No Country for Black Boys

Instructions for reading a contrapuntal: This poem contains two or more POV’s or melodic lines, which have been combined in such a way that they establish a harmonious relationship (technically, but perhaps conflicting in content), while retaining linear individuality. This poem is to be read as follows: 1) Left column with centered lines 2) Right column with centered lines; and 3) across.

by Joy Priest

Joy Priest was born and raised in Louisville, KY. she holds a print journalism degree from the University of Kentucky with a concentration in Creative Writing. She is one of the newest members of the Affrilachian Poets, and has been published in pluck! Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture. She was awarded a fellowship to Callaloo Journal’s 2013 Summer Creative Writing Workshop at Brown University. You can find her on Twitter @Dalai_Mama_  Read about where Joy writes here.


“Justice for Black Life is Justice for Humanity”

So heartened to read this. Thanks to Steve Biko (@BIKOINC) for posting. Please visit The Black Youth Project’s site to read the rest of the necessary, powerful statement:

100 Young Black Activists
The work of The Black Youth Project (BYP) is based on three basic concepts: knowledge, voice, and action.

KNOWLEDGE: We are committed to producing research about the ideas, attitudes, decision making, and lived experiences of black youth, especially as it relates to their political and civic engagement.

VOICE: Unlike any other organization, we amplify the perspectives of young black people daily without censorship or control. We have built a space on the Internet where black youth can speak for themselves about the issues that concern them.

ACTION: Informed with culturally-specific knowledge, we will work to mobilize black youth and their allies to make positive change and build the world within which they want to live. is a diverse online resource, divided into three main subsites: BYP BLOG, BYP RESEARCH, and BYP ACTION.

Nothing about this Verdict Says Justice, Honor, or Peace

Poem about Police Violence by June Jordan

Tell me something
what you think would happen if
everytime they kill a black boy
then we kill a cop
everytime they kill a black man
then we kill a cop

you think the accident rate would lower subsequently?
sometimes the feeling like amaze me baby
comes back to my mouth and I am quiet
like Olympian pools from the running
mountainous snows under the sun

sometimes thinking about the 12th House of the Cosmos
or the way your ear ensnares the tip
of my tongue or signs that I have never seen

I lose consciousness of ugly bestial rapid
and repetitive affront as when they tell me
18 cops in order to subdue one man
18 strangled him to death in the ensuing scuffle
(don’t you idolize the diction of the powerful: subdue
and scuffle my oh my) and that the murder
that the killing of Arthur Miller on a Brooklyn
street was just a “justifiable accident” again

People been having accidents all over the globe
so long like that I reckon that the only
suitable insurance is a gun
I’m saying war is not to understand or rerun
war is to be fought and won

sometimes the feeling like amaze me baby
blots it out/the bestial but
not too often tell me something
what you think would happen if
everytime they kill a black boy
then we kill a cop

everytime they kill a black man
then we kill a cop

you think the accident rate would lower subsequently


Happy Birthday June Jordan!

My first poetry class was with June Jordan back when she had just started her Poetry for the People program at Berkeley. I was a terrified wannabe poet. Her class, her poetry, her activism, her teaching was everything.  The world is a lesser place without her light, but thankfully it lives on in her writing, and in the writing and work of so many of us.
“I am not wrong: Wrong is not my name
My name is my own my own my own”