Or, Bet You Become A Fan by S.R. Torris

At the risk of sounding like an echo chamber, you folks remember when I spoke about the talented friends I have, don’t you? Well, here we go again! He’s inspirational, with words he’s confrontational, and he’s your not-so-average-everyday-but-is-a Renaissance man. He is Mr. Jordan Chaney and I’m honored to present one of his works for youse guys today – getcher self some cultcha!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Jordan Chaney!

Written by Jordan Chaney

The first time I saw my own
complexion in the media it
was in a book of Norman
Rockwell paintings published
by the Saturday Evening Post.

"The Problem We All Live With" by Norman Rockwell

“The Problem We All Live With” by Norman Rockwell

My reflection was distorted.

There was a little black girl
wearing pig tails in her big curls,
wearing white slippers and
a white Sunday school dress
in a white man’s world,

she was being escorted across
the school campus by US Marshalls,
through rotten tomatoes thrown,
through a back drop of epithets
on her skin tone, she was boldly
wading through

the wholesome ignorance
of good ol’civilized folks.

It spoke to me.

The very next time I saw
my complexion in the media,
it was of a photograph of
a freed slave sitting with
his bare back slightly turned
and slightly staring back at me.

His back said
“look what they did to me, to us”.

I Do Not Own This Image

I Do Not Own This Image

His back was lashed up
from neck to rib
to shoulder to hip
and the whip-marks
were crisscrossed
and some of them were
whitish pink and every
other rip in his flesh was
as deep and as dark as
the men that lashed him,

the wounds
resembled train tracks
so much that
they later on
became roadmaps

and his bruised skin
ultimately became
the blue prints

for the underground railroad
the hell with that!
Hail Harriet Tubman!

Hail sacred tunnels buried
under America’s flared nostrils
and pointing straight towards Polaris.
How dare they show me this and sell
it to me as if this is all we had ever been.

Now this offended me, because my history
pre-dates the rotten tails of strange fruit,
the noose, black face, pearly whites
and shuffling shoes on Minstrel Shows,

my lineage predates the cotton gin,
Jim Crowism, and even slave boats.

My history is as golden
and sun-kissed as Cleo Patra’s skin!
Its Isis tinted.

And our black faces get
tarred & feathered in the news,
they think we are one
mass monolithic group,

that we’re all
Menaces II Society
and Boyz N the Hood,
we’re all O-Dogg
and Snoop,

and for as much as
I still love Tupac
the greater majority
of us are nothing
like Bishop in Juice!
It’s true.

Our history predates
new age so-called soul food,
Cadillac’s and Coups!

The history books
forgot to tell you
that in our gene pool
math geniuses
and architects swam;

the very hands that
raised the pyramids
all the way up to the
stars from golden sand
were black hands!

You need to hear this.
Black is beautiful.
It always has been.
It is the canvas for stars.

Black is beautiful and
though we’ve been marred,
at night it cradles the sun
and wraps its arms around
everything near and far.

Its destiny has always been
to build a civilization on the
drum skins of your heart!

It was only for a brief moment
in time that the flesh on our
backs we’re ripped a part
and scarred but we go back,
I’m talking way back

and so if you’re sitting in
your classroom and your
curious classmates ask you
the timeless question,

“can I touch your hair?”

Don’t be offended tell them ah yeah,
and ask them can you feel the curls
like the fly wheels of time combing
them back to the cradle of man kind,

ask them while they run their fingers
through your locks like keys
can they accept your curls for their kinks,

can they feel the blue magic of
African skies and even the history of Greece,
and ask them can you actually see me for me,

the real me outside of print media,
history books and TV, can you
see me in full living color for ALL
of my history.


4 thoughts on “Introducing…

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