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Race Became the Dominate Theme

Updated on January 29, 2017

Brooklyn 1965


Sirens ran through the air,

it dominated every other sound,

made everyone’s heart pound,

an emergency was near,

and that was very clear,

it was a summer afternoon

in Brooklyn USA, 1965,

and suddenly,

with a body on the ground

that afternoon became a crime scene,

and race became the dominant theme,

the dead kid was decidedly black,

laid in a pool of blood on his back,

the loser in a fight,

and the police, standing over their daylight scene

were decidedly white,

the crowd grew restless,

sometimes death could happen

at the wrong time,

and in the wrong places,

from the other side of the police line

there was a sea of angry faces,

the noise level was loud,

as trash was being thrown at the police

from the angry crowd,

then someone said,

cover that boy up and show some

respect for the dead,

it was indeed a horrific sight,

as another one shouted,

he’s just another dead nigger to you, right?

The police could feel the heat,

as they were part of the pavement jungle survival,

and the body stayed on the street,

stranded there by a delayed arrival,

it was a civil unrest,

humanity put to a test,

and racism stood tall,

and true to every single letter,

fuck them all,

the kid is dead

and he won’t get any better,

fear dominated the air, then repeats,

as the white racist police conspiracy

ran rampant on the streets,

a uniform pulled a white plastic sheet

over the kid’s torso and head,

the kid’s skin might be black,

but his blood ran red.

© 2011 Frank Atanacio

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    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      hey til good to see you :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      Amazing. You portrayed so much hate in one short poem. The reality of it rings withe every word. Well done my friend.

      Voted up, awesome, and interesting.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      you are so right, anyway, thank you flourish

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      These are powerful words that capture sentiments of a sad and angry time. Much of it today is subtle and has gone underground.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      thank you nadine may :)

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Racism is a mental disease in people. Your poem was very moving and your rhyming makes it even more of a creative expression about this disease. Thanks

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      thank you Cyndi10 :)

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 3 years ago from Georgia

      Awesome, in your usual style: gutsy, gritty, raw and in your face. A style I come to expect from you. You are such a master with the words and the imagery. Racism wasn't pleasant then and it isn't now.

      Take care.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      hey thanks Senoritaa

    • Senoritaa profile image

      Senoritaa 3 years ago

      How did I miss this one! A topic extremely close to my heart. Racism.. how many decades have we been fighting against it? At yet it exists, to this very day, though politically abolished, but has it changed mindsets?

      Your last line was out of the world. And of course, as with all your poems, effortless rhyming!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      thank you so much Lady for sharing your comments....

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 3 years ago from On planet Earth

      I love the last line Frank . The kid’s skin might be black,

      but his blood ran red, sure right i often wonder what's the reason for race, when we all die, we all go to the washroom , we all get sick, we all eat etc. I am black in race and i am proud NEVER GONNA MAKE ANY OTHER RACE THING THEY ARE BETTER THAN ME.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      thanks Cam :)

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 3 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      A whole story in poetic form. It reminds me of the Rubin "Hurricane" Carter story and the Bob Dylan song. Great job Frank.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      I agree with you moms

    • Moms-Secret profile image

      Lissette 4 years ago from Central Florida

      People have a hard time letting go of the mental cruches they create.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      thanks for stopping by darknlovely :)

    • Darknlovely3436 profile image

      Annie 5 years ago from NewYork

      Bringing back some buried memories.. great share

      blessed

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      Thank you Poetvix for visiting my race theme and your comment always good to see you and thank you to neny for stopping by my race theme too :) bless you both

    • nenytridiana profile image

      nenytridiana 5 years ago from Probolinggo - Jawa Timur - Indonesia

      "Colored waiting room", that is racism.

      But I have "The rich waiting room" and "The poor waiting room" in my country. I don't know which one is better.

      Thank you for writing about racism Frank Atanacio!

    • poetvix profile image

      poetvix 5 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      The term hard hitting does not do justice to your work in this case. Overwhelming, for lack of a better word, I would have to say, truly powerful. I think some of that power lies in the fact that while it so accurately represents the events of the time, it's still current! You have something really special here.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      thanks so much DFiduccia

    • DFiduccia profile image

      DFiduccia 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      Frank—This is very profound, and it surely tells it like it was.

      ...a good read and voted up for awesome—DF

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      thank you for reading Bobbirant and Pegcole 17 :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      thanks A-V aka Marlene LOL for reading this piece :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      thanks so much writer20 and M&M for reading ym race

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      thanks Uban and Jennu.. for taking a look at my race...

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      thanks Terri, and Robin for the visit :)

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Beautiful and moving, your words bring back the times that were so different then. I remember when integration was forced in the schools and race riots and demonstrations and fear were prevalent. You've summed it up nicely here.

      "the kid’s skin might be black,

      but his blood ran red."

    • BobbiRant profile image

      BobbiRant 6 years ago from New York

      Very moving. I remember the times when cops refused to answer calls in some parts of the city because they were afraid. Great write, made me recall those days.

    • Aphrodite Venus profile image

      Aphrodite Venus 6 years ago from Orlando

      So sad:( Humanity is cruel. Awesome work. I gave you a vote.

    • profile image

      M&M 6 years ago

      You sure gotta' lot of rhythm in your rhyming.Racism is silly, just plain silly. One thing we all have in common is the grave for sure. Awesome poetry as per usual. Sad but rings true ...Fear dominated the air, then repeats...very clever line! Very clever!

    • profile image

      writer20 6 years ago

      Thank goodness I grew up in England and didn't have to see anything in the poem.

      Sad reading.

    • Jennuhlee profile image

      Jennuhlee 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      So depressing, but beautiful just the same. your poetry always comes with a lesson. Great hub.

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 6 years ago from Lagos

      you have great talent. i am going to bathe myself with your words. when i come back i will take from your great knowledge. see you later

    • Robin Mancini profile image

      Robin Elizabeth Mancini 6 years ago from South Jersey/Philadelphia PA

      Wow deep ,I hate everything about Racism!

    • Terishere profile image

      Terishere 6 years ago

      Very moving poem about the effects of racism! Voted up, awesome and beautiful!

      Terri