Life of a Brown Person: fuck it- poem by yazzy

do not simply feel to oppress me

because objectively you think you get

why girls straighten their hair no matter their color

because herbal essence commercials show flowy and extacy

and just recently some guy claiming her liked his woman with flowy even colored hair

that is as unnatural as waxing

but tell how many of yall wax for the simple sake of beauty

but beauty somehow doesnt accept what naturrally

but what grows to know to show

is that i ultimately give no fucks

that this fight against it all

eventually ends up beginning against you because you buy their products

you endores their campaigns and you dont complain

you’re okay with us women permin weavin n teasin for no reason

cause naturally.

what comes naturally is always a problem.

if i have to see another naked mole rat human being

not born like that

simple stated like that

than let me state that jungle pussy gives no sorries

my side burns gives no thanks

and my confused hair gives no fucks

so stop telling me that im not right

and stop telling yourself that everyday a tip of blush shadow fake lashes n contacts make you acceptable

based off of someone elses theory your no where familiar with

im only a fighter because of this

and sometimes a hypocrite cause its alright to wanna look this kinda nice

but its alright to look this kinda natural

and we know nothing of balance or acceptance

just the fight

theres no love in a fight

so i say in such a case

i love you the way you are.

not with intention of changing face

but with accepting what was given to you and all you got to work with


its muhfuckin beauty-full.

a love like this

They tried to take god from me,

To make me wallow in the lowest forms of self-destruction.

They put a monopoly on gods face as if the capital created by organizations,

Could profit from the suffering of others,

They told me god had no place for us,

That god did not like us.

But in the quietest forms of understanding god speaks through the heart,

In favoring me in ways unimaginable,

Because I did not find god in the kingdom hall, or the church,

I stood by the synagogue and sat in the temple.

I watched in the mosques and stared at the moon,

God did not speak but through the eyes of individuals who welcomed a deprived stranger,

They forgot how hate able we were and gave us shelter,

God spoke through the same eyes that hurt me,

My heart changed the moment I had to console my aggressor,

God is not evil but we can be,

But even in the holiest of places where they turn us away because they can find no good in us god does not hesitate but carry us through.

As we faced the front lines of discrimination

As we dared to love without limits.

As we asked to simply survive, god smiled on those moments as if they were the only last bit of sacred something left.

When they beat us and killed us, and still prayed to the same source we learned that forgiveness was all we had and begging for scraps did not seem low because god favored us enough to eat.

The universe aligned and instead of having everything we wanted we felt complete in ourselves and we did not worry about the dangers that lay before or the mystery of our certain demise.   

 If we did not ever have a chance why not live it in joy,

What ever I am is for the sake of others,

They will not remember us even though god gave us purpose

Revolutionary Letter #8 by Diane Di Prima

Everytime you pick the spot for a be-in
a demonstration, a march, a rally, you are choosing the ground
for a potential battle.
You are still calling these shots.
Pick your terrain with that in mind.
Remember the old gang rules:
stick to your neighborhood, don’t let them lure you
to Central Park everytime, I would hate
to stumble bloody out of that park to find help:
Central Park West, or Fifth Avenue, which would you

go to love-ins
with incense, flowers, food, and a plastic bag
with a damp cloth in it, for tear gas, wear no jewelry
wear clothes you can move in easily, wear no glasses
contact lenses
earrings for pierced ears are especially hazardous

try to be clear
in front, what you will do if it comes
to trouble
if you’re going to try to split stay out of the center
don’t stampede or panic others
don’t waver between active and passive resistance
know your limitations, bear contempt
neither for yourself, nor any of your brothers

NO ONE WAY WORKS, it will take all of us
shoving at the thing from all sides
to bring it down.

A Poem for Black Hearts by Amiri Baraka

For Malcolm’s eyes, when they broke
The face of some dumb white man, for
Malcolm’s hands rose to bless us
All black and strong in his image 
Of ourselves, for Malcolm’s words
Fire darts, the victors tireless
Thrust, words hung above the world
Change as it may, he said it, and
For this he was killed, for saying,
And feeling, and being/change, all
Collected hot in his heart, for Malcolm’s
Heart, raising us above our filthy cities,
For his strive, and his beat, and his address 
To the gray monsters of the world, for Malcolm’s
Please for your dignities, black men, for your life
Black men, for the filling of your mind 
With rightiousness, for all of him dead and
Gone and vanished from us, and all of which 
Cling to our speech, black god of our time
For all of him and all of yourself, look up
Black man, quit stuttering and shuffling, look up
Black man, quit whining and stooping, for all of him,
For great maltose a prince of the earth, let nothing in us rest
Until we avenge ourselves for his death, stop animals
That killed him, let us never breath a pure breath, if
We fail and white men call us faggots till the end of
The earth.

