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THE DRUM, FALL 1975 
Vol.7 No.l 



Editorial, circulation and advertising 
offices located at 426 New Africa House, 
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 
Mass. 01002. 1-413-545-0768. 



Copyright by Drum, 426 New Africa House 

Printing: Gazette Printing Co., Inc., Northampton, Mass. 



Articles, Short Stories, poems and other hterary 
materials are not necessarily the viewpoints and 
idealogies of the DRUM Staff. 



STAFF 



Co-Editors Denise Wallace 

David R. Thaxton 

Fiscal Roy Tiller 

Literary Editor Tah Asongwed 

Literary Sandy Mclean 

Glenroy Buchanan 

Angleo Herbert (Chaka) 

Vickie Taylor 

Curtis Pearson 

Akbar Muhammad Ahmad 

Art Editor Pam Friday 

Photographers Juan Durruthy 

Keith Peters 
Sonali Williams 
Sharon Smith 

Administrative Secretary Angle Small 

Office Staff Patricia Smith 

Angela Andrews 
Jacqueline Hicks 
Roslyn Paige 
Brenda Bellizeare 






Juan Durruthy 



DRUM dedicates this issue to 

all of our young, together brothers and sisters. 

This is your issue, constructed with your help 
and centered around your life. 

You are the seeds from which all our Beautiful, 
Black tomorrows shall flourish from. 

This issue also goes out to a little young, 

lady that holds the number one spot in my life. 

Shelly. 



Table of Contents 



3 Dedication Denise Wallace 

4 Editorial The Editors 

8 Moving on Up: Teachingand Learning Johnetta Bagby 

14 The Waiting Room Steve Masse 

18 Saved? Bernard Nunully 

24 Work from Che-Lumumba School Steven Oritz 

Vincent Sotolongo 
26 After School Ellis V. Moss 




Wanna take a look at truth? 
Wanna see real beauty 
Wanna meet innocence at its best? 
Wanna say hello to good times, happiness 
lollipops, ass beating, funfilled 
Saturday mornings, waterfights, alligator 
tears, toothless smiles and profound 
questions 



Say hello to Youth 



Editorial 



Do you remember those days of your youth when life 
seemed so carefree and so simple? Days when you felt 
happy and that no matter what happened or how poor 
you were you always managed to have fun. 

I remember my childhood days. Days of mayonnaise 
sandwiches with no meat and leftovers for weel<s. Days 
when all six of us l<ids and Momma and Daddy would pile 
up in one big heap, junk, mess of a stationwagon and 
take long rides to the beach or catch a drive-in movie. I 
remember days when potato chips were 5$ a bag and there 
was penny candy and thinking you could buy the whole 
world with one dollar. 

I remember wearing hand me down clothes and 
swearing that I was clean! I remember hot muggy days 
down South walking barefoot through puddles left by 
summer showers. I remember Saturday night revivals and 
Sunday afternoon dinners. Remember Daddy and IVIom- 
ma working overtime the week before Christmas just so 
us kids could wake up smiling, finding something under 
that ole Christmas tree, (I remember being too poor to 
even have a Christmas tree). 

I remember skipping rope and hooking classes and 
running home from nasty little boys, who said nasty little 
things and always tried to peep under your dress. I re- 
member the countless ass kicking I got for dirtying my 
clothes after school or for clowning in Church. 

Yes, I remember all those days "when life was slow 
and oh so mellow". Then it happened. I became older. I 
was growing up, grown up. I recall my grandmother tell- 
ing me to take it easy and not try to grow up so fast. Now, 
I know what she meant. My funfilled bubble was slowly 
fading away getting ready to POP! The days were becom- 
ing more complex, more compounded with problems. The 
word responsibility and growing up were becoming, had 
become synonymous, and I had to realize that all those 
happy carefree days of my youth could only linger on as 
memories. 

DRUM dedicates this issue to the children of the 
world. Children who know only of the hatred, fears, prej- 
udices that we their parents and older acquaintances in- 
still in them. 

Children whose innocence is too often marred by sick, 
irresponsible adults wanting to satisfy their animal instinct 
on some "fresh stuff". Children that are forced to grow 
up hustling, struggling to survive in concrete hells, weav- 
ing through reefer filled hallways, spitting up smack in- 
fested shit, while nodding out in the corner on a coke- 
laden high. 



Innocence that is being trampled upon in South 
Boston and starved to death in West Africa and India. In- 
nocence that was blown to bits in Alabama and watches 
their parents harrassed and unjustly victimized by a 
poor excuse of a higher institute of learning. (I should re- 
phrase that, because here one does learn advanced theo- 
ries and techniques in racism and keeping people op- 
pressed.) U-Mass. Innocence that from now on real- 
izes that they have to have a second to second account 
for everyday of their lives, so when Just-us confront them, 
they can pull out a pad and say "Um — let me see, August 
7, 1974 — Oh yeah I was taking a Piss." 

Our children are caught up in a technological era. 
One in which feelings and behavior patterns will soon be 
arrayed on grocery isles. It is up to us to preserve our 
future today. Such notions as behavior control and geno- 
cidal attacks against our communities must be halted. 
We must start today thinking about tomorrow, and our 
children are our tomorrow. 

The glorification of the Mack, Superfly, Supernigger, 
and SuperWhore has to be halted, ceased, terminated. 
We have to eliminate the quick hustling, smooth talking 
pimp process. We instead must tend our children with care. 

A farmer does not just throw seeds into a field and 
not properly water and fertilize them. Instead he takes his 
time. First, he cultivates the field, then he plants the seeds, 
next he fertilizes the ground and if the crop isn't receiving 
sufficient water he digs ditches to irrigate the field and after 
tedious care he produces a Blue Ribbon Crop. 

This is what we must do with our children. We must 
first cultivate the field by clearing out our minds, getting 
our heads together. We then plant the seeds of truth into 
our children. Fertilization of our children, comes about by 
helping them evaluate for themselves what is right or 
wrong. The irrigation of our children is done by giving them 
continually praise and inspiring them to go on after each 
fall. And like the farmer a Blue Ribbon is received for every 
top crop. Malcolm was a Blue Ribbon, Marcus, Sojourner 
Truth, Martin, Nat Turner, Angela, Harriet Tubman and 
in our children's eyes so are we. 

A mind is a terrible thing to waste. And waste is one 
thing that poor and oppressed people can not afford. 
So-whats the holdup? 



The Editors 



Vibrations 



Poem of childhood 



I would like to tell you of childhood 

innocence, fancy and dreams 
Of breezy sunny days, outside flying kites' 

rainy days inside, playing nice and quiet, 
inside rainy day games 
I would like to tell you of childhood; 

happiness tun and love 
Of mother's reading stories and singing in the tub. 

I would like to tell you of childhood; 

only it just wasn't that way 
Please don't ask me why I'm blue, 

just convince me that I should stay. 



Sittin' in study class, me and Michelle. 

Reading one of Sonia's poems 

Me and Michelle, the only blacks in the room 

Feeling good and proud 

Feelin good cuz our blackness fills the room 

I turn to Michelle and find her lookin' at me 

with a smile, for she notices my pride. 

And feels the same 

I wink my eye and 

pat my fro. 



