Monday, May 30, 2011

Revving For A Revolution

With the passing of Gil Scott-Heron, I wanted to write something here to commemorate his life and his work. He's better known for his lyrics, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," but "The New Deal" is a close runner-up.

But, before I share his "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," let me share a poem of mine, inspired by the Lyrics:

"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised [1]"

The revolution is an involution, and an evolution.
It’s meant to overthrow your heart and mind,
To rewire your brain’s convolution,
So truth will be easier to find.

Here’s what Gil might have said,
Our all-too-soon, dearly departed:

"The revolution has already started,
But don't look for an outward sign:
The revolution is inside your head,
And well within your mind."

[1] Gil Scott-Heron

You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,
Skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John
Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be brought to you by the
Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie
Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
The revolution will not make you look five pounds
thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

There will be no pictures of you and Willie May
pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run,
or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance.
NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32
or report from 29 districts.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being
run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process.
There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy
Wilkens strolling through Watts in a Red, Black and
Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the proper occasion.

Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville
Junction will no longer be so damned relevant, and
women will not care if Dick finally gets down with
Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
will be in the street looking for a brighter day.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no highlights on the eleven o'clock
news and no pictures of hairy armed women
liberationists and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose.
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb,
Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom
Jones, Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be right back after a message
bbout a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
You will not have to worry about a dove in your
bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
The revolution will put you in the driver's seat.

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
will not be televised, will not be televised.
The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Do you want to be made whole?

Do you want to be made whole?
Then, rise. Take up your bed and walk.

Walk in your freedom
Run not out of fear
Face the darkness and know that
You control the light
Because you are the light.

The light -- bright and spotless
whole and free

You are the light in you own life, shine.

You are powerful beyond measure
and your greatest power is to choose.

Choose to love or hate this story.

Choose to love or hate your mom.

Choose to love or hate yourself.

It's your power and has always been.

Choose, over and over again until your light
no longer shrinks when the shadows make your flesh crawl.

Thank your flesh for reminding you of your
choice to love.


Will you be made whole?

The decision is yours.

It always has been.

Author: Alexis. Poem copyrighted 2011. For republication, consent must be given by the author.

Background Information:

I've known Alexis (Lex) for several years now. We met online. During that time, she's faced many personal obstacles, and have bested them all. This poem is a testament to her amazing growth, and how much she's allowed herself to remember of All That Is.

She was gracious enough to allow me to share her poem in this setting. For that, I extend my heartiest thanks.

Friday, February 4, 2011


by Carlela

I cry for the babies, who has no food to eat,
brought into this world to suffer, and often beat

I cry for our children dropping out of school,
no one cared to teach them about the golden

I cry for the homeless sleeping in the street,
stop being selfish, offer them a piece of meat.

I cry for the gangs, killing to take control,
they've instilled inside a reaping, for their very
own soul.

I cry for the fathers who never stood to the
say hello to your children, it will never be too

I cry seeing mothers put it all in her hand,
it's a cry of joy, she knew how to stand.

I cry for old folks being neglected and abused,
these are the same ones, that opened up doors
for you.

I cry observing families breaking up, fighting
God didn't put us together, to act out this way.

I cry looking at young men wearing their
pants so low,
an open invitation, it's not the way to go.

I cry seeing young girls with their skirts
raised up high,
can't find true love, they don't understand why.

I cry for peace to let it begin,
soon this world will come to an end.
I cry knowing Jesus is coming this way,
He said it in the beginning, when He created
the day.

I cry to see love shared between many of you,
those are reasons why I cry, one day it will all
come true.

copywrited 2010

photo credit: stylecouch.files

Wednesday, January 5, 2011



by C. Lynn Thomas

God thought of me
When He called me to be a Mother to thee
I was to be a lie line as I carried you
When my heart beat yours did too
I ate you did too

Yes a life line as I carried you
He told me about the pain in child bearing I had to bare
But He would be right there
Moving around all inside getting ready to arrive
As you came
I can't explain
But a great joy overcame

In my arms you lie when just once you were inside
I lift you up and gave you hack to Him
Saying...Lord thank you for entrusting me
I dedicate this child back to thee
For in you Lord I look for you to guide and provide