Adulthood by Nikki Giovanni

I usta wonder who I’d be

when I was a little girl in Indianapolis

sitting on doctors porches with post-dawn pre-debs

(wondering would my aunt drag me to church sunday)

i was meaningless

and i wondered if life

would give me a chance to mean

i found a new life in the withdrawal from all things

not like my image

when I was a teenager I usta sit

on front steps conversing

the gym teachers son with embryonic eyes

about the essential essence of the universe

(and other bullshit stuff)

recognizing the basic powerlessness of me.

but then I went to college where i learned

that just because everything i was was unreal

i could be real and not just real through withdrawal

into emotional crosshairs of colored bourgeoisie intellectual pretensions

but from involvement with things approaching reality

i could possibly have a life

so catatonic emotions and time wasting sex games

were replaced with functioning commitments to logic and

necessity and the gray area was slowly darkened into

a black thing

for a while progress was being made along with a certain degree

of happiness cause i wrote a book and found a love

and organized a theatre and even gave some lectures on

Black history

and began to believe all good people could get

together and win without bloodshed


hammaskjold was killed

and diem was killed

and kennedy was killed

and malcolm was killed

and evers was killed

and schwerner, chaney and goodman were killed

and liuzzo was killed

and stokely fled the country

and le roi was arrested

and rap was arrested

and pollard, thompson and cooper were killed

and king was killed

and kennedy was killed

and i sometimes wonder why i didn’t become a debutante

sitting on porches, going to church all the time, wondering

is my eye make-up on straight

or a withdrawn discoursing on the stars and moon

instead of a for real Black person who must now feel

and inflict


Poet Margaret Esse Danner’s vivid imagery and uplifting poetic voice most often focused on Africa. Although she wrote on a wide range of themes, it is likely that her African poems will be the most enduring of her work. Author of four compilations and contributor to numerous anthologies, Danner published the bulk of her poetry during the Black Arts Movements of the 1960s.

Developed Poetic Voice

Margaret Esse Danner was born in Pryorsburg, Kentucky, on January 12, 1915. Soon thereafter her parents, Caleb and Naomi Danner, moved the family to Chicago, where she spent most of her childhood. Danner won her first poetry prize in eighth grade for her poem titled “The Violin,” which uses the famous Stradivarius and Guarnerius violins as its central images.

After graduating from Englewood High School in Chicago, Danner pursued her studies at numerous universities, including Chicago’s YMCA College, Loyola University, Roosevelt College (now University), and Northwestern University, where she studied under poets Karl Shapiro and Paul Engle. Although she continued to develop her poetic voice during these years, Danner did not receive any public recognition until 1945 when she won second place at the Poetry Workshop of the Midwestern Writers Conference held at Northwestern.

In 1951 Danner became an editorial assistant for Poetry: The Magazine of Verse, a publication known for introducing talented poets to the public. In that same year, Poetry published Danner’s “Far From Africa,” a series of four poems. These poems would later appear in numerous anthologies and earned Danner the John Hay Whitney Fellowship. This fellowship provided funding for Danner to travel to Africa, but Danner postponed the trip until 1966. In 1956 Danner became the first African American to be promoted to assistant editor at Poetry, a position she held until 1957.

