“Tell the Black Girls” & Other Poems by Lamont Lilly

The resistance, Bmore

By: Lamont Lilly

The following four pieces are all from my forthcoming debut, “Honor in the Ghetto,” edited by Shahida Muhammad (Ebony Mag). Each piece is a reflection of the people, places and experiences of struggle that have shaped who I am. The Movement. The Black Aesthetic. Our continued pursuit of liberation.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, FL - 1983: Caribbean-American writer, poet and activist Audre Lorde lectures students at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Lorde was a Master Artist in Residence at the Central Florida arts center in 1983. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, FL – 1983: Caribbean-American writer, poet and activist Audre Lorde lectures students at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Lorde was a Master Artist in Residence at the Central Florida arts center in 1983. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

tell the black girls

tell the black girls
we believe in their magic.

tell the black girls
how they were born
from a long tradition
of black woman dream merchants
miracle makers
and super heroes.

tell the black girls
how special powers
are interwoven
in their braids and cornrows.
god gifted
in the tips
of their twists and locs.

tell the black girls
how the others
can only dream
and imagine their powers.

tell the black girls
we believe in their magic
and it’s real.

urban renewal

amazingly
all the ghettos are gone now.
somehow
they’ve become
quaint parks
and pleasant
neighborhoods again.

but only
for an array of new faces.
new faces
that wouldn’t even
come to the place
when it was
all black.

when it was unclean
and downright
mean at night.
somehow
all the ghettos are gone now.
quaint parks
and pleasant
neighborhoods again.

night of the uprising

there was free milk and bread
for the homeless.
free nap mats
to replace
their cardboard mattresses.
there was free fruit
fish, beans and rice
so the ghetto can eat good tonight.
fine sofas
and free love seats
for the recently married.
free shoes, free sweaters
and free socks
for all the poor kids
on our block.
after all these years
of being in need
we didn’t mind
bleeding for liberation.
it was our duty.
we didn’t mind at all.

rank and file

bring your homemade signs
on cardboard
and wooden sticks.
bring your mic and megaphone
to loan voice.

bring your rocks
and molotov cocktails
in case they bring it.
bring your fire
for the teargas
that’s sure to come.

tell the scouts
to stay awake out there
we’re depending on them.

bring the women
so we can stand together
and fire back.

In loving memory of Afeni Shakur (January 10, 1947 to May 2, 2016) — Sister Warrior, Liberator, Freedom Fighter, Mother of Tupac Shakur, Former Member of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense.

afeni shakur

Afeni Shakur

 

Copyright © 2016 by Lamont Lilly. All rights reserved.

Lamont Lilly

Lamont Lilly

Lamont Lilly is a NC based journalist, activist and community organizer. The presented selections are from his forthcoming debut Honor in the Ghetto (Fall 2016). Plain but poignant, his poetry directly derives from the marginalized, from the streets of mass struggle, freedom fighting and the continued pursuit of Black Liberation.

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