Friday, July 13, 2018
Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson are releasing a new collection that may help, just a little. In the introduction to WE RISE, WE RESIST, WE RAISE OUR VOICES they describe waking up the day after the election, wondering what they could say to the young people in their lives:
"We grew up in the segregated south, when life for us was much different than it is today. Racial discrimination, prejudice, and hatred against African Americans were pervasive. We were prohibited from going to school with White children, so we went to all-Black schools. We couldn't go to the public library that Whites used. We were forced to sit in a "special section" in movie theaters. We couldn't even try on clothes or shoes from the stores downtown. Our parents had to purchase them , bring them home, and then see if they were a good fit. If they weren't they couldn't be returned…
This segregated but unequal system we were forced to endure was extremely trying and often frightening. Yet in our all-Black communities, we were embraced by accepting arms, motivated by encouraging words, and shelted by watchful eyes that probed for signs of lurking dangers seeking to engulf us. We were loved! We knew it! we could feel it!…
"How could we share this valuable advice with you?" we thought. "How could we let you know that there are nuggets of sustenance for you just as there were for us when we were your age?"
That's how the idea for this treasury was born…
WE RISE, WE RESIST, WE RAISE OUR VOICES is a collection of more than fifty texts- poems, prose, letters, essays, and art, all by contemporary authors of color. People like Arnold Adoff, Kwame Alexander, Joseph Bruchac, Ashley Bryan, Floyd Cooper, Sharon Draper, Margarita Engle, Tony Medina, Marilyn Nelson, Ellen Oh, Eric Velasquez, Rita Williams-Garcia, Jacqueline Woodson, and oh, so many more. The book doesn't come out until early September, but it's definitely one you will want to preorder. Here are two of the many poems I know I will use.
We've Got You
The storm is coming.
There is always a storm
But we've got you.
We've weathered the fury
you're heading into
and we know how to shelter.
How to gather force.
We've seen where the storm
We've got you.
So tuck in,
We're here. You're wind.
You're our coming storm.
I could tell you all the bad things,
all the bad things that cut and scare
and howl and growl and gnash and
bear teeth, bright and sharp that
glint in the moonlight.
I could tell you all that's frightening,
all that's frightening and lurking
and looming and hiding in the brush,
razor-hair pricked up on the back
of something too sly to see.
I could tell you about all the loud things,
all the loud things that scream
and shriek and shred our ability to hear
each other, the beasts behind screens,
scrolling banners of bully-banter
I could tell you all the things
all the things that are trying to tell you
about you, about how you should run,
and how you should run,
and how you should run,
but I'm about you above all things,
above all things, so I'd rather tell you
one thing and one thing only:
everything bad and frightening and loud
will always hide when you hold your head up,
will always hide when you hold your heart out,
will always sing a shrinking song
when you fly.
Sylvia Vardell is hosting Poetry Friday today. She and Janet Wong are releasing another fabulous new poetry collection! This one is for school leaders! I know what will be on my administrators' desks the first day of school.