Racism in America

Like a black man with a green book

Walking into a rundown ill-lit diner,

Where he will be welcomed and given

A meal of the Antebellum South.

Jim Crow was the way back then,

What George Floyd is sadly today. Black men

Dance down by the side of the Hudson,

The songs of acapella, of garbage

Bin cap cymbals and basketball beats,

Their throats crowded with thirst,

Their eyes groomed by what is seen all too well.

The homies with homilies inside southern

Baptist churches, and the ones who

Sing in packed choirs on boards of

Nailed wood that are fixed on to the floor,

Their ankles paying homage as

Hymns are prayed aloud. God may be

Still plain white here, but the gospel music

Cracks the whip, as where they were

Held by ankles, now dances to the

Rhythm of hip-hop and the Gettysburg

Trembles as words are evoked “these dead

Shall not have died in vain”.

What is conceived in liberty shall

Not be borne by color. Jim Crow

May be gone, Green Book may be set aside

In history, non-segregation may

Be the frail icing of our times,

Confederacy flag may be vanishing into thin air,

KKK may be underground, still

The fruit is too often strange. The Kwanza

Candle holds many flames, but we come

To terms with how poor Golliwog

Was created by an English-American woman,

A type of wild-haired rag doll, that provokes

The greatest illusion that saturated color

Is capable of creating. Black is

Not supposed to be sinister or evildoing.

The strange fruit that epitomizes

The caricature of our stubborn hearts,

The face value of color without its beautifying

Sophistication, and the grotesque ways

In which we distort the enigma,

To become complacent of the greatest

Human dimension; to gift another

The courtesy of a beginning.

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