Ruth Carter 



Susan Jeryl Robinson 



Black 



Indestructable Black 

drifting aimlessly and carelessly through life 

to no place and everyplace 

Spiting at everyone around you 

Molding yourself to any size, shape or form to 

suit yourself 

You can be high if you want to 

reaching for the heavens 

or better yet another dimension 

You can be low and wash your face in 

the burning streams of hell 

or bury your troubles in a deep, Black grave 

Sholling lazily in the shade 

free, wild and alive 

today you are free 

today you stand unmoved 

tomorrow you will fight 

You will fight against the 

people who hate and despise you 

and you will win 

Because you are Black. 

Karen Emory 
High School Student 



Sleeping Child, 

Awake and arise 

The horizon challenges your 
Unlimited creativity 



Awake and arise 

Take the monster which is a lie 

By the tail and shake him 

Loose. 

Unleash the fires of truth 

That lie smoldering within the 

Depths of your soul 

Meet and live life to fight the cold 

Know your oppressor 

And deal with him on your terms . 



That YOU may challenge the horizon in 
Creating 



A New Day. 



Mikaili (MichaelJ. Weir) 
Amherst, in passing 



Ms. Johnetta Bagby is a graduate from the School of BDIC class of 1975 in the College of Arts and Sciences. 
She was a Black Mass Communications Project (BMCP) member, a regular on WMUA, and a successful Com- 
mittee for Collegiate Education of Black Students (CCEBS) counselor. Presently she is now living in Paterson, 
New Jersey and is the Program Director of the Paterson Y. W.C.A. She is also a stringer for local radio stations. 



Movin' on up: Teaching and Learning 

The Third World Co-op School 

by Johnetta Bagby 



Infant Care Experiential Center, New World Day 
School, and Che Lumumba School of Truth are names 
that are closely associated. These are the names of 
three schools in a co-operative educational group 
built around and attended by Third World children 
on the U. Mass (Amherst) Campus. 

The children range from infancy to elementary 
school age. Infants to two and a half year old attend 
Infant Care, three to five year olds attend New World 
and the elementary level children are in Che Lumumba. 
Infant Care is housed in the Melville dormitory, lo- 
cated in the Southwest residential area and New World 
is housed in the Mackimmie dormitory, also located 
at Southwest residential area. The Che Lumumba 
School is located in New Africa House. 

This unique co-op system was founded by six par- 
ents who felt the need for a new type of learning ex- 
perience rather than a school like Marks Meadow (lo- 
cated in the School of Ed, which is sometimes referred 
to as the Alternate Learning School or the University 
Nursery). They saw a need for their children to be guid- 
ed in a different learning direction, and many parents 
could not afford the exorbitant fees for nurseries and 
baby sitters because they are in school themselves. 
The parents also saw the need for their children to re- 
late to other third world children, since the Valleys 
Third World populous is widely spread. 
The school co-op functions as follows: 

1. Infant care prepares the child to deal with 
close association of other children their age. They 
learn how to play and share and make basic adjust- 
ments at this tender age. Since most of them come 
from a one child family and their parents get home 
late, they would otherwise have no opportunity to 
associate with another child of the same background 
and would thus be forced to play and fantasize by 
themselves. 



2. New World handles children in the three to 
five year old bracket. These children are taught in a 
bi-lingual environment of English and Spanish. They 
learn about themselves and other members of the 
Third World community. One can often watch them 
leaving Southwest on a nature hike. 

3. The Che Lumumba School operates for the 
elementary child. Their studies include economics, 
history (African and American), math and other re- 
lated work. This school has been given its' accredi- 
tation by Massachusetts. Many of these students un- 
derstand politics and how it applys to minorities. 
This is because of a constant political involvement 
of parents and teachers here at the University and also 
on the national level. 

The basic concept of these learning centers is 
"self help", but it can only be successful with more 
support from parents and the community. In a locale 
with such resources and bright minds available why 
do we find it hard to keep systems like this func- 
tioning? 

1. Funds always play an important role. The 
Schools operate on a donational basis of toys, books, 
money, and other utensils needed to run the school. 

2. Commitment. More commitment must be 
made by parents and the community, especially resi- 
dents of the areas where these schools are located. 

3. Housing. Permanent and alternative housing 
for these schools to continue servicing these children. 

Think about the outcome of these children on a Uni- 
versity campus. It is one thing to be black students 
and survive in Amherst, but it is another thing to be 
a black child and exist in Umie land. 



Much thanks goes to the supervisors of the three schools who are Rosa Blanco, Che Lumumba, Marisenna 
Gist, New World, and Keryl Thompson Infant Care. These Women take charge of their own separate units and 
yet contribute to all three. 

This suggests more than quaUties of leadership and responsibility, but interests in seeing the education of 
a child not going to waste. 

Johnetta Bagby 



His Daughter's Perception 



He bought his one year old daughter 

a very fanciful potty 

taught her how to stand 

and then how to sit ... . 

whether she decides to make water 

or just a boo 

she knows where to go for her loo 

And now just after a week 

his daughter has made it a habit 

of getting up after a boo 

of staring hard at her boo 

of closing her eyes after a boo 

of saying, naw, naw, naw, naw, naw! 




black child bitter 



10 



an American black 
child, young with 
green black fertility, 
lays on his back 
writhing to the spasms 
of poisoned 

food- America 
run by the Klu with 
no room for you, 
niggerrrrrrr. 

black baby child 
stolen from the 
womb of the motherland, 
you close up in a 
ball of sweat and 
gag from the stench of 
always wet diapers . . . 
you are soft as 
petals on black orchids, 
more unique than 
snowflakes, yet they 
crush you with the 
sickness of dirty love, 
you are shown that 
miss anne is a 
Cinderella's mother, 
wicked witch of the 
west, stabbing you with 
Shirley temple kisses. 

black teen child 
you grow rough 
and vengeful 
and hopeless 
and bitter 

and wasted, 
from the nourishment 
of assorted white 

garbage 
America. 

you are taught to 
watchdog against 
your brother 
your sister 
your mother/father 
you bite at them 
tasting your blood, 
crying out to 
dark stars for 
freedom, 
you pant for love 
in dark cellars, 
lit by a dim, 
blues-bulb, you 
get high to rise 
up to level ground 



in your mind, 
for American chains 
weigh down your 
raging soul. 

black grown child, 
you have grown long 
vampire fangs from 
feeding on dead 

meat, 
America, 
you torment from being 
made allergic to 
yourself, taught to 
circle the world 
forever in search of 
your enemy/tail, 
you breath the fire, 
snorting the smoke 
of burning crutches, 
i know . . . they beat 
you every day, every 
way and you grow 
tired, blue as a 
loveless sentimental 
i know . . . they make you 
vomit endless tears, 
pissing out identity 
to be disposed of by 
white urinals. 

