Negritude

By Flores, Shaggy | The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online), December 2010 | Go to article overview

Negritude


Flores, Shaggy, The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)


For Pedro Pietri, Tato Laviera, Jesus Papoleto Melendez and Trinidad Sanchez Jr.

We be those Negroes

Born to Slave Hands

Resurrecting forgotten African Gods

When Transplanted to New Lands

Mixing Ebonics

With Splanglish Slang

We be those Negroes

Children of Yoruba y Ibo

Bilingual and Indio

Afro-Caribes

Masters of plantation work

Race mixing

And Orisha Spirit raising

We be those Negroes

Creating Jazz with cats

Named Bird, Dizzy, Duke, and Armstrong

Cubop Bugalu Sal-Soul Searching Journey men

Mongo-Santamaria/Chano Pozo Drum Gods

And Celia Cruz

AZUCAS!

Legends leaving our cultural footprints

On the muddy minds

of the mentally dead

We be those Negroes

Creating Schomburg museums

of Black Studies

In Nuyorican Harlem streets

Where we once dance

during zoot suits riots

to Conga

Maraca

Bata

Break beats

and Palladium Massacres

We be those Negroes

Drawn as Sambos and Jigaboos

By political cartoonist

Who couldn't erase

The taste of

Africa

From Antillean Culinary

Magicians

Creating miracles

with Curries call SoFritos

We be those Negroes

Younglords

Island Nationalist

Black Panthers

Vieques Activist

Santeros

And Guerreros

Brothers of Garvey

Children of Malcolm

Black Spades

Savage Skulls

Chingalings

And Latin Kings

We be those Negroes

Like Harvard Educated Lawyer

Don Pedro Albizu Campos

Stationed

In all Black regiments

Learning the reality

Of Jim Crow Society

And their gringolandia

Government Race public policies

Calling Bilingual Niggers

Spics

We be those Negroes

Before Sosa

Before Clemente

Before Jackie

Giving Negro league

Baseball legends

A place

Under the sun

to call home

When no one else

Would have them

We be those Negroes

Dancing

Moving

Breaking

Egyptian

Electric Boogalooing

Locking

On concrete jungles

To Cool Herc

Jamaican

Sound Boy Systems

And aerosol

symphony backgrounds

We be those Negroes

Charlie Chasing

Rock Steadying

A dream call Hip-Hop

In Bronx Backyard Boulevards

Between

Casitas and Tenements

With Roaches for Landlords

We be those Negroes

Writing Epics

Like Willie Perdomo testaments

Called "Nigger-Recan Blues"

And Victor Hernandez Cruz

Odes to "African Things"

Hiding our dark skinned

Literary Abuelitas

With Bembas Colora

In places where the Whiteness police

could never find them

We be those Negroes

Denied access to Black Nationalist run

Karenga Kwanza Poetry readings

Because we remind the ignorant

Of the complexity that is their culture

Neither Here nor There

Not quite Brown

Not quite White

We navigate uncharted

Waters

Of Black Identity Boxes

We be those Negroes

Mulatto

We be those Negroes

Criollo

We be those Negroes

Moreno

We be those Negroes

Trigueños

We be those Negroes

Octoroons and Quadroons

We be those Negroes

Cimarrones and Nanny of the Maroons

We be those Negroes

Cienfuegos y Fidel

We be those Negroes

Luis Pales Matos and Aime Cesaire

We be those Negroes

Puentes,

Mirandas,

Riveras,

Colons,

Felicianos,

Lavoes and

Palmieris

We be those Negroes

Judios

Y a veces

Jodios

We be those Negroes

Dominicanos y Cubanos

We be those Negroes

Jaimiquinos y Haitianos

We be those Negroes

Panameños y Borinqueños

We be those Negroes

Seeking freedom from

Irrationality

In an age of Nuclear

Goya Families

And Television

Carbon Copy Clone

Univision/BET/MTV

Slave Children

We be those Negroes

Known by many names

And many deeds

Spoken of in Secret

By African-American

Scholars

In envy during their nightly

Salsa

Dance classes

As they try

To pick up White Girls

We be those Negroes

Caribbean

Negritude

Heroes

Sometimes negating our destiny

But always finding

Peace

In the Darkness

Of Sleep

We be those Negroes

Negroes

We

Be

[Author Affiliation]

-Shaggy Flores

Nuyorican Massarican Poeta

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