Treasure Island

musa muhammad

What's a Black Life Worth

Is it worth a penny, a nickel, a dime, or a quarter
Is it worth slavery and bondage
Jim Crow Laws and the projects
Lynching’s, burnings, and poverty
Police brutality, incarceration, death
Is it worth a dollar, five, ten, twenty, or one hundred
Is it worth no jobs and evictions
Lack of education, and low class
Looked down upon by everyone else,
Not getting the freedoms promised
Not getting the rights promised
Judged by the color of our skin,
Taken out of our homes, called
a contraband and a menace to society
What is a black life worth
Is it worth a thousand dollars, a million, a billion, or a trillion
Is it worth drugs, weed, alcohol, cocaine, crack, meth, ecstasy, heroine,
Is it worth being called a nigger or boy
Being raped, beat, killed, robbed
Is it worth having to beg for money
or a job, being called a bum
Is it worth being killed for asking for assistance, or walking
through a neighborhood with a hood, and being killed for just
looking suspicious
What is a black life worth
Is it worth a Porsche, jewelry, a mansion with ten rooms,
a private jet, a yacht
Is it worth being killed over a car, a phone, clothes, jewelry, a house
Is it worth killing ourselves, turning homicide into suicide
Is it worth going from slavery, to Jim Crow Laws and KKK, to suicide
Is it worth being charged tedious crimes, when they commit major crimes
Is it worth having fear to be in a neighborhood or in a street where people
like you reside
Tell me what a black life is worth, because it ain’t worth all that
But that is why we are the most notorious race
We’ve been through all this adversity, and still we rise,
Still we RISE as black people, that’s what we’re worth

Submitted: Tuesday, February 04, 2014
Edited: Wednesday, February 05, 2014

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

I wrote this story in my home, in my room from my knowledge of the topic. I dedicate this to all the black people in the world, and I was inspired by all those black people who made a difference, and by what we as black people go through.

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