Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Peanut butter nights saved me, thank you George Carver.
When I sit on the front seat of a bus I ponder.
If Rosa Parks didn’t move and they assassinated Assata
Could Black women be a panther and sit wherever they wanted.
To be black is an honor in my environment.
I would never had made the baseball team if there was no Jackie
Robinson.
Blood, sweat, tears many years of broken promise.
Falsehood, Absent truth my skin is not of opulence.
It’s common sense no one can predict the future.
When Obama was president I witnessed dreams of Martin Luther.
Jesus’ skin is bronze, Mandela he was a ruler.
If Nefertiti was a queen then I can be king of Zamunda.
Won’t hire me because my skin is peanutbutterish.
Slave workin’ all my life tryin’ to make it rich.
Master of me, mentally free from enslavement.
Had so many whips and chains as if I came from a slave ship.
Humble, everyday that’s my attitude.
Struggle to see life through the eyes of Maya Angelou.
Freedom one of my favorite dreams.
Wishing I can fly I see why the caged bird sings.
Resilience is me, i made it this far 
In my sleep Harriet Tubman told me to find my north star.
I got to keep marchin’ while they build another jail instead to
build another college.
For every male of color that make bail, five more get deposit.
Revolving door of wealth, America number on profit.
This ain’t no chitt chatter public service announcement
Why Black lives matter

 
Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. The Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned. The work is lightly edited but has not been otherwise fact-checked.

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Maurice Reed

Maurice Reed is a writer incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison in California. He is from Vallejo, Calif., and loves writing poems, music, comedy, stories, scripts, and screenplays, and editing film. He is an actor, dancer, choreographer, director, musician, cameraman, and a student at Mount Tamalpais College at San Quentin.