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Friday, October 17, 2014

We Missed It: Black Poetry Day

Today, Oct. 17, 2014, is Black Poetry Day. I had no idea there was a day devoted to Black poets. 

Even though I found out about Black Poetry Day through my Zite news aggregator app around 6 o’clock this morning, it wasn’t a trending topic on any of my social media news feeds. 

I even tweeted: 

It’s #BlackPoetryDay! Who is your favorite Black poet? 

But no one responded. 
As I carried on with my day, I honestly forgot that today was dedicated to Black poets. Instead, my conversations were about Ebola, my son’s college application process, and Viola Davis taking off her wig on How to Get Away With Murder.

It wasn’t until my nightly ritual scroll of news and trends did I remember that today was Black Poetry Day. Then it dawned on me…It really didn't trend on any social media platforms. 

Could it be that no one cared? Could it be that America is too frantic about Ebola to even take notice it's Black Poetry Day? Or maybe America is getting geared up for their creative Halloween costumes. Or maybe the No.3 trend for the evening on Twitter – #MyLoveLifeIn3Words – was more important for anyone to pay homage to their favorite Black poet. Just one line would have been sufficient. 

Well, depending on what timezone you’re in, the day isn’t over yet. Here are several Black poets I can name off the top of my head:

Maya Angelou * Erykah Badu * James Emanuel  * Langston Hughes * Yusef Komunyakaa * Dawn Lundy Martin * Jill Scott * Gil Scott-Heron * Tupac Shakur * Alice Walker … and I know there are hundreds more. 

(Screenshot via YouTube)
Some of them I can recite their work in my sleep, and others I just learned of a couple of months ago. I recently came across one poet to add to my list – Joshua Bennett. 

Thanks to Zite, I came across the blog, Black and Married With Kids, which introduced me to Bennett’s 10 Things I Want to Say to a Black Woman.

Bennett is deep, moving, and the delivery of his poetry pulled me right in.

So please, sit back, take a listen, and then answer the question: Who is your favorite Black Poet? 

Do you have a favorite black poet of color? Fill me in in the comment box or tweet me @TCsViews. 

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