Tag Archives: black history

Allegiance, a poem for “Rebel”

Allegiance.

like rusted barbwire
nothing gets past me
over me

Never Bow
nothing can get through to me
but your mixtures of smiles and advice
and now, that can only touch me through rain / Mama I miss you

my doubt outruns ruined panty hose
going back and forth like a father to work / a mother to prayer

Write a song for yourself
one that can march
when your walk is crooked
and your back is misguided

A song of allegiance
that can speak
when your twisted tongue is to capacity with
blues and sours and thorns

A song that pledges allegiance
to bodies that abandon couches and beds
but comfort the concrete slabs of
Oakland / Ferguson / Baltimore / New York

Blow the horn
Live to tell

Rebel Continue reading Allegiance, a poem for “Rebel”

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SHE CHRONICLES: “On Being Black” a poem by Jolivette “The Poet Warrior”

Being Black is
more than the vernacular you use to speak,
more than stolen soul food recipes,
more than begging the Sun to bake you,
more than wrapping White legs around Black manhood
to make you feel full and complete,
however temporary the vibration may be

Being Black is
a generational journey, born of experiences of common ancestry and heritage all wrapped in various shades from caramel to cream and the bronze to charcoal color scheme.

Being Black is
NOT a train you can board whenever you can afford a ticket to travel in dark energy and dark matter.

Those who so easily invite others into our genealogy have little respect for what it means to have a racial and cultural identity

Being Black is
Being real
Being truthful
Being honest
About EVERYTHING
EXCEPT OUR PAIN
we tell white lies to mask our shame

To be Black is a Continuum and in this time and space, folk need to know their place.

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Jolivette Anderson-Douoning is an Educator and Poet from Shreveport, LA. Her research is focused on Race, Space and Place.  It explores the psyche of African Americans in the United States and how their existence has been negotiated according to the racial history of the nation.  Anderson-Douoning is a 4th year PhD student at Purdue University where she is studying American Studies/Curriculum and Instruction.  She currently lives in Indiana with her daughter.  
She has four recordings of poetry and prose: Love and Revolution UndergroundAt the End of a Rope in MississippiJolivette Live: A Bluesy Funk Life Cycle, and She Energy.
For bookings and additional information thepoetwarrior@icloud.com or DrJolly2015@gmail.com 

SHE CHRONICLES: “A Prose for Medgar and Myrlie” by Nikki Skies

It landed on the kitchen table next to the watermelon.  Like a Sunday newspaper on Thursday.  Set aside for recycling.  Or an abandoned spoon after dessert. It sat there foreign but familiar.  Like an African American in America.

The carousel sang loudly. Drowned out the relief of parental duties.  Playful screams resonated the atmosphere.  Cotton candy decorated white faces pink and blue. Mustard stains on white t-shirts. Scraped knees caused by unattended shoelaces. The day was glee and the night carefree, as flying gravel spun under running feet.

Her bladder was full of miles like her mother’s.  She watered the ground with chocolate auburn.  The spices enticed the clouds to cry and capture the streets.  She met him where the sun sat in the fire pit.  He kissed her hand to summons a feather so she wouldn’t doubt his words.  His eyes were complete like the turn of an owl’s head.  The preacher announced their commitment where roads met corners with mirrors.  He hung their picture in a birdcage to catch time.  He told them not to be afraid.

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The first season spread the hours like a bridge. He supplied water to dry, fallen branches daily.  Believers of the unseen.  She carried unicorns in her pockets.  They wore audacious yellows and greens in a black and white world.  Demanded freedom like 8 a.m. school bells.  Unbalanced as thick as unjust.  At night she placed sweet onions on his eyelids. He remained rooted.  His tongue poignant from the aroma.

Dog’s were death’s best friend.  Hydrants absent from fires.  Hoses present at protests.  Tilted buses full of spiritual songs.  Northern boys with fresh fists. Southern boys with patched will.  Northern girls with golden intuition. Southern girls with ancient maps.  Laughter extinct.  Spit like rain. Freedom rides. Spirits flew. Red summer. Blue years. Freedom wide. Hatred tall. Black bodies hung/ burned/ mutilated. Daylight tardy.

