E. Ethelbert Miller is a literary activist. He is board chair of the Institute for Policy Studies. Since 1974, he as been the director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University. His most recent book is The 5th Inning, a second memoir published in 2009. Mr. Miller is often heard on National Public Radio.
Today I watched men
assemble boats. Push
them into the water.
There are postcards
that describe this.
The wind is a stamp.
where people are talking about money.
They call this fundraising. We spend the time
talking about people who have money.
We mention names of people we don't know.
This is what you do when you don't have money.
You talk about people who do.
Before the meeting ends there is agreement
among everyone to contact three people
who have money. I leave the meeting knowing
I won't make any calls. I walk down the street
talking to myself. At the bus stop I search
my pockets for money. This too is fundraising.
When the bus arrives all the poor people board.
I'm on my way to another meeting.
The poor people are going to work.
A guy sitting in front of me is yelling
on his cell phone. He is talking about money.
He says -
I don't give a fuck!
I want my fuckin' money!
This too is fundraising.