POETRY: Being Black #BlackLivesMatter (English) 

Nozipho Madlala 

Half smiles to the crowds,

We neither acknowledge nor reject

the existence of them

who have turned our blackness

into unpredictable places of pain

We neither embrace nor turn our backs

on history, though she continues to tell

white lies about who we really are

We can only borrow shelter from the heavens

and strength from those who came before us

when being black and breathing

becomes probable cause for war


the kisses of the sun were never in vain

and the piercings of the thorns beneath our feet

have drawn our blood nearer to the soil that birthed us;

grew our roots from the soil that unearthed us

We will neither surrender our skin

nor take up arms

We can only borrow time from the stars afar

When our feet and minds take us

beyond the limits of our fortunes

and being black and successful

becomes probable cause for war


We will neither speak nor remain silent

Our blackness has been loud enough to awaken sirens

in the dark of the night

And quiet enough to make justice forget about us

We can only stand and be patient with each scar

As the bullets and canines come charging at us

When being black and proud

becomes probable cause for war


We will neither die nor continue to live under the labels

that have been assigned to our hair and our clothes

Our sons and daughters will neither fear nor

provoke the systems that make it okay to lower the bar

To insult and to patronize those who do not see

that black man was always on his own

We can only be black, even when being black

becomes probable cause for war


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