During the Spoken Word Hour at the Baltimore Urban Book Festival this past Sunday, 7/14/13, I recited “The Ironic State of Black Men in Society” from the “Life” section of Prevail. I thought it quite fitting considering recent events. Video of the performance is forthcoming.
The Ironic State of Black Men in Society
Such complex, beautiful creatures:
Yet condemned to damnation.
Often seen as failures, hoodlums, and vagabonds.
Rarely honored or acknowledged for the greater good they’re doing for their
families, their communities, and themselves.
With that depiction in the media how could their outlook not be gloomy?
But that’s only if you aren’t hip to the real T of their plight.
For some strange reason, in the larger society, it is hard for them to be accepted
as intelligent, honorable, responsible beings in areas outside of entertainment.
And when this perspective of them is challenged, it’s met with all kinds of
resentment, distrust, doubt, and downright hatred
Anytime reality trumps perception the masses can’t seem to handle it.
And when they happen to be seen in a positive light, and something happens to
them, or they are accused of an action that casts a negative light on the initial
They are immediately baited for the wolves.
Regardless of proven guilt or innocence, they’ve already been placed into the
Never to be redeemed or forgiven.
They are made to pay for their misgivings and backfires—whether intended
or not, whether guilty or not—for several lifetimes over.
Even after death, vindication is not promised, if ever granted,
’Cause the fickleness of society will not enable a shift in feeling, right, judgment,
or frame of mind.
The road to justice and finding a relevant, truthful place for black men in this
world does not seem possible in any of our lifetimes.
While the imagery and experiences are not, and will not, always be positive,
The belief that black men are no good is ever prevalent.
What has happened, unfortunately, to their plight has many causes and fingers
that can be pointed at many places.
But the realness, the truth, and the change begin within.
Just because you’ve been denigrated to a certain caste in the world
Does not mean that you have to accept it or embrace it as your own.
Defy what stood before you;
Challenge what you’ve walked into.
Create something better to live on, and impact those coming after you.
That’s where your power lies.
There’s no guarantee that it’ll change minds,
But people will take note.
As long as you define who you are,
and continue to build yourself and your people up,
redemption is guaranteed.
There’s no need to seek the approval or consent of the outsiders.
© 2012 BuddahDesmond
“The Ironic State of Black Men in Society” is featured in the “Life” section of Prevail: Poems on Life, Love, and Politics. Prevail is available at iUniverse, Amazon (Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle), Barnes & Noble, Book-A-Million (Paperback | Hardcover), and other retailers.
Happy 1st Anniversary to ‘Prevail’!
101 Days Project: Prevail
‘Prevail’ Featured in EDC Creations’ ‘2013 Summer Sizzler Book Tour Magazine’
BuddahDesmond Appearing at the Baltimore Urban Book Festival (BUBF) on 7/14/13
BuddahDesmond Featured in MOOV Magazine