In recent years we have seen a rise in the rate that African Americans, men and women alike, are being killed and in most publicized cases it is by the police. The purpose of this collection is to attempt to inform the audience as to the feelings that African Americans have on a daily basis. Doing something as simple of being in their own house has proven time and time again to not be a safe place. If you can’t life safely in your own home imagine the stress of leaving home. In Under My Feet begins as the story of an African American person opening their door and telling us all of the things that they see in their neighborhood, and it is a fantastic place to live. He speaks about the things they step over to get to the daily paper. It is the headlines that shift the perfect day to the darkness that is their internal reality. The poem is a hard-hitting reality with headline quotes from the year. By the end they realize the things on the ground are the bodies of all of the people who have been murdered in the headlines. In Next Chapter we see someone looking for the next chapter of African American history in the library and they can’t find it. Throughout the poem the fear is that no one is writing it. That in years to come like so many important things in American history they too will be forgotten as an important part of what American was and has come to be. It is important to memorialize the presence of all people within the books that our children will learn from. If not, who will tell the stories? How will any of us live past the now?
Life of the African American in 2019
Looking out of the window this morning
All is right with the world
Open my front door and wave to the neighbors
Mrs. Logan, “Morning sir how’s the wife?”
Mrs. Kelly, “Little Jamie still playing softball? Fantastic.”
Can you see it?
Grabbing the news paper
Looking up to the perfectly rising sun in my
Perfectly perfect neighborhood
With my perfectly friendly neighbors
On a street where life is just perfect