Teacher to Teacher
By Brittney Conner, YCA Corp Teaching Artist
I was raised on Pork fat and penny candies
Ass whoopin's and fighting to lick cake batter outta bowls
Yo mama jokes and my grandma's southern accent.
I've never had my mah-mah's twang I have her voice.
There's a shiny diploma on my shelf.
A white man somewhere told me I speak good English, I speak well.
Gave me a degree.
Niggas forget I know niggas.My diction is often mistaken for privilege.
I read books when we had nowhere to sleep.
Digested epilogues when there was no other option.
My hands are smooth.
Lotioned them with education.
Few in my family have smooth hands.
Few have washed the blood from them.
I am lady Macbeth, no matter where I go I can't remove them spots.
Do you see the King blood on my hands? Vice Lord, Queen, Cobra blood?
Do You see? They are red like my Brother's, like my Uncles, like the men I share blood with.
Like the men I share colors with.
Niggas forget I come from niggas.
I was raised in the Low Ends. On Gun shots and Rest in Peace T-shirts.
My Mah-mah has the weight of five children, and their children's children and children of children that aren't even her children's dreams buried in her apron.
I have more cousins then we have food.
But none is left unfed, She cooks ever meal like last supper.
You never know when you'll need one less table setting.
Niggas forget I was raised by niggas.
My nigga mother has a Masters degree.
Some white man somewhere told her she could count right.
She knew I was counting on her, so she saved pennies like prayers. Showed me copper can be spun into books, travel, a diploma.
Gave me more than she even knew was out there.
Niggas forget I am a nigga.
I was raised on Jiggolo, jig jig o lo and smacked lips.
On quarter juices and knowing I was going to be bigger than the hood.
On dictionaries and homework assigned by my mother.
By niggas who would rather be niggas.
Who still love pork fat and licking the bottom of the bowl.
By Lamar Jorden, YCA teaching Corp artist.
Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" furnishes a dance hall filled with 50 rhythm-less spoken-word poets somewhere in South Florida.
The classic ballad behooves you to move once the groove Electric Slides into your eardrum.
The dance floor was a vacant plateau urging to be occupied.
Neglected by the rhythm-less standing off to the side who decide to twist, rock and glide at their own personal leisure.
Creating sights similar to miniature seizures.
It's quite a sad thing to watch.
Those who botch even the simplest of moves,
groove next to those who haven't decided whether they want to nod their heads or bend their knees.
So, they do both.
Not quite simultaneously, but the effort is imminent.
And in a sense, I expected to see better dancing before remembering that we're in a night club in the day time, surrounded by poets;
people who are more constructive with their hands and damn near destructive with their feet,
and finally, I remembered that we're in West Palm ...
Read Camping Trip.
Read "Someone's Cheating," by a 9-year-old student. See how Moe's Café prompts work with young kids!
Check out Say What magazine's first on-line issue: www.saywhatonline.org
Two Stories by Lauren
Young Chicago Authors has a new publication called Under Construction. It is an anthology of YCA writing for the past 20 years. Call 1-847-835-5430 for a free copy.
Click here for more student writing.
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