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for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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I’ll never really question a river / Never the one running down my cheeks

In my struggles there are purpose and peace /Drawn from the book of the Living Word



Poems by Cheryl W. Robinson


Weather It Is


Today’s local weather forecast calls for yesterday’s cloudy skies

Unpredictable overcasts likely produced by unforgiving eyes-

In storms where they were never present or much less invited

Raining dark judgments unfair and systemically short sighted

While the barometer measuring my personality appears to be broken

Relating to the reality of who you really are contradictory of what is spoken

Nevertheless the expected high was in the hope for better and brighter days


Be careful of impromptu twisters that seems to always get information twisted

Doppler radar usage of email perusing, cell phone checks and caller’s id listed

Essential high level flooding of the trust I once expected and placed in you

Undeserved since you never ever gave me the proper respect that I was due

But that was my faulty equipment that mistook your true intentions for

A fallout shelter and comfort for your so important weather beaten life…


Midnight page alerts, unfamiliar correspondence, whereabouts notification discarded

Like violent lightening striking an already wilting flower I’m constantly bombarded

With your little white flurries accumulating to lying dirty mile high snow drift searches

For the cheap belief that I will be handled as if I am some dollar store shovel purchase

This is not a test of the emergency broadcasting system my self respect is not for sale

Take Notice that the ice is very cold yet thin and melting away your beloved fairy tales

Even though your severe weather detectors are always hidden or pass worded my

Intuition operates…free style


Skating around vows and flirting with ex’s despite frequent tornado warnings

Now the Blizzard Wizard said I was amiss when I neglected to say Good Morning

Heed precautionary advise that sunscreen provides protection from extreme heat

Balmy pride coolly exacerbates an atmosphere of destruction and eventually defeat

Courtesy clouds fail to open up an apology or even recognize that I am what I am

You are who you are and it is what it is…A Weather Report

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 We say,

We want the truth from the men we love

And when they say that they do and

Act like they don’t…

We fantasize


We say, want our children

However we decide for God

We which ones to keep

And call it choice


We raise our daughters and love our sons

Making our daughters responsible women

And our son’s unreliable


We say,

We love ourselves

But we spend countless dollars trying to change

The hair, eyes, skin, shape we say we love


We say,

We are all sisters

Still we judge, criticize and backbite

One another


We say,

We want something better but we fail to

Think before we speak or even eat

Jeopardizing our mind and our body


We say,

We love our God

And our nations churches are Sunday filled

With one uplifted hand

Clutching the world in the other


We say,

We are slaves to fashion but neglect to

Recognize we are chained to debt

Facing a life sentence?


We say,

Who am I to say?

Who is she to come so strong

She doesn’t even know me!


It is we,

Who need to mother all of our children

Male and female in the admonishment

of the Lord

It is We,

Who need to accept ourselves

As we are,

Wonderfully and gloriously made

It is we,

Who need not only preach our faith

But practice it

In spirit and in truth

It is the we,

Who needs to admit to ourselves?

That there is a lot of “Me”in


So it is the Me

That allows me to say

When you know better

Do better


*   *   *   *   *

River of Living Waters

I’ve never really seen a river

‘Cept the one running down my cheeks

Never heard the sparkle of clear water

Hitting my rocks of aged healing hurts


Never felt the force of electrifying currents

Though shocked by many waves of emotion

Never necessary—yet necessary puddles of

Water gathers at unforeseen dry places…


Never understood why this constant stream of

Problems, crises or mere inconveniences flow?

Never even thought to pray for the connection

Until I did, there would be no answers


I’ve never really seen a river

“Cept the one running down my cheeks

Blinking away tears upon wet lashes I ask

Never expecting to hear a response so rapid

“The puddles you speak of are pools of purpose!”


Never designed to hurt, harm or swallow you

But to swell you into what I created you to be

Never sent to let you down, drown or overflow

Planned for you to prosper and be lifted up!


I’ll never really question a river

Never the one running down my cheeks

In my struggles there are purpose and peace

Drawn from the book of the Living Word


While I may be emerged in the water of life

And the skies should unfold and open up--

Even still, I will learn to say, rain on me

And to never, say, never… 

posted 9 August 2006

*   *   *   *   *

Cheryl W. Robinson is a poet, essayist and free-lance writer from Buffalo, New York, currently residing in Arlington, Texas.  She is a graduate of Medaille Colleges where she earned a BS in Media Communications. She has a passion for inspirational writing and cites her favorite scripture, "Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than we can think or ask according to the power within you…" (Ephesians 3:20) as the key to overcoming any adversity.

Cheryl’s spirited work with it's “keep it real “ candor and wit has appeared in several publications including Rolling Out the Urban Style Weekly and The Gospel Guide ( She also writes an inspirational column, W.E. Mail, which appears in The Women’s Entrepreneur Network Magazine found online at Cheryl is also the CEO of Always Encouraging, a division of Two The Top Enterprises, which offers a variety of products and services designed to positively motivate and elevate individuals, groups and corporations.

Her prayer is that her writing will continue to minister and inspire others to develop their relationships with Christ, family, friends and especially themselves, so that they can reach their maximum potential. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, traveling and more writing! By God's grace, she will complete her first book later this year.

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The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama's political success and Oprah Winfrey's financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don't know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

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update 24 March 2012





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