Put on display
Like an animal in a zoo
You’ve been recognized as
“The first Black to…”
What does it mean
Some sort of progress?
That you’ve proven
Yourself a success?
That you’re
Better than the rest?
No, all it means
Is just that
You’ve proven
You’re no threat
That you’ll go along
With the dance and song
For a pat on the head
You’ll turn your head
To the many outrages
That persist instead
Of making waves
Just a house slave
Falsely portrayed
As representing all of us in the fields
The degraded and neglected
Whose fate is sealed
By those
Whose praise you so cherish
While the rest of us perish
Their egos you’re stroking
To be their token
Taking great pride in being an exception
In the perception
Of bigots
Who by recognizing you are saying
The rest of us don’t measure
Is why you’re a treasure
A better cut of meat
All the others of us are scrap
Being “the first black to…”
Is just an ego trap
It’s really a slap
In your face
Saying you’re an exception
Within an inferior race
Then you’re placed
As a role model
For others of us to follow
How hollow
To be all for one
It should be all or none
Captured caged
Displayed in a zoo
That’s what it means
To be “the first Black to…”


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