Black History– poems about the body and freedom. This one is by Weldon J. Irvine.

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Black History– poems about the body and freedom. This one is by Weldon J. Irvine.

Young, gifted, and black
Oh what a lovely precious dream.
To be young, gifted, and black
Open your heart to what I mean.
In the whole world you know
There’s a million boys and girls
Who are young, gifted, and black
And that’s a fact!

You are young, gifted, and black
We must begin to tell our young,
“There’s a world waiting for you.
Yours is the quest that’s just begun.
When you’re feeling real low
There’s a great truth that you should know
When you’re young, gifted, and black
Your soul’s intact!”

Ah to be young, gifted, and black
Oh how I’ve longed to know the truth.
There are times when I look back
And I am haunted by my youth.
But my joy of today
Is that we can all be proud to say,
“To be young, gifted, and black
Is where it’s at! Is where it’s at! Is where it’s at!”

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3OIfuVpocU&feature=kp

Nina Simone’s rendition.

 

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Black* Transwoman to Black Cis/Transman: An Open Letter/Poem for Trayvon and the Rest of Us

07/14/13

By KOKUMO

ATTENTION WORLD:

I, LOVE, BLACK* MEN.

From the drug dealers, heart surgeons, stuck at rock bottom, ten years sober, servin’ a dime to life, ex-con turned youth-minister, trans*, gay, D.L., paraplegic, Olympic gold-medal winnin’, current U.S. presidency presidin’, illiterate, artistic, broke as a joke, ballin’, dark-skindid, light-skindid, country-bama, Brooklyn-bred, OG, GD, Rasta bombaclot, to the European transplant and etc.

And no matter how many Jim Crow laws you revise, nothin’ can change that. I grew up with black* men. I’ve fought with black* men. And black* men have fought, for me. Hell, I was supposed to be, a black*, man. I’ve been insulted by black* men. I’ve been consoled by black* men. I’ve been schooled, had my socks knocked off, and mind blown by black* men. I’ve loved black* men, and had the privilege of having them love me back.

Therefore I KNOW BETTER. Black* men are human. They come complete with contributions as well as flaws. And black* men have a seemingly generational immortal dream to live. Therefore I KNOW BETTER than to believe you when say they deserve to die. Therefore I KNOW BETTER than to believe your propaganda. Therefore, I won’t.

ATTENTION BLACK MEN:

Black* transwoman to black* cis/trans* man. I revere and respect you for living brave in a world that hunts you with hypocritical indignation. I thank you for living in the body I couldn’t and doing it with such swag, intellect, and a vengeance.

As a black* transwoman I want you to know that I never abandoned you or took the easy way out. A war was waged on black* bodies the moment the first slave touched Virginian soil in the 1600′s. So I transitioned from “male” to “female” because I just needed to be in more comfortable battle fatigues.

ATTENTION BLACK* COMMUNITIES:

Trayvon Martin was my little brother, Emmitt Till, my North Carolina sharecropper forefathers, and me before I transitioned. Young, black*, male-bodied, and trying to figure out why my body owes the world an apology. Black* communities across the world, please hear me. Before I knew what trans* meant, I knew how black* felt. Non-LGBT black* people I beg of you. Discard your fear and join forces with your LGBT black* siblings. Because everyday we lose more and more of our sons. Ase.

All work published on BGD is the intellectual property of its writers. Please do not republish anything from this site without express written permission from BGD. Yes, linking to this post on Facebook and Twitter or elsewhere is okay.

KOKUMỌ is an African-American transgender woman and product of Chicago’s South Side. To KOKUMỌ surviving is passé. Therefore, she believes in sanctioning artistic, political, and actual space for other Trans, Gender Non-Conforming, and Intersex (TGI) people of color to thrive in. In accordance to this belief and her name, she created KOKUMỌMEDIA. KOKUMỌMEDIA uses film, music, and literature to create and generate realistic depictions of TGI people of color.

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