africanize

In March the days were so long
that I lost the drum of my song.

In my heart there was a fountain
but all the water had gone.

January was cold
February colder.

I pray April brings mimosa flowers
and a warm sense of closure

– now that March is over.

—  April 1 by J. Harris

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…. Justice don’t mean nothin’ to a
hateful heart!

And so we needed affirmative action. We
needed a way into the big house
besides the back door. We needed a chance at
the classroom and jobs and open housing
in okay neighborhoods.
We needed a way around the hateful hearts of
America. We needed more than freedom
because a piece of paper ain’t the
same as opportunity
or education.
And some thirty years ago we agitated
and we agitated until the President said,
‘We seek…
not just equality
as a right and a theory
but equality as a fact
and as a result.’

And a great rejoicing rose like a spirit
dancing
fresh and happy on the soon-to-be-the-
integrated-and-most-uppity ballroom floor
of these United
States.
And Black folks everywhere dressed up in
African-American pride
and optimism.
From the littlest to the elders
we shined our shoes and brushed our hair
and got good and ready for
‘equality as a fact.’ But
three decades later, and come to find out
we never got invited to the party
we never got included in ‘the people’
we never got no kind of affirmative action
worth more than a spit in the wind.

—  Jim Crow: The Sequel Poem by June Jordan

Income Inequality Affects Your Life Expectancy, Especially If You’re Black

“There have been a number of studies that have established the association between greater income inequality and poorer health on a population level, but ours is one of the few studies to explicitly factor in race,” said research lead author Amani Nuru-Jeter, an associate professor of community health and human development and of epidemiology at Berkeley. “What is really important is the finding that income inequality matters for everyone, but it matters differently for different groups of people.”