‘Honor in the Ghetto’

Poems by Lamont Lilly, part 1

Bobby Seale and Huey Newton — Black Panther Party founders.

panther men

they weren’t scared
of no police dogs.
they didn’t bow to no pigs
and wooden batons.
no fear of fire hoses
silver bullets and steel cuffs
they were different.

those negroes looked like men.
like BLACK MEN
who knew exactly
where they came from.

like BLACK MEN
who knew exactly
where they came from
and didn’t take no shit.
from nobody.
from nobody.

old black wall street

we don’t own
the convenience stores
in the ghetto.
we don’t own
the smoke shops
nail salons
and beauty supply spots.
we own the churches
the good word
and dreams deferred.
we own the pain
poverty and crime
against each other.
we own the
nickels and dimes
that allow others
to own us.
we don’t own
a goddamn thing
here anymore.
black wall street
has now become brooklyn
harlem, u street.
merely a shell
of their old selves.
gone.
merely a shell
of their old selves.
gone.

coup d’état

there can be no peace
until every child
has a hot meal

there can be no treaties
until we sit down
and negotiate the revolution.

not one hostage
shall be released
until you hang those
policemen.

until those judges
mayors and corrupt officials
are all buried
alive.

Copyright © 2017 by Lamont Lilly. All rights reserved.

Lamont Lilly

Lamont Lilly was the 2016 Workers World Party U.S. vice presidential candidate. In 2015 he was an Indy Week “Citizen Award” winner for his activism and journalism. The selections presented are from his forthcoming book of poetry, Honor in the Ghetto. Contact the writer at [email protected]

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