For My History

by B.J. Burgins

For pools of blood to the harmony of Negro spirituals, to the honor of being one dark individual.... From the roots of the Kings to the southern cotton fields to ones unjustly wronged and those unreasonably killed I don't see it all as misery, so I dedicate this to My History. For my pride to the tales told by Mamie and the heart to hearts with unknowns that look like me as they too share My History.. From Addie Mae, Cynthia, Denise and Carol to the Bible and the intellects the light hasn't been shone upon, to Edmond Dede's violin to Richard's monologues showing us how to talk while having fun - from Mahalia's most requested to Dorothy Coates' sincere testifying and from the bosom of the Mother to the exhausted slave child badly neglected, to the turmoil wrapped inside Denzel's glorious crying... From the misunderstood verses of Pac's best told stories to the pit of Solomon's wisdom and acceptance of shiny trophies; to Nikki G.'s "Seduction" poem inside her physical portrait, that should've made every male militant yearn to gird their loins amongst her "Ego Trippin', Their May Be A Reason Why", dressed in her funky afro - to the Nina that made me unashamed to feel "Young, Gifted and Black" to Donny's open faced gold, along with auntie Val's smile to show me that's where it's at.... to the drawing of Mansa Musa to the aspiration of Wilt's 100 feat to the last resting place of Virgil Ware to the kinks of Buckwheat's nappy hair unashamed and dressed in glory, for they tell me the Perfect One's is just as wooly as His feet are like brass to Curtis' storytelling, Superfly!!!, as I'd know the down to Earth beings wouldn't mind if I told the whole story..... to Booker T.'s collegiate sacrifice to Martin's sermons that coaxed us everything would be alright, to Paul Robeson's boom and Alex Haley's marble topped tomb; from Tammi's eyelashes aside Marvin's dapper tie I long for a Dorothy Dandridge faced vixen to recite "You're All I Need to Get By", as MTUME's duets cause me to listen...... From the rebellious stare of Frederick Douglas to the Panthers as well as Nat Turner, for causing so much raucous....... from the letters of Soledad to a story told by Donald G., to the invisible chains that still shackle us all, and for those who dared to be free!!! For my great-great Indian grandfather's terrible trek for the nooses that claimed lives thru the snapping of necks, for the vision of Oscar Micheaux that made me realize I can make a story too, for Spike's magnificent screening to Taraji's lustful screaming - for the photogenic eye of James Van Der Zee's to John H. Griffin's journey to witness what it's like to be Black Like Me........ for Gwendolyn's "We Real Cool" to Jelly Roll's fingers to those that hosed them children down, to the ones who don't realize hating who you are is apart of being a fool, to the origin of the phrase "The Blacker the Berry, the Sweeter the Juice", sometimes I wonder was it apart of some plantation owner's humor; to the bitter jokes of traveling black families passing deep and wide rivers of the south grimly laughing at the out-loud spoken thought, "I wonder how many of us are at the bottom"? For My History could range from the Ink Spots to the Tempts to New Edition, for the afros to the Murray's pomaded waves to the dreads as well as the many things that twirl around in my head......... For the Buffalo Soldier's uniforms to Isaac Hayes' chain linked chest to the Jackson Five's costumed vests for My History could be tougher than leather with bull-whipped scars, leather jackets, Fedoras and laceless Adidas.......... For My History could rest in the pages of Herbert's "Corner Boy" or either his story of Raymond Douglas, for it's the two-thousands and some are still walking on eggshells, for my history could be wrapped inside a hidden note of Miles' solos bold as Josephine's bare chest to her unashamed toes........... My History could fly like Bessie's plane, or either something like George and his P-Funk thang, as my history rests on the lines of Paul Laurence's "Haunted Oak" as the same resides on the waves of Otis' dock; from Blue Howard's alibi to White Folks' story, it rests within Iceberg Slim's golden watch, as it resides on my Grandfather's hairline to James Weldon's "Lift Every Voice" to Augusta's sculpture commemorating the title all in the same - from ancestor's thoughts that have trickled down thru the timeline to torture my brain. My History stands strong. My History has been long.. From A Change gonna come, to the humming of Toussaint L'Overture's horse like the eye shadow of my lady's deep brown eyes, to Mama's hair, fine and coarse to uncle's chastising 'til he's all hoarse... My history is deeper than grandma Janie's quilts, for it's on their shoulders that my history was able to stay true to it's color, never forgetting how it was built.

For My History by B.J. Burgins

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