Childhood…if you’re Black, Nikki Giovanni #poem #BlackLivesMatter

Nikki-Rosa by Nikki Giovanni

childhood remembrances are always a drag
if you’re Black
you always remember things like living in Woodlawn  
with no inside toilet
and if you become famous or something
they never talk about how happy you were to have
your mother
all to yourself and
how good the water felt when you got your bath
from one of those
big tubs that folk in chicago barbecue in
and somehow when you talk about home
it never gets across how much you
understood their feelings
as the whole family attended meetings about Hollydale
and even though you remember
your biographers never understand
your father’s pain as he sells his stock
and another dream goes
And though you’re poor it isn’t poverty that
concerns you
and though they fought a lot
it isn’t your father’s drinking that makes any difference
but only that everybody is together and you
and your sister have happy birthdays and very good
Christmases
and I really hope no white person ever has cause
to write about me
because they never understand
Black love is Black wealth and they’ll
probably talk about my hard childhood
and never understand that
all the while I was quite happy

Black History Month. From Arnold Rampersad, the Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.

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Love the Ostrich, African stories #BlackHistoryMonth #poem

Right from another website, only because a link might stop you from seeing why you should click on this awesomeness!!!

See below for more information on this awesome website, Brainpickings and how you can support it!!!

“The Ostrich and the Wizard, written by Kariuki Gakuo and illustrated by Sironka Averdung and John Okello, tells the prehistoric tale of young Earth and creatures first began to populate it.

The Ostrich, unsure of whether she was a bird or an animal, struggles with her quest for identity — heartened by laying a large white egg, she decides she’s a bird; but when the other birds realize she can’t fly, they ostracize her with scorn.

She runs and runs, unable to find where she belongs.

The ostrich ran faster and faster and the cloud of dust whirled thicker and thicker. The giant eyes of the crocodile were red and swollen with the dust, while the salty tears of the elephants and hippos formed great pools around their feet. In the hot sun the pools of tears dried up and formed deep salt licks.

But the ostrich did not stop running. Faster and faster she ran while behind her the cloud of dust whirled thicker and thicker.

Gorgeously illustrated and beautifully written, like all the stories and poems in the collection, it’s an allegory about the essence of home and belonging.

Complement Beneath the Rainbow with The Night Life of Trees and Waterlife — two equally wonderful children’s stories from another part of the world, based on traditional Indian mythology.”

From the researcher and writer: 

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If you find any joy and value in what I do, please consider becoming a Member and supporting with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner”:

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Ted Joans sings out in love and gladness: “I SEE BLACK PEOPLE/I HEAR BLACK PEOPLE/I SMELL BLACK PEOPLE/I TASTE BLACK PEOPLE/I TOUCH BLACK PEOPLE” #ValentinesDay #BlackLivesMatter

What a talented person… Painter, trumpeter and jazz poet…And revolutionary…

…and repatriate to Timbuktu and later moved to Canada where he died poor “was surviving by reading poetry and selling his personal papers to libraries. He had just completed his “Collaged Autobiography,” a remarkable memoir waiting for the right publisher.” See below for the link on this information.

Andandand short before he died he said:

“So in my rather sorrowful impecunious state, I find myself filled to the beautiful brim with love and with this shared love I continue to live my poem-life.”

Black People by Ted Joans:

I SEE BLACK PEOPLE
I HEAR BLACK PEOPLE
I SMELL BLACK PEOPLE
I TASTE BLACK PEOPLE
I TOUCH BLACK PEOPLE
BLACK PEOPLE IS MY MOMMA
BLACK PEOPLE IS MY DAD
BLACK PEOPLE IS    MY SISTER,BROTHER,UNCLE,AUNT,
.      AND COUSINS
BLACK PEOPLE IS   ALL WE    BLACK PEOPLE    EVER HAD
NOW THAT WE THE BLACK PEOPLE KNOW THAT
WE THE BLACK PEOPLE SHOULD BE GLAD

 

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.

Hold on onto life. Love. “For Black Poets Who Think of Suicide” Etheridge Knight #ValentinesDay #BlackLivesMatter

For Black Poets
Who Think of Suicide

Black Poets should live — not leap
From steel bridges (Like the white boys do.
Black poets should live — not lay
Their necks on railroad tracks (like the white boys do.
Black Poets should seek — but not search too much
In sweet dark caves, not hunt for snipe
Down psychic trails (like the white boys do.

For Black Poets belong to Black People. Are
The Flutes of Black Lovers. Are
The Organs of Black Sorrows. Are
The Trumpets of Black Warriors.
Let All Black Poets die as trumpets,
And be buried in the dust of marching feet.

Etheridge Knight

.

From: The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.
NEW and USED: Abebooks.com The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry
NEW at independent bookstores: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780195125634

“The sharing of joy… forms a bridge..which can be the basis for understanding.” Love joy :) Audre Lorde #ValentinesDay #BlackLivesMatter

The sharing of joy, whether
physical, emotional,
psychic, or intellectual, forms
a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for
understanding much of what is not shared between
them, and lessens the threat of their difference.

.                                   —

to that piece in each of us that refuses to be silent.

.                                   —

The oppression of women knows no ethnic nor racial boundaries, true, but that does not mean it is identical within those boundaries.

.                                   —

You loved people and you came to depend on their being there. but people
died or changed or went away and it hurt too much. The
only way to avoid that pain was not to love
anyone, and
not to let anyone get too close or too important.

The secret of not being hurt like this again,
I decided,
was never depending on anyone,
never needing, never loving.

It is the last dream of children, to be forever untouched.

Audre Lorde

Love your peoples. “We’re an Africanpeople/hard-softness burning black” by Don L. Lee #BlackLivesMatter #BlackHistoryMonth #ValentinesDay

From: African Poems

We’re an Africanpeople
hard-softness burning black
the earth’s magic colour our veins.
an Africanpeople are we,
burning softly, softer.
Haki Madhubuti (Don L. Lee)

My Black Me

More about Don Lee you can read here!

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.

“His work is characterized both by anger at
social and economic injustice and by
rejoicing in African-American culture.

His first six volumes of poetry were published in the 1960s. The verse collection Don’t Cry, Scream (1969) includes an introduction by poet Gwendolyn Brooks. Lee’s poetry readings were extremely popular during this time.”

“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.”