stirling street september

by Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones)

Image: Helen M. Stummer
Image: Helen M. Stummer

                                                                        (for Sylvia)

I  CAN  BE  THE  BEAUTIFUL  BLACK  MAN
because I am
the beautiful black man, and you, girl, child nightlove,
you are beautiful
too.
We are something, the two of us
the people love us for being
though they may call us out our
name, they love our strength
in the midst of, quiet, at the peak of,
violence, for the sake of, at the lust of
pure life, WE  WORSHIP  THE  SUN,

We are strange in a way because we know
who we are. Black beings passing through
a tortured passage of flesh.

These lines are from Black Art, published in 1966.

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