Writes of Passage Pt4

1. “The Black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness.”
– Marcus Garvey

2. “An artist needs a certain amount of turmoil and confusion.”
-Joni Mitchell

3. “I am the American heartbreak—
The rock on which Freedom
Stumped its toe—
The great mistake
That Jamestown made
Long ago.”
— Langston Hughes, “American Heartbreak”

4. “History is our blueprint for living, surviving, changing the dynamics of our situation & the contours of our journey, do not set aside the lessons of a lifetime for changes that never make the grade.”
-African Queens Collective

5. James Baldwin on the Empathic Rewards of Reading and What It Means to Be an Artist:

“An artist is a sort of emotional or spiritual historian. His role is to make you realize the doom and glory of knowing who you are and what you are.”

6. Aldous Huxley on How You Become Who You Are, How to Get Out of Your Own Way, and the Necessity of Mind-Body Education:

“In all the activities of life, from the simplest physical activities to the highest intellectual and spiritual activities, our whole effort must be to get out of our own light.”

7. “The drums of Africa still beat in my heart. They will not let me rest while there is a single Negro boy or girl without a chance to prove his worth.”
-Mary McLeod Bethune

8. “America is an interracial marriage that can’t be annulled. And we are the offspring of a shotgun wedding. And every generation unreconciled, our children the orphans of history.”
-Nathan Richardson

9. Against the Illusion of Separateness, Pablo Neruda’s Beautiful and Humanistic Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech:

“There is no insurmountable solitude. All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence, in order to reach forth to the enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance…”

10. “Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can only be done by projecting the ethic of love to the center of our lives.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.



This old wary
Weariness is wearing on me,
So I fall back

On the works of warriors
& wordsmiths
Equipped with mother wit, not
Letting worry
Walk off with the youth

I have left.

©2019 MDSHall

We are the Curators of Our Own Lives Pt4

Talking Drum

(ode to the poetry of our passage)

When I started to scribble
Scrupulously, it was only
Within the wisdom of my

Words & the vessel of my
Verses, where the sacred
& profane anonymously

Melded behind the masks
Of hopes, aspirations &
Dreams that I was taught

The talking drum
Speaks in tongues
Of this native son.

©2019 MDSHall

Stepping Stones II (watch your step)

Since you know they are
Setting you up to fail, look for
What caused you to trip

And not where you fell.

©2019 MDSHall