From my award-winning epic poem, “Black Shadows and Through the White Looking Glass: Remembrance of Things Past and Present” – my tribute to the Greatest!

 

XXXX

War was declared,

On two fronts:

At home and abroad.

As American troops fought

To make the world

Safe for democracy,

Or to end all wars,

Or to stop communism

From spreading

Like a communicable disease,

She was fighting

A domestic war

 

From the War for Independence

To the Vietnam War,

From sea to shining sea,

Blacks fought for American ideals,

The ideals America preached

To the world abroad

But didn’t

Practice at home –

Not for her

Black citizenry.

 

Reluctantly recruited

Throughout history –

Even during slavery:

The Slave Enlistment Bill –

Oftentimes volunteering:

The War of 1812 –

America now called upon

Her able-bodied Black men

To fight people of color.

Put them on the front lines.

It didn’t matter

That they had nothing to gain

In a separate and unequal world,

Their lives to lose.

 

The Greatest

Eloquently stated:

“People call me nigger

In this country

Every day.”

It was reported as:

“No Vietcong ever called me nigger.”

 

“Nigger, nigger, nigger!”

 

Those are fighting words!

If there’s fighting

To be done,

America’s a good place

To start.

 

Uncle Sam wants you!

A white finger

Pointing at a

Black male –

Selective Service.

 

If the Greatest

Wouldn’t fight abroad,

He wouldn’t fight at home.

Stripped of his license to fight

This heavyweight champ,

He fought his battle in court,

Won years later.

But Uncle Sam had called,

And if Uncle Sam wants you,

He gets you,

One way or another.

Uncle Sam

Always gets his man.

 

Now, we canonize

The defiant Black man

Who threw his Olympic gold medal

In the river.

He was great for doing that.

He was great for not

Fighting in a war

He didn’t believe in,

Against people who’d

Never called him nigger.

 

“Nigger, nigger, nigger!”

Those are fighting words!

If there’s fighting

To be done,

America’s a good place

To start.

 

We canonize him –

The Greatest –

For the wrong reasons.

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Shadows-Through-White-Looking/dp/1481722883?ie=UTF8&qid=&ref_=tmm_pap_title_0&sr=

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About ezwaters

Award-winning poet, playwright and writer. Author of three books of poetry, "Black Shadows and Through the White Looking Glass: Remembrance of Things Past and Present"; "Sometimes Blue Knights Wear Black Hats"; "The Black Feminine Mystique," and a novel, "Streets of Rage." All four books are available on Amazon.com.
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