Tag Archives: Black Culture


at the crossroads
Trying to figure my path Cautious
as I get to walkin
Lord tell me Why You’ve forsaken meS Since the beginning it’s been rough feeling fucked with no luck

Can somebody tell me why
I can’t sleep with no lights?
Had to lay in bed
Praying to God
till I see the light

You took my brother from me!
No longer do I have a treasured friend
to confide
in, late nights

This day I’m filled with rage
with secret hate
Would you believe?
I was out cast of 13
going through something

Beliefs built on tragedies
and from being ridiculed at school
Cause I couldn’t read a sentence
Excuse me
but please Bitch
Give me distance

If I told you I’m a product of the 80s
incubator baby
So my comprehension ain’t like the rest
So I acted out in school
Started breaking the rules
Now these White folks want me doped up
Hard bitten
from all these ruinous blows
Lord please
don’t let me go

Is it my FATE
to face elimination
at a fast rate
despicable me
I turned into something
I thought I’d never be
I’m on my knees
Like please
Lord Save me!
And even when I turn from you
You never left me alone
cause You cared for me
And when my family left me alone
You was there for me
Thinking about what big mama used to say:
“You was choosen to stand with Christ in the end
so take hold yah shield,
Grip your sword real tight
And stand up!”

Big mama say pray
for yours
and help those
who are too weak to help themselves

But I’m still runnin
through the city
really livin
Cause them suckas try to kill me
Now the feeling’s mutual
21-gun salute
I’m quick to shoot
Just like in them Western movies
Used the bottle to drown my sorrows
thinkin I’ll stay shermed-up
to keep from getting wet-up
See I’m just try’n to protect my soul
they said the Lord knows your heart
cause I’m out here on my own

Gotta sleep with the chrome
cause I ain’t got no damn home
Had to do a lot of shit
that I didn’t want to
but I really had to
Survival the fittest
my inauguration to this gang living
Really started robbing
and stealing cause I hate that hungry feeling
Really trying to avoid the killing

Only robbing drug dealers
trying to stay morally correct
Although I disregard Christ
trying to stay morally correct
Although I disregard Christ
I felt his shield right above me
When them dudes hovered above me Feeling his unbounded love
had an effect on my mental state
No more blasphemy

by Darryl Burnside


The Ghost of Charles Dickens’s Christmas Carol

by Donald “C-Note” Hooker
In Honor of: Alice Marie Johnson (Imprisoned African American playwright)

The Ghost of Charles Dickens’s Christmas Carol is a play about an assisted living home (past), a boys home (future), and a transitional home (present). Every Christmas, the boys home, and the transitional home, go into the woods to cut down fresh Christmas trees for area assisted living homes. Besides cutting down and donating trees, they also help with the decorating of the trees with the residents at the assisted living homes.

Scene One: Takes place in the woods and consists of half of the transitional and boys home cast. One of the transitional home members received a phone call that due to van trouble the other half had to turn back and will not make it. This means they will have to take on double the workload.

Storyline: Based on those who resent having to take on more responsibility versus those who are willing to do so for the greater good.

Scene Two: Takes place at the assisted living home. One of the residents has just died.

Storyline: Based on each individual’s relationship with the deceased; along with personal introspection on how they have live doing the long arc of their lives.

Scene Three: Takes place at the transitional home and consists of the half that did not make it to the woods.

Storyline: Based on starting something and not seeing it through, or getting in one’s own way.

Scene Four: Takes place at the assisted living home, and involves the whole cast, delivering and decorating the tree.

Storyline: Based on coming together and community.


Assisted living home:



Pedro (Cuban)

Boys Home:




Transitional Home:




[Scene One]:

Scene One takes place in the woods. TAFUGA, EDDIE, and JESUS, Are waiting for the arrival of the rest of the transitional, and boys home to join them. TAFUGA receives a phone call that due to car trouble no one else will be arriving.

TAFUGA: [Mimics just ending a cell phone call] That was Kwame, no one else is coming.

[EDDIE and JESUS, both are exhibiting physical disgust.]

JESUS: What happened?

