How You Going to Stand

How Are You Going To Stand? Janie McGee

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Rock to life by your mother’s hips.                                                                                                                                  Little black girl how you going to stand?                                                                                                                               Brown is a color and black is beautiful                                                                                                                                  I chanted and held my fist through the streets of                                                                                                     Indifference and the alleys of“Let me be myself”                                                                                                            My Afro swayed in truth and                                                                                                                                              Bounced to James Brown.                                                                                                                                                        I studied my history                                                                                                                                                                 What does it mean to be black?                                                                                                                                              Proud, dark and hopeful                                                                                                                                                           Women and Child?                                                                                                                                                                      Little black girl how you going to stand?

My black man is by my side as I stand by his.                                                                                                                     It will take more than slaves’ ships to break                                                                                                                     our commitment, to love and family.                                                                                                                                The “Jackson Five” plays in the background.                                                                                                                                                                                 The chains of the past can’t hold the                                                                                                                                                                                              Gripping fight for our tomorrows.                                                                                                                                                                                              Planting my feet in the truth of God’s word                                                                                                                                                                                    The elder’s way of praying through.                                                                                                                                                                                                       I’ve straighten out my fingers to a place of prayer                                                                                                                                                                            I’ve bowed my knees to the depth of worship                                                                                                                                                                             I’ve heard the answer to help                                                                                                                                                                                                           Little black girl hopes you going to stand?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           I have touched the ceiling of impossibilities                                                                                                                                                                                        I have rubbed the door of vision                                                                                                                                                                                                      And held the tender leaves of dreams                                                                                                                                                                                                In the palm of my hands                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I fought too long inside outside                                                                                                                                                                                                               And around my soul                                                                                                                                                                                                                               To reach the promises of this life                                                                                                                                                                                                          I am more than a name                                                                                                                                                                                                                       But a destination for the generations to come.                                                                                                                                                                                  In me I have stood before Goliath                                                                                                                                                                                                    Using no stones but slapped him with despair                                                                                                                                                                             And rods of “never give up”                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The giants in my life Fall                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Little black girl                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I’m going to tell you how to stand.

Stand when they tell you                                                                                                                                                                                                                 You’ll never make it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Remind them of those before you                                                                                                                                                                                                     Women that are shadowed of bold determination                                                                                                                                                                       And pillars of reconstruction                                                                                                                                                                                                         Stand when they speak words over you                                                                                                                                                                                                 Black and white                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That holds you down                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Pinning you to the earth                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lift up inside and flyaway                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Stand when the world attacks                                                                                                                                                                                                              Evoking their perspective of your existence                                                                                                                                                                               Without an understanding your God.                                                                                                                                                                                              Remind them of the faith of those before you whom                                                                                                                                                                 Survived the field, the whips and the war genocide.                                                                                                                                                                           Stand when you look in the reflection of your self                                                                                                                                                                         Feel the weight of responsibilities.                                                                                                                                                                                                   The thoughts of depression,                                                                                                                                                                                                               And the burden of task.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Speak the truth and roll your hands across your brown skin                                                                                                                                                          Rejoice in you texture.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Your were rocked by your mother’s hips so                                                                                                                                                                                             Stand when you know there is no other                                                                                                                                                                                      Way to stand.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            When “life” that is lived says you can’t make it                                                                                                                                                                                        Remind them of me.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am determination, powered and strength                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am a portrait in history books, a saying on                                                                                                                                                                                     A black poster                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A phrase of old folks on Sunday night                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am the word “hope”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Little black girl that’s how you going to stand.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Stand by being what God created…                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Be your black self…stand

From Book: The Sunflower Dance For The Morning Blues

sunflower dance cover

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