PAD Challenge Day 19: In Loving Memory II

Day 19: Write a memory poem.

In Loving Memory II

They only talk about you in February.
28 days is not enough for me.
I celebrate Juneteenth every day
with Fredrick Douglas’
struggle and progress
stamped to my soul.

Every time I want
to make a quick
left or right,
I think of Garret Morgan.

Every time I join hands
with all mankind
and sing peace,
King's dream awakes like
a reborn, concrete rose.

Every time I
sit-in a restaurant,
I really owe C.O.R.E
my gratuity
and southern hospitality.

Every time I march for
equality, justice, and peace;
the NAACP and Black Lives Matter
stand like steel magnolias,
revolutionizing minds like X
and spiritually encouraging souls
like old negro hymns
while televising the truth.

In doctoral regalia—
let me twirl and honor
Dr. Ruth Ella Moore.
When I witness
a medical intervention,
let me dedicate my award
to Dr. Patricia Bath.

In every moment
of being a woman,
I'll say,
“I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
that's me.” 1

Over a mic,
I'll tap twice for
James West and
try not to let my
voice quiver.

When I feel my
dreams deferring,
I'll jazz up my life
with Langston Hughes
and sing Nina Simone's
Young, Gifted, and Black. 2

When I feel chained,
I'll unravel fear and flee
like Harriet Tubman
to not become
A Raisin in the Sun. 3

When I'm ready to return home,
I'll thank Marcus Garvey
for advising me in advance. 

But if I choose to stay,
I know that I must lead
like Sojouner Truth
and remain unbought and
unbossed like Shirley Chisholm. 4


1 Angelou, M. (1995). Phenomenal Woman: Four poems celebrating women. New
   York City, NY: Random House.
2 Weldon, I.  (1969). Young, gifted, and black. [Recorded by Nina Simone]. On     
   Black Gold.  New York City, NY: RCA Records (1970).
3  Hansberry, L. (1961). A raisin in the sun. Chicago, IL.
4  Chisholm, S. (1970). Unbought and unbossed. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin

MLKJ Celebration

African American Museum of History, Washington, D.C. 

2017 Women's March on Washington
Harriet Tubman by Artist Louise M. McGee Inglewood, CA
Amazement Awaits Display in memory of Dr. Maya Angelou


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