Poem: Colours of Prince’s Purple Rain Ran Red

Last year, I had the great privilege of visiting the twin cities; Minnesota and Minneapolis. As a huge Prince fan, I was so inspired I penned an ode in his honour. In the last 2 months, however, a dirge has been crying out for him.


Prince’s purple rain ran red
as white in blue turned
the streets of St. Paul
to a black on black painting

What they are doing
in the lands where freed slaves
are hunted and gunned down
butted and necked down
by cloaked uniform
is the same blue
that white uses
to beats us black and blue
to strangle our dreams and hopes
but still, we rise!

From Emmett Till to George Floyd
sons whose mothers
finish each other’s sentences
as their tears become streams
joining rivers into an ocean
whose waters have sunk Amistads
leaving shores with
washed-up dreams
that fight to breath hope into
a robbed past

White has become the colour
iron fists raise
to draw red
on black skins
©Njeri Wangari


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