When I Pic My 'fro in the Mornin' This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

When I pic my 'fro in the mornin'
I think of the people who have come before me
Rosa Parks, Dr. King, Harriet Tubman and India Arie
Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Malcolm X and every slave
all fighting for me
to be free.
When I pic my 'fro in the mornin'
I see my people being stuck, bonded and strapped to the projects
Lookin' for a better way than gangs, pain, sufferin'
sellin' like a drug machine,
alcohol their only friend,
Brotha, can it ever end?
When I pic my 'fro in the mornin'
I imagine the powerful continent of Africa
ransacked, under attack, robbed, beaten, shanghaied and whipped
with hatred and prejudice,
The white man's greed stronger than need be
Take me home, we cry, but the only path be to die - not to try.
When I pic my 'fro in the mornin'
I envision beautiful black women like me
worthless, ashamed, ugly, afraid
Does no one want us?
Will no one find our brown skin lovely;
our full bodies godly
Will we ever compare to the "prize" of the white man ...
Shall we ever see honor in this land?
When I pic my 'fro in the mornin'
I think of the black man strong and proud,
being knocked down to the ground
falsely accused, mentally abused
never good enough, always too tough
not a man, still a slave
refusing niggeration; accepting assimilation.
When I pic my 'fro in the mornin'
I see a world hurt by segregation
wanting affirmations, reparations, revolutions,
a better nation -
Suffocation - inevitable; and liberation ...
Condemnation - inescapable; and liberation?
When I pic my 'fro in the mornin'
I think of schools like mine where Blacks are
watched, guilty til proven innocent, that's a fact,
looked down upon we always lack.
When will they teach of my history ...
Aren't I a part of this country?
Must I wait till February,
so you can keep educating me, on slavery
to put me in my place ...
Is there nothin' else about me ...
Have my people done nothin' great
for the United States?
When I pic my 'fro in the mornin'
and spray it for a lil' shine
I do it for those of us dead, silenced, broken and beat
I do it for the woman forced to remove
her "unprofessional" African braids or work the street;
I do it for the man stuck in jail who will know no justice
I do it for the gang-bangers and crooks with no other way,
given a gun before a good book.
I do it for the ones in the projects sellin' weed to see tomorrow -
Give them another look!
When I pic my 'fro in the mornin'
Oh, when I pic my 'fro in the mornin'
I know what people will say each and every day,
but I'll keep on picin' ... for life ... my ... life ...

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

Christablue said...
Feb. 8, 2011 at 8:13 pm

This is great!!!!!!!!! I just can't find the words to describe the way I was feeling while reading your work. I'm writhing something like this too! Please check it out when I post it


SaMiLoVe97 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 7, 2011 at 12:34 pm
wow. absolutely breathetaking. i am white but when i sit through yet another lesson of slavery in civics im ashamed of our country for doing that to your people. i actually wish i had more traits of an african. you guys have much fuller pure voices and i love the different colors. some deep and rich and others more auburn. you are all beautiful(: amazing peice.
Imagine This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 24, 2010 at 9:17 pm

I must be entirely honest in my comment. I was thrown off by the title... I've never been a fan of anything less than proper English, no matter the culture behind the dialect. But this... this justified it... This made me--a person claiming to be open-minded to anything--really second-guess my biases. So thank you. Thanks for broadening my horizon to a culture I had never been exposed to and a past I never understood. 


Great job. I've been a member of Teen Ink for a ... (more »)

beautifulworld said...
Jun. 24, 2010 at 2:02 am
Absolutely wonderful, so amazing, incredible, I can't possibily give this enough praise. I loved it!!! It's going right up into my favorites. I would be so happy if you would check out some of my poems, they are about some of the same stuff, though not nearly as well worded. 
morgan_ennis said...
Mar. 6, 2010 at 9:45 pm
I can feel your pain in this. It makes me feel bad for being white even though I do not treat other races any different than my own. As a matter a fact, I am getting engaged to an african american. Well he is jamacin. To me his skin color has nothing to do with it. Colored people have rights and feelings just like everyone else does. They do not need to get blamed for everything because they are equal to whites and everyone else.
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