R.I.P. Black Man

I’m currently reading a book of poems titled, Resisting Arrest edited by one of my favorite poets, Tony Medina. The poems in the book are profound. They are the truth. But they are not like mine. Sometimes I wonder why my own poems don’t seem like mainstream activism. Why am I not angry about the same things as every other black poet seems to be? I am. But why am I not as passionate about it in my words? Because I’m on the front lines. I hear the conversations in my class. I have the arguments with young black men who assure me that what I’m teaching has nothing to do with what they plan to do later on in life. I go home every evening frustrated by a system that isn’t worried about the number of black and brown children who aren’t educated, they are simply worried about the number of kids who aren’t passing. And believe me, in my world, those two things are very different. I am one of the biggest cheerleaders for my students. I believe they can do what they want to do, but sometimes I stand by helplessly and watch them choose things I wish they wouldn’t choose. I attend funerals. Plural. I attend candlelight vigils. Plural. I hear about and read about my students going to prison. My viewpoint will not be the same as others. And I accept that. I also understand that all voices and viewpoints are needed to heal what is killing our community.

 

Black man
have u grown
so weary
that you’ll choose
to die
on the corner
defending turf
that belongs to the city
or that you’ll
hang out car windows
communicating
through violent
sign language
the message:
WILL ACCEPT BULLET IN BRAIN.

Have you grown
so weary
black man
that the only thing
worth fighting for
anymore
is a false image
of respectability
not family, not love, not community

Black man
have you grown
so weary
that
you’ve decided that
killing off
men who look like you
is the easiest way
to perform an
ethnic cleansing?

Who bribed you
convinced you
to work for
the enemy?
Terrorism in the
black community
written off as
temporary insanity.
Somebody should
have seen the signs
and strapped your ass
to a desk
in high school
and stuck that
needle in your vein
fed you
true knowledge.

I should have
bribed the men
who abandoned
you
paid them to
police my classroom
and stand behind you
with hand
over mouth
so you couldn’t
plot criminality
when
it was time
to learn
reading and writing.

In a world where
we’re branded
outcasts &
unwanted
don’t accept so
easily
the role of
hunter/hunted/haunted
black men.

These RIP T-shirts
are getting too
heavy
to carry
and we’re getting
weary too
so black man
can we
forge
a
different
legacy?

 Peace & Love,
Rosalind

 

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About Rosalind Guy

I'm broken & my soul is weary/ my weary soul rebels, fights/ anything & anyone who tries to heal me/I beat my head against a wall of memories/ trying hard to break free from the chain of memories/ I can only be free by saying it so/ i weave a necklace from words and finally/ I find freedom/ free free free. As you can see, words are powerful to me. As Maya Angelou said, words are wallpaper of the soul. I have lots of nightmarish memories that threaten to break me, but I learned a long time ago about the power of words. They can be used to heal and destroy anything that threatens to destroy the person. Words coupled with love have the power to save and heal. I am author of three books: Skinny Dipping in the Pool of Womanhood, Tattered Butterfly Wings, and Blues of a Love Junkie. I am a high school English teacher. I am a former reporter. I am a mother. I am a woman. I am a fierce advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves, those who's voices go unheard. Check out my Amazon author page at the following link: http://www.amazon.com/Rosalind-Guy/e/B00BGH5F88/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1432491754&sr=8-1.
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