from Emergence: Writings of the JHCC Writers Guild 


Black folk still dying, police still racist
and the penitentiary is the new form of education;
So buckle up ‘cause it’s gonna be a long ride
On this road to reality where hate and hope collide.

‘Cause . . . somebody lied to you if they said “It’s getting better”
The sun IS shining somewhere, but all I see is stormy weather.
An’ Stormy . . . well, she never thought she’d get her chance to speak
‘bout a hypocrite of a president who’s an undercover freak.

Come to think of it, his situation really ain’t unique wit this hush
money, them oligarchs, and dead bodies in the street.
N’ speaking of streets, why is it mine got to be infected;
filthy needles connect wit black skin filled with every evil you injected;

That includes the one’s charged wit keepin’ me protected;
I ain’t free to take a knee though, but they free to put one off
in my neck, an’ . . .
what the heck ever happened to justice and equality for all
well they say if you lookin’ hard enough you’ll find that atthe border wall—
an’ who gon’ pay for that . . . except for each and every one of y’all.

So while you at it, c’mon, pay attention y’all:
‘cause the new way to kill time mean killin’ mine for these cops
wit Black trophies on the walls,
They get away, consequence unseen, which means for us there is no justice,
just one more reason for us to distrust the upholders of the law. Even as our people rise, yet another of us fall,
and it’s us gettin’ chopped like trees,
an’ no matter what it seems no amount of money can silence a mother’s screams.

You can call me a skeptic, but in my mind, man, perhaps
it’s no coincidence that legislators and all they taxes
got you unable to pay yo’ bills; meanwhile they vacation and relax.

White folk out there screamin’ how . . . They takin’ Amerikkka back,
’n the only thing Starbucks want in they store is coffee . . . if it’s black
So think about that black,
‘cause it’s you that’s in the crosshairs, you that’s under attack,
Y’aII screamin’ and hollerin’ “Protect ya neck son,”
While I’m teachin’ my sons to protect they back
that’s where the knife gon’ be at;
But justice is blind right, so she ain’t gon’ see that.
It’s getting’ hard for me to breathe at night, I think I need a
C-PAP . . . n’ I really hate to see that . . .

For them, it’s comin’ together kinda like . . . clutch plates; meanwhile I’m so hungry for change man, feel like I gotta . . .
clutch plates,
an’ I’m coming to grips wit what it is I really hate.
So I’m just gon’ take a moment if I may, to elaborate:
really, what’s botherin’ me is worse than whites that discriminate,
It’s that the Black skin surrounding Black men is what Black women is startin’ to hate;
Blackness won’t survive that fate,
All the while wit a crooked smile, it’s a plan the white man initiate, got our women takin’ the bait;
But is success really success when it’s yourself you’ve come to hate?

That’s why . . . Black folks still dyin’ . . .


. . . police still racist
and the penitentiary is the new form of education;
So buckle up cause it’s gon’ be a long ride;
on this road to reality where hate and hope collide.

There’s unity in equality, it’s ours for the taking
but we refuse to grasp the concept, so we take that knife that’s in nine inches,
pull it out a couple then call it progress.
See, I don’t agree with a whole lot and there ain’t a whole lot that would agree with me,
and every since I was a young pup, I knew it’d get ruff,
cuz there’s always a cat tryin’ to feed off a dog’s pedigree;
My advice? Don’t come half-steppin’ with me,
so many rats in this race I shoulda invested in cheese;
Rappers selling fairy tales, dummies purchasing dreams,
and since they like to compare life with chess, tell me: who’s ready to murder their king?
These suckas turnin’ tricks for females and bruh, that ain’t cool to see, so when T-lady ask why I sacrificed my queen?
If truth be told, I ain’t like her makin’ more moves than me;
it ain’t cool with me, this penitentiary put up fences that turnslove into hatred,
and since this is chess, I know when I reach the other side, I’ll have another one waitin’.
Currently I reside in the land of the free where the price of being human ain’t cheap,
and justice is steep, the land where minorities are gunned down every week,
blatantly refusing our civil rights to be equal;
and since niggas hangin’ from trees wasn’t politically conducive,
they decided to substitute that noose with the needle.

So I’m not proud to be an ameriKKKan;
while I appreciate those who laid down their lives for the freedoms to be had,
with that said: obscene gestures to the red white and blue,
with a middle finger for every star on that flag.
“Why?” some would ask, my reply: 

Black folks still dying . . .


. . . Police still racist,
and the penitentiary is the new form of education;
so buckle up ‘cause it’s gon’ be a long ride
on this road to reality where hate and hope collide.

Because we’re who they’re training against . . . so of course I’m offended,
and they wonder why we stay in offense, ‘cause we stay in a fence; and to get a break depends on the shade of our skin,
and they fake and pretend like we makin’ amends,
when we already know they lyin’ (lion); and wish they’d stay in that den.