EDDIE: What do we do now?

TAFUGA: Cut down some trees.

JESUS: All these?

TAFUGA: Of course, why not?

EDDIE: That’s not fair.

TAFUGA: They’re depending on us guys.

EDDIE: No, they’re depending on a whole lot of other people too, not just us.

JESUS: Why we got to cut down some Christmas trees for a bunch of old people anyway?

EDDIE: Yeah, what’s in for us? Ain’t no old people ever done anything for me, for free.

TAFUGA: What about your foster mom Eddie, you talk about her all the time since she’s passed?

EDDIE: My foster sister told me she was getting a government check for me. She was always ranting and raving about the mailman, and did the check arrive yet, or go get the check.

JESUS: One time our pastor took members of our church to feed some homeless people.

TAFUGA: And how did that make you feel?

JESUS: I felt good.

TAFUGA: See Eddie,good can come from helping others.

EDDIE:You see those trees over there [Pointing.] Yeah, that one, it’s gonna to take six people. That’s double the work. This ain’t slavery.

JESUS: He’s got a point Tafuga. This ain’t slavery, and besides, we can come back later with the rest of the crew.

TAFUGA: Unfortunately we don’t have that type of time schedule. Besides, sometimes in life you have to pick up the slack for somebody else.

EDDIE: Picking up the slack is one thing, doing double the work is another. And them church people who be cooking that food ain’t never had a kind word for those who don’t show up to help them out. And one thing them church ladies taught me, “God don’t make no fools.”

TAFUGA: [TAFUGA starts walking towards some trees.] Come on Jesus. Come on Eddie. Let’s get started. [JESUS walks towards TAFUGA, and together they walk off stage. EDDIE just stays put and walks off stage in the opposite direction.

Scene Two:

[ Takes place at the assisted living home. MARCO, MIGUEL and PEDRO, are all mulling over the recent passing of Pedro’s cousin JUAN who lived at the facility with them.]

MIGUEL: The nerve of that guy. You hear him. The corner just took Juan’s body to the morgue, and these guys are already discussing who’s moving in his room.

MARCO: I tell my daughter all the time when she comes visit me, that these people are heartless.

PEDRO: Maybe it’s a woman.

[MARCO and MIGUEL state simultaneously]: What???

PEDRO: You know a mujer.

MARCO: Pedro, man, that was your cousin.

PEDRO: I know. But he would want me to have a little fun with the ladies. They didn’t call him Donito Juanito for nothing.

MIGUEL: And look what that kind of thinking got him. Broken and alone. That man had 19 kids from 17 different women, and not once did he get a visit.

MARCO: Even I get visits from hijos, and I wasn’t there for them growing up.

MIGUEL: Just face it Pedro, your cousin wasn’t smooth, but rotten.This bottle of medicine [Holds up bottle], it goes down smooth, cause that’s how medicine goes down. But Juan was poison, and went down sour, or bitter.

PEDRO: What’s your beef with Juan, cause he wouldn’t let you beat him in chess?

MIGUEL: Its not that. Your cousin was a good man, once you got to know him. But that’s just it, no one seemed to know him. He had a real mean streak.

MARCO: You mean that temper?

MIGUEL: Yeah, that temper. Come on Pedro, even he treated you like crap sometime.

PEDRO: Sometime? Hell, a whole lot of time. And one thing about that bastard, he never not once apologized.

MARCO: Then how is Father Mahoney going to eulogize him?

PEDRO: Shit, who’s going to notify his kids?

MIGUEL: What makes you think they want to be notified? None of them ever came to visit.

MARCO: But they have a right to know; he was their father.

PEDRO: [Begins to cry.] Shit, why did he have to die? He was my only familia.

MARCO: That’s not true Pedro; your kids and grandkids come see you.

MIGUEL: Yeah, Pedro, don’t you think you’re being a little dramatic?

PEDRO: [Sobbing.] You don’t understand; we are from Cuba! Juan was like my brother over there. Look at me! My familia has no love for me. My kids are raised in the United States, and they dumped me off at some assisted living home. There is no respect there. That’s not Cubano! We love our abuelos and abuelas We would never dump their wisdom and knowledge off to a bunch of strangers. [Scene change.]

