Unforgivable Blackness ( 1926-1968)
Emulating Langston Hughes, Martin Luther King, Jr., the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and Malcolm X for the second part of "Unforgiveable Blackness," Yaz Lancaster takes the reader into the world of the New Negro, the struggles they faced during the early days of the Civil Rights Movement, and the struggles that will continue to plague Black people in America until the present day.
‘Unforgivable Blackness’ started out as a final assignment for an African American literature unit in my high school English class four years ago; I've since revised the work in light of the recent events involving the struggles and deaths of Black people in America.
UNFORGIVABLE BLACKNESS (1926-1968)
I am nonviolent.
We came in peace,
now give us ours.
Why are you angry? Because we want to drink water?
Because we want to ride the bus?
Because we want to vote and go to school?
Just like you?
Why can’t we have dreams? Why are you afraid?
Will our Blackness
Black is beautiful.
I am a Panther
and I’m angry.
And I’m tired.
We are here
and we are not going anywhere.
Black is beautiful!
We want freedom.
We want justice.
We want safety.
We want a home.
We want to live.
I am the New Negro
of the grimy gutters of Harlem,
playing swanky, funky,
jazzy songs to entertain YOU.
I am the New N*gger
who answers the countless questions
of every Aunt Sally
who is “just curious”
and who laughs at mammy
in blackface on the weekends
and whose nephews sneak out
to watch the one-hundred-percent Americans lynch men
for being in the right place, wrong time.
I am the New Negro
living with the past hundred years
burdened upon my shoulders,
attempting to molt away my fears.
My value, my worth, my existence
like Africa—is never drawn to scale.
But perhaps this Black Awakening
Will allow us to prevail.
We must soothe the eternal ache
Straining the nation’s back with weight.
One day, we’ll rid ourselves of this pain
and pray it won’t come back again.