Who’s going to sing a black boys’ song? – The Feminist Wire

Who’s going to sing a black boys’ song?

For Trayvon, Michael and Martin, and all other black boys


sable mappings cover him

like an ethno-alien cartogram

dipped deeply and precisely in ebony timber

whipped in/two

industrial multiplexes

distorted by a pre/fix of datum




venomous raindrops of marked difference inflate him

perorating from tongue to tongue

oral histories

scientific legends


generation to generation

disassembled from psyche to psyche

now born into a world already known

(known for what?)




“never havin been a [boy]”

being born a man

where pornographic dreams encrust him

intentions asphyxiate hallucinations of thriving

(thriving for what?)


and freedom

freedom from anxiety

modernity’s signs and symbols

and parasitic epistemes that manipulate his living flesh





sing a black [boys’] song

bring [him] out

to know [himself]

to know you

but sing [his] rhythms

carin/struggle/hard times

sing [his] song of life

[he’s] been dead so long

closed in silence so long

[he] doesn’t know the sound

of [his] own voice

[his] infinite beauty

[he’s] half-notes scattered

without rhythm/ no tune

sing [his] sighs

sing the song of [his] possibilities

sing a righteous gospel

the makin of a melody

let [him] be born

let [him] be born

& handled warmly.[1]

[1] Inspired by “lady in brown.”  For more, see Ntozake Shange, For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf (New York: Scribner Poetry, 1975), 3-5.