America 
you are played for a 
sucker, 'cause of your 
sweet/black heart, 
you watch thru 
tear bleached eyes as 
they eat you, 
piece by piece 
first your strong/black 
limbs, turned to 
jello against white, 
steel against black, 
then the mind is 
poisoned from nerve gas 
cigarettes 

marijuana 
hashish 

coke, Isd 
(love some death) 
heroin, 
while the hero rides 
in white suits 
on white horses 
over white media 
whiten, or bleach 

or drain 
life/color from 



once strong dark 

warriers . . . i knowww . . . 

she leaves you eyes 

to, to let you see 

what she has wraught. she 

lets you see her hand smack 

your face, oh god 

i know . . . i see your 

face, ironed on by 

white hot metal, 

kneaded into pale, beige/white 

putty, wrinkled as a 

prune and it's death. 

you throw smiles away 

unable to use them 

in hard/imposed lives. 

i know ... I see you 

beg on millions of 

hands and knees for a 

swift end to the 

torture 
America. I see 
you offered clean, 

black life and oh god 

i cry as you turn it away 
for whiteblack garbage, 

America, 
the black you do 
eat is molded by 
white germ, 

America 
and your mind 
and your eyes 
and your heart 
are trained to 

desert 
you. 

i see you cry 
mother, mother 
why . . . i love you 
and you hate me, 
i hate you and 
you kill me, why? 
my own mother . . . 
why .... 

stop weeping 
for whiteness, 
she is not your mother 
she is not your mother, 
she is a sick demented 
womandom, determined 
in patriotic madness to 
have a child/servant; 

it is unfortunate 



The Man 



The man is sometimes full of soul. 

The man is sometimes full of jive. 

The man thinks himself cool dressing to kill, 

Or getting a new sports 'chine. 

He thinks himself cool when he jives around with other woman 

When hes' married, 
The man thinks himself cool when he's gettin down 
making love with his wife's younger sister. 
Using her precious body to get his precious feelin. 
The man thinks his woman have to have broad hips 
and a protruding chest before he says you're all right for me. 
All they want is a one night affair, then they tell you it's 

not going to work. 
That's the way of life for the man. 

William Tate Age 1 3 



i i * r f 




*«S9 



Juan Durrthy 



11 




Bob Bellinger 



children, full of life — 

your life, my life, our lives 

loving, caring, truthful, happy children 

full of all the finer qualities of life 
(as of yet uncorrupted by any evils) 



too often, your needs are forgotten, but 
i will remember them, for you are 

a part of me that will live forever 

and if i give you strength and understanding 
you'll grow compassionate and strong 



grow strong, my child 

for you are our tomorrow 
i will also give you love as you grow 

so that our tomorrows will be filled with love 
(we will need plenty love to continue growing) 



children, full of life — 

your life, my life, our lives . . 
your future lies with us, my child 

and ours with you 

for you are our tomorrow. 



—RAB- 
ID/ 3/ 75 



12 




Black Youth 



13 years old and strung out on drugs, 

just one more to sweep up under the rug. 

He never stood strong and stout, one less nigger 

to worry about. But me, the needle is not my thing, 

can't let them hang me out on a string. Got to get 

ahead, and be cool, let them thinl< that I'm their 

fool. And then like a flash I will appear, then for 

once, they'll know I'm here! I want all Back to 

stand by my side, cause it's gonna be a hell of a 

ride. And when it's done we'll cry out loud. Yes my man, 



I'm Black and Proud! 



Robert Smith 



13 



The Waiting Room 



By Steve Masse 



You are a tiny flesh thing— remember? Your 
world is a slippery and slidey inside of a water bal- 
loon, full of water, warm and easy. You exist— you! A 
strange new concept. All of a sudden here you are, 
feeling something. You feel your body having fun, 
slipping and sliding around and around. Yes, the 
awareness is beginning to seep into your newly made 
body. Back and forth you slip and slide, just loving 
it. What's this? Some stubby soft limb finds its way 
to your mouth— your soft tiny mouth feels five tiny 
stubs on one bigger stub— you taste your fingers one 
at a time. The fat one tastes better— your thumb. It 
must be part of you, because your mouth can feel 
it and it can feel your mouth. They both feel each 
other. You can feel both of them! They must both be 
you— what fine innovations to slipping and sliding 
you have been provided with. A mouth and a thumb- 
both of them part of you! 

And thinking on this, you drift into your first 
embryonic sleep, thumb in mouth. 

Blm, Grb, blub, clp . . . You can feel a soft voice 
talking to another voice not so soft; that not so soft 
voice is distant, mechanical— sterile almost. But you 
are under the soft voice. Each time the soft voice 
moves you stop rocking to listen to it in your slippy 
sloshy home. You listen. That must be the one who 
holds you— you could almost trust that soft voice. 

While you are staying still, something causes 
you to move. You keep sloshing around towards the 
bottom of the water balloon, then bouncing up and 
down, down and up! You can not yet count stairs 
though— they are bouncy things which take you into 
the hospital. 

Suddenly you realize something you never knew 
before— something in front of your head— feels some- 
thing. Temptation. Light! Glorious shades of light. 
That's what those things in your head are for. But 
there's nothing in the light— it's just not the same as 
dark any more— you feel discovery! What else? What 
more is going to be so new! You are dying to find new 
feelings— new things. Such a long while ago you dis- 
covered fun. Then you discovered your thumb and 
your mouth. Bouncing. And now light. What later? 
What more glory could this all bring? 

Your thumb finds its way to your mouth, and 
you rock back and forth as the soft voice moves 



further out of the light. Perhaps it is also rocking, the 
owner of the soft voice— rocking back and forth in 
something— in a bigger water balloon? 

Suddenly it is all unlight again. Dark. The warm 
water balloon is getting uncomfortably warm for 
you. The soft voice is not so soft— it is what makes 
you feel like not rocking back and forth. Upset. But 
after a long while it is very quiet again. You feel bet- 
ter—almost . . . 

Perhaps the owner of the voice is sleeping— but 
you have not felt such a calmness in any of the voice's 
sleeping periods before. It is very calm, sedate . . . 

But you can sense some sterile voices in the dis- 
tance—how can one sleep so sedately while another 
speaks? 

All of a sudden you sense a nagging tug— some- 
thing pulling— drawing you. But you are not ready 
to go— your body knows that twelve warm weeks is 
not enough. You have yet to make preparations! The 
tugging gets more and more violent— more dizzying! 

It is too much . . . 

Your world has been rent. The sloshy slipping 
and sliding world has ripped open and the water let 
out— it closes in about you like a sucked in plastic 
bag! Everything becomes harsh and dry as you are 
plunged into acrid light. The bag is no longer contain- 
ing you, you have slipped out— but you burn! The 
air feels like lye and you choke and your body vomits 
for air and you are afraid! A mistake has been made. 
Your lungs are soo small— you try to breathe, but 
it hurts and your tiny tight-lidded eyes burn because 
the light is too strong. Your entire body is burning 
from the air as you shriek out a cry of anguish. You 
have been betrayed by the soft voice— there is no go- 
ing back. The eyes that burned from the magnesium 
light do not burn any more. All is black . . . 

Your body is twisted and mutilated and burning 
and anihilated as you spin dizzily into a gasping, 
choking black agony. Forever . . . 

You have lived long enough— you are no longer 
needed. They were afraid nobody would love or care 
for you as a child . . . 

©1972 

by Steve Masse 

all rights reserved 



14 




Ray Horner, Jr. 



15 



Our Lot 



16 



Though garbage cans in Harlem overflow 

With the tears of our anguished children. 

And we are the pebbles washed ashore 

By the high tide of America's economic bliss, 

The sea of love never dries up 

And there will come a day when the pebbles will stop wailing 

And their tears will give way to the lava of Life . . . 

For there will come the day, 

The day when our children will no longer dance to the puckering 

guts of America 
Nor join in the chorus of their belching voices . . . 

