by Nyoka

To my people I say
Don’t forget who you are and where you stand in the struggle
The struggle for democracy, literacy, equality, liberty, individuality and spirituality
The struggle against ideologies, hypocrisy, conformity, injustice, poverty and hatred
The struggle that exists’ 
Because of a world that is tormented
By the narrowing view of its citizens, 
And the building tolerance towards violence, misrepresentation, starvation, 
and ailments of the mind, body and soul
To my people I say rebel

Against the perception we perceive today that is 99.9% deception
The perception that black-men and white-men alike are created equal 
and are equal under the constitution
That the color of our skin warrants our conviction 
And subjects us to a judge, jury and execution
The perception that true beauty can be found from the outside
When in fact our beauty resonates within 

Rebel, my brothas and sistas
We as black people must reassemble 
And take comfort in knowing that in order to rebuild we must first destroy
Destroy the walls of self doubt and perishing self esteem
Let go of prejudices and racist points of view
Defy the tyrannical laws, and government 
that we allow to shepherd the direction us as a people take
Revolt, for our right to assume our rightful place in history
And against the use of the word nigga affectionately amongst our peers, 
and amongst people whose skin is not as dark as ours.

Against people under false pretences
Who act as though they understand the plight of a black man or his heritage
People who think that the core of a black man 
Is in the way he walks, the way he speaks, the way he dresses and the soul in his voice
When in fact the core of a black man is an acquired way of life
For only those, whose skin blesses them with shades of black 
as different as night is to day can understand
Fight for the knowledge that being black is a state of individuality
That shouldn’t be negatively reciprocated to do more harm than good

Rebel and embrace
Our own people
Rest assured that activism, intelligence, politics, religion, rape, murder, 
violence, poverty, assassination, and deception takes place within our own communities
Embrace the need to watch over each other
Embrace the dyer need for God to watch over our people
The need to fall into his divinity, and embrace the reality that is our humanity
Refuse to conform to standards, or to believe in philosophy, sociology and theology
Instead dig for our history
The history that repeats itself, the same characters in the book answering to a different name

For heroes of the past, present and future
Rebel for
Marcus Garvey, W.E.B Dubois, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Dred Scott, 
Thurgood Marshall, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth, Nelson Mandela, 
Booker T Washington, Bob Marley, Louis Armstrong, George Washington Carver, 
Frederick Douglass, Mae C. Emmison, Condoleezza Rice, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, 
Toni Morrison, William Henry Johnson, Jacob Lawrence, Jesse Owens, Madame C. J. Walker, 
Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Mohammed Ali, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Kweisi Mfume, 
Julian Bond, Betty Shabazz, Coretta Scott King, Russel Simmons, Spike Lee, 
Sydney Poitier, Lauryn Hill, India Aire, Musiq Soulchild, The Roots, Tupac, 
Talib Kweli, Mos Def,  James Brown, for me, for you.

Little boys and girls living without love, food, clothes and shelter
Africa, which has seen its fair share of rape, rebellions and revolutions
Young men and women hold your head up high and command that respect you deserve
Command that confidence in ourselves as a people
Break out of the shackles, chains, and bondage that threaten to diminish our existence
Refuse to compromise our psychological seed, which allows us to reap productivity
Productivity over our financial gains, our mental capacity and our eternal soul
Make an enemy out of the conventions of society
That tempts us to conform in more ways than one

For the right to say it loud you’re black and you’re proud
For the right to call yourself pro black
For the right to say that you’re a phenomenal black woman or man
That the color of your skin doesn’t make or break you
And that, that which doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger
For the right to know that we can’t experience peace without freedom
For life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
For the understanding that the word rebel 
is in fact the beginning and the end that marks the start
The start to something beyond our own comprehensions

For the right of Mr. King to “refuse to accept that the view of mankind 
is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war 
that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.”
For the right of Malcolm X to say “If you’re not ready to die for it, 
put the word ‘freedom’ out of your vocabulary.”
In Essence rebel for those who can’t
Rebel, for there is no me without you
Rebel, because when it rains, it doesn’t fall on one man’s house
Rebel, for lost history, and past
Rebel, for soldiers lost and for those we have yet to loose
Rebel, for the panthers
Rebel, for your mother, your father, your children, and your children’s children
rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel, 
rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel…

Rebel by Nyoka

© Copyright 2001. 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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