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Gwendolyn Brooks - Black Love Poem lyrics

"in the spirit of
Imamu Amiri,
Martin and
this is a Black poem.

this is a love poem.
this is a Black love poem,
a Black love poem aware of it's blackness
and aware of its surroundings,

a poem tired of pretending to see no color, and know no difference,
because this poem knows that not seeing color and not knowing difference
can be just as dangerous as seeing every color of the rainbow
and judging each according to pre-assigned categories
as we see fit.

so this poem will not be about colorblindness.

this is a Black poem.
this is a love poem.
this is a Black love poem,

a Black love poem dedicated to a history of struggle
and a legacy of progress,

a poem upset with how far we've come, but how little we do—
even in our acknowledgments of the great price paid
for where we eat, sleep, and lay our heads,
and who we're able to do this with,

this poem is not, and never will be enough,
so this poem will not be about celebrating.

this poem will not be about you being comfortable enough
to have a difficult conversation,
nor will it be about why you should.

it's simply a poem about love…and a lover,
the love of a lover,

and if we know anything about love,
we know it has a way of moving people in ways
nothing else can,

so while this poem is about man, it's about much more.
it's about what Mandela said
“comes more naturally to the human heart than it's opposite.”

this is a love poem.
a Black love poem that needs to distinguish itself from any other kind of love poem,
because any other kind of love poem simply will not suffice for the occasion,
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and for it's association with darkness, and night, and sleep, and chaos, and dreams and you and me, and so this has to be a Black love poem, because that's where the possibilities begin.

and love is all about possibilities.

even more, love is revolutionary.
and it can sound contradictory, love being the more natural condition of man,
and being revolutionary, but i have a theory:

to love means to be a lover,
and to be a lover, one recognizes the intense emotions and affection that come as a result of that state, at which point movement occurs, from the state of unknowing toward that which one loves.

we can simply imagine it as turning…
and if we turn a lover around,
i mean, if we literally turn the word LOVER around…
you have the beginning of REVOLution
you have the beginnings of a revolution,
and that love,
that lover,
that turning,
that revolution is what this poem is all about.

so, while this poem may masquerade as a day of service in exchange for a life of servitude,
or a simple acknowledgment for backs empires were built upon,
and bones crushed when they eventually crumbled.

and while
maybe we need a different kind of poem today…
the type of poem that scares its friends and neighbors—
the kind of poem people ask questions about in hushed tones
for fear of affiliation/identification with its subject matter.
or the kind of poem no one would be shocked to hear
was murdered by a city cop,
under the cover of night, or in broad daylight,
because the poem pissed enough of the right people off to be offed
in front of God and entire world to prove the point:
poems need to watch what they say and who they say it to

this poem is simply a Black poem,
a love poem
a Black love poem,
for you,


in the spirit of
Imamu Amiri,
Martin and

all brothers in a struggle,

all lovers
who turned around."

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