Thursday, January 13, 2011

History Don't Tell

History don’t tell my students what they need to know

Students here are dark and poor

History shows them lily white

Shows them men with guns and might

Tells elaborate tales of landed gentry

White male landowners owning all the property

They hear the drones of their declarations, contestations and Modernity

No surprise students start to say, “Maybe someday that could be me!”

History don’t let the students know

The resistance of 500 years ago

The people locked out of the American Dream

The people who labored and toiled this earth

While Massa got fat and lived the dream on their backs

History doesn’t tell the students what they need to know

Need to know to fight all that

The red on the reservation

The black on the plantation

The white indentured servant on the field

The yellow on the railroad

The brown migrant worker

The woman and child’s nimble fingers in the factory

The immigrant who met with a rude awakening

The differently abled body who couldn’t fit into the capitalist’s logic of efficiency

Or the one who loves differently

The supremacy

The divvying people up

For empire dreams

Profit maximizing and expanding on human bodies

History don’t let the students know

The Reality

Of people fighting

Fighting all that

Building solidarity

Voices speaking

Spitting out the great Father’s milk

Demanding something else




History needs to let students see

Let students see all that

And see these people as themselves

‘Cause when they go out there

And leave the classroom for good

History should have done it's job

And told them the truth

And History needs to give them the tools to use

‘Cause when they leave, leave the classroom for good

It’s the same thing


  1. Truly a wonderful poem...our kids must be humanized for them to overcome the alienation that is the reality outside the school walls.

    A tribute to all those downpressed by the imperial shitstem, as the late and great Peter Tosh would say.....

    Words of truth

    How many people have to say
    Before de dash dis devil ‘way
    Downpression do division
    Thwart he dis our vision
    So Solidarity is we ace
    Cos him divide we race
    An’ like you say
    Punish he gay
    To Jesus god
    We haf nod

    How long we nation
    Give to world dis situation
    corporation mek dem exploitation
    Uncle sam organize he committee
    Do service to CEO in every city
    Pauperize world to sell pity

    White rage
    Rises in this age
    Think you can fool we
    The fire will force you flee
    Ideology him no fit class derision
    Supremacy will die in we conscious decision
    Out of the hole we come cos zion is now our goal
    Giddy multitude you fear, united march we to take control
    All colors, all orientations, all abilities, all sexes and ages
    Equality is we flag against empire’s prisons where we go to abolish cages