Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Poem My Comrades Told Me Not To Read

Because It Ain’t Nothing Nice

Negro black block

Negro black block

Negro black block


Black man

Block man

Will you hide the truth while you know?

Will you hide the truth while you know?

Negro black block

Negro black block

Forty years of lies omissions revisions

But truth shall prevail

Negro black block

Black man/ block man

Sun Ra taught

Watch out for block man and woman

They will block at every turn

Stand at the crossroads with hat in hand

Blocking for the master

Sucking ass for the master

Negro black block

Will you hide the truth while you know

Even half truths are no better than lies

Where are the warriors who fought

Where are the warrior women

Can they not teach

Are they handicapped

After forty years

Where are the freedom schools

Liberation universities

Radical institutions of blackness

We shed blood for

Went to jail for

Cried in the night for

Hid in safe houses for

Went into exile for

Where are the radical teachers

Who teach out the box of white supremacy

Who defy academic insanity to cross the line beyond reaction and submission

Negro black block

How did the mission of blackness get aborted

How did Hirum remain in the shallow grave

After we dug him out

You gave him just enough water to quench his thirst

But where is the fire of his elders

Where is the torch of freedom

Why is fear over the land

Fear rides in the minds

Negro black block

Negro black block

Will you hide the truth while you know

Will you hide the truth while you know

Let the water flow

Let truth be told

Let the elders speak truth to power

Yes, black scholars can be revolutionary

Is is difficult, Baraka asks

Is it difficult to stand on two feet

In the tradition of those who stood before

Who suffered and bled

Who fought and cried in the night

Let the new soldiers step to the front of the line

Let them stand on shoulders strong and stiff from battles long ago

Yet still on the battlefield in the fourth quarter of our lives

For we shall never give up

Tradition compels us to speak and act even in old age

We fight with truth the mighty weapon

We shall tell our story the way it happened

Not the way “they” want it to be

Whoever the fuck “they” is

This is the way it happened

This is why it happened

Up from negroe to black

To teach the masses simple things

To read ancestor tales to soothe our minds

To prepare for battle

Not fairy tales and nursery rhymes

For sleepy time tea nigguhs

We wrote ghetto tales of black fire

Who put the fire out

Who killed the flame

Who made the children passive and punkish

Full of fear and weakness

Only enough will to kill each other

Who killed the truth

Where is the black arts message

Hidden forty years

messengers forbidden to speak

one or two allowed to utter a word

Black Arts wasn’t one or two poets

It was thousands coast to coast

East coast west coast Midwest dirty south

Black arts was black liberation

Not a poetry slam but a slam in the face of capitalism

Black arts was revolution in the land

Black students black arts black liberation

Black students black arts black liberation

Black studies

Radical studies on the street

In the barber shop

In the club

Teach the truth

No watered down bullshit

No miller lite poppycock

Black studies is low down dirty truth

It will get you fired

It will get you killed

It will make your wife leave in the night

Yo husband will run out the door screaming

This is black studies

Stop the music in the club and teach

Stop the music at the party and teach

Tell the truth to dispel lies

Tell the truth to wake up the dead

Will you hide the truth while you know?

Will you hide the truth while you know?

young troopers fall by the wayside

Knowing no connection to yesterday

Hence no vision of tomorrow

A job

a poem full of poppycock

talk to your elders

search them out before they transition

truth is underground

dig it up

search the ghetto streets for your teachers

no, they never got tenured

but they yet speak in bars and clubs

some bitter

some depressed

some almost gone

but speak with them

get the wisdom they hold

stories to inspire you to be bold and uncompromising as they were

you can do it

is it difficult

is it like being lynched

is it difficult

is it like picking cotton from can’t see to can’t see

is it difficult, Baraka asks

negro black block

negro black block

don’t hide truth while you know

don’t hide truth while you know.

--Dr. M (Marvin X)


On Saturday, December 15, 4pm, Dr. M will conduct a session of his Pan African Mental Health Peer Group at the Black Repertory Theatre, 3201 Adeline St., Berkeley.

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