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.

Over 47 Years Ago

***This was written on November 30, 2010***

St. John 15:12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you.”

“Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you, my friends. And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!” –Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., “I Have A Dream.”

Over 47 years ago lived a man by the name of Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior.
Over 47 years ago, he proposed a radical dream that would change the nation as we knew it
Over 47 years ago, during the time when the crime of discrimination and segregation was still in its prime in the nation
Dr. King stood out and proposed another way of living
Over 47 years ago, Jesus bestowed a dream to Dr. King—
Not A dream, THE Dream!
…Jesus bestowed the Dream to King
One of harmony, Peace, and Love between everyone we see
Over 47 years ago, Blacks fought to be equal with Whites
Fast forward 45 years later, and a Black man is swearing in the office for President
Blacks are making major changes in the world
However—
However?
However.
However,
How true are we to the Dream?
In 2010, is there still discrimination between the races?
Do we still commit acts of segregation by spitting on each other’s faces?
Are we talking about folks, forgetting God’s many Graces?
We make it seem like Dr. King had the Dream for Black folks—
And Black folks alone!
No one seems to remember when he said,
“Black men and White men,
“Jews and Gentiles,
Catholics and Protestants.”
We know that he had the Dream during a time when dreaming was frowned upon
Whites did not necessarily have to dream because they had a lot – or, at least, many of them had a lot
Blacks, of course, were discouraged to dream at all
We acknowledge Dr. King’s skin color
Are we going to recognize Dr. King’s universal message of Love?
We take the Dream bestowed from Jesus above,
And we mock it, we laugh at it, and we ignore it!
What are we waiting on?
Who are we waiting on?

When are we going to learn?
Jesus Christ died to bestow us Love, that we may share His Love with everyone
Rev. King spoke that we must have peace and harmony with everyone
So then why do we continue to seclude those different from us?
Are we attempting again to live “separate but equal?”
Let’s think about our children – how does this act of segregation affect them?
Are we truly teaching them “liberty and justice for all,” or do we force them to say it because it’s patriotic?
We tell them to know who Rev. Dr. King was, but we tell them to go against all that he stood for
Kids today don’t understand where they fit in the Dream – they don’t even know the Dream itself!
How much longer will we continue
To ignore Dr. King without giving him the respect he’s due?
He didn’t want money, nor did he ask us to give up anything
Loving everyone and living in equality was all that was asked by Dr. King
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was tired of seeing men die
Due to the segregation and hate that was glorified!
I think it’s about time we join the party!
This time of year, we sing “Peace on earth…”
We can’t feel or accept God’s Peace when we cause each other turmoil, stress, and hatred
I refuse to bring my child into a world where they are judged by the color of their skin
I will not take part with a society that will not allow EVERYONE to sit at the table of Brotherhood—
And SISTERhood!
…and Sisterhood.
Jesus did not create us to be inferior to others, but superior to the attacks of the enemy!
But if we are ever to get out of this modern-day slavery,
We have GOT to start by loving each other NOW!

Over 47 years ago lived a man by the name of Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior.
Over 47 years ago, he proposed a radical dream that would change the nation as we knew it
Over 47 years ago, during the time when the crime of discrimination and segregation was still in its prime in the nation
Dr. King stood out and proposed another way of living
Fast forward 47 years later
Although times have gotten better, we’ve still ignoring the Dream
Just keep Dr. King in mind when you see a person different from your
Religion
Culture
Home
Neighborhood
Color
Gender
Economic class
Heritage
…We’ve got to get with the program, folks!

(c) November 2010, B.I.B. Productions
(P) BOOYIKA!, Inc.

What if They Didn’t?

