The Covenant With Black America…Shoulda Been an Epic Poem



Last week, Black people and a few do-gooder liberals convened at Hampton University to talk about Tavis Smiley’s Covenant with Black America in action.  I missed the action part unless talking counts.   


But anyway…The Black leaders—not to be confused with leading Blacks who are media selected and have their personal interests in mind rather than the interests of the community—were parlaying and rapping about how far Black folks have come in their last 400 years in America.  As the state of Virginia celebrates the 400th anniversary of Jamestown’s founding, Black folks wonder if we have anything to celebrate. 


The Covenant seemed to answer that with a resounding, “NO!”  And plenty of metaphors to make their case.  Leave it to me to be listening to the language.  Black folks and their language.  If I said it once, I will say it again, Black folks’ speech is colorful to the point of blinding.  So I came up with this admittedly bad poem to celebrate some of that language. 


Since I couldn’t really celebrate with a straight face nor a conscious the founding of Jamestown nor the Covenant in action I figured this was something worth celebrating. 

The Covenant With Black America…Shoulda Been an Epic Poem

400 years ago, Jamestown was founded
and Black folks made it prosper.
They tilled
the golden weed
and didn’t make a dollar.

Somebody somewhere decided
the situation was unfair, freed ‘em up
and set ‘em out to fare in a world
they knew little about
but they struggled hard to work things out.
And as their lot improved,
they started to thinking:
”We’re just as good as white folks;
we want the same things.”
So they fought and fought against segregation;
were eventually rewarded with
the allusion of inclusion.
Dr. Julia Hare points out:
Black folks aren’t really part of this society
they’re just standing on the periphery.
Feeling smug because a few firsts have come along:
two black coaches in the Super Bowl; a couple have Oscars
Mae Jemison went to space….but we gotta talk about the one’s who are lacking;
the ones who didn’t get their forty acres of affirmative action.
See, that lovin’ feeling had only lasted so long;
little Black boys in them integrated classrooms were learning all wrong.
And they were some angry little cusses!
Not satisfied with riding across town to the white school—
with white kids—on their buses!

Well them white folks sure fixed them;
sent their black behinds to
Special Education
Of course
, these classes were merely holding cells
until they sent them to Prison
for permanent incarceration.

Sometimes they get out to join the population of upstanding citizens
but about that time, they’re disenfranchised again!
Ex-felons can’t vote, but if and when they
find employment,
the government takes all the enjoyment.
They still have to pay taxes
to a government for which they can’t vote…
Sounds like the makings of a revolt:

No Taxation Without Representation!
No Taxation Without Representation!


And thanks to CBS: The Caucasian Broadcasting System
Black kids think it’s cool to be dumb; suffering from anti-intellctualism.
Then, there’s NBC: Nothing Broadcasting But Caucasians
and ABC: All Broadcasting Caucasians
who are to blame (not B.E.T. of course)
for these kids’

400 years later and we still haven’t overcome,
but we still talking about what we gotta do to get it done.
Talking, talking, talking.
Man-n-n-n, talk is cheap!
I’m glad Nat, Harriet, and ‘nem wasn’t busy writing
and giving no speeches
’else we’d probably still be tilling
the golden weed
(instead of smoking it).


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