There must come tt.e day, 

The day when our time-beaten children in Harlem 

With their faces riddled with irrepressible poverty. 

Will rise up and tell New York City, 

"You are God's way of telling America, 'I hate you!' " 

And our children the world over will rise up and tell America, 

"You are God's curse to the world." 

That day will come, and come it must . . . 

For how long shall we leave our children 

Through whose faces the tractor of Love has been ploughing 

Die with nothing but wrinkled contours on their faces, 

Without dreams, 

And with legends untold and unsung dripping from their lips. 

How long . . . 

For how long shall we leave our children born sparkling 
Die like tainted brass 
How long . . . 

We must rise up and hasten the day, 

The day when our children shall rise up and tell the world 

They've been used for too long like toilet paper 

And now refuse to be flushed down . . . 

We must rise up and hasten the day come. 

The Day when our children shall no longer live 

A life barricaded by fear because of lost dreams and aspirations, 

Nor a life watered down by the tears that flow 

Because of vanishing hopes . . . 

We must rise up now and ask: 

Lord, how many of you are there 

And which one of you is doing this to us? 

Lord, if Thou would'st have us live 

Then why not let us carry our coffin on the back like a tortoise? 

Please Lord, come on now, tell us, please do. Lord 

Which is our Lot? 



TAH ASONGWED 

(Linguistics/UMass) 

October 28, 1975 



First Time 



I never will forget that day, 
Although it was so long ago. 
I was at school and out at play 
With all the kids that I did know. 

That little girl who made nne cry 

I could have beat cause I was bigger. 

But I just couldn't even try 

That first time I was called a nigger. 



Marlene Andrade 
©Copyright. 10-19-70 




Juan Durrthy 



Teardrop Knowledge 

(For the young students in Boston public schools.) 

I have discovered 

in the melted snow of puddled eyes, 



Learned 

from the floods that rage down 
the crevices of young, 
unweathered cheeks. 

Been educated 

by the saltwater lakes that lie in 
the valleys of thick lips . . . 

And the teardrops taught me that experience 
is sacred knowledge. 



Mungy Kimya Abudy 
© 1975 



17 



SAVED? 



A SHORT STORY 



by Bernard Nunally 



"I feels tired and I ain't don' dat much mo' thin any other 
day." Moses thought a while, lying restlessly under an 
ancient shade tree. Settling into a comfortable position, he 
began to review what had taken place earlier that day. He 
recalled the daily kiss from his mother than awoke him each 
morning. Dazed with sleep, he saw the saddened smiling 
expression of her face more up and away, becoming almost in- 
distinguishable from the darkness of early morning. Even 
though her strength had been drained by the previous day's 
tasks, she still rose and crossed the single roomed house to 
her bed, knelt and kissed her younger son who had slept with 
her because of illness. She moved to the center of the room 
where she stood with a shorter, thinner, less erect figure of a 
woman. The faint light of the morning sun began to show 
through the crevices of the house and as if the early light was 
a signal the two women quickened their movements. In a few 
moments, they were at the door exchanging kisses and 
mumbling goodbyes. The sun's rays strengthened giving 
clarity to the hazy country world. Moses' mother walked 
briskly towards the fields, as his grandmother watched 
protectingly from the doorway. 



n-n-it-n-^n-***************** 



"Awake up Moses! Boy its tim' ta get up! Its mid-day 
morning now, an' I don' let ya sleep few mo' hours since yo' 
Mama lef, "Granny said as she lightly shook him. 

"Yes'em," he yawned. 

"I's gonna need some kindlin' an' wahter 'fo breakfast. Git 
up Moses, I needs dose things." 

"Yes'em, Granny." 

"Granny, can I he'p Moses?" Junior asked pleadingly. 

"How ya feels dis mornin'. Junior?" she asked. "Ya was 
sick yestiday and las' nite." 

"I feels bette' now. Granny," Junior replied with a child's 
enthusiasm. 

"Aw' rite, go head, but be careful and don't git in Moses' 
way 'cause he got chores ta do," she answered busying 
herself about the table. 

Before Moses was dressed. Junior was standing next to 
him waiting anxiously to go. There was a special closeness 
between them. Although a little less than two years separated 
them in age, Moses was more than an older brother to Junior. 
The only other male in the house, Moses was strong, 
physically and mentally, he was respected by his elders and 
his peers. He was Junior's idol. Ever since his father's 
undiscussed death, Moses had assumed his role. 



"Git de bucket. Junior, an' I race ya down ta de creek." 

"Naw, ya git it, I's gonna beat ya t'day," Junior yelled as 
he ran out the door. 

"I catch ya, " Moses answered picking up the bucket and 
rushing to the door. 

"Junior! I said be ca'ful!" Granny called out reprovingly 
from the now distant doorway. 

Junior was yards ahead this morning. Moses had to stride 
harder than usual to overtake his younger brother. 

Exhausted, they reached the creek's edge and flopped 
down into the dewy grass to rest. They joked and played 
before settling down to the chores. Junior gathered small 
branches while Moses dipped the bucket into the creek to 
fill it. 

"I'll tak' de wahter back to Granny, Moses, " Junior said. 

"Aw' rite, Moses replied pouring some of the water out. 
Seeing this, Junior assuredly said, "I can tak' mo' wahter dan 
dat, Moses." 

"Dis wahter bucket is heavy, why don' ya tak' dis an' 
come back fo' some mo'." 

"But Moses, I can do it. I can! Let me try?" 

"Aw' rite." 

He filled the bucket to the brim and passed it to Junior. 
Struggling, Junior stalked off towards the house spilling 
water every step and stopping every few steps to rest. While 
gathering kindling for the fire, Moses started singing a few 
bars of his favorite Sunday song to make the chores lighter 
and to help quicken the passage of time. 

We are soldiers 
In the army 
We got to fight 
Although we have to die 
We have to hold on 
To the blood stained banner 
We have to hold it up 
Until we die 

"Moses! Moses! " Junior called. 

"I's over here, what ya want?" 

Junior followed his brother's voice to where he was. He sat 
the bucket down next to him. 

"Granny said she wanted a full bucketo' wahter an' not 
just' a ha'f empty one," Junior whispered meekly. 



18 



Moses quickly spun around and saw that most of Junior's 
pants were soaking wet. He roared with laughter and Junior 
slowly began to laugh too. Moses walked over to Junior, 
picked up the bucket and gave him a reassuring tug. He 
refilled the bucket, loaded Junior and himself with kindling 
and headed home. 

"How ya'U dis lawd's day mornin'? " Old Miss Queenie 
said in her shrill voice. 

"Fine. How ya doin' Miss Queenie?" they replied in 
unison. 

Eyeing Moses, she said, "Moses ever' time I sees ya, looks 
like ya is gittin' bigger and bigger. You' only bout seben, 
ain't ya?" 

"Yes'em." 

"But you's big as dem ten an' eleben year olds. Boy, ya 
sure got yo' daddy's blood an' yo' Granny's mind. By de way, 
tell yo' Granny an' Mama I says he an' I's gonna be stoppin' 
by to chat fo' a spell. And tell yo' Granny I mite be needin' 
her ta vision fo' me." 

