Black Boys are Jazz
by Monica Lee Weatherly
Musically, black boys are jazz.
The first violin in an orchestra, the concert master
Trumpets and saxophones, pianos, and drums
Beaten like percussions, struck like piano keys
Made of shiny brass, ivory, or gold.
They remain fearless, always concert ready
They play life with a single mouth piece.
A rare harmonic cadence
A progression of chords that concludes pieces of song
Musically, still sounding sweet after continual use.
Applause continues when they enter the room
Fearlessly unapologetic for their song
They know music is more valuable with age.
Becoming men, black boy songs tell stories
Filled with smoke filled clubs and fast women
Drenched with sweat from jam sessions with women they don’t love,
I still don’t know what I’d do without jazz
Riffs become mature.
Altered scales, back beats, breaks
Eighth note patterns when he walks
Alto, tenor or soprano
Chords in parallel with the melody when he makes love
Then one day, the black boy becomes old and withered.
Musically, he is placed in the stack of other dusty records of a collector where he sits, Until he’s discovered again, and they say he’s priceless.
Monica Lee Weatherly is a writer, Associate Professor of English at Georgia State University, Perimeter College, and former faculty editor of Creative License, the student literary and arts magazine of Perimeter College. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Weatherly is a graduate of Langston University, where she earned a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She later attended Clark Atlanta University where she earned a Masters in English and a Doctor of Arts in Humanities with a concentration in English. She has previously published pieces in Heart &Soul and Honey magazines.