Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Memorial Day

Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Memorial Day

Article excerpt

I am a veteran

Not of foreign battlefields

Like my father in world war one

My uncles in world war two

And Korea

my friends from Vietnam

And Congo "police action"

But veteran none the less

Exiled and jailed because I refused

To visit Vietnam as a running dog for imperialism

I visited Canada, Chicago, Harlem, Mexico and Belize

Federal prison for a minute

But veteran I am

of the war in the hood

war of domestic colonialism

neo-colonialism

White supremacy in black face war

Fighting for black power that turned white

Or was always white

as in the other white people

war it was and is

Every day without end

no RR no respite just war

For colors like kindergarten children war

For turf warriors don't own and run when popo comes

War for drugs and guns and women

War for hatred jealousy envy

Dante got a scholarship

but couldn't get on the plane fast enough

The boyz in the hood met him on the block and jacked him

Relieved him of his gear

shot him in the head because he could read

Play basketball

had all the pretty girls

a square

The boyz wanted him dead like themselves

Wanted him to have a shrine with liquor bottles and teddy bears

candles

Wanted his mama and daddy to weep and mourn at the funeral

Like all the other moms and dads, uncle aunts cousins

Why should he make it out the war zone

The blood and broken bones of war in the hood

No veterans day no benefits no mental health sessions

No conversation

who cares who wants to know about the dead

In the hood

warriors gone down in the ghetto night

We heard the Uzi at 3am and saw the body on the steps til 3 pm

When the coroner finally arrived as children passed from school

I am the veteran of ghetto wars of liberation aborted

morphed into wars of self destruction

drugs supplied from police vans

Guns diverted from the army base

sold 24/7 behind the Arab store. …

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