My Cup Runneth Over

MY CUP RUNNETH OVER(Accompanied by The Medicine Drum)My cup runneth over
Reminding me,
To Forgive
Is NOT to forget!

To Forgive
Is really to REMEMBER
That we can all be so much more
Than each others’ devil drenched mistakes,
Like a gun purchased as a birthday gift and pulled out at a Prayer Meeting
To usher in death, led fervently by centuries of imprinted white supremacy hate!

Oh Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church
Issiah 7:14 says, “The Lord himself will give you
a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive
and bear a son, and shall call his name
Emanuel! Emanuel!

In the New Testament, according to Matthew 1:23
The Bible
Gives meaning to the name Emanuel
“God is with us.” The Hebrew word “el” means God,
“Emanu’ means, with us.
Please continue to Swing Home Sweetly
9 more of your gone too soon Lights,
May they dance David’s Dance
With YOU in Paradise.
Rev. Clemanta Pinckney sings a New Song
Cynthia Hurd sings a New Song
Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton sings a New Song
Tywanza Sanders sings a new Song
Ethel Lance sings a New Song
Depayne Middleton Doctor sings a New Song
Rev. Daniel Simmons sings a New Song
Myra Thompson sings a New Song
Sing a New Song of Salvation
Asking Peace to Be STILL,
My cup runneth over
Emanuel I call out your name
I call you from the razor sharp remnants of slave ships
Where brutalized bones become precious minerals
Trapped at the bottom of the sea
Surrounded by every island of the world’s graveyard filled with the blood of slavery.

I call out your names
From the wretched history of broken backs who labored long during cotton field centuries
I call out your name Emanuel from auction blocks,
Where big bulging eyes hung down from lynching trees
Witnessing segregation’s Christian hypocrisy —
Where racism lauded its’ POWER acting like a mad dog scratching ceaselessly at fleas.

My cup runneth over
Emanuel I call out your name
Where Black Mammies sang out LOVE to Jesus in old knotted head rags,
Emanuel I call out your name
From Black Sambo hauntings and denigration’s Third Degree,
Where miscegenation produced a shared DNA from rape: giving birth to YOU & ME.
330bdb0b16a0273f6cfdf621a96549d6 (1)
My cup runneth over
As 9 more of your Lights GONE MUCH TOO SOON
Shout out to us!
“Look up and Live!”
“Walk fiercely through the shadows of death!”
“Pray ceaselessly!”
“And join hands together overcoming
Never again, just wishing to overcome, but be!”

I call out your name for Justice
My cup runneth over
And surely goodness and mercy shall follow “US”
All the days of our lives,
Where we shall dwell in the house of the Lord

And it shall be LOVE
Not a gun,
Embracing us to Swing Home Sweetly
To make a joyful noise
To Emanuel The Son!


June 23, 2015

Arthur Theodore Wilson


HANDS UP DON’T SHOOT by Ayanna Besson



My brothers and sisters whose voices were taken,

I scream for you…..HANDS UP, DON’T SHOOT!

You are the reason we stand here today.

United as a people, we come to together and we say


And we refuse to continue to be victims of this system.

HANDS UP, DON’T SHOOT!…….We remember……..

Amadou Diallo, my brother,I scream for you

That winter day in February,

You became a piece of that strange fruit,

Swinging from that tree

As 19 bullets pierced through you.

Pulling out your ID?


Prince Jones, my brother, I scream for you

That  autumn day in September,

You became a piece of that strange fruit

Swinging from that tree

As 8 bullets pierced through you.

Mistaken identity?


Rekia Boyd, my sister I scream for you

That spring day in March,

You became a piece of that strange fruit

Swinging from that tree

As 1 fatal bullet pierced through you.

Reckless conduct?


Because you stood your ground,

I have the right to open my mouth

Yes, I’m tired and…

Yes, I’m angry and…

Yes, I will fight …

for my civil rights that…

my ancestors died for…

Yes, I will fight for those whose rights have been violated.

For those who have been silenced.

Those who have been murdered…


Who will protect us from our protectors?

Who will listen, and recognize our efforts?

Who will stand up and say, I will take no more?

Lie on my back, keep quiet, and kiss the dirt on the “masters” floor?


We refuse to continue to be victims, our lives matter.


Alberta Spriull, my mother, your life mattered.

Trayvon Martin, my son, your life mattered.

Mike Brown, my brother, your life mattered.

Eric Garner, my father, your life mattered.

Human life….MATTERS.

HANDS UP!…………………………Don’t shoot.

By: Ayanna Dominique Diarra Besson












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I’m Sorry by Yasmine Chervin



I’m sorry

I’m sorry that we were once princes and princesses, Kings and Queens of nations that man could not believe

I’m sorry that we reversed our place

And allowed our race to bring us disgrace

Being “gangsters”, wanna be thugs, and promiscuous vixens, whose bodies have become an open market to different types of pains, harms, and things

I’m sorry that if until today you haven’t realized it…..I’m sorry that today is the day you realize the truth, the day you see what I see.