"Ya needs some he'p wit' dat wahter bucket. Miss 
Queenie? " 

"Naw Junior, I got many mo' cotton harvest lef in me. 
Thanks ya anyway, honey." Peering at Junior she said, "Boy, 
you's too big to be habin' accidents in yo' pants." 

She moved on to the creek. The boys continued. The light 
morning air was mixed with many aromas and sounds. 
Nearing the house they heard Granny's deep contralto voice: 

Dis little light of mine 

I'm gonna let it shine 

Dis little light of mine 

I'm gonna let it shine 

Dis little light of mine 

I'm gonna let it shine 

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. 

As they approached the house, they saw Granny outside 
stirring the simmering grits in the black kettle which dangled 
over a flaming kindling fire. 

"Bout time ya'll gits back, breakfast almos' ready. Then 
changing her tone, Granny commented, "Moses, why ya 
sends so little wahter up here? Boy ya knows I needs mo' 
wahter dan dat to do my work." 

Moses peered at Junior and futilely replied, "I's sorry 
Granny, I don't knows what I was thinkin' 'bout when I sent 
up dat wahter." 

Granny turned slowly, her head held up proudly, her 
useless eyes staring at the clear sky, and grinning slyly said, 
"Moses, ya knows better, now it gonna take all mornin' long 
fo' Junior's pants ta dry!" She boomed with laughter and the 
boys shared her merriment. 

Almost as instantly as it began, the laughter ended with 
Granny's command to Junior to bring the big serving bowl 
for the grits. Junior headed for the house at once. Granny 
then directed her speech to Moses: 

"Moses, I want ya ta stay out de way o' dat white trash an' 
o'er seer, Phillips. Yo' Mama was tellin' me dis mornin', an' I 



been hearing talk, too, 'bout putting' ya out in dem fields 
b'fo ya is eight summers old. Dat ain't till nex' summer." 

Junior returned to the yard. Although not completely 
understanding, he knew something was wrong by Granny's 
expression. 

"He's a mean one like all de rest. Ya stay out o' his way, ya 
hear." 

"Yes'em, Granny, I will." 
"Here's the bowl. Granny." 

"Thanks ya. Junior. Let me dip des here grits so's we can 
eat." 

Granny, followed by her two grandsons, entered the 
house and took her seat at the table's head. Junior sat the 
bowl on the table and he and his brother situated themselves 
in perscribed positions on opposite sides of the table. 
Granny bowed her head and started a moaning blessing; 

Lawd let thy lovin' light shine in this little house dis 
mornin'. We wants ta thank ya fo' dis here food ya 
don' gib us. We wants ta thank ya fo' lettin' us see 
'nother day. And fo' keepin' yo' mighty protectin' 
arm 'round us an' my chillin'. Fo' ya made girls ta 
b'come womens an' boys ta b'come mens. Fo' ya 
knows dat when ya in Eg'ptland ya gota have a 
mighty burnin' fire inside ya or Old Pharoah 'ill 
stop ya steps. In de name o' de fath'r, an' de son, an 
de holy g'ost. Amen. 

"Amen," Moses and Junior responded. 

Believing that her prayers would be answered, she lifted 
her head and began to fumble about the table for two small 
bowls Moses handed them to her. She spooned grits into 
the small bowls giving larger portions to the boys than to 
herself. She sat in the only chair of the house while the 
boys went to sit on their straw bed. Since her talk with 
Moses, a pensive air had engulfed them. They started and 
finished their meal in silence. 

"Granny, ya don't mind if I goes down an' checks my trap 
ta see if I done caugh't somethin' las' nite? I ain't caug't 
nothin' in mo' dan a week. I set it up speci'l las' nite an' I 
feels kinds lucky t'day," Moses said trying to break the 
silence. 

"Go head boy, I ain"t got dat much fo' ya to do t'day." 
"Can I go too. Granny?"' 
"Awrite, Junior, go head." 

They gathered their dishes quickly and piled them into the 
serving bowl and headed towards the door. 

"Junior." 

""Yes"em, Granny?"" 

"Here, " she said holding out an empty sack, "why don't 
ya tak' dis here sack an' pick some berries an" thangs, if ya 
sees any? An' maybe dis way ya won't spill nothin' on yo' 
pants cause I don't thank dey dry yet from dis mornins' 
wahter." 

Barely finishing the sentence, she began chuckling. Junior 



19 



ran over and got the sack from his Granny and followed 
Moses out the door. 

"Now don't ya spill nothin' on yo' self." she repeated. 

Now that it was late morning, the day had become rather 
hot and humid. They raced to the creek's edge. As they 
travelled, one of the snowy fields came into view. They stop- 
ped a while and watched some of their friends working in the 
field. This was the time of the year when the soil needed 
much care and their friends worked even harder than usual. 
At the far end of the field, a man abruptly straightened 
himself from his shoveling position, as if to cast an in- 
tolerable weight from his shoulders. Massaging the small 
of his back with his large powerful hands, the young man 
vacantly glared at the heavens as though he expected some 
long overdue relief. He stared, waited and eventually 
lowered his head in disgust. Perfunctorily, he returned to his 
cringing position. 

Moses and Junior continued their journey alongside the 
creek, quickening their strides as they neared the wooded 
area where the trap was laid. 

"Hey Moses! Hey Junior! Where ya'll headed ta?" 
"Gain' ta check my trap, Luke, ya want ta come?" 
"Naw, I got some stuff ta do fo' Big Mama. I see ya'll later 
on. Hopes ya catches somethin'. See ya . . ." 

As Luke went on his way, Moses sighed with relief, "Ya 
know, he got a big mouth an' I hopes he don't go tellin' what 
I'd doin'. Junior. 'Cause if Phillips find out he'a get me and if 
we catch somethin' he'a take it er'way and keep it fo' hisself . 
Come on, lets go," Moses said. 

They finally reached the small thicket. Junior started 
picking berries from a patch he found and Moses went to his 
trap. He found that the trap had been triggered each morning 
for more than a week. Last night he had prepared it specially 
so that any jarring of the bait would cause the box to fall 
instantly entrapping the prey. Coming closer, he feared that 
his trap had failed again, but as he approached and kicked 
the box lightly he heard the frightened squeal of his prey. 

"We got somethin'. Junior, we done caug't somethin'!" 

Junior dropped his sack and ran towards the excited voice, 
"What ya git. Mosses! What ya git!" 

"I don't know, but de way dat box'a jumpin', its big. Find 
me a stick sos I can kill it!" 

Junior scurried off looking for an appropriate stick. 
While he searched, Moses called informing him that they 
had caught a large grey rabbit for supper. Junior found an 
old heavy branch and rushed back to Moses. 

"Willdisdo?" 

"Yea Junior, dats fine, now ya hold dis box so we won't let 
t'nites supper git er'way." 

They worked together. Junior went in back of the box and 
held it tightly as Moses lifted the lid and repeatedly plunged 
the stick into it. When he was certain the rabbit was dead he 
lifted the trap and they proudly viewed their prize. 

"Junior, Granny gona cook meat t'nite, ain't she?" 

"Yes, she gona cook meat t'nite!" Junior repeated. 

"Hey, I's gona hang dis rabbit up an' let it drain, sos ya go 



head an' finish pickin' dem berries sos we can go sho' 
Granny what we got." 

"Awrite." 

They both rushed themselves to complete their task. 
Moses drained the rabbit and Junior filled the sack with 
enough berries to last a couple of days. 