Nothing can move me from being a Mother
For what a honor to be a Mother to thee
As life went on by I found myself
Watching your 1st step, 1st tooth, 1st dance
So many 1st there were
What an honor not only to be a Mother to the one I bare
But to the others that had no Mother to care

A Mother is more than carrying and delivering a child
A mother rises early
And won't sleep to the late of night
Praying, caring, loving, giving, sharing teaching
Oh that's me
To the end is where I'll be
For God called me to be a Mother to thee

Copywrite 2006

submitted by Blinders Off

photo credit: romanticrider blog

artist credit: Kolonoj

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Marian Sings

Marian Sings
(Lincoln Memorial, Easter Sunday, 1939)
by Black Diaspora

Did you hear me sing my song
on that cold Easter morn,
'fore Lincoln's stony ears,
a nation's silent fears,
to soothe the troubled throng
gathered there to mourn
an evil and a wrong?

Did you hear me sing my song?
My voice was strong!
My voice was loud:
It carried fragile love
far beyond the crowd.

And if you heard my song,
you'd know my refuge's far above
the tyranny and the shame
that hold a master captive
to the freedom of a slave.

Copyright 1996

Background Information:

WASHINGTON — More than 2,000 people gathered Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial for a concert honoring the 70th anniversary of Marian Anderson's historic performance there in 1939.

Because of the color of her skin, Anderson was denied the opportunity to perform at nearby Constitution Hall and local high schools. So, instead, the opera singer sang on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in April 1939 to a 75,000-person crowd of blacks and whites standing together.

In the Sunday afternoon sunshine, African-American opera star Denyce Graves performed three of the same songs Anderson sang 70 years ago: "America (My Country, 'Tis of Thee)," "O, Mio Fernando" and "Ave Maria."

Wearing one of Anderson's old dresses, Graves called her predecessor "one of my greatest heroes."

"It is the honor of my life and my career to be celebrating this day of freedom with you," she told the audience.

She joked that when she looked over Anderson's performance list and saw "O, Mio Fernando" she thought, "my God she sang that song; that's really hard."

Although in her own lifetime Anderson was described as one of the world's greatest living contraltos, her career was nonetheless hindered by the limitations placed on it because of racial prejudice. Two events in particular that illustrate the pervasiveness of white exclusiveness and African-American exclusion--even when it came to someone of Anderson's renown--serve as historical markers not only of her vocal contributions but also of the magnificence of her bearing, which in both instances turned two potential negatives into resounding positives.

In 1938, following her numerous international and national successes, Hurok believed it was time for Anderson to appear in the nation's capital, at a major hall. She had previously appeared in Washington, D.C., at churches, schools, civic organization meetings, and at Howard University, but she had not appeared at the district's premiere auditorium, Constitution Hall. At that time, when negotiations began for a Marian Anderson concert to be given in 1939 at the Daughters of the American Revolution-owned hall, a clause appeared in all contracts that restricted the hall to "a concert by white artists only, and for no other purpose." Thus in February 1939 the American who had represented her country with honor across the globe was denied the right to sing at Constitution Hall simply because she was not white.

A great furor ensued, and thanks to the efforts of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, the great contralto appeared the following Easter Sunday (9 Apr. 1939) on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial before an appreciative audience of 75,000. She began the concert by singing "America" and then proceeded to sing an Italian aria, Schubert's Ave Maria, and three Negro spirituals, "Gospel Train," "Trampin,"' and "My Soul Is Anchored in the Lord." Notably, she also sang "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen." Commemorating the 1939 Lincoln Memorial concert is a mural at the Interior Department; it was formally presented in 1943, the year that Anderson made her first appearance in Constitution Hall, by invitation of the Daughters of the American Revolution and benefiting United China Relief.

The second history-making event came on 7 January 1955, when Anderson made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, becoming the first black American to appear there. Opera had always interested Anderson, who tells the story in her autobiography of a visit with the noted African-American baritone Harry T. Burleigh, during which she was introduced to and sang for an Italian gentleman. When she climbed the scale to high C, the man said to Burleigh, "Why sure she can do Aida," a traditionally black role. On her first trip to England, Anderson had visited a teacher who suggested that she study with her, guaranteeing that she would have her singing Aida within six months. "But I was not interested in singing Aida," Anderson wrote. "I knew perfectly well that I was a contralto, not a soprano. Why Aida?"