Saturday, February 9, 2013

Knowledge To Survive

Knowledge To Survive
(from the book, The Midnight Hybrid)

This was written for Black History Month in 2011.

I decided for Black History Month
To speak about someone who without a shadow of doubt
Impacted African American history
His name is Knowledge

Broken down when I was a youth
I was told that knowledge meant
To know the ledge
Apparently, it was forgotten
Because now many are no longer toeing the edge
But rather doing swan dives into the cycling promise
That dates back to times of prehistory
The wealth of the planet which laid bountifully
In the heart of the place we call the Motherland
Is now being mined in such a horrific way
That hundreds and thousands are dying each day
Yet, despite all of their pains and struggles
They hold pride in their homeland and band like a muscle
Before, drums were beat to tell stories and messages
Villages sending signals and tribesmen chanting
Now drums are beating to play mess to us
Ignorance is glorified through obscene ranting
And you wonder to yourself
Where is our distinction?
What once was held by our kings and queens
Has died through the years and is now rarely seen

It was knowledge

Before the Greeks knew of their many deities
And classified and categorized the stars in the sky
The pharaohs aligned their pyramids to them
And while civilizations negotiated and bartered with gold
Our ancestors played with it, and wore it from head to toe
But now
While the rest of the world uses it for great feats
We kill one another to wrap it around our teeth
Now before you say that what you are reading is so dumb
Have you ever thought about what we are leaving for our sons?
More time is spent working hard to buy them Christmas gifts
Yet they don’t even know what the meaning of Christmas is
And to many
February is so unnecessary
That we think of Valentine’s
And black history is second memory
There should be more than twenty eight days
Because there is much that we aren’t getting
But instead of seeking knowledge
Candy and cards are being mentioned

It was knowledge

Helping former slaves to find freedom
And turn around to risk their lives to help people
To get out of the chains and shackles keeping them down
For us to feel like we arrived because we are wearing chains now
It was our ancestral rhythm that took a beat and added words
Made metaphors out of simple phrases and verbs
Able to change the heartbeat by playing a song
Formed lyrics to inform everyone about the wrongs
But now all you hear about are flashy clothes and foolish things
Fast women and cars and claiming themselves kings
But when the lights go out and the jewelry no longer shines
In their world
They remain a slave in their own minds
Instead of shaking the system
Women are shaking their behinds
We live in a society where it pays to do a crime
In the corner
I see a brother being called names
Because he speaks to his peers about making a change
And he asks
“Are you making a difference, or part of the cycle?”
Brothers continue walking by
And women scour their magazines like hair bibles
And you can hear their words
“Oh, he thinks he’s so righteous?”
“Who does he think he is?”
“It’s my life, and I like it.”
Instead of seeking growth, they look at him as a criminal
So instead of seeing hope, they continue to live subliminal

It was knowledge

That showed us how to write out our thoughts
And then poetry came forth
People learned how to put feelings into scripts
And write stories to read
Leaving lessons as treasures for generations to heed
But now the language is broken
No more punctual markings
No more grammar in sentences
Just foul language and text-talking
And our spelling is trash
But you start to get mad when I
Ask for your degree and wonder how you passed
There’s no judging or showing
No stones to be throwing
But the knowledge is missing and the people aren’t growing
While you say we’re evolving
We are really dissolving
And the future generations will be waste as we call it
And I know you might be mad and hate what you are reading
But do you know this is a cry and right now we are pleading?
This isn’t bashing on you
This is sorrowing for we
Take the blinders from your eyes and hopefully you will see
That the way things are now doesn’t always have to be
You can live at peace outside and inside be mentally free
Take a moment to step outside
Look at the world and you will know
That the ledge we are on
Is also to help us grow
If we make a change

With knowledge, you can survive.
Know the ledge, so you can serve the hive.

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