Who Do You Think You Are/No for an Answer

***This was written on January 13, 2016***
***In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day***

“And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, ‘When will you be satisfied?’ We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highway or the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating ‘For Whites Only.’ We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until ‘justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.’”
–“I Have a Dream,” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1963)

Who do you think you are?
Strutting your stuff like you’re a super star
Look at you with all this pride and confidence –
Wearing them like a badge of honor,
Like they’ll protect you like a suit of armor.
What gives you the right to come in here,
Grinning from ear to ear,
Chanting your own custom-made cheer
As if your “moment of glory” is near?
Who do you think you are?
You honestly believe you’re going to go far?
Have you forgotten where you come from, where you live?
And you have the audacity to think you have something to give –
To provide, to supply, to offer to the world?
You want to “make the world a better place.”
What makes you so great?
Are you aware of the struggles you’d face,
Or are you hoping everything will fall in your lap by Amazing Grace?
You really think you can bring about change?
Do you think you’re smart enough?
Can you tell me you’ve got the right stuff –
The courage, the integrity, the discipline –
To change the world for the better?
You’re just a wannabe, trying to be under everyone’s radar.
Who do you think you are?

Who do I think I am?
Who do I think I am?
If you want the truth, here it is:
I just happen to be a person whom God blessed with a vision.
I couldn’t tell you why it was me to whom that dream was given,
But now I have the mission, and I’m driven to carry it out
Without being stiffen.
I refuse to be held down by limits and restrictions.
You really don’t see me as strong?
Then, where have you been looking all along?
I see strength everyday when I look in my mirror.
I know you don’t understand, so let me make it clearer.
My strength and power don’t come from pride, that’d be a sin.
It comes from my knowledge of where I’ve been –
Where I come from. The stuff I’m made of.
I come from a people you could not believe;
People whose actions were determined by their own minds and decisions.
Other folks saw us as cantankerous and as villains,
Itching with a cancer.
No, we weren’t that. We just couldn’t take no for an answer.
From the time we walked this country, bound and in chains; when those superior disregarded our health and our names; when we agreed we’d no longer be accepted as slaves,
We refused to take no for an answer.
To the time laws were enforced and powers continued demoting; we couldn’t eat at lunch counters and they kept us from voting; whether we had to march, have a sit-in or sit down, we were promoting
We refused to take no for an answer.
To the time folks demanded to see us one way, yet we made a vow to show them all we’re capable of anyhow. They said we’d never see a Black President – well look at us now!
We refused to take no for an answer.
Even to this day when our ears are met with the awful clatter of our young people being shot dead, we worked up the chatter; we let our country know – our world know that our Black lives matter!
We refused to take no for an answer!
You’re looking at a man who comes from a people
Known for climbing mountains of no’s (and hills and steeples) –
Whatever it took until the only answer we heard was “Yes!”
Often times, we’d create our own yesses!
So you ask me who I think I am?
I answer, I’m a man,
A man who knows where he’s been.
I’m not an angel from above,
Followed by the peace symbol of a dove.
I don’t have an IQ of 163.
I can’t defy the laws of gravity.
I don’t have great speed or riches,
Nor can I heal your wounds with stitches.
I’m no athlete, I’m no dancer;
But I’m a man who doesn’t take no for an answer.

(c) January 2016, B.I.B. Productions
(P) BOOYIKA!, Inc.

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My Me: How You See Me

***This was written on January 1, 2016***
***Inspired by Rachel SuperStarr Black***

Genesis 1:26-27: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…’ So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

All focus and attention is on me.
I’ve got the spotlight,
I’m in the center.
I’m within everyone’s sight.
I’m the presenter,
The opening,
The act,
And the rest;
Which is awful, considering I’m not looking my best.
What?
You don’t believe me?
You think I look well and fine?
My clothes and jewelry and face creates this false idea of “well and fine.”
You can look at me and say, “That person has style,”
But I ask you, can you identify my smile?
Any liveliness in my walk?
Do you see the smallest hint of joy in my eyes?
See, this style is a disguise.
I’m hiding from the lies
And cries
That I
Have to face everyday.
You see someone who’s really got it going on,
But I see the person I’ve been all along.
When I stare at the glass reflector,
I see shame.
I see despair.
I see ugliness.
I look into the soul of this person in the glass reflector and ask,
“How can anyone see someone who’s “well and fine?”
Are they blind?
No, they can see.
They just don’t know the real me,
The me I have to live with everyday of my life.
I know the lies I gave,
The mistakes I made.
This awful load I’m carrying weighs me down to the grave.
Or, I wish it did.
I want to die.
I hate me.
Who could love someone like me?
Why would someone allow me to live?
Who in their right mind would make me,
Shape me,
Create me?
…Oh, that’s right.
God.
Jesus.
Lord, God above me,
Do You still love me?
How could Someone like You love someone like me?
I’m not “well and fine” like other people are.
I’ve shamed Your Name more times than I can count.
So, You can understand how I may have doubts
That Someone like You can love someone like me.
But You still made me, and allowed me to live.
What is it about me that You find so lovely?
What do You see when You look at me?
It can’t be what I see.
Is it my soul?
My spirit?
My talents, my heart, my mind?
What is it that You see that I don’t? Am I blind?
Show me, God.
Let me see me that way You do.
Help me love me the way You intended me to.
Who am I? What am I in You?
I’m tired of seeing myself as ugly and dumb!
That’s not how You made me!
That’s not who You see!
That’s not who I am!
I am a child of Jesus the King!
No attire or style or material things
Can make me any greater than I am!
God, I am Yours!
You made me strong!
You made me bold!
You made me excellent!
Smart!
Successful!
Gorgeous!
Talented!
Victorious!
I am Yours! Now I see
How You see me.

(c) January 2016, B.I.B. Productions
(P) BOOYIKA!, Inc.