Prison Radio
Steven Nicholson

This is Mr. Nicholson again from Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson, MI I just want to say before I start this poem, this is already getting ready to start off for the Juneteenth coming up in a couple of weeks, and I just want to say that I don’t want to ever perpetuate the idea that people should be victims. We are overcomers. However, if we don’t know our history, we are doomed to repeat it. So, this poem is called “Reconstruction Destruction.”

Hurricanes like Katrina and Ida slammed the Gulf coast, 

but them threats are lax compared to Louisiana’s other ghosts.

Google “Colfax.”

Eighty-one Blacks killed because of a vote that made whites mad.

Imagine that,

take that, take that, put that in your pipe and smoke that,

if you’re in to that.

Smoke, killing them like NC Wilmington in 1898;

more black hate over a vote helping their fate

destroy their whole town in less than a day. 

Well, you may say, what was the heyday of them things?

NC, Mississippi—hold up. 

Wait, what about DC? 1919.

Fake news, hyped hate against a boy,

making him a Negro fiend,

but that sounds like the knee

on George Floyd from 2019.

Wait! When was the heyday?

1819, 1919, or 2019?

What am I saying? 

Am I placing blame or pushing shame?

No, but I come in the name of Jesus for justice,

for towns, like in Arkansas named Elaine,

where two hundred whole families were not just maimed,

but slaughtered.

Yes, with their sons and daughters,

just for growing crops in open Plains.

So much for the amber waves of grain.

So, what am I saying?

I’m saying… needs replacing, 

‘cause y’all can’t hear the pain,

let alone see, like Ocoee, Florida in 1920.

The number was sixty. 

An amount, easy to count, 

really tiny and petite, when you look at the grand scheme.

Some may say, “Not too bad,” when compared to my other stats,

but damn that!

Sixty more Black souls stole before they began;

it’s still tragic and Machiavellian,

when Christians are supposed to save even the one lost soul

by leading them to the rose of Sharon.

The rose of Sharon.

The rose of Sharon inspires sharing of another Rose,

Rosewood the city in 1923.

The rose of Sharon rose from the wood of the cross and was not lost

but defeated death as the boss,

Yet, Rosewood’s loss

was staggering and caused stagnation over generations. 

So much so that, in 1994,

reparations in the form of tuition were given to Black children,

as if that’s fixing the riddling predicament we’re in.

Like, Oklahomans destroying Black Tulsans, 

destroying Black Wall Street over a lie.


Bombs of turpentine?


The mind to even drop them bombs while flying?


What the hell, guys?

Thousands of lives destroyed,

thousands of timelines,

and yet people can’t get it through their minds,

that repairs are needed by grieving with these people.

Let’s begin to see people,

be people,

believe in people,

don’t leave the people,

be for the people,

but never sell out people.

Be gods, people!

But come down from your steeple,

and rebuild with the people. 

Thank you guys, that’s it. And if you Google all those cities I mentioned, you will see all of the facts, true facts, about these stories. That’s it. Thank you guys.

These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.