Be Quiet

Shhh! Be quiet!
Don’t let your voice be heard!
Don’t disrupt my bliss
by pointing out
that your house is on fire.
Don’t tell me about the arsonist
we both witnessed lighting the fire.
Hearing such horrible news
stresses me out!
Tell me what you plan to
make for dinner.
Show me a basket of kittens.
Pull up a chair,
pour yourself a glass of wine,
and let me tell you how much money
I lost in the stock market
when that law abiding citizen
set your house on fire.
Hush now! Be quiet!
Don’t speak at all!
If you pretend nothing is wrong,
that burned out
shell of a home you have left
will seem quite luxurious.
You really should do something
about that, though.
It’s pulling down the value
of my home.
Shhh!! Be quiet!!
As a matter of fact,
why don’t you just
go away…

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Remembering MLK, Jr

44 years ago today, Martin Luther King, Jr was assassinated. We have come a long way in the area of race equality, but we still have so far to go.

Nikewrites Blog

I spend quite a bit of time on Facebook keeping up with friends and family. I also keep up with some of my favorite celebrities and public figures. Last week I decided to check out Dr. Cornell West’s fan page. He posted several announcements in support of a youth leadership conference, hosted and organized by his good friend, Tavis Smiley. There was one question in response to the post that is often asked of black leadership when these types of conferences are called: “Is there going to be some definitive strategy and planning or a bunch of talk about our “glorious” past?”

I tried to walk away from the question, but I couldn’t. This question annoys me every time I hear it. It reeks of laziness and complacency. I posted the following statement in response:

50 years ago there were leaders who shared a vision and guided the masses to…

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The Bridge to Freedom

Grand-daddy always told us stories
Of his days as a slave and a share cropper.
To look at him,
You would never know
That he could be forced to submit
to someone who claimed ownership over him.
He was a tall, muscular man
Who walked with his shoulders back
And his head held high.
Who could rule over him?
But it happened.
He was pulled away from his wife
And children,
Sold to another home,
Miles away from the ones his loved.
He was made to work in the fields,
In the heat,
With a sack to collect the harvest
Over his shoulder and his back bent.
He told us that the work was hard.
The overseers were harder
And would walk the lash across his back
Until his shirt was tattered,
And the flesh on his back opened up,
Leaving crimson stains
On the fabric.
He said,
“You are free-born,
Don’t nobody own you,
Don’t nobody control you,
But you.
I bent my back
All those days
In the sun,
So my back could be a bridge
For you to walk across
And find freedom.
I thank God,
How I thank God,
That you are free!
But don’t you go on believing
That freedom stands still.
No, no,
You have to keep walking towards it.
You keep walking.
And make sure you bend your back,
Make your back a bridge
So your children
can cross over
To the new freedoms
They will one day see.”