"Is got 'nough berries, Moses, ya ready?" 

"Awrite Junior, lets go home den." 

Leaving the woods, they retraced their path up the grassy 
creeks edge, past the field and hurried home. 

"Granny! Granny! " Junior called. 

"Ya'll back al'ready?" 

She stopped stirring the boiling clothes, turned to them 
and said, "What ya'll done got?" 

"We got a bunch o' berries an' Moses an' me done caug't a 
big ole rabbit!" 

Slowly she lowered her head and blindly studied her image 
of Moses. A lofty smile inched its way across her wrinkled 
face saying, "Moses, dats good." 

He understood. She turned then to praise the younger boy. 

"Junior boy, ya b'comin' a mightly big man der! Ya don a 
good job too. Ya'll go head and take dem thangs inta the 
house an' I git ta dem rite after I finish dese here clothes. 

As she had instructed, they entered the house, placed the 
berries on the table and the rabbit in the empty water bucket. 
For a moment they stood and admired their contribution to 
their daily substance. They were both pleased with their 
personal praise. 

"Mornin' Masa Phillips. How you doin' dis Lawd's day 
mornin'?" Granny greeted him compromisingly and loudly 
to signal the boys. Understanding her signal, they hurried 
about the room hiding their morning success. 

"Carrie, where's that grandson of your'n, Moses?" 

"He in de house Masa Phillips, he an' his brother ben 
feelin' rite poo' here lat'ly." 

As if ignoring her words, Phillips tersely continued, "We 
got a large crop this year an' I done decided that that boy, 
Moses is old enough to work in the fields. Call him out 
here!" 

"He an' his brother been sick." 

"Call him out here, I say!" 

In defiant hesitation Granny called to Moses, "Moses, 
Moses I want ya ta come out here." 

Hearing Granny's defense, Moses malingered from the 
house. 

"Boy! You better rush your black ass out here. If I have to 
make you hurry, you'll be sorry!" Phillips barked. 

In a bravodish way, Moses entered Phillips' glare. 

"Boy, you be in them fields in the morning with your 
mammy!" 

"But he ben sick, Masa-" 

"Shut up, old woman. He"s sick? Hell! That ain't never 
stopped my niggas from working before. Boy, I best see you 
out there with your mammy in the morning. 

"But . . . Masa Phillips . . ." 



20 



"Don't you be late, cause if you is I got something waiting 
for you and you'll regret it!" 

Phillips marched away. Allowing for their distance to 
increase, Granny inaudible mumbled something as if to curse 
upon her foe. Moses' recalcitrance lost its mask. Entering 
the yard. Junior quietly witnessed and absorbed their mood. 

"Sometim' ya wonder why, days like dis here gits to come. 
Time's I wonder why we is so down an' dey is so up. It tak' 
ya back some. Make me wonder if ya gots ta make life a' new 
o' wait fo' it ta git better. Moses, I an' you knowed dis day 
was a comin'." 

"Yes'em, Granny, we knowed." 

"Moses, my growin' Moses, 1 wants you an' Junior go 
head on wid ya'lls' frien's whiles ya got time." 

Obeying Granny, Junior walked towards their daily play 
area. After taking a few steps, he felt that he was alone. 
Looking over his shoulder, he saw Granny and Moses 
implanted, intensely staring at each other as if sharing all 
thoughts. 

"Go on now, b'fore de heabiness o' dis life falls on ya." 

"Yes'em." 

Slowly Moses turned and walked away. They were silent 
from the house to the play field. The distance seemed 
unusually long. The mood lingered as they neared the shouts 
and laughter of their aging friends. 

"Las'nite, nite b'fore 

Twenti fo' robbers at ma do' ..." 

"I be de mama, you be de baby an' you be de . . ." 

"I got up an' let dem in en hit dem in de head wid a . . ." 

"Hey Moses an Junior, come on an' play some tag!" 

Knowing that tag was Junior's favorite game, Moses said, 
"Go head Junior, an' play." 

"Ya comin'?" 

"Naw, I gona tak a walk, I be back an' git ya so's we can 
go home t'gether." 

With childhood enthusiasism. Junior ran out with his 
friends to play. Moses watched for a while as his brother 
became totally involved in play. 

"You it. Junior!" someone shouted. 

"You ain't tag me," yelled Junior. 

Moses turned and walked away. "Guess I shou'd be tired 
from now on . . ." he thought as he stretched out in the shade 
and closed his eyes. 



*********************** 



Moses woke with a cool breeze kissing his face. It was early 
evening now and the summer day was slowly coming to its 
end. Unhurriedly, he sat up, stretched, yawned, sat a while 
longer and mused about the freedom of animal life and his 
coming fate. Remembering that he and Junior were to return 
home together, he rose and left the soft protection of the 
shady tree. Reaching the play field, he saw only a few 
children still there. 

"Moses, I ben waitin' fo' ya. You awrite?" 

"Yea Junior, come on, let's go home." 



"Ya know Moses, eber'body was askin' where you was." 

"Yea?" 

"An' 1 tol' dem ya was gona have ta work in de fields, an' 
eber'body kept sayin' ya was awmost a man!" 

The world became silent to Moses. The time, the day, his 
being appeared to have lost its essence. His thoughts 
surrounded nothing but his supposedly becoming a man. 

"How ya'll doin'. Granny asked, sitting in the chair. Junior 
responded immediately that he was fine. Seconds passed 
before Moses realized they were actually home. He 
nebulously answered, he was fine and walked over to their 
straw bed and sat beside his brother. Silence engulfed the 
room until Junior asked, "Granny, tell us ah story please?" 

Granny rearranged the chair to command their full 
attention. She pondered for a few moments in search of a 
story. She started. 

"We come from a place long er'way from here cross a big 
sea. Moses an' Junior, our peoples ain't natur'l in dis Ian'. 
Mama us'ta say we hads o'r own way er livin' der in o'r Ian'. 
We was a proud, rich folk, havin' 'nough food an'nev'r was 
nobody's slaves. We was bough't ober here from Eg'pt Ian 
at de hands o' dis evil white man. 

Der was a many a battl's b'tween o'r people an' dem wite 
mens. Mama say dat o'r warri'rs foug't brave. Mama's 
daddy, a man call'd Okonkwo, ya'U's big daddy times over. 
He was a leader er warri'rs, a warri'r 'mong warri'rs. He was a 
proud respected man, er doin' an' not talkin'. When dat las' 
battle was ober, many was dead an' we was in chains. Mama 
us'ta say, look lik big daddy's spirit went out'a him. Likes he 
couldn't see him an' o'r peoples as slaves. Dey chained us, 
walked us an' put us on boats an' boug't us over here. Ya'U's 
big daddy a'most died on dew way over. Maybe cause he 
refus' ta eat de slop dey giv' him, maybe caus' dey giv' him so 
many beatin's caus' he had his own mind. Maybe caus' he 
hated his new fate. Well dey gots us ober here an' puts us in 
bondag' like de children o' Isra'l, cept dey couldn't git mens 
like ya'U's big Daddy ta be slaves. Dey whopped an' 
whopped an' look like dey brok' de natur'l life in dat man. 
Till one day, he said wouldn' worf livin' as slaves an' went 
out an' r'newed de battle fo' his freedom. Some mo' mens 
joined him an'dey killed an' boug't feared ta many a wite 
folk b'fore de was finely outnumber'd an' killed. But ya'll Big 
Daddy died a natur'l man. 

