My phone rang, it was a west coast friend
“Are you ok? I’m watching CNN and I see that your city is burning down”
I replied “Burning? Wow,” sarcastic tone
She asked, “Are you not upset?”
I said, “I mean a little. But Baltimore has been in flames and chains
Since the slave trade

The only time I see Black families happy
is when they are dominating in a spades game
The best part about holidays
My life is a deck of cards, minus the hearts, Black queens, and Black kings
Just clubbing on the weekend
I can’t feel my face when I’m with you and I love it.
The life of Black crack fiends

Break in your home. Split your dome
for your new 60 inch flat screen
Just to get higher than delinquent phone bills
Inferior opportunities have disrupted Black childhoods

So don’t tell me that my city is burning down
When the Baltimore uprising was merely a symptom
of this burning system

Charred Children
Smokey dreams
Can’t blame the youth
Born into poverty
Treated like property
Labeled as monstrosity
Then you wonder why their lives turn into debauchery?

Freddie Gray’s Black skin
was so disgusting
He wasn’t worthy enough to be trapped in prison
but rather in a casket
Worthless Black bastards

Actions speak louder than words
I’ve seen tons of Black bodies lose blood on the curb

A century ago Baltimore created the mold
for African American families to fold
by creating housing segregation

Trapping us in the basement of society’s pit
Casting Dark clouds over our future

So don’t tell me that my city is burning down now
It’s been burning down for ages
We’ve been robbed

Baltimore has been Baltimore”


By Kondwani Fidel


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