#BlackHistoryMonth I asked a young Blood poet if my stuff was correct by Hoagland

Puttin’ on the Dog

for “Corner Girl”
By Everett Hoagland

Is my shit correct?
Is my vine correct?
Are my kicks country or correct?
Is my “do” down?Is my shit correct?Is my rusty black diction correct?
Should my ever more erudite
utterances be in “The Vernacular?”
Should my presentation be
theatrical and spectacular?

Is my shit correct?

Should my manner be mannered
and laid back?
Is my poetry Posey?
Does it go to too far into haute couture
noire?
Does it come from hard facts
and Fanon,
or does it refer repeatedly
to The Canon trippin’
in Trickster Mode, tryin’
to Trope-A-Dope????

Is my shit correct?

But, hey, black poetry’s got more
than one good way.
The other day I asked a young Blood
poet if my stuff was correct, if it was
happenin’.
He said, Breaklight becomes dawn,
Ol’ Head.  The word “happenin”
ain’t happenin’, ain’t “where it’s at.”
Today it’s on. Word!
Our work is all that.

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“if i cud ever write a/poem as beautiful as u/little 2/yr/old/brotha…” Sonia Sanchez #ValentinesDay #BlackHistoryMonth

To P.J. (2 yrs old who sed write
a poem for me in Portland, Oregon)

if i cud ever write a
poem as beautiful as u
little 2/yr/old/brotha,
I wud laugh, jump, leap
up and touch the stars
cuz u be the poem i try for
each time i pick up a pen and paper.
u. and Morani and Mung
be our blue/blk/stars that
will shine on our lives and
makes us finally BE.
if i cud ever write a poem as beautiful
as u, little 2/yr/old/brotha,
poetry wud go out of bizness.

Sonia Sanchez

 

From: My Black Me: A Beginning Book of Black Poetry (A Puffin Poetry Book)
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com My Black Me: A Beginning Book of Black Poetry 
NEW at independent bookstores NEAR you: My Black Me

“The night is beautiful So the faces of my people.” Langston Hughes #ValentinesDay #BlackHistory

When you have to learn to love yourself and parts of yourself that others are afraid of. When they choose only to see the scary in the night, and don’t connect you with owls and the moon and the dark grays, blues, purples of the night. When they don’t think of the sounds of grass and the cats in the dark.

When you have to learn to see the beauty where powerful others don’t even *notice* that beauty in you. Because they don’t look at you, or can’t even imagine you can be beautiful like they are. Or because they are afraid of one thing about you and they don’t see all the other sides to you that are like theirs, that *can* be beautiful.

When you have to point to the biggest, brightest light and tell people to see you just like that. When you have to point out the kindness, love, strength, weakness, endurance, impatience, fun, heat and love of your soul.

“My People”

The night is beautiful
So the faces of my people

The stars are beautiful
So the eyes of my people

Beautiful, also, is the sun.
Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people.

Langston Hughes

 

My Black Me: A Beginning Book of Black Poetry (A Puffin Poetry Book)
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com My Black Me: A Beginning Book of Black Poetry 
NEW at independent bookstores NEAR you: My Black Me

Established in 1970, Glad Day Bookshop is the world’s oldest LGBTQ bookstore and Toronto’s oldest surviving bookstore. In 2012, a group of 23 community members pooled their funds and bought Glad Day Bookshop to save it from closing.

“Our best strategy for survival is adding new revenues streams like food and drink – which means a larger space.
We’ve picked out a great spot on Church Street that would allow us to be a bookstore & coffee shop during the day and a bar at night.
It is wheelchair accessible, with an accessible washroom.

It has a cute patio, a small space for performances and walls for art.

We will be a space where everyone feels welcome, sexy and celebrated.

We will be a queer-owned, indie place on Church Street. We will amplify the love, creativity, sexuality, diversity & liberation that Glad Day Bookshop is known for.”

“Been a train crash… An black man didn drive? No. Black man didn drive”.

James Berry (OBE, 1924-) From Jamaica to the UK!

Two Black Labourers on a London Building Site

Been a train crash.
.   Wha?
Yeh — tube crash.
.   Who the driver?
Not a black man.
.   Not a black man?
I check that firs.
.   Thank Almighty God.
Bout thirty people dead.
.   Thirty people dead?
Looks maybe more.
.   Maybe more?
Maybe more.
.   An black man didn drive?
No. Black man didn drive.
.

.

A Story I am in: Selected Poems by James Berry:
NEW and USED: http://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=12538913206

From: London a History in Verse, ed by Mark Ford.
NEW: http://www.localbookshops.co.uk
USED: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=9186279941

From Wiki with thanks:

Selected publications

  • Bluefoot Traveller: An Anthology of Westindian Poets in Britain (editor), London: Limestone Publications, 1976; revised edition Bluefoot Traveller: Poetry by West Indians in Britain, London: Harrap, 1981
  • Fractured Circles (poetry), London: New Beacon Books, 1979
  • Lucy’s Letters and Loving, London: New Beacon Books, (1982)
  • News for Babylon: The Chatto Book of Westindian-British Poetry (editor), London: Chatto & Windus, 1984
  • Chain of DaysOxford University Press, 1985
  • A Thief in the Village and other stories (for children), London: Hamish Hamilton, 1987
  • The Girls and Yanga Marshall: four stories (for children), London: Longman, 1987
  • Anancy-Spiderman: 20 Caribbean Folk Tales (for children), illustrated by Joseph Olubo, London: Walker, 1988
  • When I Dance (for children), Hamish Hamilton, 1988
  • Isn’t My Name Magical? (for children), Longman/BBC, 1990
  • The Future-Telling Lady and other stories (for children), London: Hamish Hamilton, 1991
  • Ajeemah and his Son (for children), USA: HarperCollins, 1992
  • Celebration Song (for children), London: Hamish Hamilton, 1994
  • Classic Poems to Read Aloud (editor), London: Kingfisher, 1995
  • Hot Earth Cold EarthBloodaxe Books, 1995
  • Playing a Dazzler (for children), London: Hamish Hamilton, 1996
  • Don’t Leave an Elephant to Go and Chase a Bird (for children), USA: Simon & Schuster, 1996
  • Everywhere Faces Everywhere (for children), Simon and Schuster, 1997
  • First Palm Trees (for children), illustrated by Greg Couch, Simon & Schuster, 1997
  • Around the World in 80 Poems (editor – for children), London: Macmillan, 2001
  • A Nest full of Stars (for children), London: Macmillan, 2002
  • Only One of Me (selected poems – for children), London: Macmillan, 2004
  • James Berry Reading from his poems for children, CD, The Poetry Archive, 2005
  • Windrush SongsBloodaxe Books, 2007
  • A Story I Am In: Selected Poems, Bloodaxe Books, 2011

Awards