Four Black Men

from by Charles Duke

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lyrics

Each story ends the same.
Although the names, they change.

Before I begin:
Do Southern trees sprout like weeds?
Is JUSTICE just E x t i n c t?

He’s only twenty-three:

Come to America—- land of the Brave and Free.
An immigrant from Ginea, he sends money back home supporting his family.
February the fourth,
No weapon, no record, 41 shots ago…

Amadou Diallo.

I’m gonna get all sad & then
I’m gonna talk about it.
I’m gonna go to church & there

There’s gonna be a sermon.
I’m gonna march a rally where
There’s gonna be a prayer &
I’m gonna feel okay & there may even be some changes.
So I’m gonna go to bed like this thing never happened…

___________
He’s only seventeen
walking home inside his gated community.
A high school student, this teen,
Wearing his hoodie, clothing his hopes and dreams.


February Twenty-sixth,
No weapon, what record?
Suspicion aims again.

Trayvon Martin.

I’m gonna get all sad & then
I’m gonna blog about it
I’m gonna wear a hoodie then
I’m gonna post a selfie

I’m gonna log on twitter and
there’s gonna be a hashtag
I’m gonna feel okay & there may even be some changes
So, I’m gonna go to bed like this thing never happened…
_________________
He’s only forty-three
A Father of 6 children treading water just to breathe.

Recently out on bond,

The struggle gets real when the cops will not leave you alone.
July seventeenth, no more
He raises his hands, the camera does the best it can.

Eric Garner.
I’m gonna get all sad & then
I’m gonna talk about it.
I’m gonna go to church & there

There’s gonna be a sermon.
I’m gonna march a rally where
There’s gonna be a prayer &
I’m gonna feel okay & there may even be some changes.
So I’m gonna go to bed like this thing never happened…
___________________
He is only eighteen, the son of proud parents
He goes off to college this week.

Eyeing America’s dream,
Peer pressure, pop-cultured finding his own two feet.

August ninth, this time.
Deja vu.
Is this new?
No weapon, hands up don’t shoot.

Michael Brown.

I’m gonna get all sad & then
I’m gonna blog about it.
I’m gonna place my hands up then
I’m gonna take a selfie.

I’m gonna log of twitter &
There’s gonna be a hashtags
I’m gonna feel okay & there may even be some changes
So I’m gonna go to bed like this thing never happened?

We gotta change the movement now.

We need to find the answers now.

Injustice has to stop right now.

We gotta change our tactics now.

We need a change of guards right now.

We gotta ask real questions now.

We gotta do much more right now.

We gotta change the movement now.

credits

from American Skin, released July 21, 2015

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