Momma told me I was a flower child, But I had trouble believing it Because our garden bed felt like it was embedded with concrete in it. We from the mud, houses with no water and heat in it. I bet it’s some black kids who know about putting water on the stove. This a lifestyle. They not dreaming this. How a flower gone grow here, ma? Where the sun don’t shine much, But the touch never left our skin. Remind us where we came from, To be black is to be nothing. Wave a flag and plead a pledge that don’t mean nothing. Serve a country built with bare black hands, on black knees, Carried to the front line on a black back, And still receive the short end of the stick. That don’t do me justice. Brown faces are made court cases, Their lives in the hands of the judges. They judge us by the skin that covers us, Ban the books that uncover our truth, But can’t abandon our cultural ways. They adopt and manipulate our way of life, But speak disgust of our way of life. They could never be one with us, So who are they to pass judgments? When they have skeletons in their closets They been putting us in graves We are engraved into white chains But we are made monsters to the public? How are we supposed to blossom? How a flower gone grow here ma? The grass don’t get no greener where we from When it rains, it rains, it pours, it floods, it storms It feels like we’ll never see the sun again Momma let her son play but tell him don’t leave the street Having him in voice distance gives her peace But the same street he play on he’ll lay on… She’ll never see her son again Gotta hold on to ya babies tight Before the streets get ‘em or police kill him That criminal they paint on the news ain’t him That’s a false portrait Adding more pain to a momma mourning, The world will forget about him tomorrow morning But the hood still praying for light, praying for life Amen A mother could never forget ‘em The streets took my brother from me I’ll never forgive ‘em A innocent child robbed of his innocence I blame them They the ones who locked us in this cycle of poverty, Hate to see us prosperous. Our demise is what they modeling. Keep the wealth from black families, That’s why that black boy gotta put down his pen. Momma on welfare, He gotta get it by any means or be homeless and hopeless. The school system won’t get him there, So he forced to turn to the streets, Even if that’s the last place he wanna be. He gotta go somewhere. The system practically hands him a gun Then puts a gun on em And tells him to put his hands in the air. That’s foul play. They don’t play fair. Ma, how a flower gone grow here In the slums That they poisoned with liquor? Alcohol don’t got no age here— Kids under 21 swigging rum. You white people are pollution. Y’all littered the corners with bums. I’m bummed That we can work until our knees buckle, Backs crumble, and still be fed crumbs. Ancestral depression, hand-me-down suppression, life of oppression. And they wonder why black kids are filled With aggression, anger, and drugs. No, they’re not thugs. They’re just kids lacking hugs and fatherly love. Black kids hurt, too. They wanna feel loved. Black kids feel, too. They only pretend to be numb. Black kids hear, too. Stop telling them that they’re dumb. Give them equity so where they’re going Isn’t hindered by where they’re from. They don’t want pity. They want empathy or a little understanding, just for once. Give them a fighting chance, or don’t give them none. Just a little light in the darkness can grow a flower here, ma. Even if it’s only one. Yeah we products of the hood but that don’t make us hoodlums. Flowers grow in the hood; they just don’t listen to us. Flowers grow in the hood; they put em in caskets with us. Flower children buried in flowers; they don’t come looking for us. Yeah, we products of the hood, that don’t make us hoodlums.
When They See Me
When they see me, Will it be my intelligence Or the color of my skin? The sheer thought that My life could end before It begins scares me, Making me