Black History Month Poery
Sunday, February 17, 2008
The Savoy

The aroma of burning dippity doo filled the air
As my aunties squabbled and giggled over what to wear
Time was passing quickly and they didn't want to missed his speech
Mr. X was at the Savoy preparing for the “Preach”
Time slipped and slipped on by
As the hands on the clock ticked and ticked on by
They were going to miss Malcolm's speech
Then the urgency became the dance after the preach
How they were going to Slop and mashed potato across the floor
Laughter and giddiness echoed throughout the project's floor.

An eerie silence fell upon Harlemland
Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop
Sounds of gunfire filled the air
Telephones ringing, people screaming
Telephones ringing and people screaming
Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop
Mother screamed, “Get under the bed, get under the bed.”
Someone's just shot Malcolm dead
Village mothers crying and screaming in grief
While village fathers looked for Muslims to kill in the streets
What seemed like an eternity, fetal position under the bed
Shivering from fear, the whites of my eyes stained red

Tightly holding Auntie’s trembling hand
Your lifeless body laid there no more in Harlemland
We were hoodwinked, led astray, bamboozled and misled
Mother's cry will forever echo,
“Get under the bed, get under the bed
Someone's just shot Malcolm dead.”
                           
That year when Malcolm died
I began my journey worldwide
On a Pan Am flight to London
Is actually where my journey begun
Born in an English county called Margate
Mother was rushed to the hospital with no time to wait
The first Negroid baby born at the first break of light
Passed around from nurse to nurse, their first Chocolate Delight
The second of two daughters born in this country overseas
Now ten years later it's my home, Harlemland we must flee
The bounties were out to kill, kill, kill
The blood of our outspoken heroes would be spilled
The locomotive whistled its way through the English country sides
The A train up in Harlem was never like this ride
This wasn't a vacation, I was beginning to see
Sis and I were living at this school, Ma was leaving me
Don't leave me here, please don't leave
Tears streaming down my face
How could she leave, leave me in this place?
No more Harlemland I would see
As I waved good bye I waved good bye to
Double Dutch, red rover red rover send Sissy right over
Red light, green light, one, two, three... Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack
With silver buttons all down her back, back, back
I waved good bye to hop scotch, relay races on the big swings,
dodge ball, kick ball, penny candy, and Bazooka gum
A sailor went to sea, sea, sea
To see what he could see, see, see

Now a young revolutionary was brewing in me, me me.


Che' Davis
Atlanta, GA
Copyright February 21, 1965

Just for You

My ebony queens, your beauty beams, through earth and heaven too;
Your strength and grace, with splendor laced, I write this just for you.

So many shades, be it be dark, be it the bronze or light;
Be it the brown, or maybe red, always, a lovely sight.

Even your frame, it may be thick; or maybe, it is small;
Yet known throughout the world to be the envy of them all

You’ve been all roles, you’ve stood alone, you’ve been subjective too;
stood by your man, when times were hard, so this is just for you.

We need you here, you add so much to life and all it’s flavor,
So many talents, so diversified, we owe you so much favor

So now my sisters stand applauded, respect and praise is due;
For your great beauty, strength and love, this is just for you.

Nkansa Lanois Casterlow
Atlanta, GA
 

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