Scene Three:

[Scene three takes place at the transitional home. KWAME, MICHAEL, and HUAN, are discussing the repercussions of not meeting the others in the woods to chop down Christmas trees.]

MICHAEL: Damn, Kwame, you just got a new transmission put in a week ago what’s up with that?

KWAME: I know. There is nothing I can do.

HUAN: I was looking to get out of the city.

KWAME: I know, me too, But what can we do?

HUAN: Did Tafuga sound upset?

KWAME: Nah, you know him, don’t nothing bother Big Tafug.

MICHAEL: This is rotten. How many trees can they cut down without us there?

HUAN: There’s going to be some very disappointed old people at those homes.

KWAME: Who cares about those old people, their families don’t.

MICHAEL: We’re their family now, Kwame.

HUAN: It’s the only time I see them light up. With their cigarettes, and dancing to old music.

MICHAEL: Look, if none of us don’t get our own acts together, we are going to be just like them, old and alone.

KWAME: I don’t see your point. They’ve lived their lives. They’re winning. You and I can get snuffed out at any moment.

HUAN: You don’t feel a little something that you won’t be able to come through for them this year?

KWAME: I suppose.

MICHAEL: I’m thinking about Tafuga and the others, they don’t have us around.

KWAME: Tafuga knows we got his back.

MICHAEL: Yeah, like you did last year Kwame?

KWAME: That was a mistake. That couldn’t be avoided. We talked, and we’re cool.

MICHAEL: Well I’m just saying Bro. You’re always not on point.

KWAME: I see your cigarettes you be hiding around here, not letting the counselors see you smoke.

MICHAEL: Oh, you’re just going to put my business out there in front of the kid.

HUAN: Man, what you talkin bout. I see kids doing more than that in the boys home.

KWAME: You know what Michael, man, you’re always trying to make it about me, it’s never you.

MICHAEL: Look Bro, I’m not trying to make it a career staying at this place.

MICHAEL: You couldof fooled me. What’s it been, six years?

HUAN: Dwag, man, you’re a lifer.

MICHAEL: [Scratching the area of the arm, where it bends. Between the upper and lower arm.] It’s not that, sometimes I got issues.

KWAME: You can say that again.

HUAN: You’re using man?

MICHAEL: What makes you say that?

HUAN: It’s what Kwame said.

MICHAEL: Fuck Kwame, he ain’t said nothing.

KWAME: You know what Michael, I’m about tired of your shit. Yeah, I lied. Ain’t nothing wrong with my car. MICHAEL: I knew it.

HUAN: Last year you got me in trouble with the judge. He tacked on another two years of community service.

KWAME: That judge is an idiot. This is his favorite community service, that’s all.

HUAN: [Seething with anger, pushes KWAME.] That’s all?

[KWAME socks HUAN in the eye. HUAN falls to the ground; holding his eye. KWAME goes in to hit him again while he’s on the ground. MICHAEL grabs KWAME to stop him from going in for the kill.]

MICHAEL: He’s just a kid! He’s just a kid! [End of Scene Three.]

Scene Four:

[Takes place at the assisted living home, and involves the whole cast decorating the Christmas tree.]

KWAME; Huan, put the star on top of the tree.

[HUAN comes running up and takes the star from KWAME. KWAME lifts up HUAN from behind; hands under HUAN’s armpits, and lifts him up in the air. HUAN puts the star at the top of the tree, and KWAME lets him back down. HUAN and KWAME embrace (hug). All the cast begins to sing “Deck the Halls.”]

Deck the halls with boughs of holly
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
‘Tis the season to be jolly
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Don we now our gay apparel
Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la
[This will be the final stanzas, and must be sung as tho it’s the end]
Troll the ancient Yule-tide carol
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.

