Tag Archives: revolutionary

Women

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I”m reading The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson about the great migration. Millions of African Americans escaped the Jim Crow south — fanning out to the northeast, midwest, west — for the promise of a better life and opportunities theretofore unthinkable. And I’m reminded of this poem by Alice Walker. Walker included this poem in a collection about whom she calls “revolutionaries and lovers”.

The Women
by Alice Walker

They were women then
My mama’s generation
Husky of voice—Stout of
Step
With fists as well as
Hands
How they battered down
Doors
And ironed
Starched white
Shirts
How they led
Armies
Headragged generals
Across mined
Fields
Booby-trapped
Ditches
To discover books
Desks
A place for us
How they knew what we
Must know
Without knowing a page
Of it
Themselves.

© Alice Walker, in Revolutionary Petunias, 1973
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Seduction

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for all the revolutionaries. (this poem always makes me laugh)

by Nikki Giovanni

one day
you gonna walk in this house
and i’m gonna have a long African
gown
you’ll sit down and say “The Black…”
and i’m gonna take one arm out
then you—not noticing me at all—will say “What about
this brother…”
and i’m going to be slipping it over my head
and you’ll rap on about “The revolution…”
while i rest your hand against my stomach
you’ll go on—as you always do—saying
“I just can’t dig…”
while i’m moving your hand up and down
and i’ll be taking your dashiki off
then you’ll say “What we really need…”
and i’ll be licking your arm
and “The way I see it we ought to…”
and unbuckling your pants
“And what about the situation…”
and taking your shorts off
the you’ll notice
your state of undress
and knowing you you’ll just say
“Nikki,
isn’t this counterrevolutionary…?”