Friday, November 28, 2014

A roundup of #BlackPoetsSpeakOut Selections

In solidarity with the movements to address racial injustices related to police brutality, including the killing of Michael Brown, poets have been reading poems online under the hashtag #BlackPoetsSpeakOut.

[Related:  A few notes on #BlackPoetsSpeakOut]

The project came about from a brainstorming session between Amanda Johnston, Mahogany "Mo" Browne, Jonterri Gadson, Jericho Brown, Sherina Rodriguez-Sharpe, & Maya Washington on a Cave Canem Facebook group. Together, they developed a posting strategy.

[Related: A Notebook on #BlackPoetsSpeakOut]

The readings open with the statement "I am a black poet who will not remain silent while this nation murders black people. I have a right to be angry."

What follows is a list of some of the pieces.

• "Can't Run Any Longer" by Neville Phoenix Adams
• "That Thing" by Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman 
• "Message to Oppression" by Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman 
• "March (for Black Lives)" by Dasan Ahanu
• "Ice Storm" by Robert Hayden read by Derrick Austin
• "Dialectic" by Quenton Baker
• "Night" (for Henry Dumas) by Aracelis Girmay read by Sasha Banks
• "jasper texas 1998 (For j. byrd)" by Lucille Clifton read by Youlanda D. Barber
A poem by Aziza Barnes
• "Catch" by Samiya Bashir
• "Medieval" by Sean Battle
• "Black Men as Secret Shoppers" by Shelly Bell
• "Theodicy" (for Renisha McBride) by Joshua Bennett
• "Give Me The Red On the Black of the Bullet (For Claude Reece Jr.)" by Jayne Cortez read by Tara Betts
• "blue line" by Yaya Bey
• "Kef 12" and "America" by Henry Dumas read by Destiny Birdsong
• "Off-Key II" by Kei Miller read by Malika Booker
• "Thanks" (After Yusef Komunyakaa and verdict and verdict after verdict) by Derrick Weston Brown
• From "The Interrogation" by Jericho Brown
• "Poem about Police Violence" by June Jordan read by Mahogany L. Browne
• "For Each Of You" by Audre Lorde read by Cheryl Clarke
• "St. Inside and Out" by Aaron Coleman
• “Just ice” by Louis Reyes Rivera read by Ricardo Nazario y Colón
• "The Dictators" by Pablo Neruda read by Nandi Comer
• "Reply" by Lucille Clifton read by Tameka Cage Conley
• "Surrogacy" by Rasheed Copeland
• "No One Can Stop the Rain" by Deidre CreativeSoul
Untitled by Bryant Cross
• "It's Raining Ferguson" by Lorraine Currelley
• "Kerosene" by Tim Seibles read by Geffrey Davis
• "The Black I Was Wearing" by Sean DesVignes
• "Untitled" by Ynanna Djehuty
• "The Secret Society of Black Mothers" By Natasha Ria El-Scari
• "jasper texas 1998" by Lucille Clifton read by Kelly Norman Ellis
• "We Interrupt this Prayer to Murder Tamir Rice" by William Evans
• "Speech to the Young / Speech to the Progress-Toward" by Gwendolyn Brooks read by Eve L. Ewing
• "Epistle for the Dead and Dying" (after "The Haunted Oak" by Paul Laurence Dunbar) by Eve L. Ewing
• "Black Friday" by Latorial Faison
• "aiyana" by Raina Fields
• "from here i saw what happened and i cried" by t'ai freedom ford 
• "The Levees Break Blues" by Sherese Francis
• "Because It's Time" by Vievee Francis
• "Noon Knives" by Aime Cesaire read by Krista Franklin
• "Power" by Audre Lorde read by Jonterri Gadson
• "BLK Medley" by Rob 'Robalu' Gibsun
• "God's Work" by Thomas Gilbert
• "Untitled-12" by Thomas Gilbert
• "a george holliday rodney king video (director's cut)" by Brian Gilmore
• "Every 28 Hours" by Tameka Glenn
• "Benediction" by Bob Kaufman read by Yalonda JD Green
• "Incident" by Amiri Baraka read by Rachel Eliza Griffiths
• "For My People" by Margaret Walker read by Danielle Hall
• "Exorcism of Amerikkkan Pharaoh(s)" by Louise Hammonds
• "Freedom Bondage" by Monica Hand 
• "Flare" by Nikky Finney read by Ashley Harris
• "The Sermon on the Warpland" by Gwendolyn Brooks read by Reginald Harris
• "The Arrivants" by Kamau Brathwaite read by Yona Harvey
• "Alligators" by Ashlee Haze
• "A Poem to Get Rid of Fear" by Joy Harjo read by M. Ayodele Heath
• "Island Within Island" by Henry Dumas read by Nicole Higgins
• "A Photograph Taken in Duluth" by Sean Hill
• "Dreams" by Langston Hughes read by Darrel Alejandro Holnes
• "Boy Meets Gun" by Candice Iloh
• "Ghazal for Our Sons" by JP Howard and "The Story Trayvon" by Nicholas
• "Passing Pamohna" by Ashaki M. Jackson
• "Night,, Death, Mississippi" by Robert Hayden read by Monifa Lemons Jackson
• "Blue/Grass" by Khary Jackson
• "In Defense of Violent Protest" by Brionne Janae
• "improper(ty) behavior" by Evie Shockley read by Amanda Johnston
• "4/30/92" by Lucille Clifton read by Bettina Judd
• "bitter crop" by Kelli Stevens Kane
Untitled by Douglas Kearney
• "Striptease" by Alan King
• "Power" by Audre Lorde read by Ruth Ellen Kocher
• "BlackLivesMatter" by Raina Leon
• "Elliptical" by Harryette Mullen read by Ana-Maurine Lara
