HARLEM RENAISSANCE: NOT I
There was once a time among a creative
people that the arts among Black folk
became revived, enlightened and brought
back to life.
Just where had the Arts of Black folk been?
Although these were hard times, they
were also golden days of the 1920’s.
Jazz and blues made its way from
New Orleans and the Mississippi
Delta to Chicago and on to New York.
Why had Jazz and Blues come up the Mississippi River from the South?
Where did the poets come from?
Harlem was the resting place for many
souls of Black folk. At this place their numbers
were unrivaled. Here Duke of Ellington
swung at the Cotton Club for many outsiders.
Was creativity ever stifled due to Jim who was also Crow?
Meanwhile the creative juices flowed
like the days of milk and honey. Here the
poets and writers also cried out with pencils
and mighty pens. Many thoughts about Blackness ensued.
Is it the creative artist’s role and responsibility to record and critique the landscape?
We salute but the world honors and pays
tribute to Langston whose last name
was Hughes, Cullen whose first name
was Countee and the wayward Black
Parisian McKay who some called Claude.
Was peace found in artistic expression in a foreign land?
There were also many that left
The land of two ropes. For one took
life and one stifles intellectual growth.
Thus then came Baldwin, James, Ellison,
Ralph and Richard Wright.
Who can name the scholars of a people with no knowledge?
There were also great scholars and activists
and those that made more people mad
than glad. But they also revived our lost
Knowledge to some was mis-information to others.
Carter G. Woodson, Oh! How he sought
to re-educate the mis-educated Negro. He also
established the need to study Black history as
we see Black daily. But the Negro still seeks
a yearly celebration in February.
There will always be a Judas branch. Will they get paid?
Eventually one of our greatest scholars came upon the scene
who stood in the shadows of no man in W.E. B.
DuBois. A man of many letters he once held a
Civil Rights Organization in principles and intellect
and in the stead of all Black folk and not just a few.
These were the days when Blacks had some power even
though the power lost is not power gained.
There is power in control and useless energy in deceit.
Did this legendary scholar come in conflict with
a man of manual skills that wanted to teach
all of our people only one way to pull the Black
man and woman up by its torn boot straps?
The philanthropists bowed and scratched the head of the Judas branch.
Just why was the man of “fetch-it” fame important?
Was Marcus who came from the Islands also important?
As DuBois sought to analyze the Black experience so did
Garvey. Was race pride the time of being rebuked and scorned?
As Garvey shook up America with Black pride did this cause his demise?
Would the returning ships hold all Black folk?
Meanwhile during those days the left
seemed to be right. And many fled to the Left
Bank of Paris. Is the Left the same now as it
Where have all the Liberals gone? Have liberal thoughts made an acid transition to all things immoral?
Regretfully those that only glimpsed Jesus saw little
during their day. So they never realized that Jesus
who brought these wretched souls to the brink
of the Renaissance was the Light. But they saw nothing.
Glory to God now for the Spiritual Messenger.
Many days have now passed and
we have soaked up the messages
the Renaissance men inspired.
However New thought and Old now comes among
those who are inspired.
The way to Peace and great inspiration is neither left nor right.
Now Paris does not support a
Right Bank as the Left Bank
has gone evil, full of transgressions
and stagnant in things unbecoming of the Law.
The City of Lights is dark if we cannot see the Light.
Those that see Jesus have no
love nor any place among the
lost to seek refuge. So went
the pens of Peace, Jazz and Blues.
Kill all the writer’s of Truth and bury Voltaire as he did not know God.
What will the world have
thought of a Renaissance of
Harlem had it been about Truth?
Truth is often seen and heard however the paymaster is silent unless you see and feel the wind.
What Books would have recorded the
message of Good News by so many
writer’s. Where would Black people
be if Truth only came from
intellectual and worldly sentiments
of social problems solved not by
politics or money? Who calls
for the distinction of the world and God?
Love is the rule of those that see into the future as they ride the carpet of the past and present.
Harlem Renaissance not I for I would
be still a castaway. Here our fortunes
are revealed in persecution and a
reward in life everlasting.