The Lost Boyz in the Hood

The Lost Boyz in the Hood In light of the recent launch of the new Blade miniseries on Spike TV, a striking metaphor exists between that of its protagonist and the plight of today’s African-American male. Due to the fact that Blade is a vampire (therefore casting no reflection) as well as of obvious African […]

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The Lost Boyz in the Hood

In light of the recent launch of the new Blade miniseries on Spike TV, a striking metaphor exists between that of its protagonist and the plight of today’s African-American male. Due to the fact that Blade is a vampire (therefore casting no reflection) as well as of obvious African descent, we have a double entendre that speaks to the very nature of how Black males are viewed in America. For those (hopefully many) familiar with Ralph Ellison, we can recognize the irony in this when recalling The Invisible Man; his prolific novel which catalogs the intolerance of America through the travels and travails of its nameless main character of color.

Mos Def once noted that ‘the invisible man’s got the whole world watching.’ Indeed we do, but in what capacity does society chose to view what it can’t see? For most, in the absence of light, the darkness can skew one’s vision and fill the mind with frightening thoughts. Enter the camera-luminous radiance of the media which casts a shadow on said image that many have not seen and do not want to see. After all, society’s success (or failure for that matter) is often gauged by whomever is deemed to be its worst representation.

Recalling The Lost Boys, a typical all White 80’s movie about vampires and the classic Boyz N the Hood movie of the 90’s, we see in the mixture of the two, a depiction of what the media has spun Black men into. We are a hybrid: half invisible man, half Manchurian candidate. One who has no identity outside of what has been created of us and propagated into our own self-image and the image unseen by our peers. An image which can cheapen our potential and lower the expectation and importance of our place in the world unless we begin to refocus the scope of the lens and redefine ourselves as men of value and substance.

* The term "Manchurian candidate," spawned by the book and later films, refers to an individual who has undergone brainwashing and / or mind control with the intent of creating a "Sleeper" personality within that individual.


“The Lost Boyz N the Hood”

While Just Another Black Girl Lost

is low on the marquise,

Lost boyz in the hood

are shown constantly.

Displayed across the

prompts of TV –

it’s a bittersweet limelight.

Underlined and underlying

like a Sharpie’s peak,

Our best efforts are undermined

by the parts we keep…

It’s an odd odyssey to see

our littered debris on primetime.

It trips me out when

our illiteracy gets highlights

Along with sky high criminally

minded hindsight.

We can’t escape justice’s blind eye –

the news coverage is smotherin’.

But when Quadrevion and Purvis

go missing in Wisconsin,

Prompts in the papers surface slow

like a whispered conscience…

They’re more quick to respond

when we’re robbin’ and plunderin’.

This blind eye turned

to invisible men

Is primed by the spurn

of our divisible skin.

We’re a critical blend

like Blade the ‘daywalker.’

While our best potential’s

ignored by the masses,

Our worst credentials

are exploited and blasted…

We’re in immortal caskets –

stuck in a past tense like JJ Walker.

We’re the mirrors of

a parasitic society

Reflecting its transparent

spirit of primacy.

They’re killin’ us silently with

silver tongues and Billboard bullets.

From the slick press depicting

that we die in the streets

To pigs pressin’ profiles illicitly

keepin’ eyes on me…

Why is our mystique exclusively

seen as pilferers

of young Gilmore’s pureness?

By displaying crimes repeatedly

torched into mental annals,

The light of daytime TV

destroys ‘dead men’s’ travels.

I see through these crystal channels –

their motives are clear and present.

The danger’s calculated and imminent –

No disclaimer can eradicate its discriminant…

This affidavit’s too eminent –

as its motif has smeared our essence.

We’ve been deemed as

easy targets of deviance

By a media that markets us

as heathens and hedonists.

We’re in too deep in this as

“Stereotypecasts” to the Associated Press.

Unless we’re talkin’ childish

spouts like pediatricians

Or caught wildin’ out with

weed in our systems,

The media won’t listen –

positive Black folks are

like tokes of smoke:

a waste of jaded breath.

Just look at the way they’ve kept

A lack of paraded depth

Surrounding wages of deaths

when drugs or violence is

removed from it all.

