Negritude

jhflores February 22, 2012 Comments Off on Negritude
Negritude

We be those Negroes
Born to Slave Hands
Resurrecting forgotten African Gods
When Transplanted to New Lands
Mixing Ebonics
With Splanglish Slang
We be those Negroes
Children of Yoruba y Ibo
Bilingual and Indio
Afro-Caribes
Masters of plantation work
Race mixing
And Orisha Spirit raising

We be those Negroes
Creating Jazz with cats
Named Bird, Dizzy, Duke, and Armstrong
Cubop Bugalu Sal-Soul Searching Journey men
Mongo-Santamaria/Chano Pozo Drum Gods
And Celia Cruz
AZUCAS!
Legends leaving our cultural footprints
On the muddy minds
of the mentally dead

We be those Negroes
Creating Schomburg museums
of Black Studies
In Nuyorican Harlem streets
Where we once dance
during zoot suits riots
to Conga
Maraca
Bata
Break beats
and Palladium Massacres

We be those Negroes
Drawn as Sambos and Jigaboos
By political cartoonist
Who couldn’t erase
The taste of
Africa
From Antillean Culinary
Magicians
Creating miracles
with Curries call SoFritos

We be those Negroes
Younglords
Island Nationalist
Black Panthers
Vieques Activist
Santeros
And Guerreros
Brothers of Garvey
Children of Malcolm
Black Spades
Savage Skulls
Chingalings
And Latin Kings

We be those Negroes
Like Harvard Educated Lawyer
Don Pedro Albizu Campos
Stationed
In all Black regiments
Learning the reality
Of Jim Crow Society
And their gringolandia
Government Race public policies
Calling Bilingual Niggers
Spics

We be those Negroes
Before Sosa
Before Clemente
Before Jackie
Giving Negro league
Baseball legends
A place
Under the sun
to call home
When no one else
Would have them

We be those Negroes
Dancing
Moving
Breaking
Egyptian
Electric Boogalooing
Locking
On concrete jungles
To Cool Herc
Jamaican
Sound Boy Systems
And aerosol
symphony backgrounds

We be those Negroes
Charlie Chasing
Rock Steadying
A dream call Hip-Hop
In Bronx Backyard Boulevards
Between
Casitas and Tenements
With Roaches for Landlords

We be those Negroes
Writing Epics
Like Willie Perdomo testaments
Called “Nigger-Recan Blues”
And Victor Hernandez Cruz
Odes to “African Things”
Hiding our dark skinned
Literary Abuelitas
With Bembas Colora
In places where the Whiteness police
could never find them

We be those Negroes
Denied access to Black Nationalist run
Karenga Kwanza Poetry readings
Because we remind the ignorant
Of the complexity that is their culture
Neither Here nor There
Not quite Brown
Not quite White
We navigate uncharted
Waters
Of Black Identity Boxes

We be those Negroes
Mulatto
We be those Negroes
Criollo
We be those Negroes
Moreno
We be those Negroes
Trigueños
We be those Negroes
Octoroons and Quadroons
We be those Negroes
Cimarrones and Nanny of the Maroons
We be those Negroes
Cienfuegos y Fidel
We be those Negroes
Luis Pales Matos and Aime Cesaire
We be those Negroes
Puentes,
Mirandas,
Riveras,
Colons,
Felicianos,
Lavoes and
Palmieris
We be those Negroes
Judios
Y a veces
Jodios
We be those Negroes
Dominicanos y Cubanos
We be those Negroes
Jaimiquinos y Haitianos
We be those Negroes
Panameños y Borinqueños

We be those Negroes
Seeking freedom from
Irrationality
In an age of Nuclear
Goya Families
And Television
Carbon Copy Clone
Univision/BET/MTV
Slave Children

We be those Negroes
Known by many names
And many deeds
Spoken of in Secret
By African-American
Scholars
In envy during their nightly
Salsa
Dance classes
As they try
To pick up White Girls

We be those Negroes
Caribbean
Negritude
Heroes
Sometimes negating our destiny
But always finding
Peace
In the Darkness
Of Sleep

We be those Negroes
Negroes
We
Be

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