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"not an elegy for Mike Brown," by Danez Smith and "Changes," by Tupac Shakur

Author: Danez Smith and Tupac Shakur

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not an elegy for Mike Brown

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Apr 8
IVAN CHEN (Apr 08 2019 7:43AM) : DO NOT COMMENT ON THIS POEM
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Apr 8
Ocavio (Apr 08 2019 7:52AM) : bet
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by Danez Smith

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I am sick of writing this poem
but bring the boy. his new name

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his same old body. ordinary, black
dead thing. bring him & we will mourn
until we forget what we are mourning

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& isn’t that what being black is about?
not the joy of it, but the feeling

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you get when you are looking
at your child, turn your head,
then, poof, no more child.

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that feeling. that’s black.

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\\

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think: once, a white girl

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was kidnapped & that’s the Trojan war.

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later, up the block, Troy got shot
& that was Tuesday. are we not worthy

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of a city of ash? of 1000 ships
launched because we are missed?

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always, something deserves to be burned.
it’s never the right thing now a days.

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I demand a war to bring the dead boy back
no matter what his name is this time.

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I at least demand a song. a song will do just fine.

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\\

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look at what the lord has made.
above Missouri, sweet smoke.

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Copyright © 2014 by Danez Smith. Reprinted from Split This Rock’s The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database.

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"Changes"

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by Tupac Shakur

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[2Pac:]
I see no changes, wake up in the morning and I ask myself:
"Is life worth living? Should I blast myself?"
I'm tired of being poor and, even worse, I'm black
My stomach hurts so I'm looking for a purse to snatch
Cops give a damn about a negro
Pull the trigger, kill a nigga, he's a hero
"Give the crack to the kids: who the hell cares?
One less hungry mouth on the welfare!"
First ship 'em dope and let 'em deal to brothers
Give 'em guns, step back, watch 'em kill each other
"It's time to fight back," that's what Huey said
Two shots in the dark, now Huey's dead
I got love for my brother
But we can never go nowhere unless we share with each other
We gotta start making changes
Learn to see me as a brother instead of two distant strangers
And that's how it's supposed to be
How can the Devil take a brother if he's close to me?
I'd love to go back to when we played as kids
But things change... and that's the way it is

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May 14
IVAN CHEN (May 14 2019 8:06AM) : Why does no change make him have thoughts about suicide?
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Apr 8
IVAN CHEN (Apr 08 2019 7:13AM) : Since he's poor, he won't get much respect and he's black, which doesn't give him much privileges.
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Apr 8
IVAN CHEN (Apr 08 2019 7:02AM) : The police can be corrupt sometimes. If they kill someone, then they will be looked as a hero
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Apr 8
IVAN CHEN (Apr 08 2019 6:53AM) : Why would you give drugs to a kid?
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[Talent:]
That's just the way it is
Things'll never be the same
That's just the way it is
Aww yeah
That's just the way it is
Things'll never be the same
That's just the way it is
Aww yeah

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Apr 8
IVAN CHEN (Apr 08 2019 7:19AM) : There will never be equality between races.
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[2Pac:]
I see no changes, all I see is racist faces
Misplaced hate makes disgrace to races
We under, I wonder what it takes to make this
One better place, let's erase the wasted
Take the evil out the people, they'll be acting right
'Cause both Black and White are smoking crack tonight
And the only time we chill is when we kill each other
It takes skill to be real, time to heal each other
And although it seems heaven-sent
We ain't ready to see a black president
It ain't a secret, don't conceal the fact:
The penitentiary's packed, and it's filled with blacks
But some things will never change
Try to show another way, but you staying in the dope game
Now tell me, what's a mother to do?
Being real don't appeal to the brother in you
You gotta operate the easy way
"I made a G today," but you made it in a sleazy way
Selling crack to the kids
"I gotta get paid!", well hey, but that's the way it is

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Apr 8
IVAN CHEN (Apr 08 2019 7:11AM) : Many prisons are mostly filled with black people. [Edited]
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[Talent:]
That's just the way it is
Things'll never be the same
That's just the way it is
Aww yeah
That's just the way it is
Things'll never be the same
That's just the way it is
Aww yeah

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[2Pac talking:]
We gotta make a change
It's time for us as a people to start making some changes
Let's change the way we eat, let's change the way we live
And let's change the way we treat each other
You see the old way wasn't working
So it's on us to do what we gotta do to survive

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Apr 8
IVAN CHEN (Apr 08 2019 7:18AM) : Wants black and white people to be equal.
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[2Pac:]
And still I see no changes
Can't a brother get a little peace?
It's war on the streets and a war in the Middle East
Instead of war on poverty
They got a war on drugs so the police can bother me
And I ain't never did a crime I ain't have to do
But now I'm back with the facts giving it back to you
Don't let 'em jack you up, back you up
Crack you up and pimp-smack you up
You gotta learn to hold your own
They get jealous when they see you with your mobile phone
But tell the cops they can't touch this
I don't trust this, when they try to rush I bust this
That's the sound of my tool
You say it ain't cool, my mama didn't raise no fool
And as long as I stay black, I gotta stay strapped
And I never get to lay back
'Cause I always got to worry 'bout the payback
Some buck that I roughed up way back
Coming back after all these years
"Rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat!" That's the way it is

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Apr 8
IVAN CHEN (Apr 08 2019 7:16AM) : Don't make the police corrupt and take your over.
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[Talent:]
That's just the way it is
Things'll never be the same
That's just the way it is
Aww yeah
(You're my brother, you're my sister)
That's just the way it is
Things'll never be the same
That's just the way it is
Aww yeah

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[2Pac:]
Some things'll never change

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Writers: Buce Randall Hornsby, Deon Evans, Tupac Amaru Shakur

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DMU Timestamp: March 29, 2019 18:11

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