Black Man Melody: A Poem by Butterfly Ali

Butterfly Ali © Paula Neves
Butterfly Ali © Paula Neves

This Black History Month, Atwood Magazine has invited artists to participate in a series of essays, interviews, reviews, poetry, playlists, and more features in recognition of, and out of respect for the symbolism and significance of this month.


Today, Butterfly Ali – the stunningly versatile and outspoken artist moniker for actor Titus Makin – shares his poem, “Black Man Melody.” Responsible for such recent songs as “Pray for ‘Em,” “5 Minutes,” and “Listen to Me,” Butterfly Ali’s art feels as familiar as it does absolutely fresh. With R&B, soul, funk, hip-hop, and more elements fused into a singular and limitless sound, his music is a smorgasbord of smoldering goodness mixing the old with the new.
•• ••

BLACK MAN MELODY

poem by Butterfly Ali

I run from the cry of the wicked
I listen to the word of the wise
I set my feet in path of the righteous
And lift my head unto the sky

I believe that change has happened
But I believe there’s more to come
I close off fear and worry
And fuel my heart with love

I AM a leader
I AM a follower
As an art class from a teacher
God is my photographer

I stand for the weak and weary
I hope for the things above
I pray for peace within me
And know that I AM enough

We all have a spirit of power
And gifted with a mind of hope
Not an enemy will make us cower
More than conquerors we are to know

If one may turn against you
As snakes may try to strike
You crush their heads beneath you
And continue on within your fight

Be you black, white, brown, or indifferent
Never one true ethnicity be told
We’re all made in God’s image
From this point on BLACK hate IS HISTORY
… and old

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📸 © Paula Neves

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