What happened to the black men of the 1800’s, early 1900’s, the 20’s, the 30’s, and the 40’s?

What happened to the black men of the 50’s and the 60’s?

Turn your pages to the black men of today; we aint them dudes.
Remember when little black children had ambitions to become discerning black men.
Turn your pages to the black men of today; we aint them dudes.
The minds of today’s youth weren’t schooled on Langston Hughes.
There will be no literary renaissance; we aint them dudes.
Yet still; today’s young minds have rappers that can paint those views.
Radio won’t play supreme consciousness; they taint those views.
Today’s hood doesn’t glorify authors; we aint those dudes.

Yesterday’s black men died for intelligence,
died for beliefs,
died for political views.
Today’s black men die for ignorance,
die for beefs,
die so a nigger can be in the news.

What happened to the black men of old? I’m so confused.
When did it become cool for young black men to let go? I’m so confused.
Remember when black men sat on the throne practicing vegetation? We aint those dudes.

Turn your pages to today; the death tolls of black men killing black men rivals the casualties of war in some nations; I’m so confused.

I remember what Fannie Jackson Coppin established in 1869; salute black women.
I remember the drug rate in the slums in 1989; abused black women.
I remember a generation lost on heroine;
they gave birth to a generation lost on crack; inner city blues.
Generations lost; yet, not that far removed.
From The Souls of Black Folks to the daily news; I’m so confused.
From Their Eyes Were Watching God to all eyes on me; I’m so confused.

I remember when it felt good to be young, gifted, and black; we are not those dudes.
I remember the Panthers fighting to give children food.

I remember Black on Black Business; communities building wealth.
It’s time build! Get in tune with the foundation, knowledge of self.

I’m no Richard Wright, this is no playwright.
If we don’t get right,
stop the black on black fight…
we may be gone with the wind;
leaving children to hold onto fragments of memories back when.

Back when there were Black Men.