‘Honor in the Ghetto’

PART 3

letter to pam africa

you have lifted our wings
and armed them with resistance.
stirring the pot
standing in the face of winter.
truth speaker
fire breather
living and brewing the revolution.
keeping the seat warm
where harriet tubman once sat.
training soldiers
saving souls
daring us to keep up.
keeping the seat warm
where harriet tubman once sat.
on a move.
on a move.

urban renewal

amazingly
all the ghettos are gone now.
somehow
they’ve become
quaint parks
and pleasant
neighborhoods again.
but only
for an array of new faces.
new faces
that wouldn’t even
come to the place
when it was
all black.
when it was unclean
and downright
mean at night.
somehow
all the ghettos are gone now.
quaint parks
and pleasant
neighborhoods again.

tell the black girls

tell the black girls
we believe in their magic.
tell the black girls
how they were born
from a long tradition
of black woman dream merchants
miracle makers
and super heroes.
tell the black girls
how special powers
are interwoven
in their braids and cornrows.
god gifted
in the tips
of their twists and locs.
tell the black girls
how the others
can only dream
and imagine their powers.
tell the black girls
we believe in their magic
and it’s real.

rank and file

bring your homemade signs
on cardboard
and wooden sticks.
bring your mic and megaphone
to loan voice.
bring your rocks
and molotov cocktails
in case they bring it.
bring your fire
for the teargas
that’s sure to come.
tell the scouts
to stay awake out there
we’re depending on them.
bring the women
so we can stand together
and fire back.

Copyright © 2017 by Lamont Lilly. All rights reserved.

Lamont Lilly

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

(Photo: April Saul)

Simple Share Buttons

Share this
Simple Share Buttons