Soprano saxophone accompanied her screams.  Vibrato in her hands.  His head in her lap.  His eyes meeting her’s was the prize. “Sit me up, turn me loose.” Abandoned from forever. She sat him up. Erect as pillars.  Baroque rocked. Down. She sipped tea in China.

Scores for his name. His verses rhymed her forward.  Her passion sweet as fruit. Seasoned. Made days wet cement. For imprints. Slops. Hills. Concrete with purpose. His remembrances sleep at our feet.

 

a prose from the book,

Mississippi Window Crack

Autographed copies available here

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HBO Releases Full Trailer for ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’

HBO wants you to add another must-see film to your list: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. The film, which is produced by and stars media…

Source: HBO Releases Full Trailer for ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’

Not Worth the Degree?

“There has to be more than what you see.”

This is what I say to friends that tell me that if they could do it over again they would not go to college.  A majority of them have found jobs outside of the fields they studied and made successful careers in them.  A few of them say for the work they are doing now, they only needed the on the job training offered so they are paying student loans “for nothing”.

“There has to be more you got from college.”

The majority of my friends from undergraduate and graduate school are from the Humanities and Social Science fields.  According to the National Center of Education Statistics, on average the unemployment rate for those fields have always been a steady 9.6%, the highest of any field of college study.  My friends divide between specific studies in theatre/speech communication, and the fields of psychology and criminal justice.  I look at how much these fields have grown with cultural and societal changes and clearly understand the difficulty in finding work.   I myself have had to find other fields of employment for financial support.  But would I say my degree wasn’t worth it?

I studied for my undergraduate degree at Grambling State University and chose to major in Theatre.  I had been into community theatre and the arts since I was a young child and had been writing poetry at a young age.  I remember during my senior year in high school, a friend who graduated a year ahead of me, and had the same reverence for theatre that I had, describe her displeasure she had with first year of college at a predominately white college.  She told me that the production season was booked with white productions and her confidence at being considered for any of the lead roles was dismal.  She “created” a love for costume design.  That gave me a different perspective on how to choose where I would go for college.  Being that I wanted to go into theatre, I applied to Pace University in New York and to Grambling State University (GSU) in Louisiana and was accepted to both.  I chose GSU.  “The Place Where Everybody is Somebody.”

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Continue reading Not Worth the Degree?

some days i feel like, elaine brown

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some days I feel like elaine brown. I feel like I have the courage to love what feels right. I feel like I can stand in front of whomever/whatever and move past the criticism of my past with a smile. like elaine brown, some days I feel like I can change the world and by doing that sometimes you have to start over.

elaine brown is particularly known for her involvement in the black panther party in Oakland, Ca. while many haven’t had interest enough to read what her contributions and positions were in the party, they seem satisfied with knowing and saying, “she’s an ex-panther.” I had the privilege of meeting her twice and opening for her during a lecture in los angeles a few years ago. she was very emphatic with her intent to tell her side of the story. to make sure we left her with more to say.

she wanted us to know she believed in the black panther party with her entire being. she helped the panthers set up its first Free Breakfast for Children program in Los Angeles in addition to the panthers Free Busing to Prisons Program and the Free Legal Aid Program. she had a progressive intent for her people and herself as a woman/spiritual being. in her book, A Taste of Power, she made mention that she eventually left the panther party because she could no longer tolerate the patriarchy and sexism.

and I remember her speaking of love. I remember her sharing personal photos of her and Huey P. Newton and talking about how much she was in love with him. as I was holding one of the photos, she pointed to him and said, “he was fine wasn’t he?” her entire face smiled.

some days I feel like elaine brown in wanting to be whole. wanting to be accepted as an intelligent and critical thinker as well as a lover. and for all of who I am to be safe enough to share as part of the human experience.

a Request for Autonomous Dialogue

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A day of being a critical thinker. Just to spend one night on a spirit filled preserved slave plantation in Mississippi. I wonder what the autonomous dialogue would be? What would the title of the article be? Take a ride atop the bone filled Atlantic Ocean and write a poem… write a song… Like James Baldwin, I just have this simple request for autonomous dialogue on white history from a black history perspective.