Began Publishing Poetry

Danner’s first collection of poems, Impressions of African Art Forms, first published by the Contemporary Studies of Miles Poetry Association of Wayne State University in Detroit in 1960, was republished in 1961 by Dudley Randall’s Broadside Press. The poems of Impressions, which earned critical acclaim, focused on Danner’s understanding of Africa as a land and as a state of her being. Unlike other African American poets who voiced frustration in their incomplete identity and unity with Africa, Danner finds inspiration and fulfillment in her poems such as “Her Blood, Drifting Through Me, Sings.” In “The Convert” she celebrates self-discovery: “I became a hurricane // of elation, a convert, undaunted who wanted to flaunt // her discovery, flourish her fair-figured-find.” In her 1993 study of Danner’s poetry, Claire Taft noted in The Langston Hughes Review, “ Impressions of African Art Forms glories in the beauty, nobility, and knowledge Danner finds in her quest of understanding the identity of her ancestors. The vivid pictures of her journey involve her readers, helping them respect Africa.”

Having gained exposure and recognition for her work at Poetry and her publication of Impressions of African Art Forms, in 1961 Danner was invited to serve as the poet in residence at Wayne State University in Detroit. During her stay in Detroit, Danner became involved in the community. Wishing to create an arts center, she enlisted other poets, including Robert Hayden, to help and convinced the minister of Detroit’s King Solomon Church to allow her to use an uninhabited parish house. Boone Center, named after Dr. Boone, the minister of the church, became a community arts center, with numerous activities focused on reaching out to children. Danner honored the center in her poem “Boone House,” which appeared in the Negro History Bulletin in 1962. Later, Danner would also found Nologonyu’s, another such center for the arts in Chicago’s Southside.

During the early 1960s Danner became active in the Bahá’í faith, which she shared with Robert Hayden. According to Bahá’í teachings, the world is moving toward a unity characterized by peace and harmony, free from prejudice, extremes of wealth and poverty, and inequality. Danner wrote a number of poems through which her Bahá’í faith is revealed, and from 1964 to 1966, she served as a touring poet under the sponsorship of the Bahá’í Teaching Committee.

Read more: Margaret Esse Danner Biography - Developed Poetic Voice, Began Publishing Poetry, Influenced by Trip to Africa, Sketchy Details of Personal Life - JRank Articles

a poem for half white college students by Amiri Baraka

Who are you, listening to me, who are you
listening to yourself? Are you white or
black, or does that have anything to do
with it? Can you pop your fingers to no
music, except those wild monkies go on
in your head, can you jerk, to no melody,
except finger poppers get it together
when you turn from starchecking to checking
yourself. How do you sound, your words, are they
yours? The ghost you see in the mirror, is it really
you, can you wear you are not an imitation greyboy,
can you look right next to you in that chair, and swear,
that the sister you have your hand on is not really
so full of Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton is
coming out of her ears. You may even have to be Richard
with a white shirt and face, and four million negroes
think you cute, you may have to be Elizabeth Taylor, old lady,
if you want to sit up in your crazy spot dreaming about dresses,
and the sway of certain porters’ hips. Check yourself, learn who it is
speaking, when you make some ultrasophisticated point, check yourself,
when you find yourself gesturing like Steve McQueen, check it out, ask
in your black heart who it is you are, and is that image black or white,

you might be surprised right out the window, whistling dixie on the way in.

not much is on her, but she’s a really great female poet of color

Black Art by Amiri Baraka

Poems are bullshit unless they are

teeth or trees or lemons piled

on a step. Or black ladies dying

of men leaving nickel hearts

beating them down. Fuck poems

and they are useful, wd they shoot

come at you, love what you are,

breathe like wrestlers, or shudder

strangely after pissing. We want live

words of the hip world live flesh &

coursing blood. Hearts Brains

Souls splintering fire. We want poems

like fists beating niggers out of Jocks

or dagger poems in the slimy bellies

of the owner-jews. Black poems to

smear on girdlemamma mulatto bitches

whose brains are red jelly stuck

between ‘lizabeth taylor’s toes. Stinking

Whores! we want “poems that kill.”

Assassin poems, Poems that shoot

guns. Poems that wrestle cops into alleys

and take their weapons leaving them dead

with tongues pulled out and sent to Ireland. Knockoff

poems for dope selling wops or slick halfwhite

politicians Airplane poems, rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr …tuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuhtuh

…rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr … Setting fire and death to

whities ass. Look at the Liberal

Spokesman for the jews clutch his throat

& puke himself into eternity … rrrrrrrr

There’s a negroleader pinned to

a bar stool in Sardi’s eyeballs melting

in hot flame Another negroleader

on the steps of the white house one

kneeling between the sheriff’s thighs

negotiating coolly for his people.

