“I Am a Black Man” ~ George Tait (poem)

Andreas Woods, the mathematics-major Morehouse class of 2000 Valedictorian who would go on to get a Ph.D. in Egyptology, used this moment in the Morehouse spotlight to explain why he rejected the Cecil Rhodes Scholarship for himself. Morehouse is an all-male HBCU. Distancing himself from Rhodes, the notorious racist & agent of colonial chaos in Afrika […‘Set’ of Kemetic mythology], Woods recites a poem by George Tait entitled I Am A Black Man – unambiguously staking his claim to the identity and mission of Afrika-descended manhood [aka ‘Heru / Horus / Hero’ in Kemetic mythology].

GEORGE EDWARD TAIT (12/29/1943 – 11/5/2017) was an African American poet, writer, educator, storyteller, journalist, activist, historian, public speaker, tutor, bandleader, musician, and performer. Part of the Black Arts Movement, Tait was known as the Poet Laureate of Harlem. These are his words:

I Am a Black Man

I am a Black man
An Afrikan man
My history is that of humanity
My roots predate the calendar
Afrika is my home
My contributions are all that is… has been… will be thought
all that is… has been… will be said 
all that is… has been… will be done. 

I am a Black man
An Afrikan man
My father’s son
My thoughts include his thoughts
My blood and bone and flesh include his
My work includes his spirit
I follow in his footsteps
I continue them 
and make my own.

I am a Black man
An Afrikan man
Speak not to me of compromise
I am straight line – Will.
I am an upward spiral – Growth.
I am a circle – Fulfillment.
My goal is perfection.
My path is productivity.
My vehicle is power.

I am a Black man
An Afrikan man
Re-ascending my throne.
I tolerate no obstacle.
Hindrances do not deter me.
I feed on impediments.
I shall purge my Kingdom.

All poachers beware!
It’s Game Warden time…

I am a Black man
An Afrikan man
Do not attack me with media cries of “chauvinism”…
Do not try to change me… I reject the effeminate.
Do not ask me to cry… Tears are for the trembling, and watery eyes anathema to the Warrior.
Do not attempt to domesticate me… I cannot protect you with dishpan hands.

I am a Black man
An Afrikan man
In time of war
Present me with harmony, but speak not to me of peace until victory is ours
Present me with unconditional love that I might present us with unconditional liberation.

I am a Black man
An Afrikan man
Acknowledge my strength
Offer me not prizes for weakness
Do not encourage the superficial
Tempt me not with diversion
If you are my friend, fight by my side or heal my wounds.
If you are my enemy, confess.

I am a Black man
An Afrikan man
Detained, but not destroyed
Enslaved, but not extinct
Conquered and Oppressed, but not for long.

African Renaissance Monument ~ Senegal

I am a Black man
An Afrikan man
Fighting for the future… heading for home.
Manhood, Be my momentum!
Nationhood, Be my challenge!
Familyhood, Be my reward…

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