TALK TO THE DADDY

Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Emmett Till: Three Poems

"I said it was intended that you should perish in the ghetto. Perish by never being allowed to go behind the white man’s definitions, by never being allowed to spell your name, your proper name."
--James Baldwin, from his book "The Fire Next Time"
"Hatred, which could destroy so much, never failed to destroy the man who hated, and this was an immutable law. "
--James A. Baldwin


Today, the daddy is feeling poems about Emmett Till, a sweet young 14 year old black male teenager from Chicago who was visiting relatives in Money, Mississippi. No one knows for certain what happened, but, apparently, he spoke to a white woman in a general store.

Later that night, several men came to the house where he was staying and took him away. They beat him badly, killed him and threw him in the Tallahatchie River. Though a terrible incident, it spurred not only the black people of Mississippi to muster the courage to reg
ister to vote in large numbers. It raised the indignation of the U.S. to march and, ultimately, to sign into law policies that would effectively end racial apartheid in the southern part of the United States.

The Last Quatrain of the Ballad of Emmett Till
by Gwendolyn Brooks

after the murder,
after the burial,
Emmett's mother is a pretty-faced thing.
the tint of pulled taffy.
She sits in a red room.
drinking black coffee.
She kisses her killed boy.
And she is sorry.
Chaos in windy grays
through a red prairie.

Emmett Till
by James A. Emanuel

I hear a whistling
Through the water.
Little Emmett
Won't be still.
He keeps floating
Round the darkness,
Edging through
The silent chill.

Tell me, please
That bedtime story>
Of the fairy
River Boy
Who swims forever,
Deep in treasures,
A coral toy.

Put it down, field*
by Mac Walton, aka MacDaddy

Put em down, field
You the man

warming wires, spitting fires
from Philly to Compton, Bama to Cali
The holy post from coast to coast
And, no, silence is never golden

Lay em down, field
Your Muddy Mojo is working
your Tubman’s song uplifting, making
darkies in the field quit singing and hoeing and
start listening, quit dancing and joking and
start hoping and planning, talking bout
some chariot coming for to carry them home, talking bout
some lil black boy named Till from up North
with bloody footprints that redden the soil but
ease the mind like a cool drink of water at planting time

Keep picking em up and laying them down
Through the Field negro I can still
hear Jimmie shouting "Fire Next Time!" Still
hear Mahalia singing "Precious lawd
take my hand, lead me on;" still
hear Malcolm making it plain, saying it's gonna
be the ballot or the bullet, still
hear Martin hating war and calling for a beloved community; still
hear H. Rap busting whitey’s balls shouting wild-eyed, fuck whitey
burn it down, pie hating coal-black darkie shit, talking bout
some churning voodo, mother wit, talking bout
some red dirt getting redder still, talking bout
some darkies drinking Till’s cool drink of water, believing
they Douglas, they Malcolm, they Marcus, saying

"Them maroons won’t die"
"Them maroons can’t never die
long as they
keep drinking that lil child’s water, that
cool drink of water
in the fields...them bloody fields”
--------------------------------------
* Written for Wayne Bennett and his blog, "The field negro."

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm from Chicago. She kept his casket open so people could see what they did to her son. We remember. Thank you, MacDaddy.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hey there Daddy!

I visit The Field Negro from time to time! Thank you for sharing these poems!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS~
Lisa

rainywalker said...

Lots of sadness here Daddy, a child that could have given America so much.

The best movie I have seen in five or more years. Very sad and I had a hard time getting through it. Turned my head with tears at the end. Highly recommended. The Secret of Saint Anna.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

im still waiting on my copy of your book folk, where is the love

MacDaddy said...

anon: Thanks. I know that many of us haven't forgotten. But there are far too many who never heard of Emmett Till or Nina Simone or Fannie Lou Hamer and others. Many weren't born after the sixties and havenen't received a good understanding of this history. Those of us who do know this history, who remember, have a responsibility to share this information to those who never learned it or forgot. Thanks again.
Lisa: I'm glad you to Wayne Bennett's field negro blog. It was Wayne who encouraged me start my own blog. Besides a good blogger, he's an even greater guy. Coming to see you at blackwomenblowthetrumpet!
rainywalker: I'm searching to find the movie. I'd like to see it.
torance: One of my books is published. But the book of poetry hasn't been published yet. Thanks for your interest.