National Poetry Month: Ms. Ruby Dee

85 years young and still she embodies beauty, strength, resilience and a fierce determination for change. Her and husband Ossie Davis were friends to MLK and Malcolm X. She is civil rights. She is a link to our past and a clue to our future. There’s an old cliche that they don’t make them like they used to…Ms. Ruby Dee is evidence of that.


by Ms. Ruby Dee

“I. I. I say I am. I say I am somebody.
Somebody because–because you–you make me–somebody,
Because–because you are part of
Because you–you share the–the Somebodiness of me.

“When you laugh, you make my lips a part of laughter.
When you cry, tension pulls me from inside.
When you are hungry, my food turns to poison, makes me burst
Bony fingers clutch my tongue when I–when I know your thirst
Because you are part of–because you–you share the
The Somebodiness of me.

“When I see your precious blood out of place, your bones exposed in death–
My blood chills and stops as I try to–try to–give you breath.
I must keep you from all–all fear and danger–
I must woo your peace of mind–
Help you–help you find joy–
Help you–help you find release
Because you are part of–because you–you share the
the Somebodiness of me.

“I cannot own that which you cannot also possess.
Your crime is mine, and from now on I’ll confess
Because you are part of–because you share the
the Somebodiness of me.

“You–you–you are at the other end of the steel spring of hate,
So I cannot hate.
When you know my love–my love will warm you–
Cleansing, deep
So, let me–let me take your hand. Let me touch your fingers,
Feel your face. Know your heartbeat and all–all your doubts erase
Because you are part of–because you–you share the
the Somebodiness of me.”

Ms Ruby Dee Details:

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