“Black Mother” is a poem written by slain West Coast Black Panther Party organizer, and founder of the Southern California office of the Black Panther Party that attracted members Elaine Brown and Geronimo Pratt, Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter. An uplifting and inspiring piece, reminding me of certain tenets within Black Media Trust that encourage art reflective of desired visions for US Black culture.
In the poem, “Bunchy” addresses the pain of being aware of the history of the treatment of Black Mothers which also works to symbolize Black Women in the United States of America. “Black Mother” conjures apologia to all Black Mothers and Black Women through what could be not only the pen and words of “Bunchy”, but also as a representative voice for all Black Men becoming aware of the atrocious oppressions suffered through the vessel of the Black and Woman body.
“Bunchy” Carter was murdered along with John Huggins on the campus of UCLA at the campus’ Campbell Hall on January 17, 1969, by members of Ron Karenga’s US organization. A dire and gravely unfortunate cautionary lesson that our blind fealty to race-based fictive kinship must always be questioned.
Black Mother By Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter
i must confess that i still breathe
though you are not yet free
what could justify my crying start
forgive my cowards heart
–but blame me not the sheepish me
for i have just awakened from a deep, deep, sleep
and i be hazed, and dazed, and scared
and vipers fester in my hair
BLACK MOTHER i curse your drudging years
the rapes, and heart-breaks, sweat and tears
–but this cannot redeem the fact–
you cried in pain, i turned my back
and ran into the myers fog
and watched while you were dogged
and died a thousand deaths
but i swear on siege night dark and gloom
a rose i’ll wear to honor you, and when i fall
the rose in hand
you’ll be free and i a man
for a slave of natural death who dies
can’t balance out to two dead flies
i’d rather be without the shame
a bullet lodged within my brain
if i were not to reach our goal
let bleeding cancer torment my soul.