Walt Disney Told Our Story!



Black History Month is at an end
and Walt Disney told our story.
We learned about Wakanda
and Black Panther got the glory.

Wearing dashikis and head wraps,
we clapped and cheered for Wakanda;
that magical of all kingdoms,
it looks just like Uganda!

Now, Uganda is over in Africa,
and the poverty rate is high.
Healthcare is abysmal
and people with cholera, they still die.

The folks over in Somalia?
They ain’t looking so good.
Trump just bombed them again,
just like I knew he would.

But over by way of Ethiopia,
the folks there got a plight.
They ain’t eating at all.
And it ain’t about a hunger strike.

The African women of Liberia
have long been seen as slaves;
sex slaves to be exact
and that don’t get no praise.

What about over in Kenya?
They got educated folks
and still, some end up homeless
Look it up, this ain’t no hoax.

Now we come to Ghana,
is this a kingdom too?
It was once ruled by the British.
Does that give you a clue?

Libya is off the chain
and slavery is everywhere.
America and NATO
filled Libyans with despair.

But we celebrate Black History Month
with Black Panther to the rescue.
There’s a kingdom over in Africa,
where lives the privileged few.

Wakanda, is its name.
Its Black Panther leads the charge
against usurpers to the throne
within the kingdom or at large.

Vibranium is its weapon,
against enemies far and wide.
I bet real African nations
wish this kingdom was by their side.

Between fantasy and reality,
we choose fantasy every time.
and we’d rather pay Walt Disney
 our last hard-earned dime.

We don’t care about Liberia,
because that is just too real.
And we don’t live in Uganda
where cholera is a big deal.

We want to live in Wakanda,
fake as it can be.
But that is what we are,
fake people with a fake history.

This here ends Black History,
with many thanks to Walt Disney
who sat us down in Wakanda;
a kingdom; a magical fantasy.

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2018 Shelby I. Courtland

In my opinion, it is a shame that throughout this entire short month that has been set aside to showcase Black History, Walt Disney and Marvel COMICS took over the focus that should have been on REAL Black heroes and heroines who were on the front lines, battling  slavery, oppression, Jim Crow, segregation, voting rights, gentrification, mass unemployment, mass homelessness, a school-to-prison pipeline, mass incarceration, income inequality, substandard health care, cuts to education, inadequate housing, economic inequality, food insecurity, crime, violence, drugs, gangs, teen pregnancies and high homicide rates of Black youth in inner cities and the list is endless.

There was no focus on the above because Black people were so easily distracted into wearing African head wraps and dashikis because a movie was hyped about a fictional kingdom in Africa where there was untold wealth and a superhero to the rescue to protect his rich kingdom.

We would rather remain blind to the facts and to reality. We want, for two hours, to forget the realities we face because we need to be made to ‘feel good’ about belonging to some kingdom in Africa that isn’t even real. How pathetic is that? We want Walt Disney to hurry up and give us Part II of “Wakanda Forever” just in time for next Black History Month so that we can, again, focus on fantasy and not on our reality. How sad is that?

When have we ever lived a “Wakanda Forever” life here in AmeriKKKa? Do you seriously think that even with the links that I have provided in my poem, that the REAL Africa is anything at all like what Walt Disney would have you believe?

When you left the theater, did you see “Wakanda” when you stepped outside? Did you see “Wakanda” when you returned home? Did you see “Wakanda” when you checked out the local news where you live? Did you see “Black Panther” save any Black man, woman or child from being arrested or shot and killed by cops for playing in a park with a toy gun or for failing to use the proper turn signal or for selling loose, un-taxed cigarettes or for simply sleeping in their bed?

How did paying Walt Disney and Marvel Comics for the ‘pleasure’ of watching their distraction help you in any way? Did wearing your dashiki and African head wrap stop the police from pulling you over? Did wearing your dashiki and African head wrap stop your landlord from handing you an eviction notice because your neighborhood is about to be gentrified? Did the “Black Panther” swoop down and take you to “Wakanda Forever?” If you are reading this, Black man, woman, teenager(the few who can read), then the answer is “NO!”

Black History Month? Who needs it when we’ve got “Wakanda Forever!”

“Wakanda?” Forever!

“Thank you Walt Disney for supplying us with our REAL and TRUE History, THIS Black History Month! All hail Walt Disney!”

Soon, I’ll Be Worth Twenty Dollars!

Harriet Tubman and twenty dollar bill

I was never worth one dime;
not one dime when I was a slave.
But soon, I’ll be worth twenty dollars.
You gone pass that to me in my grave?

Oh this poor old slave woman,
done did her best through all dem years;
kept ignorant and was whipped and scarred,
and that twenty dollar bill is in arrears.

But they ain’t giving that to me.
And it would be too late anyway.
I’m dead and been laid to rest.
I got no more bills left to pay.

I’ll be behind and in front of slavers;
in wallets and purses everywhere.
And the one they claimed freed the slaves,
today? Hell, he’d be a millionaire!

But did he travel in the dead of night
to free people who shouldn’t have been here?
Would he have ever had the courage I had
to fly in the face of all I had to fear?

So, put me on the twenty dollar bill.
And I hear tell Jackson, he got my back.
That ole white man behind a slave woman;
if he knew, he’d have a heart attack!

But what this should really be about,
is that as slaves, we never got our due.
So America, keep your twenty dollar bill.
It’s as worthless as your treaties with the Sioux!

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2016 Shelby I. Courtland

I am not impressed! Harriet Tubman, in my opinion, would not be impressed either. The slaves are not free. And by merely placing her likeness on a twenty dollar bill, does nothing but add insult to injury. For all that Harriet Tubman did for slaves; guiding them to freedom, such as it was, I don’t think she would have stood still for having her likeness on currency backed by a government that still condones slavery to this day and who still honors slave owners by printing their likeness on the very same currency that will now depict a slave who tried to free other slaves from these very same slave owners.

America, if you want to honor people like Harriet Tubman, then do the right thing. Stop criminalizing and enslaving the very people that she was trying to free. Stop incarcerating those who Harriet Tubman would be trying to free today. Do you honestly think that Harriet Tubman would condone the mass incarceration and slave labor that is associated with it? Hell no! And you know this. This is no celebration. This is no victory. This is no recognition.

When you start dismantling the racist thug police force, when you stop criminalizing a permanent tan, when you stop sending our children from school straight into prison, when you stop gentrifying our neighborhoods, when you stop poisoning our water, when you stop turning back the clock on voting rights, when you stop systemic racism, mass Black unemployment and homelessness, then and only then will you finally start to pay homage to legends such as Harriet Tubman, but you won’t do that because that’s too much like right! And believe me, your twenty dollar ‘tribute’ to Harriet Tubman would not impress her! It is an insult if this is all that you WILL do!