Some folk will always
look at you sideways, their eyes
a slant of sour
opinion, but freedom is
a forward march, baby boy.
Give cheek without cheek;
steadfast sight on glory. Christ
saved you already.
No book thrown at you can weigh
more than all that precious blood.
* * *
Find the poem here.
Cortney Lamar Charleston was raised in the Chicago suburbs by two South Siders, but now lives in Jersey City, NJ. He is an alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania and its premier performance poetry collective, The Excelano Project. He is also a founder and editorial lead for BLACK PANTONE, an inclusive digital cataloging of black identity. His poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Rattle, Word Riot, Lunch Ticket, Storyscape Journal, Chicago Literati, Kinfolks Quarterly and Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, among other publications. (Heart Journal)
“Proud of the poetry that’s being put out there these days – others and even mine. Feels like a movement, like they’ll look back at us and call us a “school,” teach us in the books we should’ve been in all along. Keep pushing, y’all.” –Cortney Lamar Charleston