mwatabu s. okantah

Driving While Black

About the Poem

From Muntu Kuntu Energy: New and Selected Poetry,
Chatter House Press, 2013

It is not what you call me,
  it is what I answer to….
    —African Proverb

driving in my car
black wisdom from the ages is turned on its head:

in my car
what i think of my Self is of no significance
(save in my own mind…)
because i am always black while driving
and i know they are there   waiting    lurking
looking
out for some one black
like me.

i am a black man driving.
i have my own and countless other blackmenintheircars
stories to tell—
it is the same story; just new chapters from works in
progress
out of America’s deep black story well.

i am blessed.
i have driven through my youth
and into my elder years—
i am still driving. they are
still there watching.
sadly,
their fears are always near…

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