I wrote this poem for my Black Feminism class that I took this quarter and I presented it tonight in class. It was an incredibly nerve racking experience but it was an amazing personal accomplishment for me because although I enjoyed writing this poem, I loathed reciting it in public. I’m really happy I did it though! :)
I believe that in order to end oppression we need to really set our privileges aside and understand where each other is coming from, everything ranging from our backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. We need to educate each other about our struggles, triumphs and our progress in hopes of one day we may see equality in our society. I wrote this poem from the perspective of a Black Panther during the time period of the Black Liberation Movement. It’s simple but I feel that the messages were powerful enough to captivate the emotions of one that endured ridicule and discrimination in a time where white supremacy was even more dominant in the U.S. than it is today. I’m not much of a poet really, normally I would write an academic essay or a short story but when I started writing I came out with this.
The word ‘revolutionary’ kept speaking out to me as well, just from reading the autobiography from Assata Shakur. She spoke of being a revolutionary and how empowered she became when she associated herself with that ideal. I couldn’t get over the fact at how the word itself is so powerful that I ended up writing this poem about it.
I am a Revolutionary
Because people see me walk by
with a gleam in my eye
as I hold my head up high
I open my mouth and let out a loud cry:
The perception of women in America is one big lie!
Because I am a Revolutionary.
I walk these streets at night
as passerbys see me and cling to each other tight.
I walk swiftly, with my destination in sight
knowing full well that around me I am looked at with fright.
But I just take their gawks and their stares and hurl it back with smite.
Because I am a Revolutionary.
I stand before picketing lines and fences
and marvel at the view from my feminist lenses
As the government bellows words of false pretenses
they make sure to alarm and be offensive
but my people hold their ground and are relentless.
We are all warriors, Black liberation army representatives.
We are Revolutionary.
I shout long and loud for the world to hear
for my point should be made profoundly clear
justice starts now and equality for all is near
and those who oppose should shrivel in fear
for we are not allowing ourselves to tolerate your jeers.
And when victory is won, you’ll wallow in our cheers.
Because we are Revolutionary.
But the crowds of picket lines have left
and we deal now with crimes of theft
of the men, women and children with courage and depth
stolen, captured, killed, and being held against
their will to freedom, life, liberty and access.
No this war is not over, not ever, not to their expense.
Because we are Revolutionary people.
My girlfriend is such an amazing writer. Read up