Collage, Painting by Barkley L. Hendricks at center, plus Photograph by Tyler Mitchell for Vogue "If Beale Street Could Talk"; Black and White photo of London Couple 1979 by Colin Jones; Photo of Fela Kuti; Photo of James Baldwin by Steve Schapiro; Lola Falana &amp; husband Butch Tavares; "A couple rests in a favela. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil" (1980) by Bruno Barbey; Sidney Poitier as Porgy &amp; Dorothy Dandridge as Bess in the motion picture <em>Porgy and Bess</em> (Photo by Gjon Mili/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images), Selfie by Zainab Floyd.
Collage by Zainab Floyd (2018), sources below


When I think of you Yusef Lateef’s jazz plays
I cannot read you
You dress like a character right out of James Baldwin’s novel Another Country 

When I think of you I think of Harlem
When I think of you I think of ripe green plantains
When I think of you I think of ice cold sizzling soda pops
When I think of you I think of picnics in Morningside Park on hilly mountains
When I think of you I think of hues of browns and summer
When I think of you I think of the only beauty in Fela Kuti

You are a walking archive
Carrying memories of the past stitched in your odd ensembles

I like you
I know why
It goes beyond your slanted low brown eyes
And even funny kind of laugh
You are mysterious
A walking art

I mean it—
When I say walking art
Y’all just do not understand
This man can dress
Almost as if he sat with Jamaal Shabazz’s life’s work

I like you
I like you in a funny funky kind of way
I do not mind that you do not feel the same
You are a walking art


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