John Slaughter’s Poem for Gentrification is WEIRD! The Ride
For those of you who attended Gentrification is WEIRD! The Ride, you may remember the powerful poem that John Slaughter shared with us. Well, there is a longer piece of poetry that John would like to share with you. In the words of Laquida Landford, “I feel honored to have shared the community platform with these beautiful people who have experienced great pain from their city and neighborhood being gentrified. When John read this to me, it brought tears to my eyes, because I could hear his pain, sorrow, and passion behinds these words.”
Gentrification is weird…
Keep it moving!!!
Black folks have many sayings,
And one of them is “keep it moving”…!
Well, we stole if from the white man, as he tried to bark orders and give demands, the white man officer would say, “keep it moving” as blacks just went about their business, enjoying our day…
You remember the K-9’s they would sick on us, and hoses they would they spray, and the crazy racist things they would say…?!?! Yes people let’s not cause trouble, and, keep it moving…! It’s all Coming back to present day, even today!!!
“Keep those pics moving” the white boss man with a gun would say. on the chain gang and when the rail road moved this westward way, and made living for us blacks a left coast thang, we bang til this day as we continue to move…!
“Keep it moving” the slave master would say, as the negro slaves picked cotton all day, trying to keep his mind and body moving, away from whips and chains, words used to degrade, when weapons weren’t enough…Now, they leave us in the middle of streets dead still handcuffed…!!!
Enough is enough…another saying but…
But as we Pedal, bike, and journey our way to making a change today, we must remember that black people have always kept it moving…
We kept it moving like road runners when they hurried us to the numbers and swore that u could move and come back anytime-
We kept it moving to Vancouver and we latched onto the cheap rent like Cougars on black men driving way too fast across the I-5 or 205 bridge, just to have a good time…!
We kept it moving to Beaverton and all the way out to Hillsboro and into the hills and past- right past the Oregon trail where the settlers traveled with Lewis and Clarke, to tillamook and Kilchas, one of the NW first blacks on the map…!
They moved us from Van Port to Mississippi, to Fremont for a start. Past Union way now MLK, and now has forever change the hood, for now we have Alberta Arts…!
We kept it moving to the North, to the Ville, where blacks still live and chill & prosper- Blacks have been promised the chance to buy back but get jacked, and 82nd is the new Cully, past Powell, and past Foster…we be move’n!!!
We kept it moving to the east coast, back to the west coast, and off to a new coast far away from America’s boarders…
We kept it moving to Historic black schools, to other countries with less rules, to other lands where there is no demand for us to keep it moving…! America keeping it corporate!
I grew up on 8th and Wygant off Alberta when the entire block was covered by nothing but blacks…North East Portland used to crack, and even whites knew this block was hott and this is where that bomb chicken was cooked at Alberta Street Market, better known as Jacks…now black people visit Portland and I drive them by my parents house, I tell them this is where the hood is, and they ask “where are all the blacks at???”
And u know us blacks, keeping it moving is where all the dancing and moving, body grooving is where it’s at…
We kept it moving, kept our body soothing as
We created dances from animal movement, mimic other cultures for our own amusement, and pop-locked, break danced, ballet til our feet don’t stop, and moon walk, crip walk, until the moving is useless and we are dancing to no music…! Still moving…maybe to ur own song…and the beat goes on…!
We kept it moving on soul train, 106 & park, American bandstand, and planet rock!
So now we say “keep it moving” for the up and up and for things to get gone. for things to keep it pushing, and for things to move on…!
We say “keep it moving” for the next best big thing to come- We say “we keep it moving, baby we move’n up” like method man when u ready to have some fun!!!
We have kept it moving more then anyone in the history of human kind, as we have kept it moving as we were stolen from our own lands, customs, & freedoms! For real. We kept it moving from slave ships, to wave kits, and now we are slaves to the hand held device we call a camera/cellphone-
And I have no problem moving and keeping it Loui or Gucci as I am happy where my family lives and that’s where we call our home!!!
We have kept and will Continue to keep it moving until We are satisfied, and we have just begun to ride, we will keep it moving all the way to the limits to where the sun don’t shine and until we No longer want to ride, options aside, and until we are seen as equal, we will keep it moving anywhere we need to be, we will keep it moving please believe, we will always keep it moving,
Until we are all equal and free to be!!!
By John Slaughter