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MOBB United Poetry: "Survival Tips for my Son" by Maryam Dilakian

Posted By Tiffany A. Bargeman, Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Updated: Saturday, October 21, 2017

Survival Tips for my Son

I say to my son–
If a cop ever stops you,
don’t argue,
don’t try to reason,
don’t contradict.
Do nothing.
Say nothing,
except that you have
the right to have your
parents present.

I tell him–
Don’t run.
Never run.
Don’t reach into your pockets.
Don’t try to explain you haven’t
done anything wrong.
(Knowing my son,
that won’t be why they’ll
ever stop him.)

I say to him–
Be polite,
be considerate,
don’t be loud on the train,
be aware of who’s around you.
Know who your friends are,
choose them well,
hold them close,
give what you can,
but remember to take,

I tell my boy,
soon to be a man–
Stand up for yourself,
when you must, but
only when you’re facing a foe, and
never simply because you’re angry.
Throw your punches with words,
and the intent to right wrongs;
use your fists to defend yourself,

Maryam Dilakian

Tags:  alive  black  black boys  black men  Dilakian  Maryam  Poem  poet  poetry  pulled over  son  survival  tips 

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MOBB United Poetry

Posted By Tiffany A. Bargeman, Friday, August 4, 2017
Updated: Monday, July 24, 2017

By Shellie Moore Guy

          This is a poem I wrote in 1990-1991 when my sons and daughters were faced with harassment and stereotypical behaviors from the white community -- police, teachers, etc. I considered this issue in the historical context and understood my sons would need to maneuver and live in this world, where they are considered a threat and "less than". And because of that, their lives would be threatened. But they come from a rich tradition of strength, courage and intelligence.


Your commitment makes them sweat.

Serious Black Business causes them sleepless nights.

They've called the law and started rumors designed to divide. Don't forget their fathers planned to conquer this way before.

Black Sons signify hope and promise, unity and clenched fists when necessary they gather strength through love and carry weights only heroes are required to tote.

And yes, delicious righteous anger should make them sweat.

They understand the audaciousness of their crimes.

separated families

butchered babies

Violated mothers

castrated fathers.

 When they distort history

steal languages

cop creations

deny freedom,

they inadvertently help to create

Commuted Black Sons

Denmark Vesey

Steve Biko

Fred Hampton



Martin. Murdered mentors

who left legacies for the Sons

My Sons

their nightmares.

Copyright 1995

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  Featured Poet  MOBB United  Poet  Poetry  Shellie Moore Guy  Sons 

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MOBB United Poetry

Posted By Tiffany A. Bargeman, Monday, June 26, 2017
Updated: Monday, July 3, 2017

Walking the Circle

by Keisha Gaye-Anderson


How many times
can you walk a circle?

You are breathless
in this flesh
blind and forgetful
and partially deaf
pulled by the nose
across the globe like cattle
aching from a boundless hunger
which is really only

Why I?
Why now?
Why pain?
Why at all?

And you are marching
toward that carrot
straight into the mouths of cannibals
that live in your
peripheral vision
in the foreground
in the background
in the space in
between your eyes

They are a mist
coating you with
a mask that you
mistake for
your reflection

So when you hear,
A man was shot today
A man was lynched today
A street vendor was bulldozed today
A woman was raped today
A child...

You say,
"That is out there"

how many times can you walk a circle?
and not know that
You are the corpse
The wrinkled street vendor
The strange fruit
The woman sawed in two
The child
The child
The child?

How many times
how fast
can you walk
a circle
before crashing into

Tags:  art  Chuck Huru  keisha-gaye anderson  mobb poetry  poem  poetry  walking the circle  writing 

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