Celebration of Blackness

TREES by Julia Fields.

some trees, standing in groves
have people inside them holding
meetings,
some trees have people locked
and braced in love.
a pine tree is a gigolo-
notice the scent-always the best
mouthwash,
the best sheen of green shirt,
the tallest, straightest back,
the gentlest arms.

and do not even speak of oaks.
they know the game, get better
and better and better at it .
they are the rugged type, born rough
and with no tender shoots.
they stand alone, majestic, and
are of the order of warriors.

a weeping willow minces.

Date
Month: 
8
Day: 
8
Author name: 
Fields, Julia

DOUGLASS by Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Ah, Douglass, we have fall'n on evil days,
Such days as thou, not even thou didst know,
When thee, the eyes of that harsh long ago
Saw, salient, at the cross of devious ways,
And all the country heard thee with amaze.
Not ended then, the passionate ebb and flow,
The awful tide that battled to and fro;
We ride amid a tempest of dispraise.

Now, when the waves of swift, dissension swarm,
And Honor, the strong pilot, lieth stark,
Oh, for thy voice high-sounding o'er the storm,
For thy strong arm to guide the shivering bark,
The blast-defying power of thy form,
To give us comf

Date
Month: 
8
Day: 
12
Author name: 
Dunbar, Paul Laurence

NUBIAN WARRIOR by Tiy-e Muhammad.

I am Nuba!
The great warrior of the world.
My strengths are my mind and soul.
I walk as upright as an oak tree.
My muscles last forever under this tight skin.

I talk through the world as a "God".
I am Nuba!

Date
Month: 
7
Day: 
17
Author name: 
Muhammad, Tiy-e

THE REACTIONARY POET by Ishmael Reed.

If you are a revolutionary
Then I must be a reactionary
For if you stand for the future
I have no choice but to
Be with the past

Bring back suspender!
Bring back Mom!
Homemade ice cream
Picnics in the park
Flagpole sitting
Straw hats
Rent parties
Corn liquor
The banjo
Georgia quilts
Krazy Kat
Restock

The syncopation of
Fletcher Henderson
The Kiplingesque lines
Of James Weldon Johnson
Black Eagle
Mickey Mouse
The Bach Family
Sunday School
Even Mayor La Guardia
Who read the comics
Is more appealing than
Your version of
What Lies Ahead

In your world of
Tomorro

Date
Month: 
8
Day: 
15
Author name: 
Reed, Ishmael

CHOOSING THE BLUES (for S. Brandi Barnes) by Angela Jackson.

When Willie Mae went down to the barber shop to visit her boyfriend who cut hair there I went with her.
Walking beside her on the street the men said hey and stopped to watch her just walk.
Boyfriend barber cut hair and cut his glance at her, O, he could see the tree for the forest.
He pressed down the wild crest on a man's head and shaved it off just so he could watch her standing there by the juke box choosing the blues she would wear for the afternoon.
Right there Little Milton would shoot through the store-front with the peppermint stick sentry twirling outside
"If I didn't love you,

Date
Month: 
7
Day: 
25
Author name: 
Jackson, Angela

BLACK ETHICS by Sterling D. Plumpp.

Not a new thing
but an excavated gem
long lost in centuries
of self-separations.

Will make a man strong
ready to die for his
woman/ child/ and country/
which is obscured in doubt.

the priceless dynamo
called human love that
makes a man, a man,
and moves him to self-pride.....

Reference:
Sterling Plumpp

Date
Month: 
7
Day: 
23
Author name: 
Plumpp, Sterling D.

ON BEING BROUGHT FROM AFRICA TO AMERICA by Phillis Wheatley.

Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land,
Taught my benighted soul to understand
That there's a God, that there's a Saviour too.

Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.
Some view our sable race with scornful eye;
"Their color is a diabolic dye."

Remember, Christian, Negroes, black as Cain,
May be refined and join the angelic train……

From the complete works of Phillis Wheatley, copyright 1988, Oxford University Press by permission.

Reference:
Phyllis Wheatley

Date
Month: 
7
Day: 
11
Author name: 
Wheatley, Phillis

I AM A BLACK WOMAN by Mari Evans.

I am a black woman
music of my song
Some sweet arpeggio of tears
is written in minor key
And I
can be heard humming in the night
Can be heard
Humming
In the night
I saw my mate leap screaming to the sea
And i/with these hands/cupped the life-breath
From my issue I the canebrake
I lost Nat's swinging body in the rain of tears
and heard my son scream all the way from Anzio
for Peace he never knew….I
learned Da Nang and Pork Chop Hill
in anguish
Now my nostrils know the gas
and these trigger tired/fingers
seek the softness in my warrior's beard...

I am a black woman

Date
Month: 
7
Day: 
16
Author name: 
Evans, Mari