Mov'in on Lyons avenue

Cover for Southern Exposure's Southern Black Utterances Today cover featuring a woodcut print of a Black man's face gazing upward, by Atlanta artist Lucious Hightower

This article originally appeared in Southern Exposure Vol. 3 No. 1, "Southern Black Utterances Today." Find more from that issue here.

Come, let me tell you

of this life fore me,

broken some crooked time.

I think it must come smooth at death,

is what they say,

but the living of it

drives an old 1932 car,

cause I'm Black,

but mov'in, you understand.


Got to stand

after they done shot our leaders.

But we learn to drive the car better now.

All us hands is on the wheel,

and we learnt to discuss things

inside, like Brother Malcolm said,

but we sho got to be sure

that all the members is in

and hears whats yayed and what's nayed.


They got us on this trip right now,

that so down that it don't let nobody the race.

Its some kind of something, gov'inment mess.

You don't git no job 'less the money come through

and when you do git it, you come to find out,

the gitt'in of the money gon be left solely up to you!

And on the very tip top of all that,

we keep on mov'in!


But its in a circle,

what bothers me so bad,

cause I likes spirals myself, you understand.

Spirals go up.


We get caught sometimes in traffic,

if it ain't the red gun shoot'in at cha,

its the green gun that say GO

while they still got hand-cuffs lacing your body.

But some way tother we move!


Now I'm liable to be in jail

the next time round this year.

Cause it be, I done got a little hunger pain

in my gut, and polk don't git it no more.

Yeah, we have a pretty rough go,

but we do keep on mov'in.