Author: Cheri Paris Edwards
•2:13 PM
afro-ed times

we wore Afros, heavy with moistness
from the muggy, summer night.
sweet as syrup soul music serenaded.
Eddie Kendricks asking tenderly, Can I?
from car radio speakers turned up loud.

and riding through Naptown streets
we sang along, certain we were living the
new day, forecast in big city homes and small.
Big Mama and Pop-pop, Cousin Lulabelle,
Aunt Noonie and Uncle Joe--those living
with little, and those with a little more--
sowed our tomorrows, in black and white
television scenes promising redemption.

grainy images flicker a world in reverse.
dogs track, people yowl, water hoses
blast streams of hate, pushing songs
of we shall overcome down crowded
Mississippi streets. blue-uniforms running--
batons high, chasing, catching, beating,
but not conquering the dream.

we shall overcome, some day, they sang.
and afros waving, cool leavened with
spliffed-lassitude, we quoted Angela Davis
and the Last Poets on steamy summer nights.
slugged by certitude that someday--today,
times ain’t a-changing, but already changed.
Or so it seemed.

© Cheri Paris Edwards 2007
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On 12:37 PM , Anonymous said...

Love it. us young folk see the nostalgia in our elders eyes and wish we were there too, so we rock our afros and our red, black & green...wishing someone would try to take us back "there" against our will...

On 1:08 PM , Cheri Paris Edwards said...

Thanks Cheron. I'm glad you can relate to the memories. Sometimes I look around at the weaves and wigs and wonder what the heck happened to black pride?? But it wasn't just how we wore our hair though, because pressed hair, permed hair, afroed, didn't matter, the nostalgia you see in our eyes is for the "awareness" the "consciouness" that sometimes seems lacking in the young today. That's why I love Twitter so much--there are so many young folks, like you, awake to what's going on around you. So, thank you for being yourself--it's appreciated.

On 7:20 PM , Mocha Dad said...

Nice post. You took me waaaayy back.