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Junious ‘Jay’ Ward, performing at IWPS 2019 in San Diego, CA.
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Legends say Africans once soared through the sky Like blackbirds but once enslaved by Americans they forgot their wings forgot How to fly one day legends say master Look up and seen black bodies floating Right out the field one by one a cloud Of freedom a black rapture caught up in Glory this poem be north star big dipper Be slave song be mapped to free Disguised as spiritual this poem be a Men oh yeah this poem be black Black as you can handle got wings too Travel from masses field to my Grandfather's sharecrop shanty from There to selma montgomery greensboro Little rock from there to ferguson Baltimore cleveland sanford from there To fish fry by the lake cookout be all Legs when frankie beverly and maize come On be my uncle's skin slumped in a chair After a big dinner be me beating on Lunch tables at conway middle school be Miranda protest riot cuffed and clipped Mama will say when that day come your Wings gonna spread wider than an Archangel with a smile to match i say Mama how can i smile and open my back to The wind at the same time she say boy Don't you know you can fly Don't you know you can change into Something else entirely the problem is Reaction to change always been violent Always been chased and hound and water
Holes reaction to change always bent now Why you want to go and do that folk why You want to go and mess up a good thing Why you want to not be satisfied with What we gave you see we never should Have gave y'all nothing what are we Going to do about black wall street but Burn it down what are we going to do About harlem but take it back what we Going to do but tell you what we gonna Do and then do it and then ask you what You're mad fo ain't you grateful we be Grateful for fannie lou hamer for rosa Parks my aunt chloe aunt jesse marmal And all the black women that made it Possible for us to fly in the first Place for solange viola lupita tank and The bangers for me and you Yo mama and your cousin too oh yeah this Poem be black and when i say black i Mean resilient when i say black i mean Love when i say black i mean fly i mean We can't be owned i mean a resilient Love that can fly on its own cause every Black poem really just be a love poem be I love you be i love myself be we gonna Make it this time like we make it every Time if they ask you how we did it the Answer is not love it's heart not Steadfast it's shift not intention it's Movement not a wall it's jericho the Answer to any question has never been a Trump that raises a wall it's a trumpet That brings one down what work how hard
Why shift when now what movement what Jericho who joshua what ram horn why Fall why disrupt who left the gate open If this the plantation what they gonna Do without us Oh Look at this View How we come so far after being brought So low Covers so much ground Ain't we Beautiful Oh yeah you got wings you all got wings Just because they've forgotten or called Home or cuffed or clipped don't mean Don't mean don't mean you ain't been Flying This whole time [Applause] You