Black Man Walking

…By Ted Lockhart

Black man walking

Somebody stalking

Black man running.

Somebody gunning

How fast should I walk

You who do that talk.

Should I walk at double-time speed

Or imitate a slow-go steed?

What’s the right pace for me to run

You who hold the gun.

Should I run at the joggers pace

Or do you want my sprinter race.

Black man walking

Somebody stalking

Black man running

Somebody gunning

Black man walking in my neighborhood

Everyone knows he’s up to no-good.

Call security, the police, and the watchman for our hood,

Cause a black man is walking in our neighborhood.

Black man running down the street

Everyone knows he is fleeing the heat.

Call security, tell the police a thief is out here running

Better yet let us go get him with our own gunning.

Black man walking in the land of the free

Somebody stalking in the name of liberty

Black man running in America the beautiful

Somebody gunning in a seeming act dutiful.

On the other side a voice rang out

Whom shall I send to bring him about?

Send Martin some said, he’ll fill the bill.

Not me, King said, send Emmet Till

So one murdered black boy-child, on a visit in a Mississippi city,

Fetched another boy-child, on a visit in a Florida city.

Trayvon Martin

Shot stone dead for walking like it was his,

And yours and even ours singing:

My country tis of thee

Sweet land of

how long we been looking for thee.

O how long we been looking for thee


O how long?

One Reply to “Black Man Walking”

  1. anseaveau says:

    How long INDEED??? I literally had goose bump as I read this poem. It brought back memories of my FIRST and recent “racial profiling” in Florida, as an African-American female on an afternoon stroll in the “wrong” part of the State. Thank you Ted Lockhart for not letting us forget this injustice.

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