Sermon of the Slave

By KC

I refuse to be grounded
By the clock pounded
Instead I will fly as one with time
To be a legend and never die
I am self, the undeniable truth
Even though the masses deny my worth—
by denying my freedoms
I am self-bonded by Blood, Iron and Pain
Transported over seas and through time
A lifetime of hate created by ignorance from others—
and self-destruction within
But still I fight—still I rise
And one day I will be free

Family Picture

By LC

After Slugg: A Boy’s Life in the Age of Mass Incarceration by Tony Lewis Jr.

There’s something missing with this picture
As I wake onto a random day
In a random hood
In a random city
In America
I listen
Listen to the voice of my mother
Shouting down the bickering of my
Little sister and little brother
But there’s something missing
So I look
Look to find my auntie on the couch
With my baby cousin in hand
Look out the window to find the neighborhood junkie
But he is not the MAN
I’m looking for
See that man has been gone for years
Gone from this family’s struggles
Gone from being this family’s muscle
Gone from this family’s daily hustle
Ironic that I used that last word
‘cause HUSTLE is what got him sentenced
To no return, L.I.F.E.
So my father is what’s missing with this picture
My uncle too
And to every other black child
In a random hood
In a random city
In America
I’m just like you too.

Trapped

By AD

Trapped in this cage,
Am I justified to feel rage?
or should I use this experience as fuel to ignite a blaze,
a scorching inferno burning, turning all the hate to ashes,
where justice applies to all, not just those in the lower classes,
But is it really Justice, where the symbol they use is blind?
The endless cycle of poverty,
Consumerism used as a tool to enslave my mind.
Poverty, just like robbery, it should be labeled as a crime.
Resources stripped from our communities, it strengthens yours,
while it weakens mine. Now you wonder why I’m mad.
Violent tendencies to express my anger, those who should protect me.
I run because in them I sense danger.
I’m still trapped in this cage, but no, it’s not of the physical kind.
It’s your multifaceted master plan – tools you use to enslave my mind.

Dear Mom

By HW

I have to bring it up, remember what you told me?
You said, “Son go outside and play,”
And when I got scraped up you said, “everything would be OK.”

You told me life was like baseball, three strikes and I’m out.
You told me drive slow, but you never said, don’t take the fast route.
When I was young, I thought you knew everything,
Until I realized that death was a part of our reality.

Mom, it’s like the world’s against me, because I’m black.
I want kids, but I don’t want them to go through that.

Why do they hate us?
Why do they laugh?
It’s like you get your respect, when you get your cash.

Mom, what’s modern day slavery?
I thought slavery was dead.
So constitutions and amendments mean nothing, now that Lincoln is dead.
I’ll go read a book and find what they hid,
Because you told me, they been hiding things there, since I was a kid.