The End

Copyright 2018 Donald “C-Note” Hooker

No More Massacres

“First, this is not a method for cowards. It does resist. The nonviolent resistance is just as strongly opposed to the evil against which we protest as in the person who uses violence. This method is passive or non aggressive in the sense that we are not physically aggressive towards our opponent. But our mind and emotions are always active, constantly seeking to persuade the opponent that he is mistaken.
This method is passive physically but strongly active spiritually. It is not aggressive physically but dynamically aggressive spiritually.”

A Message from Martin Luther King Jr.

No longer do I spread a message of violence
not even in silence
My Old Testament
was shoot anyone for whatever reason
My community was infested with gun violence
and I didn’t take a liking
just the sound alone created fear in my heart
Still I didn’t submit
Unfortunately I found myself at 13
in a hospital
a victim of gun violence
shaking my head
Like dang
What’s the reason?
Started holstering a gun for All Seasons
morals became corrupted
in reaction without Law & Order
secretly, tactically, preparing for war
Cuz there’s brutality all over the world
See in my ghettos we groom-to-be Killers
Black-on-black killings
Hearts full of Madness
cuz we misguided from youth
But ever since congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford got shot
and that little girl Christina- Taylor greene died
that was with her
I died a little inside
truly it was then
where I realized
that my heart was divided from truth
I became teary-eyed
My new testament begins…
Now I’m picking up the shattered pieces
digging through the rubbish of my rearview
Face-to-face with my own demons
Please forgive me for my mishaps
Reality check
No more 21-gun salute
Hands up don’t shoot
I’m motivated to be a positive man
now can you tell me the same about you
Please don’t send the troops
Can I get a moment of silence
For all the victims of gun violence
Pay attention to all the pro-gun ads Across the Nation
cover with kind Pleasures
design to take over your mind
but I stand with councilwoman Janice Hahn
Keeping Columbine, Sandy Hook
Las Vegas shooting victims
Them 17 kids and Parkland
10 in Santa Fe Texas
Them church shootings in Charleston and Texas in remembrance
Let’s stand up for our little cubs
it touch my heart
When Emma Gonzalez and Edna Chavez led the march
to Washington
to approach Congress
Ignited the walkouts of classrooms in all 50 states
In a fight to ban assault weapons
Look how we took it to another level
Reuniting as one
cause the willing stop chilling
and became willing
So please get up
and don’t give up, politicians
Please stand up for us
an America’s Got Talent contestant Flau’Jae said it best
“Let’s put down the guns”
Dedicated to the victims of gun violence

by Darryl Burnside

Artwork by: Donald “C-Note” Hooker

Today We Are Sisters

Today we are sisters
Tomorrow we won’t
unless for reparations
together we fight
I am Pro Choice
I am Pro Life
just because she’s in prison
She still has rights

About Paintoem:
Painting by: C-Note
Poem by: C-Note

Today We Are Sistersis an original work of wax on paper. Done by Donald “C-Note” Hooker in 2018. Today We Are Sisters tells the tale of the 150 California female prisoners that were forcibly sterilized from 2006-2010.

[Editor’s Note ]: This Paintoem, like all Paintoems, are given to the public, to have free use rights, so long as acknowledgement is given to the artist(s).

Links to other Paintoems:
My Dilemma
Tears of the Mothers
Black August-Los Angeles
More Paintoems


goes the clock
On the mystery
of the history
who am I
who are you
who are we

to better understand me
I should try and understand you
So when I heard of the demise
of the Indian tribes
from the White perspective
was that they had put too much trust
in the treatise they signed

Now you
can better understand
why Sandra Bland
told that policeman
and ended with
losing her life

But that has nothing to do
with the perversion
of the aversion
towards the Chinese
whereupon our first immigration law
was to get rid of them all

or the Japanese version
who will tell you
that internment is a diversion
it was imprisonment

You see history
is His story
but what about
Her story
now that you’ve heard
some of Their story
all we ask
is just a simple task
Can’t Black Lives Matter

You see no one knows
what the Poles went through
in World War II
where six million died
half of them Jew

or in 1891
the single day
mass lynching
in America
took place
in Louisiana
against the Italians
cause being a Catholic back then
was like being a Muslim today

or that
in 1848 through 1860
in a twelve year span
out here in California
they lynched

You see history
is His story
but what about
Her story
now that you’ve heard
some of Their story
all we ask
is just a simple task
Can’t Black Lives Matter

No one knows what a Black woman goes through
cause it was a Black woman who started
hashtag Me Too

and White privilege
means many different things
to many different body
but to the Black family
it means access to their body

How many times did the slave masters rape Black women
so many times I ain’t got a clue
so you’re not a clown
when you look around
and see a lighter shade of Brown
just ask the African, the Aztecan, and the Mayan
how that happened
These women had no choice!
there was no Twitter to give them voice!

