march thirty one: #30poems30days – poetry inspired by pop culture – sports and racism

photo from Google.com

photo from Google.com

I  originally wrote this poem in 2006 and revised it in 2014.  It’s to interesting how this topic of the intersection of sports and racism continues to be a problem in American society juxtaposed against the importance of sports in the lives of American youth and our need for recreational activities.  Sports and athletic events has also become somewhat of a status symbol, afforded only by those with money to pay for front row seats at stadiums or who’s corporations can buy season tickets for it’s employees, leaving the everyday citizen to watch it on TV or forcing at home viewers to go broke investing in a “viewing package” of all football/basketball/baseball all the time just to stay caught up with the Jones’.  This issue is out of hand and the recent alleged racist rant by L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling only exacerbates the problem as well as opens a window into the true feelings and comfort level of many older white men in America who still own most of the land and commodities in our society.  So much to talk about, so little time….

 

A New Kind Of Strange Fruit     (2006, updated 2014)

instead of hanging from trees

we hang from

basketball hoops

and we sprint down a field

 

running and jumping

performing at tip top speed

 

all for a contract

that puts a price

on your back

 

our athletes

are treated

like servants

bouncing and throwing a ball

on a plantation

disguised as an institution

of higher education

 

trading our talents

for entertainment

and naming rights

on stadiums

alumni return to campus

to tailgate

and drink

and swap stories

about

their fortune 500 careers

and talk about

how fast that new boy

can run down the field

 

these so called students

are plucked from their hoods

promised big dreams

promised a life of

sex and groupies

only to be left with a life of

trying to maintain a scholarship

trying not to fall asleep in class

trying to prove

that they’re more than

a black buck

recruited

to fill a slot

on a team

that wins championships

only to encourage donors

to keep on digging

in their pockets

leaving players

wondering

why their coach

is treated like a king

and they are treated

like a commodity?

 

And then they get drafted

and traded

like stocks

 

traded and sold

to the highest bidder

to fill their pockets with some change

in order to fill their lives

with material goods

only to make their owners empires bigger

 

all at the expense of racial progress?

 

now tell me again

what is the difference

between sports

and the oppressive

capitalistic

institutionalized

system

we came to know as

slavery?

thank you for reading march thirty one poetry

follow me on twitter: @ivywriter

 

march thirty one: #30poems30days #poetryprompt: finding direction in the hood

This poem was based on another prompt from poet Scott Woods on Twitter.  The prompt was “Geocaching in the hood”.  I used my own interpretation of that:

Poem:  GPS for the streets

never underestimate the homeless dude

sees all, hears all

and probably knows all the shortcuts

 

Thank you for reading march thirty one poetry

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march thirty one: #NationalPoetryMonth #ThrowbackThursday #OldSchool – Gil Scott Heron – The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Since it’s Thursday (Throw Back Thursday that is), here is one of my favorite poets and one of my favorite pieces of spoken word. It’s Gil Scott Heron’s, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”.  #OldSchool #TBT

We lost him in May 2011, one of the pioneers of modern spoken word and performance. RIP Gil Scott Heron

From You Tube

Thanks for reading March Thirty One poetry

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march thirty one: twitter poetry challenge, haiku about favorite tv show

So I decided to respond to a twitter poetry challenge by Young Chicago Authors (@YoungChiAuthors , http://youngchicagoauthors.org/blog/), to write a haiku about your favorite TV show.  Here’s mine:

 

haiku for my favorite tv show

ripped from the headlines

real life stories with a twist

law and order love

 

thank you for reading march thirty one poetry

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march thirty one: national haiku writing month, in honor of black history month

Because I fell behind with my daily postings, I have decided to put a little twist on this week. I have declared this week “Black Creativity Week” and In honor of the final week of Black History Month, I’m going to wrap up the last week of National Haiku Writing Month with some poems I previously shared with you. Enjoy!

Bonus: You get two poems

focus

to entrepreneur

is to wish upon a star

American Dream

 

and on the last day

for twenty-eight days

we celebrate history

America lives

 

thank you for reading march thirty one poetry

follow me on twitter: @ivywriter

 

march thirty one: national haiku writing month – in honor of black history month (and happy birthday daddy!)

Because I fell behind with my daily postings, I have decided to put a little twist on this week. I have declared this week “Black Creativity Week” and In honor of the final week of Black History Month, I’m going to wrap up the last week of National Haiku Writing Month with some poems I previously shared with you. Enjoy!

This particular poem happens to be in honor of my father whose birthday is today!

 

haiku for good black fathers

looking for a mate

my father laid the groundwork

will my wish come true?

thank you for reading march thirty one poetry

follow me on twitter: @ivywriter

 

march thirty one: #TrayvonMartin, One Year Later

Retro Post:  On this day, February 26, 2012, one year later, Trayvon Martin, a teenager, was shot and killed by Wanna Be Cop, George Zimmerman.  Here I share my post from last year and my special poem I wrote in memory of #TrayvonMartin.

Written on March 16, 2012:

I just realized that I haven’t been affected by a teenager’s death and I haven’t felt compelled to write about one specific young person’s death since high school, when a young girl in Cleveland named Diah Harris was killed by her sister back in the early 90s. There was just something about that case that haunted me, bothered me, made me feel like I had to be connected to her in some way, even though I had never met her. I feel the same way about Trayvon Martin. I write this poem today in recognition of the terrible injustice that took place in Sanford, Florida on February 26, 2012 when a vivacious young African American boy, Trayvon Martin, was shot down in a claim of self defense.  How shameful it is that once again, America is gripped by the untimely death of another child who was an innocent bystander and who’s death quite possibly, may go away without being avenged by our criminal justice system.  

Trayvon Martin Protest - Sanford

 

I also felt compelled to write this poem after viewing this haunting photo of Trayvon which, to me, speaks volumes about the innocence of our youth in America and how we should 

value and love all of them, and not just a chosen few.  His face reminds me of the little boys I grew up with, my cousins, my friends children and all of the little Black boys I see walking around everyday. I hope that you are as appalled and outraged as I, and others across the globe are, and I hope that you will never forget his face.

A Poem For Trayvon by Kellea Tibbs

in his eyes, you can see every kid in America

you can see his hopes, his dreams, his wishes

you can see him playing with other kids his age

shooting hoops and having fun

how unfortunate

to be taken away so soon

he’s our child

he’s America’s child

not just another black child

but his untimely demise

represents us all

and if you love everything

about being an American

all of the rights

and privileges

even the option to walk down the street

free and clear of harm

or the notion that

you  might be shot down senselessly

then you WILL cry out

you SHOULD cry out

you should cry

for this beautiful child

another gone too soon

who will speak for Trayvon

who will speak for all of the parents

all of the grandparents, aunts, uncles

all of the sisters, all of the brothers

all of the cousins, all of the classmates

all of the teachers, all of the neighbors

who will miss him

we must speak up

even those of us

who didn’t even know him

but know him in our hearts

who love him

despite never meeting him

rest in peace

beautiful

thank you for reading march thirty one poetry 

follow me on twitter: @ivywriter