the Composition
for Honours Class,
Howard University,

  Authors & Artists


Faces & Voices 4
Faces & Voices 5

Mahogany Soul
Erika McDaniel
Maumee, Ohio - Marketing

Where are you blackman? Because, here am I.
Five foot, six inches of leg, breast and thigh.
I am the salt to your earth, the wave to your sea.
The rib to your side, the two to your three.
Three parts is what makes a man complete.
Mind, body, and soul is for what I compete.
See, I compete for your mind, not your attention;
To get to your thoughts, your ideas, your intentions.
And I fully intend to explore your soul,
To internalize your fears, your dreams, your goals.
My goal is to love every inch of your body,
And, oh, I do mean all two thousand parts.
Not just the rubbin’, the touchin’, the huggin’,
But the feeling that flows from ten thousand hearts.
Because I know you’re looking for the sista that stands by her man,
Who makes him the greatest and not just “better than.”
The type of sista who writes her man in lock down,
Who keeps it real for her him when he ain’t around.
One who will rise to success with him or accept his fall,
Because she knows it hurts him more than it can hurt her at all.
A sista who can take her man’s pride and glue it together piece by tiny piece.
A sista who makes you see fireworks with each and every kiss.
Black man, I know you come big and small, short and tall,
Dark or with crème and everything in between.
You are street professors, and professors of the street.
You do what you gotta do to bring home the meat,
You’re the baby daddy working with three mouths to feed.
You are separated by society into the shoulda, coulda, woulda’s,
And they woulda got’cha, if they coulda got’cha, but they shoulda known . . .
Shoulda known enough not to mess with a man who’s descended from ancient royalty.
Sons, princes and kings of Africa, robed in all your majesty.
You are the backbone of society because through all these plight-ridden years,
You’ve been tried and been tested, struggled, never rested and still you perservered.
Black man, you’re bold and you’re strong, you’re right and you’re wrong, you’re young and
you’re old . . .
Did I mention strong and bold?
You’re wise beyond your years; your ignorance brings me tears,
You’re proud and you’re humble, and yet you still struggle,
To press towards the mark set forth by the most high God.
You were made in His image and given this life to live in,
Because you’re the only one who can bear this burden, carry this cross, and get the job done.
You are the epitome of greateness, the paradigm of success,
The one that the Lord God did indeed bless.
There you are Blackman; I’ll come, you just stand.
Here I come Blackman, Blackman, here I am.

© 2002 Howard University
(First Published in limited print edition, An Anthology of Verse, Prose & Art, by the Composition for Honours Class, Howard University, Spring 2002. Professor E.R. Braithwaite)
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