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Celebrating Black History

from Nhojj Poetry Vol. 2 by Nhojj



This month I celebrate Black History Month with my favorite authors. Authors who inspired me to write boldly and honestly. Authors who showed me the power of words and the value of intention. Authors who held my hand while I discovered the logic of rhyme.

It was while I was composing, reminiscing on hours spent reading classics from these brave women and men, that this poem came running over, arms waving wildly, attempting to get my attention... and what a beautiful poem it turned out to be, simply called - Celebrating Black History.


My history  
Your history  
Celebration of color  

Overcoming adversity  

We all taste it so 
Let’s face it  
African and Caucasian  
Asian and Indian too 
Native American or not 
We’ve all been black and blue 

Physically emotionally  
Mentally and spiritually  
We all know what pain feels like  
We all know how chains sealed tight feel like 
History reveals many battles many fights 
Go back far enough &  
We all know what inferiority feels like 
That’s why typewriters type 
And writers write wrongs 

The hand that life can deal us 
That hand of fate can steal us  
Right out of our mother’s hands 
Right out of our motherland &  
Harvest us in fields of cotton rice vice and sugarcane 

So it often seems 
Our lives don’t amount to a  
Can of beans 
Bought and sold over a counter top 
Let me fix these seams  
& while I’m over here  
Let me fix you a plate of these collard greens 
Black eye peas macaroni cheese 
Okra & cornbread too 
So you can chew on this 

Overcoming is encoded in our DNA  
Overcoming walks freely in our genes 
Like kings & queens 

Remember that sermon on the mount  
Dr. Martin Luther King 
Lift every voice & sing   
I have a dream 
Sojourner Truth 
Followed route 2 
Freedom then planted new  
Seeds new trees new 
Roots run deep 
Tribes live free 
Daughter of Africa 
Feminist abolitionist  
George Washington Carver 
Scientist botanist inventor 

Rosa Parks spent her life 
In return for so little change so 
Sat there on that bus. 
She must have been scared  
On that bus.  Lightning and disbelief  
Flashing all around her... on that bus. 
Like thunder war and rage 
Gears shift and bus parks 
Sparks and fireworks on that bus. 
Change looming  
Voices booming 
On that bus. 
Trying desperately to drowned  
Her but she and many  
Sisters sat  
On that bus. 
Mouthing words 
Caged birds singing softly
On that bus. 
We shall not be moved 

We all know their names 
We all believe in their aims 
We all know their deeds 
We all received their proceeds 

Frederick Douglas, W. E. B. DuBois 
Marian Anderson who sang opera arias in  
Concert recitals seated right next to negro spirituals... 

Wade in the water
Gods gonna trouble the water

Swing low sweet chariot
Coming forth to carry me home

Steal away 
Steal away to freedom 

She sung  
She won the hearts of Americans everywhere  
Every town square  
Where we sat huddled together in the cold 
Discovering new ways to  
Be bold & overcome fear 

Soon I will be done with the troubles of your world... 

That’s how we called forth the rebels 
Radicals and revolutionaries 
They rose from the earth & 
Marched in the streets 
Chanting slogans to  
Repeal injustice and prejudice  
Speaking out 
Speaking up  
For the people   
By the people  

Malcom X 
Huey P. Newton 
Angela Davis  
Asata Shakur  
Freedom fighters 
Fire lighters  
The original 
Black lives matter  
Black strength gathers 
Black Muslims 
Black Panthers  
Fists raised in the air 
Afros & dashikis & bowties  

Underground Railroad now added  
New names and faces  
Marsha P. Johnson  
Drag queen, trans women giving  
Homeless kids a home  
Starting Stonewall Riots  
Combating bias 
Resisting silence 
Cause there is no way to justify this  
Homophobia transphobia  
Sexist behavior  
We all need a savior... sometimes 

Speaking of saving 
What would we do without  
Artists paving the way 
Authoring new books for a new day 
Some merry some gay  
But all coming together to play 
So we could dance  
Together in  
Streets & in  
Clubs & on  
Stages &  
Laugh as  
Life flipped the pages... 

