Poetry Front Page

Lullabies for Black Boys

Tanka Lullabies for black boys 

we try to make sense
of why they kill our children 
seems black means attack
but we know black boys are stars
all that potential to shine 

mamas, we see joy
at  sight of every black boy
we need them to breathe
try to picture them alive
far into the future, shine

shine black boys, shine on
shine brighter than any star
we pray you go far
our lullabies are prayers
magic whispers while you sleep


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Filed under: Poetry Front Page


JP Howard is an educator, literary activist, curator and community builder. Her debut poetry collection, SAY/MIRROR (The Operating System), was a Lambda Literary finalist. She is also the author of bury your love poems here (Belladonna*) and co-editor of Sinister Wisdom Journal Black Lesbians--We Are the Revolution!  JP is a 2020 featured author in Lambda Literary’s LGBTQ Writers in Schools program and was a Split this Rock Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism finalist. JP is featured in the Lesbian Poet Trading Card Series from Headmistress Press and has received fellowships and grants from Cave Canem, VONA, Lambda, Astraea and Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC). She curates Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon, a NY-based forum offering all writers a monthly venue to collaborate. Her poetry and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in The Slowdown  podcast, Academy of American Poets, Anomaly, Apogee Journal, The Feminist Wire, Split this Rock, Muzzle Magazine, and The Best American Poetry Blog. Her poetry is widely anthologized. JP holds a BA from Barnard College, an MFA in Creative Writing from The City College of New York and is Editor-At-Large of Mom Egg Review VOX online.  http://www.jp-howard.com

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