17 African Poems To Read When The World Is Too Much

“Where does the world hurt? It answered Everywhere. Everywhere. Everywhere.”

 the struggle continues 17 pro black poems small

 1.A Litany for Survival” by Audre Lorde

So it is better to speak
remembering
we were never meant to survive

2.The Last Quatrain of the Ballad of Emmett Till” by Gwendolyn Brooks

after the murder,
after the burial

Emmett’s mother is a pretty-faced thing;
the tint of pulled taffy.

3.Cordon Negro” by Essex Hemphill

I’m dying twice as fast
as any other American
between eighteen and thirty-five
This disturbs me,
but I try not to show it in public.

4.Where Do You Enter” by Nikki Giovanni

"Where Do You Enter" by Nikki Giovanni

Pictorial Parade / Getty Images

We begin a poem
with longing
and end with
responsibility

And laugh
all through the storms
that are bound
to come

5.Lineage” by Margaret Walker

My grandmothers are full of memories
Smelling of soap and onions and wet clay
With veins rolling roughly over quick hands
They have many clean words to say.
My grandmothers were strong.
Why am I not as they?

6.The Night Rains Hot Tar” by Lance Jeffers

The night rains hot tar into my throat,
the taste is good to my heart’s tongue,
into my heart the night pours down its moon
like a yellow molten residue of dung:
the night pours down the sea into my throat
my heart drains off its blood in love and pain:
the night pours a Negro song into my throat,
bloodred is the color of this rain:

7.Bullet Points” by Jericho Brown

I will not shoot myself
In the head, and I will not shoot myself
In the back, and I will not hang myself
With a trashbag, and if I do,
I promise you, I will not do it
In a police car while handcuffed

8.A Small Needful Fact” by Ross Gay

Is that Eric Garner worked
for some time for the Parks and Rec.
Horticultural Department, which means,
perhaps, that with his very large hands,
perhaps, in all likelihood,
he put gently into the earth
some plants which, most likely,
some of them, in all likelihood,
continue to grow,

9.Black Lady Lazarus” by Diamond Sharp

Dying is an art and we Black girls do it so well.
Sandra &
Aiyana &
Rekia &

10.If It Is The Summer Of 2009” by Hanif Abdurraqib

…we revel in long enough to forget
that we are black in our 20’s which is to say that we are too old
for this shit and by this shit I of course mean living
I of course mean that we have carried the lifeless bodies of enough younger brothers to never forget that we should be dead by now
we should have the decency to unburden America
by our dying on the side of a cracked road

11.praise song” by Nate Marshall

praise the Hennessy, the brown
shine, the dull burn. praise
the dare, the take it, the no face
you’re supposed to make.
praise the house, its many rooms,
hardwood and butter leather couches;
its richness. praise the rich, their friendship.
praise the friends: the child of the well off,
the child of the well off, the child of ?well,
the child of welfare, the child of welfare.

12.What They Did Yesterday Afternoon” by Warsan Shire

later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered
everywhere
everywhere
everywhere.

13.Self-Portrait In Case of Disappearance” by Safia Elhillo

Girls with fathers gone or gone missing

sistered to dark boys marked to die & our own

bodies scarved & arranged in rows on prayer mats

we go missing too & who mourns us who

falls into the gap we leave in the world

14.Elegy” by Aracelis Girmay

What to do with this knowledge
that our living is not guaranteed?

Perhaps one day you touch the young branch
of something beautiful. & it grows & grows
despite your birthdays & the death certificate,
& it one day shades the heads of something beautiful
or makes itself useful to the nest. Walk out
of your house, then, believing in this.
Nothing else matters.

15.Gravity” by Angel Nafis

After Carrie Mae Weems’s ‘The Kitchen Table Series’
I. THE STRAW

Can you throw this away Maybe you should hire more Black staff
Where are you really from You’re not busy are you You look ethnic today
Where’s the African American section Can you turn the music down
Fasterfasterfaster Let me see those eyes Beautiful If you were mine
I’d never let you leave the house It’s like you went straight to Africa
to get this one Is that your hair I mean your real hair Blackass
Your gums are black You Black You stink You need a perm
I don’t mean to be
racist

 

16.Let Me Handle My Business, Damn” by Morgan Parker

Took me awhile to learn the good words
make the rain on my window grown
and sexy now I’m in the tub holding down
that on-sale Bordeaux pretending
to be well adjusted I am on that real
jazz shit sometimes I run the streets
sometimes they run me I’m the body
of the queen of my hood filled up
with bad wine bad drugs mu shu pork
sick beats what more can I say to you

17.Summer, Somewhere” by Danez Smith

"Summer, Somewhere" by Danez Smith

no need for geography
now that we’re safe everywhere.

point to whatever you please
& call it church, home, or sweet love.

paradise is a world where everything
is a sanctuary & nothing is a gun.

These poems brought to you courtesy of danezsmithpoet.com / Via danezsmithpoet.com


 Danny F. Quest is a official 9/11 Truther, anti-war activist, humanitarian, Blogger, and writer/contributer for WeareChange.org Follow him on Social Media.


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Danny F. Quest, is an artist, blogger, journalist, and media personality. Co. Founder of TheTruther.us, Danny works as a Freelance journalist and graphic designer for WeAreChange.org, author of ‘120 characters or less’ The guide to winning a debate in the Digtal age. Danny is also working on two documentary films, I love my country but hate what they are doing” and “30 days in Gaza” depicting what it is for Palestinians to live under Israeli occupation.

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