Editor’s note: The following poem is excerpted from “Black Nouns”, the new book of poetry from Jenario D. Morgan released in February 2022. It is reprinted here with permission.
“Cometh Ol’ Black”
My black skin is tough, tenacious, tender
It is rendering service for my family
My black skin is healing, meshing, recovering
From the lashes, the burnings, scars, the toxic branding white society has put there
I can't deny the pain
I just keep rolling like an avalanche, going downhill picking up speed to mount my expansion,
Bowling over the pins that lay in my alley
A strike clearing obstacles, segregation, redlining quotas, and all others which society tries to limit
our progress, no regress
My black skin is growing stronger with each victory. Brown v. Board, civil rights act of 64', 65'
Public accommodations, we are at the door coming through
Our money says yes, the language white society must respect
No charity, just parity on all levels from Beethoven there is Chevalier de St.George, Babe Ruth
there is Kareem Abdul Jabbar
For Lincoln, Reagan, there is Obama and only God knows who's coming
We can't stop now
The Black skin starts to surge with excellence, our Black skin is starting to win!
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Jenarío Decarlo Morgan is a native Detroiter, resident of South Bend, husband of one, and father of two. Currently a paraprofessional at South Bend Riley High School, for 12 years he taught theology in Detroit—where he was the first diversity director for the local Knights of Columbus. (He is also a former Grand Knight.)