What is WOKE in this day and age
Is it simply activism only from a social media page?
Is it an afro and a pick?
An Olympic stage raised clinched fist
Consciously eating organic kale salad
While digesting an Erykah Badu ballad
Is it Nat Turner’s unspoken rage?
An Angela Davis gaze
Is it a national anthem knee?
What is WOKE in the 21st Century?

What does it mean to be WOKE?
Is it the audacity to have hope?
The subtle militancy of Malcolm X’s ghost
Political satire at an extreme right wing roast
Pledging allegiance to a black body swinging from a tree
Being WOKE is strange fruit in the 21st Century

Is being WOKE something confined to the tongue,
Or the manacles of the miseducation of the Negro becoming undone?
The souls of black folk arising from a collective slumber
A raisin in the sun transcending the shade of the summer
Is it something we can taste, touch, see, hear, or feel?
Or is it only a vision our united third eye makes real?
What is the price we pay for being sound asleep?
Is it gentrification cultural misappropriation of being WOKE in this 21 Century?

Ain’t No Sunshine in the Ghetto


Ain’t no sunshine in da ghetto,

but to da government none of this matter though,

In da winter I wore too small boots, mix match socks, riped jeans and an urban sweater

But to da government none of this matter though,

I ain’t never been fed with a silver spoon

so I hooked up with my man and started pumpin’ weed and coke through birthday balloons

hopin’ things would get better soon,

I take you to Apt # D-11 Mice and Roach infested place,

A lazy slum lord was da case,

you only seen him and he only seen you when rent was due.

Ain’t no sunshine in the Ghetto

Remember when moms used to cry until she turn blue and her eyes blood shot red,

Holdin’ her hand on her head,

livin’ from month to month checks and being in a rundown complex,

I could see her stress building trynna’ figure out what next,

 Momma stressed ova’ payin’ bills, puttin’ food on da table and keepin’ da tv hooked up with cable.

 It was da middle of da month, so there was only one option, so she took off her jewelry and to da pawn shop,

Momma I want you to know I recognize you as a mother of all time high,

You gave it your best, even through stress,

Even though you hated being broke and no jewelry around your neck or wrist,

you just could see your kids live like this.

I could tell when da struggle didn’t stop it only doubled,

feelin’ it in my heart as da shit start to bubble,

makin me mad thinkin’ bout da shit I never had

Aint no sunshine in da ghetto

Listenin’ as shit in da wall start to crack just before a pipe bust and da water start to poor,

we start rushin’ knockin door to door before da water sharted leakin’ through the floor,

but dat ain’t all as shit start to fall apart from da sink, to da floor, to da cabinet,

until da gas line popped, my little brother started buckin’,

 And on top of that we couldn’t even get da slum lord to put hinges on da doors,

so when da doors got to fallin’ everybody got to duckin’.

We survived da stormiest weather,

 but like I said to da government this don’t matter though,

Ain’t no sunshine in da Ghetto.

Dedicated to da Struggle