Looking The Other Way

hoodie-tmartin“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” Wiiliam Wilberforce

roland hayes

Roland Hayes, the brilliant tenor became the first African-American man to earn international fame as a concert vocalist. In 1942, Mr. Hayes’s wife, Helen and daughter, Afrika, sat in a whites-only area of a shoe store and were thrown out. When Mr. Hayes defended his family, he was beaten and he and his wife were arrested. The incident inspired Langston Hughes to compose the poem, Roland Hayes Beaten.

ethel waters 3

The Beulah Show, the first sitcom to star an African American actress, moved from radio to ABC TV on October 3, 1950, starring Ethel Waters for the first season. Hattie McDaniel, star of radio’s Beulah, joined the cast around September of 1951 but only filmed six episodes of the second season before falling ill. She was quickly replaced by Louise Beavers who stayed with the show until its cancellation in 1952.

heisman trophy 600“I’m not black, I’m O.J.,” a reference to an alleged quote from O.J. Simpson’s murder trial. Simpson was saying, as the story goes, that through fame and fortune he had managed to distance himself from the issues plaguing black men in America: poverty, police brutality, incarceration. I guess he was wrong. Continue reading “Looking The Other Way”

How To Let Go

It will help

If you relax

The air will cool

Your fingers will

Return to obedience

Having succeeded

They will hold tight

To their pyric prize

remain passionate

Afterall

throats are more than straws

Manos de muerta

Por lo momento

Between heaven

and the sea

Should you need

To pry your fingers

From your prize

Consider it

a trophetic reflex

Nothing more

Avoid remorse

At all costs.

Through the Trees

Through the trees
bonfire bright
did you see the flames

Log upon log
tinder and my tender heart
waiting watching

The flames flame then
die wood
becomes embers
stirred by branched memories

Lights at tunnels end
leading to conclusions
that do not fruit

Sunrise slithers
among the smoke
choking the last glow
of you and me
leaving the residue
of tearless goodbyes.