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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Black Man More Than A Color by Juanita Martin

Participants at Dine With Local Authors World of Change reading at Gaia's Garden, April 13, 2015 included back row, left to right, David
Madgalene, Kirk Lumpkin, Bill Vartnaw, Katherine Hastings and David Beckman; front row, Vilma Ginzberg, Elizabeth Herron, Juanita Martin and Gwynn O'Gara. Seated is Gor Yaswen.
Friends, thanks to Jeane and Ari and everyone who read and participated and made our April 13th reading at Gaia's Garden the celebration of local Sonoma County poetry that I'd wanted it to be!
Juanita Martin introduced this powerful new poem which I'd like to share with you now...

Juanita Martin

Black Man: More than a Color

You see a black man,
What conjures up your fear?
Is he the boogeyman of your nightmares?
He’s more than a color society has learned to hate

He’s a soul, a father, a brother, a sentient being
that bleeds red. Cut him open: he looks the same inside
as you and I. When he looks in the mirror,
he sees a man, not a color, not dark, not light

He dreams, he works, he contributes to these United States
Even if he’s bad or simply ignorant,
Don’t let him die like a dog in a cage
His life does matter. He can be redeemed.

On the news, a black man is snuffed out daily,
disposed of as a piece of trash
It seems we’re still living in the slavery days
where too many black men and boys
Are being slain by a racist hand

It doesn’t matter if they’re poor, in the jails or on the streets
Black men are like the ocelot, destined to be extinct
Where white cops shoot first and justify it later
Where a black man goes down, never to rise again