• "Vanitas with Negro Boy" by Rickey Laurentiis
• "The New Black" by Len Lawson
• "The Photo: A Lynching" by Lucille Clifton read by Chantay Legacy Leonard
• "Prometheus Explains Genocide" by Deonte Osayande read by Essence London
• "Listen Children" by Lucille Clifton read by Sheree Mack
• "Endangered Species" by Cynthia Manick
• "The Implication of Violence" by Kita Marshall
• "Alzheimer's" by Nate Marshall
• "My Woman: Without America" by Victoria Massie 
• "If My Late Grandmother Was Gertrude Stein" by Airea Dee Matthews
• "Darkie" by Kristen McCallum 
• "Gratitude" by Cornelius Eady read by Syreeta McFadden
• "Questions on the Police Officer's Exam"  by Tony Medina
On Anger” by Elizabeth Mitchell
• "Black Boy Blank" by Jonah Mixon-Webster
• "Eulogy (In Case Of...)" by Thea Monyee
• "Paranoid” by Jonathan Moody 
• "Poem For Amadou Diallo" Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon read by Kamilah Aisha Moon
• "The Script Given to Grieving Mother whose child has been murdered" by B. Sharise Moore
• "Black Erasure" by Chace Morris 
• "Enter the Dragon" by John Murillo
• "Within Two Weeks, The African American Poet Ross Gay is mistaken.." by Ross Gay read by Angel Nafis
• From Marilyn Nelson's A Wreath for Emmett Till read by Rachel Nelson
• "Make Noise Without a Sound" by Chioma Oruh 
• "Things You Missed" by Deonte Osayande
• "A Litany for Survival" by Audre Lorde read by Lauren G. Parker
• "The History of Black People" by Morgan Parker
• "the boy with the worried eyes" by Sandra Proto
• "If We Must Die" by Claude McKay read by Breuana Roach
• "The Mayor of Money" (for Emmett Till) by Roger Reeves 
• "Trained (Black Boy Lost)" by DJ Rodgers
• "We Are Not Responsible" by Harryette Mullen read by Khadijah Queen
• "I am Tired Mourning Our Dead" by N. I. Nicholson
• "While You're Getting Arrested Outside a Jimmy Buffet Concert" by Angelique Palmer
• "We" by Nikki Giovanni read by Douglas Powell (Roscoe Burnems)
• "Dating Advice for my Daughter (After Tragedy in Ferguson)" by Douglas Powell (Roscoe Burnems)
• "Trayvon" by Treasure Shields Redmond
• "|p|l|e|a|s|" by Justin Phillip Reed
• "If Mamie Till was the Mother of God" by Joseph Ross read by Katy Richey
• "if the tables were turned" by Casey Rocheteau
• "Dialect of Hurricanes" by Franketienne read by Magali RoyFequiere
• "Workshop on Racism" by Toi Derricotte read by Metta Sama
• "For Saundra" by Nikki Giovanni read by Amanda Seales
• "Candelabra with Heads" by Nicole Sealey
• “On the Turning Up of Unidentified Black Female Corpses” by Toi Dericotte read by Charif Shanahan
• "Skin" by Kwame Dawes read by Kevin Simmonds
• "RIOT" (A Poem in Three Parts) by Gwendolyn Brooks read by Chris Slaughter
• "Directions to Ginen" by Joy KMT and "Homeland" by Jericho Brown read by Shakeema Smalls
• "Stand Your Privilege" by Sherina Rodriguez Sharpe & Obsidian Blues Crew
• "Playground Elegy" by Clint Smith
• "who has time for joy?" by Danez Smith
• "For Mrs. Hawkins" by Tupac Shakur read by Shia Shabazz Smith
• “Boy Breaking Glass" by Gwendolyn Brooks read by L'Oréal Snell 
• "White-Washed Ignorance" by Brittany Spaulding
• "White-Washed Ignorance, Pt. 2" by Brittany Spaulding 
• "won't you celebrate with me" by Lucille Clifton read by Bianca Spriggs
• "Them Ghosts" by Christina Springer
• "Red Summer" by Quentin Talley
• "When the Shotgun Question the Black Boy" by Sonya Renee Taylor
• "Imagine the Angels of Bread" by Martin Espada read by Samantha Thornhill
• "On the Murder of Two Human Being Black Men" by June Jordan read by Qiana Towns
• "America, November 2014" by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon
• "Tell Me" by Maya Washington
• "A Lesson in This Queer African American Woman's History" by Yazmin Monet Watkins
• "Undertaker" by Patricia Smith read by Lauren Whitehead
• "Mr. Snake, I Don't Like You" by Angela Jackson read by Sa Whitley
• "Pulled Over in Short Hills, NJ" by Ross Gay read by Marcus Wicker
• "Right On: White America" by Sonia Sanchez read by Candace Wiley
• "When the Officer Caught Me" by Nate Marshall read by Tonya Wiley
• "Maybe None Of Us Are Actually From Anywhere" by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib 
• From Discipline by Dawn Lundy Martin read by Phillip B. Williams
• "Cincinnati Windy Greys" by Keith S. Wilson
• "Drive-by" by L. Lamar Wilson
• "It's All in Your Head" by Marilyn Nelson read by L. Lamar Wilson
• "(Ar)rest Assured" by Scott Woods

A notebook on Mike Brown and Ferguson
• A Notebook on #BlackPoetsSpeakOut 


  1. Hi and thank you for doing this. I thought I'd post the link to a youtube playlist I'm updating in case it helps you update your archive.

    Bianca Spriggs reads Lucille Clifton's "won't you celebrate with me"


  4. Thank you for this.

    In solidarity,
    Amanda Johnston