Why aren’t cameramen

constantly clammerin’

Surrounding the cover up

with Martin Lee Anderson?…

His death was mod’rately handled when

he was roughed up by a crew of guards.

In the case of Florida’s juvenile detention,

Their coroner’s truth was wilder than fiction.

They said he died of a mild condition

of sickle cell anemia.

But the fatal flaw was this –

he only had the trait.

He was accosted and suffocated

with ammonium nitrate…

Yet the holes in this vile case have been

overlooked with selective amnesia.

Though there are scenes of evidence

from the filmed altercation

And a second autopsy effectively

revealed their alteration,

Evidently it’s been sealed in moderations

of blatant disregard.

Despite protests and rallies

from students and activists,

We haven’t viewed a second glimpse

since this tragedy hit…

Yet I bet if the hues had been aptly flipped –

they would’ve already

charged these heinous guards.

This is America a.k.a. Freedomland at its best.

Is it transparent enough? –

it’s easy to plan a Black man’s arrest.

It’s easy to s#### out a

measly man’s wrongful death

than to bring justice to light.

It’s more feasibly accepted

to assume guilty verdicts

Than it is to find an unbiased mind

who’ll willingly reverse it…

Even we’ve been enticed

by the appeal of the circuit –

I’ve observed and heard it as

it bumps in the night.

Glorified in our music and awarded

with plaques and Oscars,

I’m mortified when I view this

recorded as Black dogma.

We’re more than derelicts and crack mongers –

until it pays to be portrayed as such.

In an attempt to promote and reappropriate

how brothers struggle,

We’ve groped and sold our souls

as hustlers and jugglers…

Thus exposing our plundered jugulars

until it sprays from betrayals of lust.

With this blood on our hands,

we’ve invited this infiltration

Into the brood of our wombs

disguised as dignified indignation.

When we talk to our youth,

watch how we engage them –

we don’t condone, but we do condemn.

Telling them statistics is one thing,

But we’re already selling them

tickets to gun sling

When we assume they’re fools

in school except one thing –

which is usually gym.

We’re fooling these gems

when we limit their vitals

To how well they can

scrimmage for winnin’ titles.

The competition’s a bigger rival –

the threat’s unseen.

You’d best believe when these

boys meet the world,

it’ll be more than a lil’ savage.

If they’ve only been poised

for track meets and girls,

the damage is manic…

The gambit’s already been planted

and the nets are hungry.

This is entrapment, the media only sees us

as addicts, dealers, entertainers or athletes.

The rest they’ll manage to wield as

entangled in trash heaps.

They’ll angle off the latter as human

interest pieces in sweeps week.

Swept under the rug until the topic is run

That the only difference between

our fathers and sons

Is a dollar’s sum and a few swallows

from bottles of rum – but don’t worry,

they’ll keep it short and sweet.

They’ll spin it into parables of prodigal sons

Who were returning home when

they were mowed down by a cop’s gun –

Then they’ll give a rundown of plausible stunts

to downplay being killed in cold blood.

To further play up the Black component,

They’ll insinuate he may have had crack on him…

As right at that exact moment they’ll

reveal that the father was on drugs.

So what does this message deliver?:

Don’t bother n*ggas about being father figures.

They’re too involved with itch palms

on revolver triggers and liquor

to guide their vermin seeds.

This explains why the police beat is needed –

To tame the beast that

the media’s managed to weave in…

When it’s time to feed it,

they’ll step up the news feeds with fervent speed.

Any education reference in these forums

Are usually linked in suggestions to reform.

It’s accepted when we read in the joint –

where else are we given

federal resources so freely?!!

Lost and found in prison,

Our men’s thoughts are bound in prisms

Until they’re hostile, riled up wisdom

resorts to immoral ‘strategery.’

This allusion of grandeur reeks

of the rigor of Bushisms.

The illusion of slammers speaks

through a bigger system.

Our men are political prisoners –

victims of an invested bureau.

We’ve been expensed – our figure’s slated

to follow and stand approved

To be invisibly violent like

Christian Slater in Hollow Man 2…

As models in Manchu,

it’s impossible to fix an image

without a reflection eternal.

© Reggie Legend 2006

Steel Waters, Inc.

For more details on Martin Lee Anderson, please click here.

or here!

For more details regarding Quadrevion Henning Purvis Parker, please refer to: