"Enough" lyrics - GIL SCOTT-HERON


Had a poem here somewhere called "Enough"
That I'd like to do
Because every once in a while
A brother gets shot somewhere for no reason
A brother gets his head kicked in, for no reason
And you wonder just exactly what in the hell is enough
And that's what this poem is about

It was not enough that we were bought en brought to this home of the slaves
Locked in the bowels of a floating shit-house
Watching those we loved eaten away by plague and insanity
Flesh falling like strips of bark from a termite-infested tree
Bones rotting, turning first to brittle ivory, then to resin
That was not enough

It was not enough that we were chained by leg-irons
Black on black in black with a pit stained wall
Forced to heed nature's call
Through and inside the tattered of rags that stringed our privates
And evidently, years of slavery did not appease your need to be superior to something
Like a crazed lion hung up on being the king of his corner of the cage
Backs bend under the weight of being everything and having nothing
Mines too, like boomerangs curving back into themselves
Kicked and carved by the face-straining smiles that saved my life
That was not enough

Somehow I cannot believe that it will be enough
For me to melt with you and integrate, without the thoughts of rape and murder
I cannot conceive of on peace on earth until I have given you a piece of lead or pipe
To end your worthless, motherfucking existence

Imagine your nightmares of my sneaking into a veiled or satin bedroom
And attacking your daughter, wife and mother, at once
Ripping open their bowels sexually like a wishbone
Imagine that and magnify it a million times
When you realize that the blinders have been stripped from my eyes
And I realize that slavery was no smiling, happy fizzies party

Your ancestors raped my foremothers and I will not forget
I will not forget at Yale or Harvard or Princeton or in Hell, because you are on my mind
I see you every time my woman walks down the street with her ass on her shoulders
I see you every time I look in the mirror
And think of the times I used to pat myself for not being too black after all
I think of you morning, noon and night
And I wonder just exactly what in hell is enough
Every time I see a rope or gun I remember
And to top it all off, you ain't through yet

Over 50 you have killed in Mississippi since 1963
That doesn't even begin to begin all of those you have maimed, hit and run over, blinded, poisoned, starved or castrated
I hope you do not think that a vote for John Kennedy took you off my shit list
Because in the street there will only be black and white
There will be no Democrats, Republicans, Liberals, Conservatives, Moderates or any of the rest of that shit you have used
To make me forget to hate
There ain't no enough, there ain't no surrender
There is only plot and plan, move and groove, kill
There is no promised land, there is only the promise
The promise is my vow that until we have been nerve-gassed, shot down and murdered or done some of the same ourselves
Look over your shoulder motherfucker, I am coming