I’m a child of God, made in his image.
But everyday of my life is a line of scrimmage.
The uniform I have makes me an object.
Of subjective scorn and suspect.
Mohagany skin. It’s who I am.
Blam-Blam, FLORIDA GODDAMN!
Zimmerman got jumpy, just a little.
Who’s afraid of a bag of Skittles.
But it could happen in Omaha
or happen in New Haven.
Black blood is what they craving.
Zombies of bias with supremacist blood lust.
Justice System? Yeah, it’s just-US
My college degree can’t shield me.
From the racial brutality.
Body Broke in Disbelief
Could You not yell so loud? Or raise your voice when you speak?
Gosh, why are you so angry? Why speachify?
I thought you were a good colored guy.
Not like the rest of them, who cough up dismay like so much phelgm.
But do you know in the summer of my eighth year, I was face-to-face with the fear and smear.
From a librarian in blue eyes, who said black kids can’t be civilized.
In a summer reading club contest, a Northside kid was among the best.
But his success wasn’t believed, the only kid in the city asked to prove if he could read.
Yes I could, I knew what I could do.
“Ma’am, are you going make the white kids read, too?”
When I was nine, at the 20-yard line, n-word thrown by another lad of nine at the time.
A team of suburban kids met the working class, and the cake-eaters all showed their ass.
Racial slurs before the ball was snapped, led to their ballplayers getting slapped.
Piled up touchdowns, cake-eaters gettin’ smacked…But every score kept getting called back.
Little-league, Pop Warner petty larcenies, perpetrated by white-skinned referees.
Seeing my cousins playing high school ball, ganked by the stripes from wall to wall.
No refs in the state look like you do. You have beat the other team and them, too.
Conspiracy to destroy the hope and dreams of a black boy and try to take away his joy.
Immerse him in all this racial strife. If you see him in a hoodie, you take his life.
See him in your classroom, look right through or around the lad.
Shocked that he has a dad, and a mom
and willingness to achieve.
Something the majority won’t believe.
Debate contests in high school looking at you sideways
Have to be above and beyond to get a chance to play.
The other kind thinks you can’t compete.
Still think that way even after you got ’em beat.
He’s not welcome to your campus in the fall, unless he can play some ball.
Run negro run, hit that jump shot. That’s your lot.
In our mind, that’s all you got.
But mama instilled a love for the written word.
Because we were lynched for trying to read, ya heard!
But strange fruit can come in many forms.
From Mississippi swamps, to elite northern dorms.
In the our workplaces, tree-lined tony spaces.
Or followed-along among the shopping mall throng.
Every black man knows the risk is on. Anyone of us could end up like Trayvon.
From a teen in a sweatshirt to the POTUS in a suit.
Any who look like me could get the boot.
Or get the rope and lynch mob made of dopes.
Hyped up on Faux News’ Faux Hope.
Everybody like playing my funk and playing my blues.
But when the blues is real life its not news.
They try to say my anger all confused.
Telling the lie that a gunshot wound’s a bruise.
The anger feeling slipped into my cranium
Explodes like weapon-grade uranium.
I was twenty-one when I heard “not-guilty”.
Denying what eyes saw as filthy.
Fifty-six baton strikes in a minute-and-half?
So absurd it could make you laugh.
It would be a farce, if it wasnt so serious
Simi Valley completely delirious.
So why I am not surprised, when the white round eyes can’t see what I see.
Emmitt Till, Vincent Chin, Trayvon now.
Who’s next to enter the kung-pow?
Who’s next to be beat? Who’s next to get hit?
Who’s next to be shot, when fear is white hot?
Who’s next to get got? Fall victim to the rot.
Of America’s original cancer cell?
A carcinoma that can be cured you know.
But so many of them refuse the chemo.
Whites who’d rather just live the lie.
You have the terminal cancer, but I’m the one who gets to die.