Tag Archives: poetry

A Poem: Souls of Black Folk by Brian Thomas

A little background. I wrote this poem for a class my sophomore year. I was having a very race conscious semester, taking the following classes: 20th Century Black Poetry,
Capitalism and Slavery, and Interracial Interactions and Inter-group Dynamics. Needless to say I took in a lot of information and my last class, a poetry writing class, gave me a venue to express my thoughts. Hope you enjoy.
Souls of Black Folk
by Brian Thomas
Soul black
And blue like denim,
Heart hard
Blood diamond ring.
Life for me lacks Sympathy, I know why
Caged bird sings. I
Child of century 21st, am product of degradation,
Son of segregation.
No floor
Board supports my education
So mind lacks walls and structure
Lips stutter from hesitation.
Coach-class citizen in dire need
Of salvation
From this prison, I’ve been trapped,
Since moment of conception,
Cell of color.
Veil descended,
I lack stage direction.
There is no guide. No voice that calls,
“Follow drinking gourd.”
No tracks to freedom
For I,
The ticket, cannot afford. They robbed me
Of inheritance,
Took claim of legacy.
Ripped from robes, left in rags,
No trace of history. Erased,
Replaced with self-flattering fabrication
Speak of white man’s burden.
Ego stroke, a master-bation. But my mind,
It works,
Though it can’t understand
Why I’ve lost so much
Because the back of my hand
Does not match the shade
Of skin on my palm.
And there in lies my sadness
They say I don’t belong.

Inspired to Reflect: Poetry Edition

Lately, I’ve come across some interesting and inspiring poetic pieces. These pieces have forced me to reflect upon the language that I use/hear on a daily basis. For instance, I unapologetically listen to rap music. I even nod my head frantically to the lyrics of Waka Flocka on a daily basis (Im a big Waka Flocka Fan. I have every mixtape on my computer). Moving on, I’m aware of negative messages in various songs, but I’m not the one to critically assess the consequences of such language in music or television or movies, on a consistent basis. If I actually do, I’m not exactly sure what the take away message is for myself. I’m not into the business of critically engaging/reviewing various art-forms because it would require me to criticize individuals for their work. This is problematic for because I do not value individuals as representatives for entire groups. However, I do realize that popular images often feed into stereotypes and stereotypes often become descriptive pieces for individuals and groups, whether they be positive or negative. So while individuals may not sign up to be role models, it comes with the territory.

Thats why after listening to the Jasmine Man piece, I decided that maybe its time for me to reflect on how language operates in my life. What do you guys think? Are there any books, articles, videos, etc that have really forced you to reflect on something like language or music in your life? (Note, this is not the first time I’ve had to do some major reflecting. I often reflect while listening to Waka Flocka and reading for my classes. Today, these videos were a different venue that I really enjoyed. )

There are certainly more out there, but here are some of my favorites. Enjoy!

Kai Davis: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=warcfh9JBmA

Jasmine Man: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fm1IieQUmWU&feature=related

Joshua Bennett: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gU7ItOxr9g&feature=related

Sonya Renee: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrbUTI95o3U&feature=related