Sunday Seven

Sunday, February 14, 2021

I discovered African American Poets while attending a Historically Black College in North Mississippi. Their words drip with meaningful prose, resistance and pride. Here a few of my favorite lines. 

1. " life is black and filled with fortune." - Elizabeth Alexander's A Poem for Nelson Mandela

2. "Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise." - Maya Angelou's Still I rise 

3. "Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

I, too, am America." Langton Hughes' I, Too 

4. "Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly." Langton Hughes' Dream

5.  "He came back and shot. He shot him. When he came   
back, he shot, and he fell, stumbling, past the   
shadow wood, down, shot, dying, dead, to full halt.

At the bottom, bleeding, shot dead. He died then, there   
after the fall, the speeding bullet, tore his face   
and blood sprayed fine over the killer and the grey light." Amiri Baraka's Incident 

6. "then as i grew and matured
i became more sensible   
and decided i would   
settle down
and just become
a sweet inspiration" Nikki Giovanni's Dream

7. "It is a real chill out. The fall crisp comes.   
I am aware there is winter to heed.   
There is no warm house
That is fitted with my need.
I am cold in this cold house this house
Whose washed echoes are tremulous down lost halls.
I am a woman, and dusty, standing among new affairs.   
I am a woman who hurries through her prayers." Gwendolyn Brooks' A Sunset of the City