|Say It Loud! Poetry Collective (from left to right: Brown, Qwin, Ayun, Teju, Sabita, Zanubia & Julia)
To think of smiling as
a simple act of stretching ones mouth
so as to show contentment
that releases the drawn in lines
of a frown that was etched onto your brow
is never enough.
Life drew the lines on your face,
with each bout of sorrow
and of joy,
that lights up the brown
of your dark face.
And the dark face that hosts solemn eyes
what the world has determined you would be.
You carry an eternity of sorrows,
and still you laugh
Like the old black people
from the country I am from,
From deep within your chest,
the echoes of that forgotten time,
from before you were born but existed
roll out from your belly
and form a sound
of dry branches beating against each other
on warm days where the wind blows
and whispers all our names.
You can never only smile.
There is, always, too much
in a smile that remembers,
the perfect and the worst.
So when you smile,
and the smile rests comfortably
in you dark face,
that the sound of branches
beating against each other
on warm days,
escapes from your mouth.
From Youtube: Cecile Emeke’s film celebrates the life of artist and writer Faith Ringgold and the influence of her childhood in Harlem on her work.Faith Ringgold’s posters All Power to the People (1970) and United States of Attica (1971-2) are currently on display in the Tate Modern exhibition Soul of A Nation: Art in the Name of Black Power.