“I’m Not A Gangsta Or A Thug!”


I remember waking up and I didn’t know where I was.
Somebody told me that I was shot, shot twice by the fuzz.

I had been walking down the street,
holding a bag of chips to eat.
I heard a popping sound, felt the burn in my side.
I fell to the ground with eyes open wide.

I heard him yelling in my ear, “Nigga, don’t you move!”
He shot me for no reason, I guess he was in the mood.
My mama, she is crying, she don’t know what to do.
Don’t let this happen again; they could do this shit to you.

I’m not a gangsta or a thug,
but they got off with just a shrug.
They say I’ll never walk again,
not in Massa’s slave pen.

So, go to Massa and wail and whine!
Beg that heartless, soulless swine
to stop filling us with lead
until we are maimed or dead!

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

Does this sound familiar? It should! This has happened times too numerous to count and since we just finished celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Day, let us take a moment and consider what accomplishments and strides we have made towards ending police brutality, racism, mass incarceration, income inequality, abject poverty, rampant unemployment, a school-to-prison pipeline, low economic achievement, gentrification, discrimination and segregation, not to mention voting rights. Are we good? Those protest signs that beg ole Massa to give us a goddamn break and get his boot off our necks are working, are they not? Heard of any police shootings of unarmed Black people lately? Heard of any strange hanging incidents in jail cells of young Black women who had everything to live for? Heard of any Black children getting shot while playing in a park? Heard of the gutting of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by the Supreme Court? Heard Obama say that he is mad as hell over the murder of little Black children by racist cops? HA! That’ll be the day!

So, how are we doing? We have come so far since the days of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and his merry band of protesters, have we not? You still printing signs? Why? We have come SO far! Surely there is no need for more protest signs. Surely. Yeah! Wake me when your signs and your walking shoes actually accomplish something. Until then, continue on as though it is not your blood that is flowing down every street in this shithole called, AmeriKKKa! Because if you were THAT concerned about all of the issues in the aforementioned paragraph, believe me, the last thing you’d be doing about them is marching with a dusty lame ass fifty-year old protest sign!

I Am Clothed By Melanin!


You tell me to strip and to hide my shame,
I try not to notice that you are standing there.
You point out my distinguishing marks.
I cannot look at you and so at the wall, I stare.

You make a note of the tattoo on my right shoulder.
And now, I am to squat, spread my cheeks and cough.
Stripped bare of my clothing and of my dignity.
the last vestiges of my humanity has been castoff.

I stand naked and bewildered in the new slave market,
and I wait for the punishment that I know is in store.
For Massa is an evil and twisted bastard without a heart.
To him, I have always been an animal and I can’t even the score.

Herded to the showers, how can I ever become clean again?
No hope of a reprieve for I am handed over to my enemy.
Where is my salvation and where is the white man’s god?
But I am no longer a man, a number is now my identity.

When will the laws of the white man be applied to him?
I look out and see a sea of faces with complexions like mine.
How is it that all of us are bad and hid away from society?
Why hate me because I am not like you, pink like swine?

Stare at my nakedness and still I am clothed by melanin.
Try and shame me if you will but your nakedness is a blight
Your paleness defies the same sun that blessed me with beauty.
I stand before you in all my naked glory even in the harshest light.

You cannot destroy me though you try and whip me into subjugation.
I am a trial to you because I will not bend and break from torture.
As cruel as you are, I am the one who must pay in isolation.
But you will not strip my people of our true and beautiful culture.

Live my people and flourish though I remain behind these bars.
Do not mingle with that which must destroy your freedom.
For only by destroying you will Massa feel he has power.
Never give in for one day, you shall rule your kingdom.

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2014 Shelby I. Courtland

My Heart To Heart!

black folks

Today, I am going to have a heart-to-heart talk with Black folks. Everybody else, this does not apply to you. So, you can move along. Now then, Black folks, have you taken a really good look around lately? Have you noticed what is happening to Black folks? We’re getting arrested in record numbers and we’re being fed to the prison industrial complex and that means that some real nasty shits are making a killing off of us. This is the modern day version of slavery and it ain’t going nowhere, not unless you learn what to do to mitigate your chances of being caught up in some real foul ass shit and since you can’t cite affluenza as a defense and I’ve already tried using povertenza and that didn’t get it done., well, now…you know the old saying, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!” Now pay close attention to what’s coming next.