Our ancestors placed in shackles

Burned with iron, covered in scars were enslaved by society

And once again we have become enslaved, no longer bound by shackles of ownership

But shackles place on material things

I’m sorry that society has failed us

Put us at the bottom of the food chain and expected us swim and dream big

I’m sorry that our men are imprisoned, that although we are few our population in incarceration is many

I’m sorry that till this day we are seen as monsters, different, exotic, NOT EQUAL

And I’m sorry that if until today you haven’t realized it…..I’m sorry that today is the day you realize the truth, the day you see what I see.

India Arie said “Hey I am not my hair? I am not this skin”

But why have we subjected ourselves to disliking what we look like

Why has fairer skin, whiter skin, paler skin become more attractive to man

Why have our African Queens, Kings, Princes and Princesses allowed a society of no color to decide what is beautiful amongst us

For before we based our beauty off of skin tone, our kings and queens, princes, and princesses came in all shades of brown.

I AM sorry if you think that you are not beautiful, because beauty is skin deep

I AM sorry that we have idolized artists and famous people who have lost their touch and have withdrawn themselves from this battle we call life as an African American

I AM sorry that if until today you haven’t realized it…..I’m sorry that today is the day you realize the truth, the day you see what I see.

Ladies You are beautiful no matter what they say

SO why have we taken pride in objectifying our bodies?

I AM no saint and at times fall guilty, but why have we allowed barbies, and big booties to decide what type of love we deserve

I am sorry that Long Hair Don’t Care has made us look away from our tight coils and afro-centric looks

I am sorry that our bodies are objectified and seen as ATM transactions

Now Credit or Debit as long as the surcharge is sufficient right?


I’m sorry that if you haven’t found the one yet you believe that it is it. But it isn’t.

And Im sorry that if until today you haven’t realized it…..I’m sorry that today is the day you realize the truth, the day you see what I see.

Now my brothers I am sorry that you have come against each other

I am sorry that till this day, “We can’t all just get along”

I’m sorry that Black on Black crimes are seen as a norm and accepted, and I’m even more sorry that to this day we aim to do better than one another than help one another.

I’m sorry that “Dark Skins” and “Lights Skins” exist

I’m sorry that you are called dogs, and pigs, and gangsters, and murders, and rapists

I’m sorry that society has failed you,

I’m sorry that society has failed you

And Im sorry that if until today you haven’t realized it…..I’m sorry that today is the day you realize the truth, the day you see what I see.

Now I’m sorry for all the things done to us

But I’m even more sorry for us giving up

“They take my kindness for weakness

They take my silence for speechless

They consider my uniqueness strange

They call my language slang

They see my confidence as conceit

They see my mistakes as defeat

they consider my success accidental

They minimize my intelligence to potential

My questions mean I am unaware

My advancement is somehow unfair

To voice concern is discontentment

If I stand up for myself I am too defensive

If I don’t trust them I am too apprehensive

I am defiant if I separate

I am fake if I assimilate

My character is constantly under attack

Pride for my race makes me too black”

I’m sorry that if until today you haven’t realized it…..I’m sorry that today is the day you realize the truth, the day you see what I see.




@ALL RIGHTS RESERVED – Yasmine Chervin (2015)



Sierra Leonean Boy Soldier by Samira JaJi

Sierra Leonean BOY SOLDIER   

by Samira JaJi



I used to be good with my hands

I used to do good with my hands


I loved to play the drums

Carefree beats and melodies inspired by my beautiful homeland

Until one day without warning, the sheet music changed and the ground shook with the harsh vibrations of advancing rebel groups in the merciless trampling marching band


 They found us in our home …

Windows boarded up and doors sealed

We tried to conceal ourselves 

& spare our ears from the sounds of death and destruction the Grimm Reaper composed

just beyond our makeshift wood and tin refuge


But they found us anyway

They amused themselves for a little while,

Tormenting us by showing off what their sinister instruments could do

Their conductor then forced me to play a solo

So I traded my innocence for the false promise of my loved ones spared lives and the instrument needed to play the requested piece of blood-soaked sheet music

From which I played every red note 3 times over: for my Mother, Father, and Grandmother


I CUT, skin deep

DRIP, drop blood

SNAP, crack bones

RIP, tear flesh

They beg, scream, shout


The blade scrapes table

HANDS hit ground

I witnessed them SHOT, point blank


My spirit torn from my body I became a zombie, resigned to the fact that I would have to march on with the war mongering marching band

Morality and I became estranged

As I became more involved in playing the symphony of warfare that

Set fire to villages

Burned bodies

Raped, pillaged,

Broke the necks and backs of those that tried to flee the music

And I cut their pleading hands off




Making them release heart wrenching screams in harmony with the last breath that escaped from the lips of their loved ones’ final whimper of agony


It was a blessing for all when the diminuendo came

Intense violent conflict decreased until the chaotic raucous was replaced by uneasy silence

It was in this silence that I reunited with my guilt

I looked down at my hands, they had turned red

I used to do good, with my hands

Like indelible ink blood has left my hands permanently red

So I try to do better, with my hands

But if not for this war that has torn my land

And had I just a bit of opportunity, can you imagine what I could’ve done…

Not with my hands, but with my mind.


@Samira JaJi 2015