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Black History Month Poems

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February is Black History Month–Celebrate!

EMMETT TILL

 

What tune played upon his heart?

This child; was frightened, crying, distraught?

As cowardly brutes took their pleasure

Of hatred against this onyx treasure.

 

Deadly still the Tallahatchie

Grey and murky and knowledge that she

Swallowed this child for no good reason

A boyish stare; social treason!

 

Said it was a whistle from the mouth of this child

That opened a door for tyrants gone wild

To gutlessly hunt him like an animal

Settling the score for his lily white admiral.

 

Sadder still, a government who turned its’ head

Away from the sin wrought in its bed

Rape, blood, murder, and lies

United in a state of hungry flies.

 

BJBuchanan

 2007

etill

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A Vassal’s Dirge

 

If you listen, you will hear the song

Of ages; timeless dirges that hung

 

Heavy on the bare backs of prisoners of hatred

In a place where freedom for some, was sacred

 

Where chain gangs, clanging, and singing

Wind chimes and lemonade dreams, clinging

 

To dry tongues of black men and boys’ digressing

Humming Negro spirituals in the sun of oppression

 

If you listen, you will hear their song—of grief

Home sick fathers laying a mental wreath

 

Upon graves of babies and mammas who died alone

Hungry and cold. Nobody to help, ‘cause daddies gone

 

Dragged away in the dimness of night, no warning

Just the firing of a gun and covered heads mourning

 

The loss of Southern lands and hands—field hands—now foes

Hovering, waiting, darting eyes through peepholes

 

Come to kill my spirit, torture my seed

And beat my body ‘till it bleed’

 

If you listen, you will hear the songs

Of angelic women and praying tongues

 

Of love and hate

And unfortunate fate

 

Of strength and courage

And a people’s heritage

 

Born of a longing to be free

Who suffered and died for you and me.

 

 

 

 

~Rev. BJ Buchanan

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