Aggh … stumbles across the room …

Put it on him, poem. Strip him naked

to the world! Another bad poem cracking

steel knuckles in a jewlady’s mouth

Poem scream poison gas on beasts in green berets

Clean out the world for virtue and love,

Let there be no love poems written

until love can exist freely and

cleanly. Let Black people understand

that they are the lovers and the sons

of warriors and sons

of warriors Are poems & poets &

all the loveliness here in the world

We want a black poem. And a 

Black World.

Let the world be a Black Poem

And Let All Black People Speak This Poem



T Miller on Obama in the White House

Natasha T Miller performs a poem at the University of MIchigan-Dearborn. I missed the very first line, but it’s great!

T. Miller - Lend Me Your Ears Poetry Slam - First Round

Second annual Lend Me Your Ears Poetry Slam at Michigan State University, hosted by the Black Poet Society. Video by Bonnie Bucqueroux for Lansing Online News

T. Miller - Poetry Slam Winner

Reading her poem “Us - Black Women” at the Lend Me Your Ears Poetry Slam hosted by the Black Poet Socitety of Michigan State University at the Eli Broad College of Business. Video by Bonnie Bucqueroux for Lansing Online News.

Riot by Gwendolyn Brooks

A riot is the language of the unheard. 
—martin luther king

John Cabot, out of Wilma, once a Wycliffe,
all whitebluerose below his golden hair,
wrapped richly in right linen and right wool,
almost forgot his Jaguar and Lake Bluff;
almost forgot Grandtully (which is The
Best Thing That Ever Happened To Scotch); almost
forgot the sculpture at the Richard Gray
and Distelheim; the kidney pie at Maxim’s,
the Grenadine de Boeuf at Maison Henri.

Because the Negroes were coming down the street.

Because the Poor were sweaty and unpretty
(not like Two Dainty Negroes in Winnetka)
and they were coming toward him in rough ranks.
In seas. In windsweep. They were black and loud.
And not detainable. And not discreet.

Gross. Gross. “Que tu es grossier!” John Cabot
itched instantly beneath the nourished white
that told his story of glory to the World.
“Don’t let It touch me! the blackness! Lord!” he whispered
to any handy angel in the sky.
But, in a thrilling announcement, on It drove
and breathed on him: and touched him. In that breath
the fume of pig foot, chitterling and cheap chili,
malign, mocked John. And, in terrific touch, old
averted doubt jerked forward decently,
cried, “Cabot! John! You are a desperate man,
and the desperate die expensively today.”

John Cabot went down in the smoke and fire
and broken glass and blood, and he cried “Lord!
Forgive these nigguhs that know not what they do.” 

Primer for Blacks by Gwendolyn Brooks

is a title,
is a preoccupation,
is a commitment Blacks
are to comprehend—
and in which you are
to perceive your Glory.

The conscious shout
of all that is white is
“It’s Great to be white.”
The conscious shout
of the slack in Black is
'It's Great to be white.'
Thus all that is white
has white strength and yours.

The word Black
has geographic power,
pulls everybody in:
Blacks here—
Blacks there—
Blacks wherever they may be.
And remember, you Blacks, what they told you—
remember your Education:
“one Drop—one Drop
maketh a brand new Black.”
Oh mighty Drop.
______And because they have given us kindly
so many more of our people

stretches over the land.
the Black of it,
the rust-red of it,
the milk and cream of it,
the tan and yellow-tan of it,
the deep-brown middle-brown high-brown of it,
the “olive” and ochre of it—
marches on.

The huge, the pungent object of our prime out-ride
is to Comprehend,
to salute and to Love the fact that we are Black,
which is our “ultimate Reality,”
which is the lone ground
from which our meaningful metamorphosis,
from which our prosperous staccato,
group or individual, can rise.

Self-shriveled Blacks.
Begin with gaunt and marvelous concession:
YOU are our costume and our fundamental bone.

All of you—
you COLORED ones,
you NEGRO ones,
those of you who proudly cry
“I’m half INDian”—
those of you who proudly screech
“I’VE got the blood of George WASHington in MY veins”
ALL of you—
you proper Blacks,
you half-Blacks,
you wish-I-weren’t Blacks,
Niggeroes and Niggerenes.