If you find yourself driving down the street and the next thing you know, you hear sirens and you look in your rearview mirror and low and fucking behold, racists in uniform are gunning for you. Don’t panic. Here’s what I want you to do. Before you go anywhere, ask your great grandmother to go to the store for you. And here’s what she needs to pick up, the biggest package of Alka-Seltzer tablets that she can find and a small bottle of water. Next, ask her to pick you up some ice pops and finally, ask her to buy you a mini-recorder. Once you have these, keep them on your person at all times, even when walking and I’ll get to the reason why next.

Now that you’ve got what you need, if the police stop you, quickly insert 6 Alka-Seltzer tablets into your mouth followed quickly by the bottled water and open up an ice pop and no, don’t freeze them and only use the red ones. Quickly tear open the red ice pop and squirt it in and around your mouth. By now, the Alka-Seltzer tablets should have produced foam and with the red ice pop, you should be foaming pink shit from your mouth. When the officer comes up to your car window, he’ll see that you need immediate medical attention and he SHOULD call the paramedics. Now, remember to turn the mini-recorder on so that when the paramedics arrive, everything gets recorded.

Don’t say a word, just roll your eyes around and keep foaming at the mouth. Once they get you to the emergency room, the doctors are going to try and figure out what it is that made you foam pink at the mouth. But of course, by now, the racist ass cops will have gone through your vehicle and found the Alka-Seltzer tablets, the water and the ice pops. Don’t worry about that because at this point, just be very glad that you’re still alive. Before the racist ass cops arrive at the hospital, tell the doctors that you have ‘arresticitis’ and that this is an allergic reaction to being arrested for the serious condition of ‘Blackacitis’ of which there is no known cure because you can’t help having been born of Black parents. I know that this seems like a lot to go through and believe me, it is. But the alternative is a long stint inside a FOR profit prison on some bullshit ass charges of which whites don’t get the ridiculous sentences that you get for the same damn thing. If the racist ass cops find anything in your vehicle, at least you’ll get your day in court as opposed to an almost automatic death sentence on side the road. Remember, there have been reports of suicides of suspects while handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser. If they can get away with that shit, do you really think that doing what I suggest is any more wacked out than what they’re doing AND getting away with? Exactly! Do whatever you can to stay alive and at the same time, try NOT to get fed into the new version of slavery. You’ll never escape it because even if by chance you get out of prison, you can’t find a job. You will be denied housing and public benefits even though at some point in time, you paid taxes in this shithole called America.

Next, I need you to understand something Black folks. The white motherfuckers have figured out a way to get us hating on each other. When other Black people come to America as refugees, they are given homes and vehicles and an income and free health care. They are told that they should stay away from the Black folks who are born in America. These refugees are also told that Black people who are born in America ain’t no good. They do this to initiate hate and it is working. I’ve seen it myself. For instance, people from Somalia are brought here as refugees and they are given carte blanche in many cases and here in my state, I have to drive a lot and there are so many Somalis driving while Black people who were born here are standing on the corners waiting on buses. There are so many Black people who were born here and who are homeless while the Somalis are living in townhouses paid for by your tax dollars. They don’t pay any taxes for at least six years after they first come to America. To be fair, this does not just apply to them but to other people who immigrate here as well. The Somalis do not interact with the natural born Black citizens of America. They form their own organizations and they have their own communities. This goes back to the ‘divide and conquer strategy’ which is so simple but yet, so effective.

Another thing I want you to think about Black folks is that we have a tremendous amount of purchasing power and yet what do we do with it? Do we buy up real estate and open up laundromats or dollar stores or convenience stores? No! We go out and buy up FUBU and NIKE and Louis Vuitton and Coach bags and Carharrt jackets and so forth and so on. We just love to hand our hard earned dollars over to the rich whites or the Chinese or the Koreans or those people from India because how many soul food restaurants are in your neighborhoods? How many Chinese takeout’s? You go to the Koreans to get your nails done. You hand money over like it ain’t no tomorrow to those people from India who come over to America and promptly open up convenience stores in your neighborhood. When was the last time you opened up the door to a shop or a neighborhood takeout place and Black folks was standing there waiting to take your order, cook it and ring it up? Those people that are taking your money hate you, but they want your money. When was the last time you opened your door and found a Korean living next door to you? Exactly! How about a Chinese person? Jewish? You fucking feeling me? Yeah, that’s some shit that’s on us because we are feeding these motherfuckers our hard earned money and they are laughing all the way to the bank and to their gated communities that are far away from the stores that they open up in OUR communities. Think on that shit for a while. Let it marinate.

