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New Poetry from Lamont Lilly | With thanks to NewBlackMan (in Exile)

Sunday, March 26, 2017.

old black wall street

we don’t own

the convenience stores

in the ghetto.

we don’t own

the smoke shops

nail salons

and beauty supply spots.

we own the churches

the good word

and dreams deferred.

we own the pain

poverty and crime

against each other.

we own the

nickels and dimes

that allow others

to own us.

we don’t own

a goddamn thing

here anymore.

black wall street

has now become brooklyn

harlem, u street.

merely a shell

of their old selves.


merely a shell

of their old selves.


coup d’état

there can be no peace

until every child

has a hot meal

there can be no treaties

until we sit down

and negotiate the revolution.

not one hostage

shall be released

until you hang those


until those judges

mayors and corrupt officials

are all buried


panther men

they weren’t scared

of no police dogs.

they didn’t bow to no pigs

and wooden batons.

no fear of fire hoses

silver bullets and steel cuffs

they were different.

those negroes looked like men.


who knew exactly

where they came from.


who knew exactly

where they came from

and didn’t take no shit.

from nobody.

from nobody.

Copyright © 2016 by Lamont Lilly. All rights reserved.


Lamont Lilly was the 2016 Workers World Party Vice-Presidential Candidate. In 2015 he was an Indy Week “Citizen Award” winner for his activism and journalism. The presented selections are from his forthcoming debut Honor in the Ghetto. Plain but poignant, his poetry directly derives from the marginalized, from the streets of mass struggle, from the Black experience and U.S. South.

New Poetry from Lamont Lilly

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