by Gwendolyn Brooks We are things of dry hours and the involuntary plan, Grayed in, and gray. “Dream” makes a giddy sound, not strong Like “rent,” “feeding a wife,” “satisfying a man.” But could a dream send up through onion fumes Its white and violet, fight with fried potatoes And yesterday’s garbage ripening in the hall, Flutter, or sing an aria down these rooms Even if we were willing to let it in, Had time to warm it, keep it very clean, Anticipate a message, let it begin? We wonder. But not well! not for a minute! Since Number Five is out of the bathroom now, We think of lukewarm water, hope to get in it.
<ul><li>Right Click the title of the poem you'd like read and open link. </li></ul><ul><li>Old Lem </li></ul><ul><li> Riverbank Blues </li></ul><ul><li> Slim Greer in Hell </li></ul><ul><li> Southern Road </li></ul>
<ul><li>PRAY why are you so bare, so bare, Oh, bough of the old oak-tree; And why, when I go through the shade you throw, Runs a shudder over me? </li></ul><ul><li> My leaves were green as the best, I trow, And sap ran free in my veins, But I saw in the moonlight dim and weird A guiltless victim's pains. </li></ul><ul><li> I bent me down to hear his sigh; I shook with his gurgling moan, And I trembled sore when they rode away, And left him here alone. </li></ul>
When Ma Rainey Comes to town, Folks from anyplace Miles aroun’, From Cape Girardeau, Poplar Bluff, Flocks in to hear Ma do her stuff; Comes flivverin’ in, Or ridin’ mules, Or packed in trains, Picknickin’ fools. . . . That’s what it’s like, Fo’ miles on down, To New Orleans delta An’ Mobile town, When Ma hits Anywheres aroun’. Dey comes to hear Ma Rainey from de little river settlements, From blackbottorn cornrows and from lumber camps; Dey stumble in de hall, jes a-laughin’ an’ a-cacklin’, Cheerin’ lak roarin’ water, lak wind in river swamps. An’ some jokers keeps deir laughs a-goin’ in de crowded aisles, An’ some folks sits dere waitin’ wid deir aches an’ miseries, Till Ma comes out before dem, a-smilin’ gold-toofed smiles An’ Long Boy ripples minors on de black an’ yellow keys.
<ul><li>Created in New York, circa 1926. This dance succeeded the Charleston. It may have originally come from New Orleans as did jazz music. The stomping steps, the knee sway and the shuffling are definitely African American in origin. It was the black solo or couple dance about 1925. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJm3YGAwPUM </li></ul>
<ul><li>A 1982 play - one of the ten-play Pittsburgh Cycle by August Wilson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright - that chronicles the twentieth century African American experience. </li></ul><ul><li>The play is set in Chicago in the 1920s (the only play in the group not set in Pittsburgh), and deals with issues of race, art, religion and the historic exploitation of black recording artists by white producers. </li></ul><ul><li>The play's title refers to a song of the same title by Ma Rainey referring to the Black Bottom dance. </li></ul>
STAGGER LEE weaves together an intricate fictional narrative using available historical record, a twist or two when facts are missing, and a rare social perspective on nineteenth century culture, language, politics, and race. http://www.staggerlee.com/ http://www.staggerleebook.com/
<ul><li>The song is about a man from the south side of Chicago who, due to his size and attitude, has a reputation as the "baddest man in the whole damn town." One day, in a bar, he makes a pass at a pretty, married woman, whose jealous husband proceeds to beat Leroy brutally in the ensuing brawl. </li></ul>
<ul><li>"I have the nerve to walk my own way, however hard, in my search for reality, rather than climb upon the rattling wagon of wishful illusions." - Letter from Zora Neale Hurston to Countee Cullen </li></ul><ul><li>Zora Neale Hurston knew how to make an entrance. On May 1, 1925, at a literary awards dinner sponsored by Opportunity magazine, the earthy Harlem newcomer turned heads and raised eyebrows as she claimed four awards: a second-place fiction prize for her short story "Spunk," a second-place award in drama for her play Color Struck , and two honorable mentions. </li></ul>