Black Brilliance: A Tribute to Students at One HBCU

Black Brilliance

Black Brilliance entered my classroom
Called my name: Professor
Called my name: Historically Black University (HBCU)
Called my name: Oakwood

Hear me world,
On this December 1, 2015
The same day Rosa Parks anchored her
Humble black brilliance in that seat
Black Brilliance magnified itself
As intellectual and creative sun
Shinning through clouds of women oppressed,
African boys killed and castrated,
Haitian women “tested.”

Black Brilliance:
Literature of African People’s students
Whispering, humming—chained to literary love songs:
Toni Morrison, Chinua Achebe, Edwidge Danticat
Paying tribute to Gwendolyn Brooks,
Chris Abani, and Langston Hughes
The diaspora rose up in harmonic praise
Of W.E. B Dubois and Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Swaying shoulder to shoulder drumming hearts
Praising hands to Africans of the diaspora
whose pain is joy when kneaded by the hands of the Savior.

Black Brilliance called my name: Professor
Asked me to listen as
I teach you lessons from the
African diaspora—In chains we triumph
Over tragedy in Jesus’ Name—

Hear me world-
Black Brilliance entered my class today
And gifted me, a Professor, an invitation
Into their brilliant minds

For that, I am blessed!
For that I know purpose!

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