Some say Thomas Jefferson was a great man
but how many times did he have to rape that woman to produce six children
and when we called him father
he denied us
and all of America told us
Yousa lie!
But in 1998 DNA gave us proof
that for over 200-years Black folks had been telling the truth
then I heard somebody scream who did not look like me

You see history
is His story
but what about
Her story
now that you’ve heard
some of Their story
all we ask
is just a simple task
Can’t Black Lives Matter

I want to set the Record Straight!
hashtag Black Lives Matter ain’t got nothing to do with no cops
It got something to do with a civilian
and his name was George Zimmerman
and he shot and killed an unarmed Black teenage boy
by the name of Travon Martin
and there was NO JUSTICE FOR US!
and just like all the other civilians before him
with Dey Lynch Mobs
and Dey Gang Rapes
so much was going on Rosa Parks had to investigate
and this was some twenty years before she refused to go to the back of the bus
80-years removed from slavery so much horrors had been thrusted upon us

In 1944
in Alabama
Recy Taylor
was twenty-four
she was walking home from church
when she was abducted by six Caucasian boys
She said, “Please don’t hurt me, I have to go home to my children.”
Five hours later
Her father found her on the side of the road
beaten and raped
Now I comes from a woman!
We all do
And when I heard this story
I cried
but when I heard her sister tell it
I died inside

Dem boys wasn’t content with just raping my sistah
Dem boys played inside my sistah
My sistah never had any children after that
Dem boys went all up inside my sistah’s body
My sistah never even gotten pregnant after that
Dem boys played inside my sistah’s body!

You see history
is His story
but what about
Her story
now that you’ve heard
Our story
We have a daunting task
Such an overwhelmingly daunting task

by Donald “C-Note” Hooker

Here is the audio version:

Editor’s Note: To For more epic poems by this poet, check out: THE CRIMINALIZATION OF OUR AMERICAN CIVILIZATION (This Is Not A Manifesto)

Here are audio links:
The Criminalization of our American Civilization (This Is Not A Manifesto)

White Noise

High ceiling
windowless room
except the white noise
of bright lighting
except me
except door’s knob
of uneasy
a hot mess
but nevertheless
I wait
in this Twilight Zone
of a disaster
turn into minutes
turn into hours
still feet
a quickend pace
a slow jog
complexity of thought
rise and fall
like a statistical graph
Did I see?
Crashing the disturbance
of the undisturbable
Deputy good cop
and officer bad cop
hurled accusations
of machinations
I could not have done
I remained silent
silence brokered for a cigarette
to which I refuse
the swiftness
of wiffness
of roasted caffeine
filled the room

Donald “C-Note” Hooker

[Editor’s Note]: The Sorcerer’s Brew, was a work created by the artist for the “Everything Coffee,” prisoner art exhibit in New York.

The Sorcerer’s Brew

I was first awoken
by its smell
It was carmel
in my mind
and toasted
to perfection
like an erection
so orgasmic
like reaching out
for a lover again
on the morning after
washing over the tongue’s tendrils
like the baptismal cleansing
that washes away all sins
this caffeinated liquefied warmth
with all its herbal toxicants
of sugars and spice
tho it brings nothing nice
but sin
to do
again and again
a lust
a desire
an indescrible addiction
for more and more
caffeinated liquefied warmth
sips unending
its herbal toxicants
of sugar and spice
amongst the souls it treats

Donald “C-Note” Hooker

[Editor’s Note]: The Sorcerer’s Brew, was a work created by the artist for the “Everything Coffee,” prisoner art exhibit in New York.