The most authentic thing about us...

is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering

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Ben Okri

Marian Wright Edelman
marian_wright_edelman
 
The question is not whether we can afford to invest in every child; It is whether we can afford not to.
Jesse Owens (1913-1980)
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The battles that count aren't the ones for gold medals.
 
The struggles within yourself—the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us—that's where it's at.
Let's NOT waste the opportunites we have...

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Poets & Poetry (Expression)

lion

 

 Below is a list of some poets that are truly inspiring...

 

Maya Angelou (1928 - present)

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Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

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Ai (1947 - 2010)

Ai, who described herself as 1/2 Japanese, Choctaw-Chickasaw, Black, Irish, Southern Cheyenne, and Comanche, was born in Albany, Texas, in 1947. She grew up in Tucson, Arizona.

She legally changed her name to "Ai," which means "love" in Japanese.

 

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Gwendolyn Brooks (1917 - 2000)

Imamu Amiri Baraka (1934 - present)

Arna Bontemps (1902 - 1973)

Lucille Clifton (1936 - present)

Countee Cullen (1903 - 1946)

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Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872 - 1906) 

Rita Dove (1952 - present)

Cornelius Eady (1954 - present) 

James A. Emanuel (1921 - present)

Jessie Redmon Fauset (1882 - 1961)

 

Nikki Giovanni (1943 - present)

Langston Hughes (1902 - 1967)

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Robert Hayden (1913 - 1980)

Forrest Hamer (1956 - present)

Jupiter Hammon (1711 - 1806)

Yusef Komunyakaa (1947 - present)

Etheridge Knight (1931 - 1991)

Audre Lorde (1934 - 1992)

Claude McKay (1889 - 1948)

Wanda Phipps (1960 - present)

Natasha Trethewey (1966 - present)

Quincy Troupe (1939 - present)

Alice Walker (1944 - present)

Phillis Wheatley (1753 - 1784)

James Weldon Johnson (1871 - 1938)

 

Plus London's own Benjamin Zephaniah -

http://www.benjaminzephaniah.com/content/index.php 

 

Some Poetry ...

I know why the Caged Birds Sing -  Maya Angelou

The free bird leaps
on the back of the win
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and is tune is heard
on the distant hillfor the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
an the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom. 
 

 

 

New Poem For Mumia by Alice Walker

 

Courtesy of prisonradio

Occupying Mumia’s Cell
Copyright©2011 by Alice Walker

 

I Sing of Mumia
brilliant and strong
and of the captivity
that
few black men escape
if they are as free
as he has become.

 

What a teacher he is for all of us.

 

Nearly thirty years in solitary
and still,
Himself.

 

He will die himself.
A black man;
whom many consider to be
a Muslim, though this is not
how he narrows down
the  criss-crossing paths of
his soul’s journey.
Perhaps it is simpler
to call him
a lover of truth
who refuses
to be silenced.
Is anything more persecuted
in this land?

 

No boots will be allowed
of course
so he will not
die with them on;
but there will always be
boots
of the mind and spirit
and of the heart and soul.

 

His will be black and shining
(or maybe the color of rainbows)
and they will sprout wings.

 

Mumia
they have decided
finally
not to kill you
hoping no blood will
stain their hands
at the tribunal
of the people;
but to let you continue
to die slowly
creating and singing
your own songs
as you pace
alone,  sometimes terrorized,
for decades of long nights
in your small cage
of a cell.

 

We lament our impotence: that we have failed
to get you out of there.

 

Your regal mane may have thinned
as our locks too, those flags of  our self sovereignty, may even have
disappeared;
waiting out this unjust sentence,
until we, like you, have become old.
Still,
if you will: accept our gratitude
that you stand, even bootless,
on your feet.  We see
that few of those around us,
well shod and walking, even owning, the streets
are freed.

 

Somehow you have been.

 

Enough to remind us
of freedom’s devout
internal and
ineradicable seed.

 

What a magnificent Lion
you have been all these
disastrous years
and still are,
indeed.

In time I hope the latter part of this page displays poetry from those brave souls that would like to share their poetry.

  

 

 

 











 

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