waiting for a change to come.”

I walked on…

bc565d5dbe3e9e1d247140a187c790ac
I felt metallic liquid lick my cheeks, the blood of one who’s hung.

His body shriveled up in the bowels of his own sadness,
His face “a raisin in the sun

I can see that his faith had fallen down to his knee caps.
But his eyes bulged boldly on and his life sped passed me in just a few years
Till my taste buds could create a meal from the salt I saw dancing in his tears
Telepathically he told me
that he didn’t die right here beneath this oak tree
But, “stepping foot inside this land is what killed me” He said
And like a mad woman I stared deep into a dead man’s eyes and said, “I see.”
I said.

So why do you hang out here like one whose been hung?”
He told me, “Cuz I’m waiting for a change to come”

I walked on….

At Play Near The Robert Taylor Houses

And this time crossed the Jordan
And I could hear nothing but the soft laughter of children in my ears
Shouting…jumping,
till I realized I had not entered the promised land,
but this was a street court filled with Jordan fans
Where
hope bounced back and forth to the sound of merciless concrete
polished “Niks” was like knives reaching for revolution in the air
it was cold
but the men were hot
contradictory

the American dream tied around the wings of the goddess of victory
these were project kids with $200 dollar Nikes
unknown vehicles hitting the streets
and then the seats
were suddenly empty

I realized then that I had been standing in the middle of a blank street
a court turned into a corpse
Low income homes now funeral homes, they trampled upon one another
fighting to “one up” one another
silently and still
I saw it
pieces of paper scraped up and scattered to the four corners
(Guess that’s why were still fighting one another for street corners)
a
basketball balled up and clumped like a clot of blood
carved into the cracks in the streets where crack addicts one day roamed the streets
I asked
this balled up clot of hopelessness “Where are you from??
it told me,

I wish to go back… but I am waiting for a change to come.”

Guest Feature – A Modern Day Slave Plantation Exists, and It’s Thriving in the Heart of America – Part 1

This post is part of a 3 day Special Feature Post on ThePBSblog, located under our Articles  and Guest Feature section. The author’s name is Laura Dimon. Laura graduated from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 2013. She has been published in the Economist, the Atlantic, and the Daily Beast. I ran across her article on the Prison system and its striking similarity to the Slavery Plantation and thought I’d share it here. However, it is  a lengthy article so I will be breaking it down into 3 separate post to give you room to process the information. I will also wait until after this series (Friday 10/17/14) before adding my own commentary, though you may comment after each segment as you wish.

*******************************************

It was 1972. Thousands of American troops were battling communist forces in Vietnam. Nixon had won re-election by a landslide, but Watergate would soon usher in his demise. Space travel and technology were advancing rapidly.
Change was brewing across America, but one place stood still, frozen in time: Louisiana State Penitentiary, commonly known as Angola. When Robert King arrived that year, he felt as though he’d stepped into the past.

90c8de8106fbbeda3ba73105db15189d
Angola sits 50 miles northwest of Baton Rouge. It’s the largest maximum-security facility in the United States and one of the country’s most notorious prisons. In the book The Life and Legend of Leadbelly, the authors wrote, “Tough criminals allegedly broke down when they received a sentence to Angola. … None of them wanted to be sent to a prison where 1 of every 10 inmates annually received stab wounds and which routinely seethed with black-white confrontations.”

 
Angola’s expanse covers a vast 28 square miles — larger than the size of Manhattan. Tucked away in a bend of the Mississippi River, it’s surrounded by water and swamp on three sides. It’s an isolated penal village — the nearest town 30 miles away — and it’s the only penitentiary in the country where staff members live on site. Generation after generation grow up, live and die on Angola’s land.

 

6be2f7f86a51e48c43c5d2ca8c296dab
When King, now 71, arrived at Angola, his first impression of it was that it resembled a slave plantation, he said. And it used to be just that. Its name is derived from the home country of the slaves who used to work the land. Today, the comparison remains sadly accurate: Inmates are disproportionately black. They’re forced into hard labor and monitored closely by armed white staff on horseback. There is a sex slave trade behind the bars and many black inmates are deprived of basic constitutional rights. King landed a tough lot in life: He was born black in Louisiana in 1942. In his 2008 book From the Bottom of the Heap, he wrote, “I was born in the U.S.A. Born black, born poor. Is it any wonder that I have spent most of my life in prison?” He went to Angola when he was 18 for a murder he did not commit and remained there for 31 years, 29 of which he spent in solitary confinement, before he was finally freed in 2001.

*Note: Image Credits: AP, Peter Puna, Robert King