When Granny finished her story, she was completely 
exhausted. Sweat beaded about her worried forehead and 
gently rolled down her tired cheeks. Her small frame sagged 
as if it needed nourishment. Moses and Junior sat transfixed 
by her force and wisdom. 

"How ya'U? How ya'll?", a woman's tired voice repeated 
from the doorway. 

Junior jumped, ran to her and with his arms clasped about 
her neck announcing; "Mama, Moses an' me gona be mens. 
We is gona be mens. Mama!" 

Enbracing her younger son, she was obviously distressed 
by his pronouncement. She gazed at Granny and Moses and 
intuitively understood what had taken place. In a crying 
voice mixed fatigue and pride, she said; "I know baby, I's 
afraid ya'll gona be mens." 



21 




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23 



Work from the Che-Lumumba School 



October 31, 1975 
I was only ten years old when I first met Harriet Tubmen. The wind was 
howling. The rain smashed around our wagon. ... It was an old wagon full 
of cotton. Harriet was in the wagon watching the cotton making sure the cotton 
would'nt fall. All the cotton got wet and so did Harriet. We almost could'nt 
see because it was so dark. We took hours to get the cotton to the masters house. 
When we got there the master asked us what took so long and we told him and 
then we had to work double time in the plantation. We also got wipped. The 
place that I always saw her at was at the plantation picking goods. Some times 
I walked down the street and I saw someone getting wipped. Once I was thirsty 
for some more water but they would'nt give me some more so Harriet saw that 
I was so thirsty and she gave me some of her water. Once when everybody was 
eating she shared with other people. 

The people loved Harriet more and more every day. 

Vincent Sotolongo 10 years old 



The end 



Vincent Sotolongo 

Che-Lumumba School 

U. Mass- Amherst. 



I was only ten years old when I first met Harriet Tubman. The wind was 
howling. The rain smashed all around the wagon. The wagon was full of people. 
The wagon was very old. 

Harriet had scars on her back because her master whipped her. The path 
was crooked. The road were full of guards in the street. Harriet called her house 
the John Brown House. I was in Auburn, New York. Harriet was whipped when 
Harriet was a little girl, they transferred her from camp to camp. Harriet was a 
revolutionary women. They put posters that said dead or alive. Me an Harriet 
were very good friends, but before she died she said every one should be friend 

and not kill each other. 

Steven Ortiz 

Che-Lumumba School 

U.Mass. - Amherst 



24 



CHE-LUMUMBA LIBERATION NEWS 



Robert Earl Brown Framed 

Robert Earl Brown was tried because the police found the first Black man 
they could find to blame for robbing McDonalds. Two white women said that 
they saw him rob McDonalds. 

His mother, family, his Sisters and Brothers and people from the communi- 
ty were inside the courthouse to see what happened to Earl Brown. Outside, the 
police surrounded the courthouse. Judge Paul A. Tamburillo sentenced him for 
3-5 years. Earl Brown is in the Hampshire County Jail on Union Street in North- 
ampton. All help would be welcome. 



Sekou Lumpen visits Che-Lumumba School 

Sekou came from Alabama to Amherst to tell people how he and his Broth- 
ers were treated in Atmore and Holman prisons. The food had cockroaches, 
wire, worms, rat hairs and was brought to them at the same time as the floor toi- 
let was flushed. Guards hit prisoners who struggle to be treated as human be- 
ings and not like animals. 



25 



After School 

by Ellis V. Moss 
Amherst College 



I've always wanted to be tough. I wanted to 
walk down the streets and have everyone speak to 
me. Sometimes, when you walk the streets in the city, 
you can try to be nice and say hello and some people 
will just look away and keep on going. But if I were 
tough, I'd be respected and folks would have to 
speak to me: They'd say, ". . . hey, he's tough, so 
you'd better be nice to him." But, I never really was 
such a tough guy. 

I was a little angel. While in elementary school, 
my parents had told all of my teachers to punish me 
and call them if I ever got out of line. I figured that 
this meant that I'd get everything just short of death 
by a firing squad if I had gotten rowdy. So, I smiled 
often and said, "yes ma'am" or "no sir" to my el- 
ders. I feared corporal punishment worse than death 
itself, so I studied hard, and actually tried to be a 
good little boy. 

There were three of my classmates who took 
the same route home as I did. We'd talk loudly like 
all homeward bound fourth graders and laugh about 
everything from what guy liked which girl in the class 
to how one of our female teachers wore men's shoes 
(now that was hilarious; one of our prettier teachers 
wore big 1940-ish, pointed-toed 'boats'. I never could 
figure out why she wore those silly shoes back then 
and I still sit and laugh about that now and then.). 
These three guys were regular fellows, on my level: 
they laughed when I laughed and we were so close 
that we'd all drink out of the same soda bottle with- 
out wiping the top first. 

There was another kid who walked with us, 
Myron. He was taller and slower than the rest of us. 
He was big and dumb, not to mention that he always 
got his hair cut too short. His ears stuck out far 
from his nearly bald head and it made him look a bit 
like a monkey. We'd always kid him about how he 
looked like an overgrown chimp, but he would just 
walk along and ignore us. He was our punching bag, 
and since there were always four of us and one of him, 
he'd get pushed around by at least one of us every 
day. He'd whine for us to leave him alone, but he 
was never bold enough to try and make us stop play- 
fully slapping him across his smooth head. So, not 
only was he a big monkey, but he was a big, sorry sis- 
sy. Since he seemed to be afraid of us, we spent a lot of 
time just slapping Myron; is was something to do. 

Part of our daily after-school routine was stop- 
ping at a nearby doughnut shop for a little snack be- 
fore we started the truck home. One day, Myron was 
standing next to the counter looking stupid (as usu- 



al). He was standing there with his mouth hung open 
staring blankly into space. It was as if he was in a 
world of his own; but boy, did he look stupid! At 
first, I thought that it was really funny, but then I 
felt sorry for him. He seemed as if he was lost and con- 
fused. I suddenly felt that he was helpless and with- 
out a friend. 

I decided that I would be nice and gave Myron a 
dime and told him to buy himself a couple of dough- 
nuts (remember when doughnuts cost a nickle a 
piece?). I was proud of myself and I had done my 
good deed for the day. I felt sorry for someone and I 
sacrificed for that person. I was a good, sensitive kid. 
I was your basic good guy. 

The next day, when we were in the doughnut shop, 
I felt that the time had come for Myron to re-pay me 
for my kindness. After all, he did owe it to me. Being 
very diplomatic, I walked over to the big ape and asked 
for my dime. 

"Gee man, I'm sorry but I don't have it right now. 
Maybe tomorrow I can " 

"Whoa pal," I said, "so, you don't have it, huh?" 

"No, I don't have it now, but maybe later " 

As soon as he said that, and quicker than I had 
started to pity him the day before, I had made my 
mind: I knew that since he owed me money that I 
had every right to jump into his face and give him a 
beating until he paid me. It didn't matter whether or 
not he could pay me later. He owed me ten cents and 
he had to pay me one way or another, right then and 
there. I was a toughie all of a sudden. "I shuck and 
jive, but I don't play!" I was ready for action. 

