The preacher is a pimp, a man of the street,
with a melodious voice when he chooses to speak,
his pulpit is down by the Regent Saloon.
From his corner, sermons are delivered each night,
exhortations & blessings are offered at noon;
his delivery is clean, and designed to delight
the sparse congregation that sways to his tune.
His sermons are filled with the rhythms of night,
his benedictions with the grace of noonday light,the neighbors shout ‘Amen!’ from the
nests of their stoops.
The hustlers and whores stop to listen awhile,
cops with styrofoam cups cruise by,
filled with hate and ulcerous bile,
as the wail of a saxophone ascends to the sky.
People of the night gather ’round in small groups
to hear how the preacher might lift up their souls
– some with scuffed boots, some with bankrolls, some on the scam & some on the lam,
some patiently awaiting their cell in the slam =
the preacher then struck a resonant chord
when he spoke of his love & fear of the Lord:
“Brothers & sisters, the time has now come
for me to abandon white women & rum!
I’ve played Satan’s game on these byways of shame,
now I’m tired of being on the run.
My heart has been turning to stone,
hard & cold,
I’m sick of displaying my ruffles & gold!
For years I thought I was the essence of cool,
now I see I’m nothing but a pompous fool.
I gambled & rambled & carried a gun,
but I swear to you now that those days are gone…
this evening I saw a film by Spike Lee
that each of you should run & go see.
It was the story of Malcolm, a man with a plan,
and what I saw in his heart was a reflection of me!
Malcom X was a brother who sought after truth in
juke-joints & jail-cells, in dope & vermouth.
When the Lord finally touched him,
his back-rent was paid, so he took to the streets
to preach a crusade.
They called his pride emotional rage,
so he calmly put the story of his life on the page.
They killed him, of course, like they always do,
but the truth of his message still today rings true.
Brothers& sisters, heed my advice:
read the book, see the movie,
pay tribute to Malcom’s sacrifice!”