Finally, Black people when are you going to start thinking for yourselves? When are you going to stop believing everything you hear and see on some fucking ‘reality’ show? When are you going to understand that you should know how to read and not just fumble some almost incoherent text shit? Pick up a book! Go to a library. It’s free and you educate yourself at the same time. Learn to do your own thinking. It’s not all about hair and nails and booty calls and fashion shit! What is that getting you? Not a goddamn thing worthwhile. Use your purchasing power to enrich each other and not some shits that hate the very sight of you but who will fawn all over you while you’re getting your nails done and then spit after the door closes on you.

….and to my readers who think that I am pro-gay, I am SO not! Yes, I wrote a poem about Michael Sam who got drafted by the Saint Louis Rams in the NFL and I wrote that because Black folks need to see what is happening to Black men and either get disgusted by it and do something or just continue to get assimilated. Yes, I believe in live and let live but even I have my stopping point and the picture that I posted with my blog post, disgusted me because I’ve said many, many times before that the Black male is deliberately being emasculated. But it’s falling on deaf ears see?, and so shock therapy is the next step. Will it work? We’ll fucking find out! But know this shit! Massa ain’t fucking fooling me! And I ain’t fucking buying what Massa is selling! And neither should you! Black folks, wake the hell up! The goddamn coffee has been perking to wake your ass up and you ain’t fucking smelling it! You better hope that it ain’t too goddamn late IF and or WHEN you do wake the hell up!! Massa is making it more and more difficult for you to live and if you don’t wise up, your ass is gonna be toast, one way or the other. Make no mistake on that! Massa ain’t hardly playing with us Black folks! From MY HEART straight to my PEOPLE!!! Wise the fuck up!!

At Least Sterling’s Slaves Get Bank!

shocked about racism

And you thought racism was dead?
Who dropped you on your head?

At least Sterling’s slaves get bank.
Just what the fuck’s your rank?

And you call yourself, “a pro!”
You ain’t nothing but a ho!

You sell yourself each day,
as you watch your soul decay.

In the ring, you’re knocked about,
’cause there ain’t no other way out.

You’re like Muhammad Ali.
who got stung by Massa’s bee.

You’re just a puppet on Massa’s string
who will bend and kiss his ring.

He made you president,
another White House resident.

You think that slavery’s gone?
You’re still ole Massa’s pawn.

He shoves us back and forth.
It’s the same if you head north.

You can’t escape the bonds of hate.
Massa’s got such tempting bait.

Massa owns just everything.
You can’t fly with a broken wing.

Massa can cut you down to size.
If you lose, you get no prize.

That’s the way it’s always been
Massa just looks on with a grin.

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2014 Shelby I. Courtland

78 percent
According to racial equality activist Richard Lapchick, the NBA in 2011 was composed of 78 percent black players, 17 percent whites, four percent Latinos, and one percent Asian. The league had by far the highest percentage of black players of any major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada.

Race and ethnicity in the NBA – Wikipedia, the free …



The possibility of boycotting Game 4 of their first-round series against the Warriors was raised but quickly dismissed.


Yeah, like the Clippers was going to boycott. They know the fucking deal and ain’t no boycott gonna pay the goddamn bills. And people seriously don’t think that the Clippers players don’t know that Donald Sterling is a goddamn racist? Seriously? For real???!!!

People are just SO shocked that Sterling could be a GASP!, racist. OMG, so shocking! Who the fuck is still asleep in this day and age? Fucking racism ain’t gone no goddamn where! It’s fucking everywhere. Hell! I can’t even pick up a book without reading some racist shit. I can’t go on the job without hearing some racist shit. I can’t go shopping without being followed around the goddamn store all over some racist shit. I can’t drive home without being tailed by racist ass cops. I can’t walk down the goddamn street wearing a hoodie without getting shot by some racist ass shit. I can’t fucking buy a house without hearing about “mud people and ghetto loans” from Wells Fargo racist shits. I can’t fucking do a goddamn thing without some racist shit all up in my face. Who the fuck thought racism was dead? Get the fuck outta here! If you ain’t dead, racism ain’t fucking dead! We deal with this shit day in and day out! So fucking shove that “SHOCKED!” shit ’cause you know racism ain’t dead, pretending ass ‘shocked’ motherfuckers!!!

