“Let a race of men now rise and take control” – Theme for Week #4, April 22 thru April 29
DevotionReader Series: 30 Ways of Looking at Black Poetry
Today’s News - Elizabeth Alexander
Heavyweight champion of the world Mike Tyson broke his fist in a street brawl in Harlem at three A.M. outside an all-night clothing store where he was buying an 800-dollar, white leather coat. The other dude, on TV, said, “It was a sucker punch.” Muhammad Ali said Tyson ain’t pretty enough to be heavyweight champion of the world. Years ago a new Ali threw his Olympic gold into the Ohio River, said he’d get it when black people were truly free in this country. In South Africa there is a dance that says we are fed up we have no work you have struck a rock. I saw it on today’s news.
I didn’t want to write a poem that said “blackness is,” because we know better than anyone that we are not one or ten or ten thousand things Not one poem We could count ourselves forever and never agree on the number. When the first black Olympic gymnast was black and on TV I called home to say it was colored on channel three in nineteen eighty-eight. Most morning these days Ralph Edwards comes into the bedroom and says, “Elizabeth, this is your life. Get up a
nd look for color, look for color everywhere.”
Elizabeth Alexander, The Venus Hottentot, University Press of Virginia, 1990, 1991
Devotionreader.com 30 Days of Looking at Black Poetry -- Day: One O Black and Unknown Bards Two Listen Children Three For the Record Four Ballad of Birmingham Five Six The Idea of Ancestry Seven I Want to Write Eight A Grandfather Poem Nine Sweet Sound Ten My Brother is Homemade Eleven Those Winter Sundays Twelve SOS Thirteen Resurrections Fourteen Jessie Mitchell's Mother Fifteen April Rain Song Sixteen I've Got A Home in that Rock Seventeen Earth Screaming Eighteen Returning Spring Nineteen Newark, for Now  Twenty Dawn Twenty-One Fir Twenty-Two Comin Strong Twenty-Three From a Black Feminists Conference Reflections on Margaret Walker: Poet Twenty-Four My Africa Twenty-Five Strong Men Twenty-Six Today's News Twenty-Seven My Guilt Twenty-Eight Forward, Always Forward Twenty-Nine The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa Thirty What Harriet Said