By Melvia Miller ---

... from her book: “all folks were created equal”

…slavery ended in 1865
but some folks seem to want to keep it alive
they continue to think--- “yassa massa”
and to love to serve or please their oppressors

they want no association with anything ‘afro’
toms play the role of the happy negro
an even if they are emancipated
freed or liberated
the tom don’t want to go

these people we refer to as ‘toms’
they are docile and support everything but their own
they are glad that mavericks had them in slavery
and are grateful for each little condescending

toms have been brainwashed to live as nitwits
to be satisfied even if his cupboard is down to its
last grits
but for a tom…all that is OK
cause massa gonna change his bad habits
…(tom thinks) one day

toms do not want other blacks
to do anything to make their boat rock
they have been scared to chills
by a society that has shown them the real ugly deal

this role began in Amerikkka’s south
where slaves had to hush their mouths
if they wanted to live and eat
and not be subject to getting constantly beat

toms were created by the Jim Crow system
they adapted a behavior to be able to fit in
they shuffle, they grin, they lie, they lick and lap
and if necessary to get a pat
on the head…they will even do a dance in tap

and don’t let tom get any authority
starved for dignity---any deviation tom will attack
tom will arrest his mama if she don’t act
they mammies are s’pose to be

modern day toms of the 21st Century
are absolutely the most pitiful species of humanity
they swallow the status quo
with all its injustices and woes

if we must place the blame
for this horrible condition of making minds lame
put it square upon society’s worst
upon those who perpetrated the African holocaust

a great black writer once described
”We wear the mask that grins and lies….”
an excellent analysis of the backward…
Well said!!!-- Mr. Paul Laurence Dunbar !


The poem and others are available in books by author
Melvia Miller

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