Weekly Write: “Brown’s Legacy” by Amoja Sumler

Brown’s Legacy

“Fouding Fathers” are the school lunch
today. The patriotism was a bit salty
but the homies were bred on fatback
so we just added hot sauce
and slurped it down anyway.
John took eight years of spoonfuls and walked away hungry
for the flash of the D-boys,
’cause they were ’bout dat ‘rithmetic,
and a little homie had to get paid. He lurks late.

The rest of us stayed
juxtaposed between firm expectations and indoctrination,
Between “I can not tell a lie”, and “I have a dream”
between uniform day and my brother’s passed down shoes.
High I.Q.’s mean little to attention starved kids on test day.
The homie Rob is an alarm startled eye. I am an empty belly.
Mike is field tripping acid,
We are a collective: failing.

Teacher does what she can
a mumble of breath & disappointment.
We bring her apples anyway,
(by way of confiscated smart phones).
The science lesson today was “matter”.

We learned.
We don’t.

A current resident of Washington, DC. Amoja Sumler is a nationally celebrated poet and social activist known for fusing the art of the intellectual into the familiar. As “The Mo-Man,” he has headlined spoken word festivals such as the Austin International Poetry Festival, the Bridgewater International Poetry Festival, Write NOLA in New Orleans and Rock the Republic in Texas. A member of Arts in Education rosters all over the South for over a decade has seen Amoja serve as a 5 time Poetry Out Loud final judge and an artist in residence to universities and literacy nonprofits across the country. Amoja has also presented at social advocacy conferences like Long Beach Indie Film Pedagogy Conference and Furious Flower as a panelist with The Watering Hole.

Currently pursuing an MFA at the University of Baltimore, he graduated from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock with a Bachelor of Arts in English/Creative Writing a William G. Coopers English Scholar and a Ronald McNair Fellow. H has dedicated himself to the concepts of knowledge, action, and voice.



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