Jazz Blues Hip hop R&B & Rock & Roll too  
Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Bessie Smith, Sylvester,  
Miles Davis, Tupac, MJJ, Billie Holiday & the Four Tops to
Name a few... 

Alvin Ailey, Audre Lorde, Octavia E Butler & Basquiet  

In sporting news 
The fastest woman of all time 
Venus carries on the legacy of Althea Gibson 
Jackie Robinson hits more home runs  

Muhammad Ali 
Pretty bumblebee  
Brings another opponent to his knees 

Let us not forget the 
Ebony & Jet & Black Enterprise  
Covers every photo every word between 
Advertisements for Afro sheen, Jheri curls &  
Pretty girls wearing Iman cosmetics  
Even though we all know under all that  
Hair grease, rouge and lipstick 
Black is beautiful! 

You know I had to say it... 

Who said hero worship was bad for us? 

We the people  
We need our gods 
We need these relationships 
Crave these fellowships 
Value our kinships are 
Thankful for our mentorships  
So around this time  
Every year  
We renew our subscriptions &  
Annual memberships... 

United Negro College fund 
National Black Justice Coalition  
My Brothers Keeper 
Sister Love 
Black Youth Project  
Black Alliance for Justice Immigration  
Million Hoodies 
The Innocence Project 
Color of Change 
And so many many many many more... 
But in all this praising... 
Rejoicing & being exceedingly glad  
Let us not forget the folks  
Closest to our hearts... 

When we celebrate the celebrated 
Let us also elevate the often negated  
Those precious Souls relegated to the role of & 
Somehow always rising above & 
So very deserving of  
The title  
The distinction  
The recognition  
The appellation  


Remember the 
Neighbor down the street, whether  
She sleeps in a house or  
On a cardboard sheet 

The lawyer & the dentist &  
The plumber & the gardener &  
The bus driver who greets you  
Every evening on your way home from work 
Remember all these & more & 
Handle with care 
All who recite this prayer  
We shall overcome & 
Do overcome  
Whatever they can overcome  
To all of you   
Today &  
Tomorrow... Forever  
Be true 
We salute you  

Yes I know we ain’t 
Overcame all that needs to be 
There is still much more  
Overcoming yet still to do... & the  
Doing we must do... but the 
Good Book say  

I believe this to be true... this 
Race ain’t given to the swift 

We all need to work this shift cause  
Each moment can be turned into  
A gift  
Can’t nobody honestly say 
We ain’t come a long way 
That’s what we pausing here today  
To do 
With Gratitude  
Our gifts 

Cause when a 
Brother can rise to become president 
That sets a new precedent  
Shirley Chisholm ran too 
Back in 1972 

President Barack Obama did right by her  
Called her name & 
Awarded her her due 

Acts like these help 
Everyone stand a little taller  
Brethren colored in golden chocolate hues &  
Everyone else too 

So don’t get distracted... 
A few guns, hoses and frightened  
narrow minded congressional opposes  
Can’t stop this march forward  
This flashlight exposes all who raid the  
Innocence of peace and hope &  
Progress forward 

So tonight as you lay upon your bed of roses 
Blood trickling as your crown of thorns imposes  
On insides raw & bare & bruised  
Remember what this prose is 

Remember their names  
Remember what they became 
Remember that deep down  
We are all the same... 
But most importantly... 
Remember how we overcame 

Cause if we overcame before  
We can overcome again &  
again & 

Let the church say 


from Nhojj Poetry Vol. 2, track released February 3, 2018
Written & performed by Nhojj


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Nhojj Orlando, Florida

Singer/songwriter and poet wading through the rivers of R&B, soul, jazz, and reggae.

My intention is to create sonic spaces where you can experience yourself through the lens of love and acceptance.

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