I tried to set the world on fire in my youth.

There I stood: black leather jacket, afro,
fist in the air, speaking the truth.

Like brother Malcolm, my weapon were words.

The media took interest in my gun,
they often muted my words.

Brother Martin led marches that led our brothers and sisters to suffer abuse.

Brother Malcolm led marches that led our brothers and sisters to not tolerate abuse.

Brother Malcolm let them knew he didn’t care if the chickens came home to Roost.

Brother Martin let them know he didn’t mind getting spat at or stepped on by the oppressor’s boot.

Albeit Brother Martin and Brother Malcolm were brave to stand out front for years.

Truth be told; if it wasn’t for Brother Malcolm’s threats, Brother Martin’s request would’ve fell on death ears.

Martin never threw a punch, his weapon was his voice.

Malcolm never threw a punch, his weapon was his voice.

Martin was known to carry a bible, he was gunned down in the street.

Malcolm was known to carry a rifle, he was gunned during a speech.

We lost Brother Martin in the south; another brother gone.

We lost Brother Malcolm in the east; another brother gone.

And there I stood in the west; BROTHERS and SISTERS…
You Have The Right To Bear Arms.

What is the first thing that comes to your mind, when you hear Black Panther?

Do you think young black militants with guns and bombs?

Do you think young black intellectuals exercising the right to bear arms?

Do you think of the riots of the sixties; in inner city streets?

Do you think of the brave young voices that fought to provide poor children in school with something to eat?

Do you think of H. Rap Brown’s Die Nigger, Die?

Do you think of Eldridge Cleaver’s Soul On Ice?

Do you ever ask why so many Black Panthers were targeted by the C.I.A. and F.B.I?

Do you ever ask why so many Black Panthers are Refugees, Dead, Drug Addicted, or doing Life?

Do you ever think we are responsible for our communties and our leaders?

Do you ever think there’s a reason why it’s so easy for welfare to feed us?

Do you ever think you; yeah you, you could be that young black intellectual to save us?

Do you ever think of what inspired the likes of Bobby Seale, Huey P. Newton, or Angela Davis?

Did you ever want to organize and mobilize with progessive minds?

Do you have any idea what it feels like to be living behind enemy lines?

Do you know how beautiful it is to address social issues with accountable answers?

I remember how it felt to be young, gifted, and black…
in my youth; there I stood with my peers conjuring answers.

Though a frayed fragment in the laments of memory…
there I stood a Black Panther!

@StevieStreets

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