There he was, a big, dumb, scarey, sissy and he 
wanted to weasel out of paying me! I mean, how bold 
could you get? I gave him another chance: 

"Say man, pay up right now or you're in real 
trouble; and I mean right now!" He had made me 
mad, but I didn't want to hurt the fool unless I just 
had to. But I could sense that I was going to have 
to lay that clown out sooner or later. It was his choice 
between paying me or fighting me. 

"But I don't have no money, look," he said as 
he pulled his pockets inside out, showing that he real- 
ly was broke. 

"You should have known bettet, but you're 
fixin' to learn a lesson." With that declaration and a 
homocidal spirit in my head, I jumped into the air 
and smacked Myron squarely in the jaw. Everyone 
jumped back and let him fall to the ground. They 
quickly formed a circle around us and waited for me 
to beat the pants off of him. 



26 



"Listen, I don't want to fight you; I can pay you 
tomorrow." 

'.'Myron is a chicken!", one of my friends yelled. 
I kicked Myron on the leg and made him fight like 
a man. I was so tough that I turned punks into men, 
even if it was only to have them fight and fall at my 
feet. I was unstoppable. 

I took the offensive and after taking several 
quick blows to my face, I realized that I had over- 
looked one thing: Myron was about four inches tall- 
er than I was, and his arms were longer than mine. 
Every time that I tried to get close enough to hit him, 
I'd get hit, right in the face. I knew that I was quicker 
and smarter than that big ape, but he would tag me 
pretty good every time that I came in too close to him. 
He just stood there and every time that I acted as if 
I was going to hit him, he'd smack me in the face. 

I had an audience to please and I took every- 
thing in stride: "Oh, those baby punches don't hurt! 
Not me! But you gonna pay me that dime! You can't 
hurt me! " That was one of the biggest lies that I have 
ever told in my life. I had rudely started a fight, then 



1 was right in the middle of getting the snot beaten 
out of me. I was sure that I would win because I was 
right. But I was wrong. 

I finally broke down and started to cry. For the 
first time as far as I knew, Myron smiled. He had 
won. He had beaten me badly; I wasn't bleeding, but 
my entire face was hurting. I lost my temper and 
made a man out of a sissy, at my own expense no less. 

I never did get my ten cents back but I got more 
than a dime's worth of learning about starting sense- 
less fights with people. I was hurt because I had made 
a fool of myself in front of all of my friends and got- 
ten my face battered. I thought that I was tough when 
I started the fight. But the tough part came when I 
had to own up to my friends, and to Myron, and 
admit that I had been wrong. It's always tough to 
admit that you're wrong. But for once, I was tough 
enough to admit that I had been wrong. So be tough, 
but be careful as to how you try to prove it. I had 
to be beaten before I realized what tough really is 
and just how tough I really wasn't. 




27 



Mom 



Although I never approved 

Of the way you brought me up 

1 always dug where you were coming from 

And even though our communication 

Went as far as the soap operas on T.V. 

I knew we had an understanding 

Because it was always what we didn't say 

that meant the most 

More times than not you always 

Thought me to be selfish and ungrateful 

But what you didn't know 

Was that I was grateful 

For being taught how not to be 

It would have been nice to tell you 

How much I felt your pains 

And shared your problems 

Even those you didn't know you had 

But then only you know 

That I couldn't possibly have had a 

Problem at my age 

So now that I'm well on my way to 1 7 

Going on 40 

I thought it would be nice 

To share something more 

Than our wardrobes 

Wanda L Givens 




Bob Bellinger 
Amherst 



28 





3h^ 




* ' 't 



Pawn Broker 



I'll take anything 

Anythang! 
You bring it, 
I'll take it 

Anythang 
Everythang!!!! 

Sorry lady 
I don't have 

no use 
for 

Babies 



William H. Smith 




Suffer my little child, place your head upon my chest 
Cry all the tears of sorrow, for I know you feel the unrest 
Mama's tried to protect you and raise you the best she could 
She's tried to be to you the mama that she should. 



Now it's time my little soldier, for you to sprout your wings 
To build a nation for your people and become a king of kings 
Be proud my prince of blackness, with head up high stand tall 
For through your perseverance you'll sing freedom for us all 
And when I'm laid to my rest, in deepest reverence sing 
All praises are due to me, for I have borne a king 



Cheryl (Niambi) Barboza 




Bob Bellinger 



30 




t 



Blackness 







Coming. j 

coming at me, at you, US, them ' 

Coming out of corners, alleys, middleclass america? 
coming out of rat-infested slums 

and the star-gazed galaxies of Hollywood? 
Coming from Harlem, Boston, Mississippi, L.A. 
Talking in Spanish, Black English and 

China-town slang. 
Saying "Que Pasa", whats happenin and 
meaning the same. 
Strolling down the streets with blue prints 
for positive tomorrows and memories of 
good yesterdays. 

Blackness, yellowness, redness, brownness, too 

Coming. 

coming at ME, you, them, us 
in all shapes, sizes and forms (just like Maidenform 

only more supportive and guaranteed not to 

stretch, bend, fold or wash away) 

Some with big bright eyes and runny noses, 
pissy diapers and tremendous lies. 

Blackness, 

tones, shades, hues of black, brown, red 

yellow too. 
coming at me, YOU, them, us 
breaking through that soft dark womb. 
Feet kicking, eyes scoping. 

Mind going, fist clenched tight 
and ready to fight. 

Blackness, 
coming. 

coming at me, you, us, THEM 
in non-returnable bottles. 

Denise Wallace 



t 






31 



^! 



FEB 24 1976 

IHBV- 6f MASS. 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 



The staff of the DRUM would like to thank: 

Brother Chester Davis for staying behind us and giving us his confidence in the DRUM, during 
our reorganizing period. 



For Articles: 



Page 

Johnetta Bagby 8 

Ellis V. Moss (Amherst College) 27 

Steve Masse 14 

Bernard Nunully 18 

Steven Ortiz 24 

Vincent Sotolongo 24 

Students from Che-Lumumba School for Truth 25 



For Poetry: 



Ruth Carter 
Susan Robinson 
Karen Emory 
Michael J. Weir 
R. A. B. 
Robert Smith 
Tah Asongwed 
Marlene Andrade 
Mungu Kimya Abudu 
Wanda L. Givens 
William Tate 
William Smith 
Cheryl Barboza 
Sandy Mclean 



6 

6 

7 

7 

12 

13 

16 

17 

17 

26 

11 

29 

30 

23 



For Photography: 



Bob Bellinger 
Ray Horner Jr. 
Michael Pearson 
Mel Smith 
Juan Durruthy 



12,26,30 
15,29 



2,11,17 



Front and back cover: 

Nelson Stevens 

Mural under the direction of Oletha Devane and Donna Jones (Summer Arts Program '75) 

The Editors would like to personally thank Sister Angle Small and Brother Roy Tiller for sticking with us 
during our trying times. 



And a very special thanks to this years DRUM staff. Don't know what I would've done without you. 



32 



Brothers and Sisters, 
Let us not become too involved 
within ourselves that we forget 
the injustices that prevail around us. 



Earl Brown and 

Craeman Gethers could have 

been you or L 



The Drum Staff 



IB24B7S 

'MfVj ©r MASS,