February 11, 2013

Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass
Father of the Civil Rights Movement

A long time ago
Maybe 1817
Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey
Came into being

He was born a slave
On the Eastern Shore
In Tuckahoe, Maryland
He was a house boy

Frederick learned to read
He learned to write
He had big dreams
But he had no rights

Frederick escaped for freedom
To Massachusetts up north
Gave up his slave name
And settled in Rochester, New York

DOUGLASS was the new name
That Frederick claimed
But an abolitionist and leader
Is what he later became

In New York Douglass conducted
The Underground Railroad to free others
The North Star newspaper
He created and published

After the Civil War
Douglass moved on to D.C.
Where he served as U.S. Marshall
And Minister to Haiti 

Frederick Douglass helped to shape
What we now know as history
He sought justice for all
Speaking bold words eloquently

He rose to the occasion
Of defending equal rights
For minorities and women
He was determined to fight

Douglass, the Great Orator,
Is known for many things
Activism, social reform
Writing and publishing

Frederick Douglass believed
In freedom for every man
He envisioned all of America
As a diverse and equal land

He advised U.S. presidents
And received many accolades
But Frederick Douglass is most revered
For helping to free American slaves.



Copyrighted 2004 Latorial D. Faison
from 28 Days of Poetry Celebrating Black History by Latorial Faison

Poetry Workshops by Latorial Faison
www.latorialfaison.com | crosskeyspress@aol.com

February 03, 2013

Riding the Bus with Rosa Parks


Riding The Bus With Rosa Parks


Their skin was white
Her skin was black
So they told Rosa 
"Move to the back!"

She could have moved 
To the back of the bus
But one day she chose 
To make a fuss

A good fuss it was
A good fuss indeed
For a group of people 
In so much need

Because she stayed 
And did not budge
She was jailed 
Then she was judged

Mrs. Parks believed 
In equality
Now we can sit
Anywhere we please

The front, the back 
Whatever seats we choose
All because Rosa Parks
Just would not move

If I were on a bus
With Rosa Parks
I would thank her
For being bold and smart

I would thank Mrs. Parks
For thinking of me
On that important day 
In our history

If you were on a bus
What would you do
If Rosa Parks 
Sat next to you?


Poem copyrighted February 2006 Latorial Faison
from 28 Days of Poetry Celebrating Black History

Poetry Workshops by Latorial Faison


January 30, 2013

Black History for Young Readers

Get this Trilogy Collection 
with poems for Young Readers!

28 Days of Poetry 

Celebrating Black History 

Volumes I, II & II

Read Press Release for latest volume.


October 17, 2012

Ruby Bridges: Brave Step

Ruby Bridges' Brave Step
by Latorial Faison


The year was 1960
The day, November 14th
When a little Black girl
Was brave in New Orleans

Her name was Ruby Bridges
Some called her Ruby Nell
She lived through segregation
And gained quite a story to tell

William Frantz Elementary
Would never be the same
It was no longer a White school
The day that Ruby came

On her first day of school
She was so strong and proud
She stepped boldly without stopping
Through fiercely threatening crowds

There were people filled with hatred
Who told Ruby to go back home
They did not want integration
They taunted Ruby to make it known

But little Ruby had protection
Her mother, US Marshalls, and her God
As she stepped into this new school
Her teacher, Ms. Henry, won her heart

Ruby was, sometimes, afraid
But she prayed and continued on
With her family, teacher, and community
She weathered integration’s storm

Ruby Bridges’ experience
Is a significant part of history
Her unwavering faith and courage
Resulted in what we now see

Schools all across America
Integrated and diverse
Children of every color and creed
Learning together, breaking the curse.



Copyrighted February 2012 Latorial Faison
from 28 Days of Poetry Celebrating Black History Volume 3 (2012)


Poetry Workshops by Latorial Faison

The Plight of Sojourner Truth

The Plight of Sojourner Truth
by Latorial Faison


Her name was Isabella Baumfree
born to slaves Betsey and James
In Ulster County, New York
Dutch slave owners created their names

Isabella was one child of many
Yet many siblings she never knew
This was just one form of cruelty
That slavery put her through

She was sold to new slave owners
Along with a lot of sheep
Because she spoke Dutch intead of English
She was beaten with rods of heat

But Isabella did learn English
And in 1828 she was freed
She became a spiritual spokeswoman
And then she began to preach

Isabella changed her name
Calling herself Sojourner Truth
And this name was quite fitting
For all of the noble work she would do

She befriended some devout Quakers
Who encouraged her spiritual growth
With her will to help the underprivileged
She strived onward, under oath

She sojourned to liberate the enslaved
And she spoke up for all women's rights
She travelled a many dangerous roads
In search of higher heights

Sojourner was a charismatic orator
And her most famous words
Spoken at a convention in Akron, Ohio
Impressed every woman who heard

"Ain't I a Woman?"
Declared Sojourner Truth
Demanding equal rights for women
She sought to kill injustice at its root

She campaigned for the government
In search of land for free slaves
She preached the Word of God
And helped lost souls to be saved

It was a long, hard life
But Sojourner vowed to do it again
She saw it as her plight
To help the disenfranchised win

Sojourner was no ordinary woman
She stood nearly six feet tall
The voice she gave to the oppressed
Was her most significant contribution of all


Copyrighted © February 2007 Latorial Faison
from 28 Days of Poetry Celebrating Black History Volume 2


Poetry Workshops by Latorial Faison

October 17, 2006

My Daddy's a Soldier


















My Daddy's a Soldier
by Latorial Faison, Poet & Author

My daddy's a soldier.
He has a special job.
Serving our country,
He works really hard.

He wears a special uniform.
It's camouflage brown.
Protecting people's freedom
Is what his job's about.

Daddy's job keeps him busy,
His fellow soldiers are really nice.
But they often take long trips
And are gone for many nights.

I still remember the day
When my Dad prepared to leave.
That he was going far away,
I just could not believe.

Who would read me stories,
Tickle me at bedtime,
Tuck me in each night,
Get me to school on time?

Then Daddy reminded me
Of all the things moms do.
He said "Your Mommy loves you.
She cares for you too."

He said "Listen and obey,
And always help out.
For I'll be back soon.
Don't worry, and don't pout."

Daddy put on his uniform,
And kissed us all good-bye.
Then he boarded an airplane
That took off into the sky.

I was feeling quite sad,
But only for a while.
For Dad's duty overseas
Would help another child.

My Daddy's a soldier,
A U.S. Army man.
His job often takes him
To far away lands.

At night I think of him
Whenever He's far away,
And long for the day
That he'll be home to stay.

Mom says that I will miss him
Because I love my Dad a lot,
But even when he's gone,
He's right here in my heart.

So I keep telling myself,
Sometimes over and over,
That I have a right to be proud
Because my Daddy's a soldier.





Poetry Workshops by Latorial Faison

May 18, 2006

Sunny Days

Sunny Days
by Latorial Faison


Oh how we love
Each sunny day
We get to run

And jump and play

At home or school
On slides or swings
Inside, outside

Alone or in teams

We laugh, we dance
We sing, and shout
What sunny days
Are all about


On sunny days
So filled with joy
We're always ready
To play some more.


Copyrighted © April 2006 Latorial Faison

Poetry Workshops by Latorial Faison
www.latorialfaison.com | crosskeyspress@aol.com