Poem For Black Boys (With special love to James)

Where are your heroes, my little Black ones
You are the Indian you so disdainfully shoot
Not the big bad sheriff on his faggoty white horse

You should play run-away-slave
Or Mau Mau
These are more in line with your history

Ask your mothers for a Rap Brown gun
Santa just may comply if you wish hard enough
Ask for CULLURD instead on Monopoly
DO NOT SIT DO NOT FOLLOW KING
GO DIRECTLY TO STREETS
This is a game you can win.

As you sit there with all your understanding eyes
You know the truth of what I’m saying
Play Back-to-Black
Grow a natural and practice vandalism
These are useful games (some say a skill even learned)

There is a new game I must tell you of
Its called Catch The Leader Lying
(and knowing your sense of the absurd you will enjoy this)

also a company called revolution has just issued a special kit for little boys called Burn Baby
I’m told it has full instructions on how to siphon gas and fill a bottle

Then our old friend Hide and Seek becomes valid
Because we have much to seek and ourselves to hide from a lecherous dog

And this poem I give is worth much more than any nickle bag or ten cent toy
And you will understand all too soon
That you, my children of battle, are your heroes
You must invent your own games and teach us old ones how to play.
4/2/67……..

–Nikki Giovanni

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