We Be

We BE strength/strong

Grade A/original

the first dynasty of Mother Earth

creators of

math/astronomy/medicine/engineering & so forth

an AFROCENTRIC phenomenon

BEEN here in North America

trading gold with Indians

long before Christopher Columbus

dropped from his mama’s womb

BEEN knocked down/beaten

disarmed mentally

racism doing a spastic seven-step dance

around our bodies

and still holding on

Our spirit can NOT be vaporized

We BE cosmic magic

a reservoir of

heavyweight/untapped/Almighty Power






By Karen Halliburton


Preheat a skillet of love

Evenly coat the bottom with

a few drops of sweetness

Chop the following ingredients finely:

One clove of bitter experiences

1 cup of painful regrets

2 sprigs of sad memories

Sauté slowly for what

seems like an eternity

Add ½ cup of grace

and forgiveness

2 cups of positive visions

Simmer until gentle

In a separate pan

Place strips

of African stories to tell

and spicy poetry

Pour in generous portions

of family life, graduate school,

and trips to Senegal

Add finely chopped ingredients

for personality

Stir ingredients until they

blend into community

Place in the oven of life and

bake on a high flame of surrender

Remove from heat and let

Ingredients settle into character

Place on a plate and

Garnish with thinly sliced

integrity and faith

Serve with a glass of joy,

praise and devotion

—Dr. Patricia Williams Diaw

Reprint from the book: Recipe: Thirty-Two Poems about Life