Dragged from your native land,
on a floating barge of death.
You built paradise for a thief
who then plundered all the wealth.
Your name was not your own.
You would never again be free.
To know such hate from them,
as they hung you from a tree.
They say that slavery’s over.
Go forth and earn your keep.
And though you labor long,
you’re valued much too cheap.
You were denied so many rights.
And the vote was not for you.
Though many marched and died,
the court bid that adieu.*
Some think you’ve made great strides
in the face of all that’s wrong.
Yet they herd you into prison,
because they hate that you are strong.
Be wary of their smiles,
for they mean you so much harm.
If you’ve a talent, they’ll exploit it.
All over you, they’ll swarm.
They’ll use you and they’ll kill you.
You’re nothing but a thing,
and when your candle’s burned
you’ll feel ole Massa’s sting.
Don’t ever let your guard down,
and it doesn’t pay to trust.
Shield from them your weakness.
Always show them your disgust.
Black history holds no fame.
And it certainly gets no cheer.
Times have never changed.
They still look at you and sneer.
Shelby I. Courtland
©2014 Shelby I. Courtland
*June 25th 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, removing a critical tool to combat racial discrimination in voting.
Black History Month, eh? What’s to celebrate? Double digit unemployment in every Black community all across this rotten ass country. The Black people who aren’t getting their brains bashed in playing football or who aren’t rapping about thugs and hos are receiving wages that wouldn’t keep a hamster in food. Public Education in inner cities is shameful and woefully inadequate, to put it mildly, in preparing Black children for this high tech society we live in. Black children are being herded from the classroom straight into the penitentiary and they haven’t a prayer of making it out of the nightmare of poverty, hopelessness, gangs, violence and despair.
But we’re celebrating some goddamn bullshit! The Civil Rights Movement? We haven’t moved. The ‘white only’ entrances and water fountains are still there and so are the ‘colored only’. Now, it’s called affluenza and povertenza. Keep the poverty stricken Black people away from the affluent. Gate those communities, build high-end developments. Those poor Black people can’t afford that. Hinder their education. Keep them ignorant. It worked back in the day and if it works, why fix it if it ain’t broke?
There is not one damn thing to celebrate. Yes, Rosa Parks refused to relinquish her seat. Good on her! The Reverend Dr. King and all the others marched and protested and had dogs let loose on them and were sprayed by high powered water hoses and for what? So that the ever so helpful Supreme Court could just come along and gut THAT shit! Oh, yes! Let the goddamn celebrations begin!!!! Again I say, fuck THAT shit!!!