***This was written on January 9, 2010***
***This is dedicated to YEPAW 365***

What if he didn’t?
What if Martin Luther King never had the dream –
The dream that is a reality today?
If he didn’t listen to God’s Voice telling him to speak against the calamity, brother against another and family against family
Would we have to live with the insanity that took place long ago?
MLK wanted peace, justice, and equality
He didn’t benefit himself, but endeavored to help you and me
What if he had thought of himself and quit?
Could you imagine what’d happen if he stepped back, looked at his struggling life, and said, “I’m tired of it!”?
See, we’re living the dream that he dreamt
He was killed before he had that chance
Today he looks down from Heaven and can rejoice and dance
We have an African-American President of the USA
Dr. King risked his life so that this would happen
But what if he didn’t?
What if one too many times he went to jail?
Or how about receiving death threats by the phone and in his mail?
I bet y’all didn’t know he was stabbed once!
I guess God wasn’t done with him yet, though.
But if he had passed, where would we be?
Back to segregated bathrooms and water fountains?
Riding buses, sitting way in the back
Or being denied service in public restaurants because we’re Black?
If Martin didn’t hear the Voice of Jesus saying still to fight on,
If he didn’t care about singing a symphonic song
Looking past color, heritage, and race,
But seeing God’s Grace when he looked at another person’s face,
Where would we be today?
What if he didn’t?

What if she didn’t?
What if Rosa Parks refused to deny the abuse given to her due to the color of her skin?
What if she didn’t take a stand, or rather take a seat on the message of hate echoing in the streets?
Let me give you a scene scenario
Of a real even that took place almost 55 years ago:
This lady gets off work and rides home on the bus
Now if it isn’t enough that she’s worked hard all day, she has to deal with the stuff that’s inevitably coming her way
A man wants her seat
Her well-deserved seat that she took first
Because she was tired of society’s celebration of segregation in the nation, she looked him in the eye and replied,
“No.”
“No”?! In racist 1955 Montgomery, Alabama? Dat ain’t heard of!
My question to you is this:
What if she got up?
Gave up her seat,
Her voice,
What if she made movement to her feet and made no choice to express herself and demand respect?
If she didn’t suspect that someone ought to correct this,
Would we walk together today in Jesus
Or would Blacks still have to sit in the back of the bus?
Rosa Parks’ story is one, not of violence, but a woman’s refusal to join the silence
Being right wasn’t popular, nor encouraged
But she chose to make her voice known anyway
What if she didn’t?

What if we don’t?
What if we don’t take these lessons and others given to us by great people from long ago?
What if we continue to sweep our history and our past under the rug;
Then what will our future look like?
There’s a feeling I gotta get off my chest. Please let them nest, or I should say rest on you.
People fought long and hard for us to get the best education
Yet we act as though we don’t care for it and people talk down to our generation
We text and spend time in front of the TV and computer
But we think twice before we put our nose in a good book
What if we don’t let the world know that we are anything but hopeless?
We are smart and wise with the look of courage in our eyes;
We’re able and strong, singing Jesus as our song
We aren’t scared, but brave and we have come to save
The world from disaster and live for our Master
What if we don’t make this message heard?
What if we don’t stress doing right and not wrong?
Fights occur and deaths take place everyday
Parents kneel over their children’s bodies. “Let them live!” they pray
We don’t like being called a certain name, yet we answer to the wrong one.
Instead of controlling ourselves, we speak against others, not watching our tongues
And so some talk about us and won’t stay in the room when they see us come
We destroy with our mouths and hands
When we don’t do this, we support others who do
What if we don’t change this?
What if we don’t declare that there is a Lover Named Jesus?
Nowadays we say one thing but live another
I show you how I treat me based on what I say about my brother
We must not fool those we’ve schooled saying Jesus is cool
Let me work on me before I go to fix you
Where would we be if there was no God?
What if people walk away from us, believing we’re frauds
Based on how we live and what we say?
We must put our foot down and make a change today!
Because God told me to, I’m going to make a difference!
He will use me like He used people before
I know because I was told so from the Lord
The world won’t be the same because I’m here
Give a listen with your ear as I make this clear:
I’m tired of the world’s sins, and it’s got to flee
I’m going to do something about it, and hope you’ll join me
Think of your children and your legacy
What if we don’t do something now and take a stand?
What if freedom and equality we don’t demand?
We may not reap the reward
But we will be blessed abundantly by our Lord.
People before us set the foundation
So now their work must be continued by this generation.
But if we don’t…
Naw, let’s not think about that. Let’s just do something!
Let’s take a cue from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
Have a dream,
Declare the dream,
Press toward the dream,
Demand the dream,
Live the dream!!

HALLELUJAH! BOOYIKA!

(c) January 2010, B.I.B. Productions
(P) BOOYIKA!, Inc.