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“Little Black Boy, Run” – An Atlanta Word Works Original

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A Little Black Boy, from the corner
Fought his shadow today
Combated the black clouds of
Colored contradictions
Squared up to his repressed emotions
Clocked his fear of abandonment
Jabbed at his fight to prove his masculinity
Uppercutted the nostalgic whispers of choir hymns

A Little Black Boy, round the corner
Saw that shadow today
Looked into an ancestral rage
Spiked with familiar
Eyed at the Brown-Eyed assailant
Chest palpitating, awaiting the darkness to overtake him

A Little Black Boy
Was shot by his shadow today
Right there on that corner
Killing the unsuspecting
Murdering the men that moved in peace
Executing the promise of his future shadowless brighter days
Brighter days?, Brighter days?!
There ain’t gone be no Brighter days
When we have Little Black Boys with the mentality
“It’s either that nigga or me, and that nigga gone die, On My Momma! F*ck you mean?”

These, Black boys butchering their fellow kin,
Call this a form a treason,
call it A form of Suicide
These Black boys been killing themselves

Been dummy to supremacy marionette
A minion to an unintroduced master
They’ve stripped him of his tongue again
Prisoner, slave, same chains, look familiar

Prisoner, slave, these chains, feel familiar
Call my home a cell
Call my family never
Call my skin cast armor
Midnight skinned buffalo-hided soldier
Scarred by the rusted jagged ancient chains by birth
Tar baby didn’t choose turmoil for a sanctuary

So I ascended anti-hero,
the wet of my tongue don’t be speak unity
Don’t speak at all no moe
Tho this respect cuzz
is emblazoned on my chest
Bro was the captain of the game
Jungle raised jiggabos round here know a nigga name
It’s written in their blood
but I got no recollection of their names
got no recollection on why I chose notorious fame

I decay in my melancholy mansion
This cinderblock vacay spot
Knowing my future ain’t gotta that brighter haze
But I can’t be the only one to blame

Tell me What Should I Do Black jesus
My rights are in the custody of heathens
Tell me How do i cry black jesus
I’ve crucified and paralyzed my pride
Tell how do i pray mother God
Black jesus where was ya ma
when I needed her love
Tell me
What Should I do
Tell him
What should he do
I tell him
Moonchild of my sky
Fly, Little Blackbird,
Run, Little Black Boy,
From this country that orchestrated your life to be so dark from conception
your shadows were second nature
Run, from the bullets, from narcotics, from the overcasting overseer’s whip
that fragmented our families for generations
Run in every single direction
So at least they can’t catch you all
keep running
till your shadow of internal war clears
Along with your fears,
Of Little Black Boys.

Ogechi, 19, is Atlanta’s Poet Laureate and a sophomore at Georgia State University. 

VOX’s Atlanta Word Works program offers free bi-monthly workshops for spoken word and written poetry with a focus on healing and social justice led by our AWW Alumni. Workshops will kick off this fall and be held on Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons. Please visit the Atlanta Word Works page or contact for details.

Keep a lookout for open mics in October and December and submit any poetry for publication to


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