Assume the position
From the moment you emerged
Cryin’ as though you already knew
That you might be exchanging
One temporary confinement
For another.
Being black, being male
Totally out of your control
But you came anyway…
Assume the position
That being black and poor
And stayin’ in the “hood”
While your mamma’s prayin’
And she should
Though she done all she would
Not knowing that she could
Why you were left back and put in that “special class”…
when you could read the cereal boxes at age two.
But you…
Assume the position
Peering out of half-lidded eyes
As you stand on the corner cutting class with the guys
For the fifth time
One week into the semester
Pants hung low
For reasons you don’t know
Ask James…he’s out on probation this time.
 Assume the position
You with indignant stares
Why, how would they dare
Pull you out of the lineup
Flying friendly first class
To stand spread eagle.
And we smile.
‘cause it’s you this time
being defiled while profiled
You assumed your position.
 Assume the position
That conspiracy’s real,
Reparation won’t heal
And they aren’t gonna’ give it to you anyway.
‘Least not without a fight.
No forty acres
But sixty percent of those back on the plantation
Look like you.
Assume the position
That you are the smarter
With knowledge it’s harder
To put you in that cage
they keep building for you
While they sell you to the highest bidder
As cheap labor.
Assume the position
That before things get right
You must change your fight
To a level playground.
With zero tolerance for those who make excuses
For the deliberate lack of knowledge.
Ignore – ance is not bliss.
 Assume the position
That the choice is yours
To get down on all fours
Or stand on two feet
Be a man – not my “nigga ”
‘Cause you become his
Every moment you allow him to
Define you.