If I Should Die Tomorrow – by Abil Zlyad Shabir

Below is one of my favorites poems concerning Black men.

If I Should Die Tomorrow
(a black man to his son)

by Abil Zlyad Shabir

Listen son, while we have this time
together lets not spend it just talking about the weather.
There are black men who are dying every single day
from every cause and in every kind of way.

Many have died in wars in which nobody has won
many have died in the streets from some policeman’s gun.
But the saddest thing of all that is so hard to understand
most of them are killed by some other young black man.

So while I have you close, while I have you near
there are things I must say, things you must hear.
Cause far too often people fail to communicate
what they wished to say many times come much too late.

For a black man this world will always be a struggle
for anyone for that matter, but for you it’ll be double.
But never think for a moment you cannot conquer anything
always remember your people were once kings and queens.

And although you live in this country called America
your spirit is from the motherland, continent of Africa.
And though you love to emulate your idol Michael Jordan
remember your ancestors drank from the River Jordan.

Many times you’ve asked me, Dad why all the history
cause where we’re at now son is not where we should be.
There is something that is just so terribly wrong
it’s like the black man is lost in a twilight zone.

When you see young brothers not much older than you
killing each other like there’s just nothing else to do.
Over materialism, a misguided statement, an ounce of crack
I don’t want you to think its always been like that.

When you see black men on corners holding up the walls
remember the time black men stood so very tall.
Today it’s a secret the things he invented and created,
things the world would be without and still be waiting.

There’s so many inventions that are kept hid
not to mention the great wonders of the pyramids.
For instance, who do you think is the father of medicine?
There’s even speculation about the inventions of Edison.

When you see black women walking up and down streets
jumping in and out of cars for some trick or treat
remember it’s only because they have lost their place
but it’s a direct result of their man’s fall from grace.
And as you grow up being black, proud and strong
it’s incumbent on you to try to uplift your own.
If you meet a sister and your heart goes to thumping
it’s incumbent on you to respect that black woman.

Cause among all the colors of this universal equation
the world hate to admit it, she’s the mother of creation.
Will it be your generation who puts her back on her throne?
Will it be your generation who’ll correct these wrongs?

So son, as you meet this world with all its problems to bear
remember Langston, “life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.”
And if I should die tomorrow by any stroke of fate,
I’m glad we had this talk before it was too late.

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