Feelings of Fulfilling the Filling

by Stephen Earley Jordan, II

If I am the .01% chosen to speak this decade to represent my people-
then let me be straight upfront with you.
First and foremost, I got a bone to be picking
and you see I'm standing here with a little knowledge,
with a little pain and a little discomfort.
(And it's kinda scary seeing a black man, a smart black man, a militant
black man, standing here, isn't it? Fear is good. But don't fear the good).

But you don't see it like I see it through the eyes I see it through
and the problem is,
for a lack of a better term is  "Social Injustice"
and I am wondering if I can attempt to appreciate my degrees
knowing it was based on a quota
and I'm wondering if I can enjoy my job,
go to my 9 to 5 or 8 to 4 everyday
without a constant reminder that I work there
only because of the quota?
I can only listen to momma tell me
    "Peace be still, peace be still."
And my heart is aflame,
tainted with a pinch of pepper
and I'm standing in a spoonful of salt
while you've filled your quota and stopped searching;
I'm left as the black sheep attaining-nothing minority again
as you're in the coffee room, employee lounge, or student union
cracking jokes about the color of my palms being lighter;
wondering and questioning me if my ass is the same color of my face;
why  my hair is kinkier;
and how you can't stand my sisters who wear them braids or weaves
fried, dyed, slicked down and layed to one side.
    "But you're different"
    "You're not like them. You're not like those people"
And you're right. But I'm not like anyone. I am me.

Once a friend, a white friend,
asked me if there was such a thing as "Black Trash"
and I asked, "There's white trash, right?"
She nodded.
"Then, there's your answer." I concluded.
Trash is trash and I saw not why the fact of being trash
would discriminate against one's race or gender.
I don't think about things I don't think about until someone
forces me to think about it.
And I've never wondered, until now, if there's this plump
little white man with rosey cheeks, grey white hair  on Mt. Zion
flossing his teeth with strands of weave,
selecting people for roles, dispositions,
saying who's gonna be the Project Princess,
who's gonna be the Trailor Trash Trick,
who's gonna be the food stamp father,
and who's gonna be the righteous and lucky one who fills the quota?
All aboard, All aboard.
Step right up, Step right up and be the next contestant on "Black Man, the
Price is Never Right!"
I am wondering since I am filling this quota by speaking
if I can fulfill the expectations of my people,
be above or even beyond what the others may have thought of me.
    "Peace be still"
But I'm not sure if I can be still anymore-
I'm suppose to be representing my people,
telling it like it is, being straight upfront
and you know I got more to say
but the .01% is only permitted to speak up
once every 10 years or so
and according to you,
my time was up when I started to speak.

Feelings of Fulfilling the Filling by Stephen Earley Jordan, II

© Copyright 1999. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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