Wednesday, April 04, 2012

BLACK CODE FOR BLACK MALES

Black Code for Black Males
(for my son & all
the Trayvon Martins)

When you’re Walking While Black
Follow the Black Code for Black Males
It’s a rite of passage, a spoken message
handed down from generation to generation
from the griots of oral tradition
Conduct yourself accordingly
walk at a steady pace, know your place
not too fast, not too slow, or medium or low
Don’t look suspicious or guilty—though
If your face is black or tan or brown
do it with a bit of difficulty
be auspicious but don’t smile
you’ll last just a longer while
Don’t frown or look down,
don’t look straight ahead, don’t look around
Don’t wear shades or gym shoes
or sagging jeans or sweats,
no long shorts or baseball caps
no bandannas or doo rags
Don’t carry Skittles or iced tea
Or any kind of 7-11 goodies
and under no circumstances – NO HOODIES

When you’re Walking While Black
Follow the Black Code for Black Males
Don’t wear your hair in braids or dreads
or fades with designs, don’t shave your head
don’t grow a fro or twirl your curls
or wrap your naps or kink your swirls
Don’t look dangerous or worried
Don’t look shifty or scary
Don’t speak or cry or yell for help
Don’t move your lips or yelp
If you pray, do it in your head
Try to remember what Jesus said,
“Peace, be still”
If possible, don’t walk at night
In neighborhoods safe and white
Do it in the daylight
So you don’t blend in the dark
don’t walk in the street or the park

When you’re Walking While Black
Follow the Black Code for Black Males
If you’re stopped by a cop
Keep your hands where he can see ‘em
Reach for the sky, way up high
If you’re handcuffed & searched
Don’t make any sudden moves
you know, you watch the news
Remain perfectly straight like a statue
Hold your breath for as long as you do
Remember freeze-tag when you were a kid?
if you’re still a kid it was probably the other day
So it shouldn’t be hard to stay that way
When you exhale, do so slowly
Don’t make too much noise
Don’t reach for your phone
To call yo girl or yo boys
if it falls, let it be
It if rings, let it go—
to voice mail

When you’re Walking While Black
Follow the Black Code for Black Males
If followed by a man with a gun,
on neighborhood watch,
watch it—you’ll just be a notch
so don’t reach for his gun, don’t run
don’t fight, don’t hit back, don’t bite
the bullet has your name
and he won’t take the blame
he’ll claim self-defense
despite the evidence
Don’t get suspended from school or smoke weed
don’t give probable cause, do good deeds
your reputation is at stake, you see
they don’t care if you’re good
you’re always up to no good

When you’re Walking While Black
Follow the Black Code for Black Males
Don’t scratch your nose if it itches
don’t touch your toe if it twitches
if you need to use it, hold it
if you have to cough or sneeze, hold it
if you want to live, hold it
if you want to live, hold it
When you’re walking while Black
Follow the Black Code for Black Males
though as with everything in life
there are no guarantees
no matter how hard you try to please
others may not believe
or know
about the Black Code
for Black Males
When you’re Walking While Black

--by Xenia “LaEquis” Ruiz
copyright ©4/01/12
R.I.P. Trayvon

4 Comments:

At April 05, 2012 1:46 AM, Blogger Dorcas Graham said...

Wow. Love it.

 
At April 20, 2012 5:05 PM, Blogger Johanny Vázquez Paz said...

Xenia,

This is amazingly good! I miss you, amiga. We should get together soon.

Abrazos,

Johanny

 
At April 20, 2012 8:42 PM, Blogger AfroLatina said...

Gracias! I just left a message on your EVite...felicidades!

 
At March 13, 2015 7:43 PM, Blogger ©tav8 said...

Amen.

 

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