The Dreamers

1963 march on washington

In a little over a week from today, government offices will close in honor of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and his “I Have A Dream” speech will be played and his image will be displayed on television screens and all across the internet and we will once again, put on a pedestal this man who had a dream, a dream that was shared by millions who stood, marched, protested and died because ALL people should have equal rights under the law. And so, here we go again, another year of “I Have A Dream!” Another year of living a nightmare, nowhere near to a dream. So many sacrificed themselves and for what? Take a look around and again, I ask..for what?

And so, here’s to the ‘dreamers’….

He had a dream and like most dreams, they fade with the rising sun.
There were many who dreamed with him and they are but whispers in the wind.
Those who are left to carry on buried their torch and sold their legacy.
Their sacrifices were in vain as the book of dreams closed when they died.
Today, it pays to be a sell-out and not a dreamer, nor a sacrificial lamb.
The so-called Black leaders of today, crawl like dogs and beg at Massa’s table.
They don’t stand tall with the bearing of kings; today, they are weak.
Black men of today lack the qualities found in leaders; they’re not leaders, they are followers.
Their women are treated with contempt and disrespect and even hatred.
They’ve turned their backs on their little children and shunned them one and all.
From their mouths, they spew forth the foulness of the gutter.
They hate themselves and this does show when their pants sag to their ankles.
What education they received was from a prison in every United State.
Their money is from drug sells, bought and packaged by their government.
They are sold up and down plantation row and the bars are made of steel.
When they are put out on the streets, they are taught to rob and steal.
If they’re not caught up in the new slavery, they are rotting in a box.
Is this the dream that was dreamt so many years ago?
Did a sacrificial lamb envision this hell on earth that is without end?
What are ‘Al Sharp’con’ and ‘Jesse Jack’con’ doing about this nightmare that is no dream?
They are the dogs that crawl to corporations with hat in hand to pave their way to gold.
I hear tell of a Black man in the manse; it is the greatest lie that was ever told.
Yes, a man did have a dream as did so many, many others but his dream and theirs is but a whisper in the wind.
…and the flames of hatred, racism, injustice, brutality, slavery and barbarism light up the dreamer’s night.
There are no dreamers today, only schemers and liars and hypocrites and dogs who crawl to Massa!
Goodnight and sweet dreams Dr. King and to all the others who stood tall; Malcolm X, Fannie Lou Hamer, Bayard Rustin*, and A. Philip Randolph and to so many, many others as your dreams died with you and only hate and greed is our reality.

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2014 Shelby I. Courtland
* http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/bayard-rustin-organizer-of-the-march-on-washington-was-crucial-to-the-movement/2011/08/17/gIQA0oZ7UJ_story.html

Black men in America, I dare you to go to the above link and take a look at how ‘MEN’ dressed. They are not unkempt and disheveled, pants down around their ankles, can hardly walk properly. If your ass was down around your ankles, then your pants would be made that way. Show some self-respect and get some dignity, even if you have to borrow some.

…and Black women, you don’t get off that easy. These ‘men’ are your sons and this is what you teach them? To go out in public with some jailhouse look about them? Where is their father? There was a time when Black women had more respect for themselves, for their bodies. What is wrong with you? And then some of us have the temerity to wonder why Black men fall right in with Massa’s plans for them. When they have no one in the home to look up to, who do you think they will emulate? Why do you think gangs and violence and drugs are prevalent in Black communities all across this country? Yes, I know there is poverty, but there was poverty back in the ’60s and yet, our grandmothers never dressed the way you do, they didn’t open their legs to every man who blinked at them. We’ve come a long way and we’ve come the wrong way. Take some of the responsibility for what you produce. A culture of Black men who impregnate women and then move on without a backward glance, on to the next. A perpetuating cycle that is destructive and we see the effects every single day. And then you will have the audacity to point to a picture of those who struggled during the Civil Rights Movement and exclaim over what they tried to accomplish and you will take pride in it. For what? Because there is nothing to be proud of today, that is for certain. With the majority of your sons behind the steel bars of slavery or out in the streets selling drugs, pimping and killing and making babies that may or may not even live to grow up and turn out to be just like some ‘daddy’ they won’t even know. Yes, we’ve come the ‘wrong’ way!

Another dreamer…..