Celebration of Blackness

DETERMINATION by John Henrik Clarke.

My feet have felt the sands of many nations,
I have drunk the water
Of many springs,
I am old,
Older than the Pyramids,
I am older than the race
That oppresses me,
I will live on…
I will outlive oppression,
I will outlive oppressors...
Copyright 1948 by John Henrik Clarke.

Reference:
John H. Clarke

Date
Month: 
October
Day: 
12
Author name: 
Clarke, John Henrik

A DADDY POEM by William J. Harris.

My father is a handsome guy.
Looks like a cross between Clark Gable & Ernest Hemingway.
If you don't believe me, I got proof:
Once a white woman (at one of those parties)
said to my father,
"You're good looking for a colored man."

Date
Month: 
9
Day: 
12
Author name: 
Harris, William J.

THE AFRICAN AFFAIR by Bruce M. Wright.

Black is what the prisons are,
The stagnant vortex of the hours
Swept into totality,
Creeping in the perjured heart,
Bitter in the vulgar rhyme,
Bitter on the walls;

Black is where the devils dance
With time within
The creviced wall.

Date
Month: 
9
Day: 
21
Author name: 
Wright, Bruce M.

SPIRITS UNCHAINED by Keorapetse Kgositsile.

Rhythm it is we
walk to against the evil
of monsters who try to kill the Spirit
It is the power of this song
that colors our every act
as we move from the oppressor-made gutter

Gut it is will move us from the gutter
It is the rhythm of guts
blood-black, granite hard
and flowing like the river or the mountains

It is the rhythm of the unchained Spirit
will put fire in our hands
to blaze our way
to clarity to power
to the rebirth of real men......
Copyright 1971, reprinted by permission of Broadside Press

Date
Month: 
9
Day: 
7
Author name: 
Kgositsile, Keorapetse

IMBIBING WORD'S WORLD by Deborah C. Um'rani.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart strike a cord of unity in we who shatter moments of silence;
the outlandish desires of a heart filled with chaos.
Who knows, we may touch on real love in two world's.
Greater lands speak of joy, sorrow, and fulfillment.
We be real as they be censured.

I know who you touch.

I am meta-galaxies stretching beyond doorways to emptiness.
That which I imbibe centers in my soul, moves through my being to impregnate a whole vision of another world apart from anything you refuse to see.

Date
Month: 
8
Day: 
16
Author name: 
Um'rani, Deborah C.

WE HAVE BEEN SEEN by Kalamuya Salaam.

we have been seen
flying graciously through the air a foot here
the left hard titty of some brother's
chest there slowing arching away across far eastern smoke strewn skies chunks of charred well done black meat winging high like black crows crossing the sun

we have been seen
flaming in the night juices of our manhood frying,
popping like sausage in our dangling veins strung out from trees
for flies to play on and race circling around
the remnants of our burnt heads

we have been seen
crippled crazy bowlegged and
lame hopping and pushing our bodies across this jagge

Date
Month: 
8
Day: 
18
Author name: 
Salaam, Kalamuya

WHY TU FU DOES NOT SPEAK NUBIAN by Colleen McElroy.

she draws fat birds
in stokes tight as geography
their plump bodies
arch above bent twigs and flowers
in a splash of boneless color

remember the leaves and veins she says
Chinese painting captures the spirit
the character of space
the observer looks down
stresses only the foreground
the use of line gives substance
to the motion

these contours fall into simple patterns
like Tu Fu's poems
easy she says watching my brush
tremble toward the paper
but it is difficult
these fats birds and simple bamboo stalks

they have no urban counterparts
I want to fill th

Date
Month: 
8
Day: 
31
Author name: 
McElroy, Colleen

COFFEE by Wanda Coleman.

Steam rises over my nose
against this night cold empty room as wide as my throat; eases/flows
river a mocha memory from aunt ora’s kitchen.
She made it in
the big tin percolator and poured the brew into thick
white fist-sized mugs and
put lots of sugar and milk in it for me and
the other kids who loved it better than chocolate
and the neighbor woman used to tell her and us
it wasn’t good for young colored children
to drink. It made you get blacker
and blacker...

Date
Month: 
3
Day: 
17
Author name: 
Coleman, Wanda

INTERIM by Clarissa Scott Delany.

The night was made for rest and sleep,
For winds that softly sigh;
It was not made for grief and tears;
So why then do I cry?

The wind that blows through leafy trees
Is soft and warm and sweet;
For me the night is a gracious cloak
To hide my soul's defeat.

Just one dark hour of shaken depths,
Of bitter black despair-
Another day will find me brave,
And not afraid to dare.....

Reference:
Clarissa Scott Delaney

Date
Month: 
7
Day: 
30
Author name: 
Delany, Clarissa Scott

ST. HELENA ISLAND by Tom Dent.

Slaves are said to have worked hard & long on this island
Sunup to sundown & beyond Sundays & Christmas off
Two clothes a year are memories bestowed to old Penn School.

Nearby expressionless summer homes of early plantation owners sit observing the bay
The stately museums of Beaufort the arsenals and ports of the English
Built above Native remains: the romance of American history.

Sand blows across the island from ocean beaches.

Date
Month: 
8
Day: 
6
Author name: 
Dent, Tom