Legacy: for Martin & Malcolm (excerpt)

by Mwatabu S. Okantah

he told us,
"the price of freedom is death."

what happens to a people
when for too
many hundreds of years
they had  to watch  their love
be sold  be whipped
be killed
be unprotected?


Omaha to Harlem.
Detroit Red
to Satan
to Al Hajj Malik Al Shabazz.
(in Nigeria,
they called him, Omowale--
"the child has returned")
walking dead to vibrant life.

messenger's messenger.

we saw Malcolm
and knew
black men could love,
could be men,
could do the work of creation
once again.


with him
we became black
and shining

he hated our oppression.

Malcolm spoke warrior words.
spoke truth and light
Message to the Grass Roots
Ballots or Bullets
transformation words.

oppressors feared him.

in his eyes they saw mirrors.
Malcolm called
the evil
he told America its own
devil truth.

America spoke bullets.
they sent slaves
to take his life
because he taught us
how to see
our African spirits

Legacy: for Martin & Malcolm (excerpt) by Mwatabu S. Okantah

© Copyright 2000. 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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