But then again, in prison accomplishments, y’all admire me to its entirety,
even go as far as inspiring until I enter society,
where you start denyin’ me because of the background you entitled me now the environment I’m in becomes dangerous . . . not for them but for me—
because of how I’m looked at;
then I look back and see the same chains that hooked Blacks, Well look at that!

Police were supposed to be peacemakers, but instead were piece makers
with a badge that gave them authority through empty chambers to release anger;
and you can’t convince me otherwise,
it’ll just be another lie to undermine what’s been undisguised

And wanna talk down on us ‘cause we on welfare, and I don’t think that’s well, fair—
because their neglection of our protection helped us get there.

Now we sent into rage ‘cause of minimum wage,
and the money they claimed to be given—
doesn’t even matter when they keep raising our standard of living;
I mean, I’m puzzled, that’s why I don’t try to fit, because it sucks the life out of me;
these politics are a pile of tricks,
but that’s what we get though, for trusting their info,
cause now we got a poverty line, and we below it,
it look like we tryin’ to limbo.

And rich folk breakin’ necks to see what’s breakin’ next while we in the projects wonderin’ who gon’ break in next!

Na’im, bro, police takin’ bets when they pull us over because of our skin color so remember . . . you not white, yet if you were a bit Moe Ghetto, Na’im, you’d have a Dilemma;

That’s why Black folks still dyin’ . . .


. . . Police still racist
and the penitentiary is the new form of education;
so buckle up cause it’s gon’ be a long ride
on this road to reality where hate and hope collide.

Is this what it’s meant to be? Rejected from society,
struggles and poverty; no one predicted such a prophecy.
Since I was conceived, was lead to believe that I was free,
in a country that was based on justice and liberty—
but how could this be?
When I’ve been cursed since the begin,
labelled minority by the complexion of my skin,
so much oppression we live in,
and every day it increase, what’s peace?
I know they’d rather see me dead in the streets
jealousy and envy are reasons why, believe it or not,
if they don’t kill me then they devise a plot to keep me on lock.
Stereotyped, labeled and judged before it’s known what I’m like;
a fair trial, yeah, that’s right, applied only to whites.
That’s how it is and how it’s been, no need to soften the truth; and Trump in office is the nail that seals the coffin of proof;
I’m often aloof from politics ‘cause I despise politicians,
they only speak of good intentions so the people will listen; meanwhile conditions for my kind is still the same as they was, projects and ghettos filled with guns, drugs, gangsters and thugs.
Low income housing, welfare and underfunded education,
results from budget cuts for less important operations.
Now graduation rates for my kind is on the decline,
while incarceration rates have risen and continue to climb;
we live in a time in which it seems we’ve lived before,
a time where it seems we’re headed toward another civil war.
The hypocrisy of democracy is evil in deed
because the people who seek to lead are not the people we need.
Greed and the lust for power the underlying intent;
Republican, Democrat and even Independent.
Regardless what party wins, watch the pattern unfold,
that party’s only concerns are its own plans and its goals.
So many lost souls and sick hearts, so much corruption and evil,
because the laws of man have now become the laws of the people.

Destruction and devastation, we ain’t fit for legislation;
making laws on top of laws yet it’s the lawmakers that break them.
So tell me why I shouldn’t hate them? Why not hold a grudge?
I can’t show love to people who ain’t never showed me no love! And say what you like, but won’t convince me that I’m wrong
when I’m right;
and we can’t get along when you condone what’s wrong like it’s right.
I’ve never been white, so I can’t tell you what it’s like to be that, been Black since my birth and I prefer to be none other than that.
And his story’s wrong, they make it seem like we’ve been slaves all along;
but if you seek you’ll find that we been getting played all along.
I prayed for so long until I found how I was praying was wrong,
and I was fooled into thinking I was saved all along.
I know some folks will feel like what I’m saying is wrong,
well, who are they to say what’s wrong with what I say in my poem?
Freedom of speech, yet I’m still hated for how freely I speak;
for fear of who my words might reach and give them freedom to think.
When we hear history we mentally grab thoughts from the past;
and presently we overlook the current problems we have.
If not for the mercy of Allah ain’t no way we could last,
before too long we will surely be a thing of the past . . . History

Cuz Black folks still dying, police still racist,
and the penitentiary is the new form of education;
So buckle up cause it’s gonna be a long ride
on this road to reality where hate and hope collide.

To the reader:  You have just experienced four of JHCC’s eight most gifted spoken word artists. We routinely offer any who feel they have the skills to defeat us an opportunity to step forward . . . to date, none have. We are not idle minds, we are not stereotypes. We are different races. We are intelligent, rational men. We are not simply entertainers, we are activists; we have a message and we will not be silent!

Part I: Shof’tim
Part II: Shannon the Apprehensive
Part III: Dilemma A.K.A. Stroke Game Vicious
Part IV: Anonymous Kquote