“Emerging Man,” by Gordon Parks
Color Blind (For Real?)
Why is my race your foe needling you to lord over me, saving me from my own savagery?
Why is my skin color a phobia gnawing at your innards,
making door locks snap as I approach?
Why is my punishment swift revealing deep seated prejudices, exposing unrecognized biases?
Why is my street flashing “blue”
when verdicts and fines from the 2008 meltdown are reversed?
Why is my excessive “heat” normal
when straight powder has a lighter sentence than crack?
Why is my wanting to explode unexpected when a child or brother of mine is killed?
Why is my disinterest in school surprising
when suspension leads to a Juvenile Delinquency record?
Why is my broken home shocking
when a JD record forces Family Services to see if mom is at home or work?
Why can’t you see how I feel when redlining my community continues as Hudson City Bancorp pays $33M to make redlining allegations go away?
Why can’t you see how I feel about democrats wanting a piece of Dr. King when they created a welfare system making fathers abandon their children?
Why can’t you see how I feel about republicans when they just want another mockery of the Civil Rights Act?
Why can’t you see how my heroes are athletes and entertainers, not your pandering leaders?
Why can’t you see how I feel when the NBA, reacting to LeBron going pro out of high school, forces players to wait till 19, while PGA, NHL and MLB do not?
Why can’t you see how your rise from poverty didn’t require you to deal with what I do?
Why can’t you see how your decades of
pensions and home appreciation were denied me?
Why can’t you see how your decades
of opportunities were never mine?
Why can’t you see how I feel
when you just see me as another deadbeat or dealer?
Why can’t you see how my constant smile and nod responds to your hurtful put downs?
Why can’t you see how I just want
you to be truthful?
Why can’t you see the difference
is the difference within you?
Why can’t you see your problem
doesn’t emanate from me?
Why can’t you see I’ll respect you
when you respect me?
No point our talking
if you won’t hear me.
Quincy Hull (a/k/a “Q”) has been writing poetry for over 20 years, and is a member of Still Black See Writers’ and Artists’ Guild, for over 10 years. He has traveled extensively, reading and speaking at venues across the nation, including colleges from UWF and FSU to the University of Illinois, Loras College (Dubuque, IA), Northwest Missouri State University, and the University of Missouri. He has performed for and with some of the most respected poets in the nation. He has also been featured in several magazines and newspapers, including Pensacola’s own Independent News (IN) and the Pensacola News Journal. He moved to Pensacola in 2009 and joined the WFLF in 2010, and has since served a term as Vice-President of that organization. He has even starred in a play entitled “Thru the Eyes of a Child”. Q has published three poetry books: a compilation project entitled “Tribal Initiations” ; “Anarchism” ; and “Like Crabs in a Bucket” . He has also produced or co-produced and released five CDs of work: “Anarchism” , “For Big Mouths and Bad Feet” ; and the compilation projects “Truth and Consequences (Vols. 1 and 2) [2005, 2006]”, and “A Son Never Forgets, Ashe” .
Marc Livanos is a poet from Pensacola, Florida. His chapbooks “Panhandle Poet – Solitude” and “Panhandle Poet – Second Helpings” are available at Barnes & Noble and online at barnesandnoble.com. His poems appear in Straylight Magazine, Poet’s Espresso Review, Emerald Coast Review, Stray Branch, Old Red Kimono, The Poet’s Pen, Conceit Magazine, The Ultimate Writer Quarterly, PKA’s Advocate, WestWard Quarterly, Zylophone Poetry Journal, Feelings of the Heart, FreeXpresSion, Shemom, Ceremony, JerryJazzMusician, and The Pink Chameleon on Line.
In the preface to Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman writes; “Folks expect of the poet to indicate more than the beauty and dignity which always attach to dumb real objects … they expect him to indicate the path between reality and their souls.”
Our world is in dire need of the wisdom of the poets, and with that in mind I have decided to publish this powerful poem.
Our country continues to experience heartbreaking and despicable events spurred by ignorance, mistrust, and blind hatred. The actions and words of our presumed leaders playing into this fear of “the other” for political gain often end in a culture where tolerance and understanding is discarded, and innocent lives are forever altered.
Heartfelt thoughts and prayers to everyone touched by the actions in Ferguson, New York, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, St. Paul, Dallas and all over the country where this hatred continues to rage.