Lana Brown "PanDEMONia 2020 Style"
Updated: Jan 16, 2021
Magnolia Literacy Project Spotlight: Lana Brown Series
Writer and educator, Lana Brown (a 26-year veteran in public education), says that this poem "came from a bleeding heart" after she learned of the senseless killing of a 22-year-old, whom she had known since he was a child.
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.
"PanDEMONia 2020 Style"
What’s Going on?
Young black men lying in the streets
Got a target on their backs
Who will take you out first?
An enemy gangsta?
Angry agitator in da club?
The trigger happy white rookie cop?
‘Nother young black king looking at midnight forever
Ain’t no future in that
What make you think you got 9 lives
When you never been acknowledged
to have one life on this planet?
We got that memo centuries ago
Why is yo understanding so bad?
You can’t claim no territory round here
Yo dying is proof that the message is undelivered
We can’t live the life we want to live
We have to assimilate, adjust, conform, mimic
The more you become a replica of THEM
More doors will open
Cuz you are only a copy, a robot, a replica
Originals draw more money
Your value is based on the lack of imperfections in your carbon copy
Can’t Be You and get paid
That’s the motto
Assimilate; Replicate; Imitate
That’s the name of the game
Doing Yo own thang gonna bring you problems with da law
Them drugs out there freely flowing in da hood
Can’t pass the tests cuz you can’t thank like they do
So here come the droppin’ out,
Tryin’ to brang the chains back
The weeping widow
The tiny living quarters
Can be that square that keep tryna’ fit in that round hold
Might have to smooth yo edges a bit
Jus’ become a bigger square
A runaway slave
Can’t accept the fact that you already free
Can’t free ourselves from that slave mentality
Not on the plantation but on the path that leads us there
We build our own plantations in our minds
Just can’t step ova that line in the sand
That separates us from being a slave and being in servitude
Got massas in here…the big house
Cuz we always have to have somebody in charge
Cuz we got to pretend to be civilized some kinda way
Field negros, house negroes
Minions to carry out our devious acts
Folk to share the guilt
Co-conspirators in a way
One thang I notice ‘bout this new fangled plantation though
Everybody here is COLORED
Looking like one big black fierce elephant
Big ugly glob trampling and running ova anybody that get in his way
Everybody listening to the same fight song
Ready for battle
KILL! KILL! KILL!
Demands for us to exterminate ourselves
And we listen and carry out those demands
Mommies raising boys who never become men
Black Peter Pans
Those same boys make babies yet never come home to roost.
Mad cuz you wanna’ own something
Got tired of waitin’
So you became the villain
Started looking at YOUR people with hateful eyes
Wanting to snuff out their life
Blow out their wick
Mentally, physically, emotional
Became buzzards in a feeding frenzy
A buffet of brothers
So now you been labeled
Menace to Society
Who gonna’ fix it?
Misfits too far gone
Only God Knows
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