Javon Johnson Arms Black Boys With Wisdom

javon jOnce upon a time, there was an African American man, riding in his car with his African American nephew.

The two are doing some uncle-nephew bonding, and the little boy looks at his uncle as the epitome of everything he would like to one day grow up to be.

Naturally, he looks to his uncle, his hero, for answers about life and all that it entails. As they ride along, he asks his uncle a myriad of questions, all of which the older,  wiser man tries his best to answer.


The boy is all childish exuberance; completely carefree…until a cop car goes by.

The cop car goes by, and suddenly, his childlike joy; his carefree boyhood, vanishes. For a moment, he is many years older. He says to his uncle the words that no child should ever have to say. He says, “Uncle, here comes 5-0, we better hide.”

Poet Javon Johnson is now forced to have “the talk” with his nephew; that talk that every mother, father, aunt, uncle, older brother and older sister must have with their young black relatives. He is forced to prepare him for a battle that he ought never to have to fight. Johnson says to his nephew, “Be black. Be a boy. Have fun. ‘Cause this world will force you to become a man far more quickly  than you’ll ever have need to.”

Listen to the heart-wrenching poem “Cuz He’s Black” below. Though it was written three years ago, it is still so relevant today.

By: Danielle Dixon

Follow her on Twitter: @tooprettydani

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