Stirring the Mind into Thought

For Oscar Grant and every injustice done to black people…

What is the value of a black life

Is it only worth trouble and strife

Tell me America, when did you care

For a black mother who had to shed a tear

Did you care when we were in slavery

Or had black VIPs, no that was only for money

Did you care when you lynched a black father

And then right after that turn on the mother

Did you care about the bombings of Move

And Black Wall Street, or too busy in the groove

Did you care that it took decades to prosecute

All the civil rights murders on which you were mute

Did you care about men, women and even children

Who are treated as if they are guilty before innocent

Did you care that police are not charged with murder

From Amadou to Aiyanna to Sean to Oscar

Did you care that it’s taking centuries and more

To settle all of this and even the score

See, I fear for my future son, for him

That he may be another victim of this system

That continuously smacks us in the face

And tries to erase any obvious trace

Of their guilt, and then turn around to me

And say why am I so mad or why so angry?

I value my life and I have no choice but to care

But obviously mine is too much for you to bear.

July 9th, 2010 at 10:24 AM and tagged , , , , ,  | Comments Off on The Value of a Black Life | Permalink

I wish I could believe, love could not be with pain
But he showed that they were one in the same
Tangled up in his daily mess of delight and vice
I was always his ready and willing sacrifice

And either way I still loved him

Strained every muscle of my heart till it was weak
For a man whose future only looked bleak
Numb to touch, too deaf to hear, too blind to see
That loving him was never going to be easy

And either way I still loved him

Looking in the mirror was too much too bear
But looking at him was enough to keep me there
My everything- the violator, the wound, the balm
He was the worst of the storm and best of the calm

And either way I still loved him

Yet I could not fix something that was already broken
And when forgiving and forgetting became another token
My love no longer wanted to be burned by rage of his flame
It was time to sever the ties between my love and his pain

But in some way I still love him

January 13th, 2010 at 3:27 PM and tagged ,  | Comments Off on Love Versus Pain | Permalink


What have I become? Am I human or machine?
Maybe a machine is for some, but what I’ve seen
Is others designing my purpose in front of me
And slowly taking away my mind’s autonomy,
They tell me to keep quiet, be another number
In the system, punch in, punch out, together
Yet alone in an assembly line of faces and feet,
I pray everyday that this is not my day of defeat
Realizing that I am just as replaceable as a cogwheel
That what I hold dear, I have allowed them to steal,
Even though I and we are who they depend on to live
Still a paycheck’s worth of dignity is all they will give,
I do more and more to prove myself good enough
For if I break down, I will be throwaway, like stuff,
But I am not an object to possess, under control
I am not a tool that stops and goes as I am told
I feel, think, tire, sicken, smile, laugh, cry, hurt
And yet I am seen with the same contempt as dirt
Which gives life and life is what I also want for me
They would be more human too if that they could see.


December 26th, 2009 at 9:55 PM and tagged ,  | Comments Off on Human and Machine | Permalink

Sankofa bird

Pieces lay shattered on the floor
Of a present I was given before
Should I throw it away, to be lost
Like other broken things that cost
Me too much pain and time to care

Am I strong enough to even dare
To return to it, put it together
Let it build back to what it was prior
What it was meant to be for me
A cherished token in my memory

It is something I cannot leave behind
For without it I am trapped in time
For it reminds me to keep going
To walk into the future knowing
I need to go back and re-member.

December 21st, 2009 at 12:41 PM and tagged ,  | Comments Off on Re-member! | Permalink

Slave Ship

I don’t know where I’m from
I can’t even begin to fathom
What family I use to belong
All of that has been long gone

Lost at sea

Don’t know the roots to my name
Another man’s I had to claim
If I went back, I’d be unrecognizable
So I stay here where it’s comfortable

Lost at sea

Yet I always feel out of place
My real self I will never trace
I just hold onto pieces from her
While here I remain a stranger

Lost at sea

Floating aimlessly, not knowing
To return or just to keep going
I was stripped and whipped from me
So I guess I will always be lost at sea.

September 26th, 2009 at 2:00 PM and tagged ,  | Comments Off on Lost At Sea | Permalink

Marissa Arterberry's painting

I am in a love affair with my Hair

But I use to be in a relationship with Cream
He would abuse me, damage my self-esteem
The man was not even good enough to stay
So every few weeks he’d come, then go away
Why did I ever fall for Mr. Silky and Smooth
I got use to him, without him I couldn’t move
Still he wasn’t my friend, in it for the money
And when he left, once again I felt ugly
Yet my Hair, always there, said he was the one
So, I had to tell Cream that I was finally done

I am in a love affair with my Hair

Yes, my Hair is often unruly and wild
He’s not type to sit down and be mild
Every now and again, I do look at him
And say, “What is wrong with you?
Why don’t you do what I tell you to do?”
He replies because I am like you
And I have always liked being free
So don’t lie to yourself, girl, and
Especially, don’t give that lye to me
My Hair, I know, he is the truth
So, I let him rise up, I say “do you”

I am in a love affair with my Hair

I love to feel him, rub him down in oil
Love it when he wraps me in his coils
He keeps me warm because he so wooly
Ignores when others stare because he’s kinky
And when he’s feeling a little too dry
I give tender loving care and with him I try
I remember I was forced to keep him a secret
But now we’re out in the open, so I don’t forget
How every day I wake up feeling like a Queen
And I don’t care anymore for that guy Cream


I am in a love affair with my Hair

September 10th, 2009 at 6:21 PM and tagged ,  | Comments Off on A Love Affair with My Hair | Permalink

When did it become uncool
To think for oneself
Everybody wants to be
Like everyone else
The old saying is now true
You jump off the bridge
Then I’ll do it too
Because I want to fit in
I want to belong
Even if I am right
And the rest are wrong

Just say go and I’ll say ok
I’ll accept anything
You have to say
Does it defy my values
Does it defy my reason
Maybe, but if feels right
Even if only for a season
I am just gonna sit back
Since I am not too strong
To stand-up and act
I’ll join in the mob mentality
Things will still change
Even with my complacency

Anyways we all walk around
Behaving like drones
Act like we are one
But really are alone
If we realized, found out
We’re all walking about
Thinking everyone’s into it
When no one is at all
Just a bunch of us
Copying each other’s falls

Maybe I should stand-up
I should stop being weak
Decide to learn, to think
Have the courage to speak
To say, I am not everyone else
I am me, I am myself.

September 8th, 2009 at 5:53 PM and tagged  | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink

No longer will you be the reason
That I hide the real me
Why should I, Just to satisfy
Your ignorance, your stupidity

Why should I hold my head down
While you hold your head up
Laugh in my face and tell me
What I have I can’t love

See the flaw is within you
It does not rest in me
If beauty you cannot find
I’ll just shake my head in pity

If you say I am pretty
For a dark-skinned girl
I say, yeah I am pretty
Because I am that girl

You do not like
My skin, nose and hips
See ugly in my
Hair, cheeks and lips

I see nothing wrong with me
Nothing to change and you
You might see differently
But that’s your view

Through my view, you are
The one to be blamed
My reply will always be
I am not ashamed…

August 26th, 2009 at 11:22 AM and tagged  | Comments & Trackbacks (2) | Permalink