10 Points Poem

50 years ago Bobby and Huey

met somewhere ‘round Oakland.

Today I find myself

writing for my community

wanting to say the things we

need to hear, but can’t get around

the echo of these Panthers

who said it first:

We Want Freedom. We Want

Power To Determine The Destiny Of Our Black

Community. We Want Full Employment For

Our People. We Want An End

To The Robbery By The Capitalists Of Our Black Community.

We Want Decent Housing Fit For The Shelter Of Human Beings.

We Want Education For Our People That Exposes The True

Nature Of This Decadent American Society. We Want Education

That Teaches Us Our True History And Our Role

In The Present-Day Society. We Want All Black Men

To Be Exempt From Military Service. We want An Immediate End

To Police Brutality And Murder Of Black People.

We Want Freedom For All Black Men 
Held In Federal, State, County And City Prisons And Jails.

We Want All Black People When Brought To Trial To Be Tried In 
Court By A Jury Of Their Peer Group Or People From Their Black


Communities, As Defined By The Constitution Of The United States.

We Want Land, Bread, Housing, Education, Clothing, Justice

And Peace.

If anything I’d add something about the sisters,

the mothers and daughter

Who never hear their names

pronounced correctly. We want an end to criminalization

of our women and the violation of their bodies. We want an end to the shadow

cast over the sun in a black girl’s smile. We want her free.

Our liberation depends on it.

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