Celebration of Blackness

HOMAGE TO MY HIPS by Lucille Clifton

these hips are big hips
they need space to
move around in.
they don't fit into little
petty places. these hips
are free hips.
they don't like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
i have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top!

Lucille Clifton, “homage to my hips” from Good Woman. Copyright © 1987

Date
Month: 
February
Day: 
15
Author name: 
Clifton, Lucille

A Resolution

A Resolution
Yet deterred, by fate alone
Many questionable, conclusions, questions, details
Yet to determine who is the blame
A resolution, only to retroact an opposition
Yet to insist the muddied possibility for change

Date
Month: 
January
Day: 
5
Author name: 
Brown, Angela Khristin

Heredity by Effie Smith

Our dead forefathers, mighty though they be,
For all their power still leave our spirits free;
Though on our paths their shadows far are thrown,
The life that each man liveth is his own.

Time stands like some schoolmaster old and stern,
And calls each human being in his turn
To write his task upon life's blackboard space;
Death's fingers then the finished work erase,
And the next pupil's letters take its place.

That he who wrote before thee labored well
Concerns thee not: thy work for thee must tell;
'Tis naught to thee if others' tasks were ill:

Date
Month: 
January
Day: 
7
Author name: 
Smith, Effie

COME KWANZAA WITH ME by Johnnie Renee Nia Nelson

Come Kwanzaa with me
together we'll examine the history
of an African people struggling to be free
from colonialism, apartheid and slavery.

Come Kwanzaa with me
come experience the wonders of an odyssey
rife with the riches of a legacy
embroidered in love, crocheted in dignity.

Come Kwanzaa with me
come enjoy a cultural safari
rediscover the grandeur of the African race
come Kwanzaa with me at the Sphinx,
Great Zimbabwe or the Step Pyramid's base.

Come Kwanzaa with me
come taste a "First Fruits" delicacy
come pour the libation that is meant to be
both tribute and salute t

Date
Month: 
December
Day: 
7
Author name: 
Nelson, Johnnie Renee Nia

TO CINQUE by James M. Whitfield.

All hail!

Date
Month: 
6
Day: 
28
Author name: 
Whitfield, James M.

SONNET TO A NEGRO IN HARLEM by Helene Johnson

You are disdainful and magnificant--
Your perfect body and your pompous gait,
Your dark eyes flashing solemnly with hate,
Small wonder that you are incompetent
To imitate those whom you so despise--
Your sholders towering high above the throng,
Your head thrown back in rich, barbaric song,
Palm trees and mangoes stretched before your eyes.
Let others toil and sweat for labor's sake
And wring from grasping hands their meed of gold.
Why urge ahead your supercilious feet?
Scorn will efface each footprint that you make.
I love your laughter arrogant and bold.
You are too splendid for

Date
Month: 
7
Day: 
28
Author name: 
Johnson, Helene

BROTHERS LOVING BROTHERS by Vega.

Respect yourself, my brother, for we are so many wondrous things.
Like a black rose, you are a rarity to be found. Our leaves intertwine as I reach out to you after the release of a gently rain.
You precious gem, black pearl that warms the heart, symbol of ageless wisdom, I derive strength from the touch of your hand.
Out lives blend together like rays of light; we are men of color, adorned in shades of tan, red, beige, black, and brown.
Brothers born from the same earth womb,
Brothers reaching for the same star.
Love me as your equal.
Love me, brother to brother...

Date
Month: 
7
Day: 
6
Author name: 
Vega,

FOR MALCOLM by Raymond R. Patterson.

When they shot Malcolm Little down
On the stage of the Audubon Ballroom,
When his life ran out through bullet holes
(Like the people running out then the murder began)
His blood soaked the floor
One drop found a crack through the stark
Pounding thunder-slipped under the stage and began
Its journey: burrowed through concrete into the cellar,
Dropped down darkness, exploding like quicksilver
Pellets of light, panicking rats, paralyzing cockroaches-
Tunneled through rubble and wrecks of foundations,
The rocks that buttress the bowels of the city, flowed
Into pipes and power lines, th

Date
Month: 
December
Day: 
14
Author name: 
Patterson, Raymond R.

LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING by James Weldon Johnson.

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?

Date
Month: 
2
Day: 
12
Author name: 
Johnson, James Weldon

BLACK MAGIC by Dudley Randall.

Black girl black girl
lips as curved as cherries
full as grape bunches
sweet as blackberries
Black girl black girl
when you walk you are
magic as a rising bird
or a falling star
Black girl black girl
what’s your spell to make
the heart in my breast
jump stop shake...

Reprinted by permission of Dudley Randall.

Reference: Dudley Randall

Date
Month: 
6
Day: 
10
Author name: 
Randall, Dudley