My Father Was a Good Nigger

My father was a good nigger

Who stood over six feet

He called Mr. Burke's daughter "Ms. Betty"

Even though she was only three

 

My father was a good nigger

Who allowed himself to be called "boy"

And even by his own first name

That's how I learned it was Roy

 

My father was a good nigger

Who abided by the rules

And because we were his

He made us do it to

 

I understood why

For the alternative would have been sicker

Any protest on his part

Would have made him a dead nigger

 

So he complied

And spared us a dreaded visit

By a mob with torches, ropes, the like

All the tools for a lynching

 

My father was a good nigger

That's how he stayed alive

And because he loved us

He kept us in line

 

Until we were teens 

Then he sent us to live with our uncles and aunts

Who lived up North

Lest we followed and became sycophants

This poem is about: 
My community

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