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

 

Advertisements

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: 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!

hair texture blues

interesting convo

he said he liked my hair straight

false identity

thank you for reading march thirty one poetry

follow me on twitter: @ivywriter

march thirty one: national poetry month – 30 poems in 30 days, April 11

Trayvon Martin - Million Hoodies March 2012 020

Trayvon Martin - Million Hoodies March 2012 020 (Photo credit: calvinfleming)

a haiku hymn for social justice

in light of the announcement of the final arrest of George Zimmerman, charged with 2nd degree murder for the senseless death of 17-year old Trayvon Martin, this poem is dedicated to justice.

justice is for us

keep on praying and waiting

we shall not be moved

thank you for reading march thirty one poetry

follow me on twitter: @ivywriter

march thirty one: The Anthology For Justice Project – Join The Movement #PoetsUnite

#TrayvonMartin The Anthology For Justice Project

In honor of #TrayvonMartin and the fight to bring his killer, a vigilante Neighborhood Watch Captain gone rogue named #GeorgeZimmerman to justice, I’m asking that anyone who considers him or herself a poet, spoken word artist, etc. to share your poetry with me. And not just any poetry, I want to you to send me any piece (new or old), haiku, free verse, whatever, that is originally written by you, that speaks to the idea of JUSTICE or in this case, injustice in America.

I’m an activist at heart and while I don’t have the option to march across campus for various issues as I did in my Kent State undergrad days of the 1990s, I have an idea that will let me put my grassroots activism juices to work. Because I probably won’t be able to attend any of the rallies in Florida (as I imagine many of you won’t be able to either), I feel compelled, as I hope you do, to #BeActive and show your support to Trayvon’s family and all of the other youth all over the world.  I strongly encourage you to participate in The Anthology For Justice Project.   Even if we can’t be present in Florida, I think that we can still be empowered and continue to raise our voices through the power of our creative writing.

If you wish to JOIN THE MOVEMENT, I want to start it off with individual poems posted on my blog first, and hopefully we can move to a submission of You Tube spoken word videos, depending on how far this goes.  Please send your ORIGINAL (I emphasize original) written work to me in one of four (4) ways: 1) email me at ivywriter@live.com , 2) Leave a comment on this blog post – a link to your work, a poem, etc.  3) Tweet me a link of your work (if it’s already on a blog or website) to my Twitter (@ivywriter), or 4)  just tweet a haiku, with the suggested hashtags.  If you choose to tweet your poem or a link to your poem to me, please use all or a combination of the following hashtags: #PoetsUnite,  #AnthologyForJustice,  and #BeActive (try to use at least one of them).   Remember, this is an experiment for justice so please share and spread it to as many poets that you know so that we can let the State of Florida and the U.S. Justice system know that we demand equal treatment for all victims of violent crime.

And P.S. Let’s please make sure we teach our kids what “Neighborhood Watch” really means. It means looking out for your neighbors and friends, being a little nosey, and calling 911. That’s It!  It doesn’t mean being a vigilante and shooting because you feel like it. Justice for #TrayvonMartin

#PoetsUnite #AnthologyForJustice #BeActive

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from all of my fellow poets!

Kellea

editor, march thirty one poetry

and The Anthology For Justice Project

follow me on twitter: @ivywriter

march thirty one: poetry for justice- In Recognition of #TrayvonMartin Blog-In Day

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.  

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

Trayvon Martin, Gone Too Soon!

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

 follow me on twitter: @ivywriter