What We Need Now Is Not Another Blues Poem (In Memory of Oscar Grant)

In the words of hip hop theologians Goodie Mob, black folks are often “fighting for our spirits and mind.”  I too know the paralyzing fear and total horror of being targeted by the police solely for living while black. Grant’s tragedy struck a chord in me cause because we can longer stand on the side lines beset with blues. This poem is a battle cry to summon the spirit of resistance that once defined our existence. It’s a wake up call that the revolution will not be via tweet. True liberation is always about taking to the streets.(an exclusive excerpt from Garnes’ poetry collection Blue Aint The Only Color Of Jazz)get down Mayfieldway downdarker thanthe bluest bluesbrother Curtis,we need a luv songMississippi tree hanging funknot too radio friendlysomething BETwill refuse to playcuz it’s truthwill ring louderthan our IPHONEring tonesget down Pryorway downdarker thanthe bluest bluesbrother Richard,we need to find the funnychitlin’ circuitslap yo mammajust to get overMudbone storiesbout Kunta & nem’youtube will bancuz we may learnwhy Dave Chappelledid the watusiback to mutha Africaget down Davisway downdarker than                                                                                                                                                                                 the bluest bluesbrother Ossie,we need a spiritual shout outtax freesweet teaon a hot summer daygood wordmore Malcolm Xthan Creflosqueaky wooden floor preachin’not be televisedcuz we chantin’ down babylonone mo gin’get down Hughesway downdarker thanthe bluest bluesbrother Langston,we need a fine clothes to the Jew poemmore reason than rhymejust got paidFriday night food stampgood time Sallysure to get us firedLast Poets testedAmiri Baraka approved jointsso we canfinallyget our dreamsout of layawayAward winning writer, educator, counselor, and activist Edward M. Garnes, Jr. is the founder of From Afros to Shelltoes (www.afrostoshelltoes.com/word), an internationally acclaimed organization fearlessly confronting generation gaps between civil rights and hip hop generations. Garnes is also an Adjunct Professor in public speaking at Spelman College. He can be reached at ed@afrostoshelltoes.com.

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