Davidione C. Pearl

Faces of Change: Black Flight in the Wake of Jim Crow

West · Near West · Poetry

From the depths
Of the sweltering south
Following industrial promise
Salt Caves and Molten Steel
On the heel of succession
Hot muskets and caved plight
Emerged black collar migration
Enduring families assured
Wandering familiar wilderness
To storied Cleveland shores
Staking claim and provision
In challenging
Unregulated new realities
With dreams to become
What the Crowing haunts of Confederacy
Blistering chattel legacies
And scorched judicial roads from Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Emphatically disavowed to pave
That the seed
Of distinct Afrofuturism
Hewn of weathered body
May persevere and rise again out of the nation’s ashes
Like Mighty Obsidian Towers
Empowered Unbreakable and Strong
Gazing immovably
Into the unwavering light
Of a firmly Reconstructed tomorrow

Davidione C. Pearl

Davidione C. Pearl is a published journalist, novelist, musician and multi-disciplinary artist with work focused primarily on global and domestic socio-political and eco-political issues.
Raised in Shaker Heights, he currently resides in Ohio City.


Neighborhood Voices is a city-wide creative writing project designed by Literary Cleveland and the Cleveland Public Library to engage writers across Cleveland, allowing residents to connect with neighbors, share stories of their community, and draft new writing about what makes their neighborhood unique.


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325 Superior Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44114

Project Created By Literary Cleveland

Literary Cleveland is a nonprofit organization and creative writing center that empowers people to explore other voices and discover their own. Through an expanding roster of multi-level classes, workshops and events, Literary Cleveland assists writers and readers at all stages of development, promotes new and existing literature of the highest quality, and advances Northeast Ohio as a vital center of diverse voices and visions.

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Founded in 1869, Cleveland Public Library serves the residents of Cleveland through its network of 27 neighborhood branches, the Main Library downtown, Public Administration Library at City Hall, homebound delivery services, and mobile services to daycare and senior centers. From a collection of 10.5 million items, the Library lends over 5 million items a year to its 330,000 registered borrowers and to 43 other CLEVNET-member libraries in 12 counties across Northeast Ohio. Cleveland Public Library is home to the Ohio Center for the Book and the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled, serving all 88 counties in the state of Ohio. For more information, visit cpl.org.