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  • Writer's pictureThe Magnolia Literacy Project

Lana Brown "...Back in the Daze"

Magnolia Literacy Project Spotlight: Lana Brown Series

Poet, Lana Brown, writes often about her roots in historic Natchez, Mississippi. "...Back in the Daze" is a celebration of ancestry, family, friendship, love, learning, and growth in the Bluff City.

Brown is a graduate of Alcorn State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Communications; a Master of Arts in Secondary English Education; and a Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education with a Concentration in Reading and Gifted Education. She also holds a Specialist in Education degree in Psychometry from Jackson State University. An instructor in gifted education with the Natchez Adams School District, Brown was selected by the Mississippi Department of Education to be a member of the ELA/Literacy High Quality Instructional Materials (HQIM) Review Team in the fall of 2020.

"... Back in the Daze"

A switch was a household staple

The backhand, a natural instinct

The whipping is a prescription

Called “Get Right”

A part of the parents’ regular workout routine

The corner is the spot for the broom, mop, or trashcan

Not for a misbehaving child in need of a break from reality

We understood hard core

No sugar coatin’ nothin’

Trained to be very in touch with the real

No fairy tales

or happily ever afters

That’s called a miracle

A whipping is like a sentence

The parent is the judge, jury, and executioner

Whole interrogation while the sentence is delivered

Restaurants parking lots are rarely full

Momma knew how to work that wrist

Cooking full course meals at home

The neighbor is family

Everybody in the hood a counselor

Misbehaving chaps

Community property


Everybody cousins

Family tree just obsolete

So many secrets

Shared just among us

Our brother & sisters keepers

Running next door to get

Sugar, bread, salt meat, tissue paper…


Cuz next door is an extension of the family

Ownership of each other

The whole choir singing on key

Even those not singing included in the fold

This boat sinks or swims ….


Proud of a common connection

A tribe, a lineage beyond comprehension

When one fell, all fell

Getting up together

Showing them haters

A united front

No matter how bad we quibblin’ on the inside

A puzzle taken apart continuously …

But God ALWAYS put us back together

To pass the baton to future generations

Thinking BEYOND the challenge

Ensuring victory

Maybe not today, but imminently

Cuz we used to waiting

Nothing comes easy

A future for the unseerers

Guaranteed by bent backs

Who invested in LONGEVITY

Welcome to the future

Of Past Legends and Legends

Who have yet to be created

Who are waiting in the wings

To pounce on hard fought opportunities


We are the Rams

who forged a way to

Our future

Creating leaders

Who inherited our grit and determination

Instilling in them our rambunctious spirit

To overcome, to imagine, to conquer

To believe

That a person from a small, inconsequential place

Can be a Giant


No small feat

But we are no strangers to miracles

We saved our grace

For Better Days

Now, the time to celebrate

Survival of our identity

Our pride intact

We live

In our parents, our children, grandchildren, our community

In the World

Putting Natchez, Mississippi on the map

Entrepreneurs, Managers, Engineers, Teachers, Doctors, Lawyers

Whatever We wanted to be

We became

Demanding Respect

Because it was Due

We sacrificed like the Rams that we are

It was OUR time and we Earned the right

To see THIS day

A day to Celebrate

Our Beginning Together

Our Defeats

Our Victories

Embracing our Roots

Connecting our Origin

For the beginning determines the end

Gatekeepers of dreams, indiscretions, most painful memories

We are One

We Are Inseparable

One year in a decade

A time designated and set aside Just for us

By our Savior

A year yielding the best crop

We are the Mighty, Mighty Rams

The Class of 1982

A tiny statistic

Born in a small place

On the north side of town


Making a lot of noise

In an era

When our kind was unappreciated


Our light shone brilliantly

For we carried the light

Of our Ancestors

With So much Pride

A Pride that broke the chains of servitude

For We recognized that the Genius lived in us

And Refused to Acquiesce

Rising from the loins of Kings and Queens

We reign then and now

Demanding respect and recognition of our new heritage


For we knew our Worth

Had been underestimated

Tasked with a duty to prove our value

Those tarnished were polished

Those of us who were already shining

Shone more brilliantly

Like diamonds in the deepest, darkest part of the ocean

Because we understood the assignment

We love, we bicker, we fight

But in the end,

We win;

We survived

Every obstacle

Walked into our destiny

Like the rams that we are

We forged a way

Out of NO way

For we know that we are nothing without each other

The sun NEVER sets with us

Green and gold

Our favorite flavor

For it is the recipe

That made us who we are


The Magnolia Literacy Project’s

initiative to showcase the writing and art

of Mississippians.

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