Name one single word
that best describes the history of this nation.
Democracy. Genocide. Freedom.

Slavery. Hope. Empire. Corporation.
Though a legitimate case can be made for each,
I think it's the one that most dare not speak.
Unless melanin blesses the speaker's skin
and it's used in a way not meant to offend.
That's my nigga!
Whether he's being Stopped & Frisked,
or strugglin
’ wit student debt,
or mayb
e in a prison library
the teachings of Malcolm X.
Just opened her second business
or just violated parole.
Whether he raises the Lombardi trophy
or spends 23 hours in the hole.
That's my nigga!

Not to discount the chilling effect
that that word has on so many people.

But before we call a moratorium
and pretend that everything is equal,
more pressing issues
need to be tackled:
dilapidated housing, subpar education,

these for-profit concentration camps
otherwise known as mass incarceration.
Some very real and unnecessary suffering,
not to mention all the facts & figures.
So until we abolish the conditions
that created the term,
I will forever use the word nigga.