An Unlikely Source

by Silk

Since the very beginning of slavery, the concept of “divide and conquer” has been at the forefront of white America's agenda when it came to the subjugation of black folk. In doing so, the strength of our people has been decimated and weakened rather than consolidated and focused. The adage “Together We Stand, Divided We Fall” has never had more meaning nor held much truth as it has for the black race. The division I speak of is the one between prisoner and free-man/woman.

Rarely are the so called “slum” given an opportunity to dialog and be opinionated in the midst of those who are deemed the reformers and leaders of our communities. Rarely are we (the black prisoner) called upon or asked for our thoughts on how we solve the problems of the ghetto and the overall black “situation.” This is where I step in. I speak on behalf of those who have been closed in and shut out, and therefore are never heard.

Who better to lead in the search for the answer than the epitome of the problem? A significantly high number of us may not have graduated from high school or have diplomas, but that same percentage have indeed graduated from the school of hard knocks a.k.a. “the streets”, and that dear reader just so happens to be where the problem lies. We are the results who know the effects first hand. Those of us, who have taken the initiative and made the conscious decision to change and redirect our lives, also realize that with this change comes the responsibility of lending our inspired and reborn minds to the struggle and continuous upliftment of our people. We desperately seek out the forefront of the movement, in hopes that our wishes share in its vanguard will be well received by our own. The same communities that so many of us took from and tore down, have never left our hearts, and our desire is to reach back into those neighborhoods and assist in their eventual rebuilding. We were the contractors who tore it down, so we obviously have pieces of the blueprint needed to reconstruct it as well.

Picture this: The house slave has decided to run away from Massa and escape the clutches of slavery. Now, the house slave has never been outside the immediate boundary of the house. Not once has he/she stepped foot in the cotton or sugar fields that lie at the edge of the forest i.e. escape route. All the house slave knows is cooking, cleaning, and watching over the missus children. However, the field nigga is much more familiar with the outdoors. He works tirelessly in the fields from can’t see in the morning, to can’t see at night. His living quarters, while next to the big white house, are outside, so he eats, sleeps and dreams of freedom outside of massas presence more so than the house slave. When the house slave finally gets fed up and decided to risk his/her life in order to be free, therefore solving his most threatening problem, who best to consult other than the brotha or sistah in the field who has lived the life closest to freedom? The brotha and sistah who have been where the house slave is trying to go?

Massa obviously doesn’t care much for neither slave, but he absolutely detest the rebellious field nigga for his continued attempts to “get away”, and for the mere threat of him corrupting the mind of the house slave. Not to mention the fact that the field nigga clearly has a problem with authority and “the laws” of the land. He hates the idea of both classes of slaves intermingling, so he paints the field nigga as dirty, and not trustworthy by whispering epithets into the ear of the house slave. He reminds the house slave of his/her high ranking and with just one slip, he/she would be working in the fields under the blazing hot sun with the rest of the contraband. What massa fails to realize is that all the slaves in general want and feel the need to be free, to have massas foot far removed from the backs of their necks. The “so-called” better food and living conditions are becoming les attractive when placed next to the ideal of freedom, and thoughts of having their own food and housing. The other side of that cotton field begins to look very inviting.

It is time to get with those of us who have been there and know the way brotha and sistahs. It is time to put trust in the ones who have been confined to the huts and fields. The despised, hated and forgotten. The refocused, resilient, the reborn prisoners, and field niggas of the new age. We are the “Unlikely Source.” An unlimited well of information, intelligence and strength that is critical to obtaining the desired outcome we all seek. The overall upliftment of the black race, and all that it encompasses. Our views are your views, and together we as a united “inner nation” can reach what Dr. King so passionately termed the Promised Land. Hopefully my poetical works and essays will serve their purpose as an adequate medium of not only expression, but also of in the struggle. We all must do our part, and I believe one of my personal contributions is the lyrical, straightforward message within my writing.

These are pieces that may not be considered “politically correct” in some social circles, but are nevertheless point driven and therefore relevant, addressing personal and social issues with just as much passion as any other commonly accepted poetical work. The purpose of my writing to two-fold. On one hand there is the need, as a conscious individual, to share my perspective with those who may be interested in the mindset of a man considered by many to be a cast away. Secondly, there is the inner desire and need to document what I believe to be the turning point in my life; The Prison Experience. Within many of pieces you, the reader, will be introduced to the multifaceted personality of the often-overlooked prison intellectual. Take notice!

An Unlikely Source 
~Poetic Version

Our youth is desperate
for there is no direction.
Ashamed of themselves
and their homes on 8-section.
A prophet of truth, 
the conveyer of realism
my story is told through the point of life’s prism.
They question the authority
of those who have seen.
Closed minds do not hear us,
for our past are not clean.
Neither are our streets,
nor the language we speak.
Within the rawness of our message,
are solutions that you seek.
The answers to problems, 
that plague the black nation,
can be found behind bars,
for we form its foundation.
We’re like crumpled note paper,
figured to be a mistake.
But within trash lies the promise
of our future and its fate.
The love for our people,
won’t diminish with time.
though walls do confine us,
we are free to use the mind,
in ways that may startle,
and surprise the majority.
We are philosophical intellects,
not just a threat to authority.
considered a field nigga by many,
and accurate comparison I’ll accept.
Cause when the massa’s house burns to the ground,
the niggas in the field are all that’s left.

An Unlikely Source by Silk

© Copyright 2004. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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