June Jordan

1 A I J P

1977: Poem for Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer

You used to say, “June?
Honey when you come down here you
supposed to stay with me. Where
Meanin home
against the beer the shotguns and the
point of view of whitemen don’
never see Black anybodies without
some violent itch start up.
The ones who
said, “No Nigga’ s Votin in This Town...
lessen it be feet first to the booth”
Then jailed you

Poem about My Rights

Even tonight and I need to take a walk and clear
my head about this poem about why I can’ t
go out without changing my clothes my shoes
my body posture my gender identity my age
my status as a woman alone in the evening/
alone on the streets/alone not being the point/
the point being that I can’ t do what I want
to do with my own body because I am the wrong