Check out this spoken-word sports tribute to Black History Month

Poet Raliq Bashard pays homage to sports trailblazers with this cool Black History Month video.

Poet Raliq Bashard pays homage to sports trailblazers with this cool Black History Month video.

With Black History Month winding down, we joined forces with poet Raliq Bashard for a sports-centric tribute to the legends who paved the way for today's athletes. Check out the video above, put together by our partners at Relevant 24.

Here's the full text of Bashard's poem, called "Champions":

We weren’t supposed to champions, but we made it
Didn’t have a full deck, but we played it
with patience
Displays greatness in the game and changed it,
became it,
became famous, through all the slander,
Through all the snake-ish
Black back-biting grammar
that slayed us
in the papers, they called us Bammas
And it was that hate that made us,
They gave us ghettos and chained us,
But we won medals and came up, fate raised us and
made us
... Louis,
Mike Tyson:
Tycoons, bisons,
Fists like rifles
Pitbulls biting
Hearts tight as vice grips, fighting vices,
Lifeless but living
loud hounds singing
pound for pounds swinging, sifting
Weight shifting, putting shifts in

We had narrow
roads but stayed driven
We made good-crowns outta put downs
Golden thrones outta broken homes,
Loaded domes, made men bow
Jim Brown with a field goal, pin down,
like a gentile, praying
laying sins down

Outbound, inbound
On the right court.
With a nice Spalding ball
We Mike Jordan weaving
Calling shots
white Nikes balling
great white knight, bald head
You can doubt mine,
But just always remember that jump man logo outline …
... that was from the foul line!
We out-shine,
fire in our chest, diamonds in our eyes, cow-sized

'Bout time they saw we were destined
Just some ol' bare-back, dirt ball,
half-homed black boys
turned legend.

We're Hank Aaron at the 7th
Bat dropping at the base dashing
Robinson joltin’ in the gadget
of his own fire, no holes in his game,
Slashing, blood on his gym towel,
We been fouled,
been here, got wins here, lost wind here,
Been scared

But we ain't give up!
We don't forfeit,
'Cause we are fit,
they stole our dignity
We stole bases
Cold game,
First down, first inning
Foul line, free throw
Shape shift
Jim Crow, 3rd ward,
Crack house, basement

This game's ancient
Game came with real struggle,
They can’t say boxing without Ali
They can’t say basketball without a Bill Russell
We instilled hustle
We never sold out, we sold out
with our souls out
Stole crowds, whole crowds
Two knees, both down
We ain’t come from medals,
but we aint losing so fate choosing,
Call us champions

They had plans and we cancelled it!
Wrote new manuscripts
Hate rang out in the stands and we answered it

We're Doug Williams with doves, building
We broke walls, cut ceilings
Touched children, plus millions

Gorgeous arms, flawless shot
Gorgeous form,
… Halter tops

And stockings, shmuck grins
For the woman had two against them and still shined
If we speak Althea Gibson
We speak
1965 with a drive like Malcolm while shifting
This is history!

This is Gabby Douglas
athletes with tough skin, in a world that gave
us nothing
and made us something,
and look who we get to be!
Honorable and brave as the man who is Michael Sam,
Who says, "I am who I am, and I play as I am"

We can all be as great as Tiger woods
But stereotypes us, hype us
treat us like we hood and we play twice as good
life is good,

We stole gold, we Flo-Jo
We Jesse Owens
We steady hoping
sprinting in our boycott genes
We New Orleans when the levees
broke in

We Jim
and Tommy Smith with a win
medals for ghettos, and the legacies that echo
With a chance to rise with two fists when it ends,
from football fields to
courts to
We shook up the world!
Showed them how to dance, it was the rhythm in
our hands
Our swing, our dribble,
our feet, our stance
We weren't made like this
We weren’t made to be champions
But we played like it,
Made away like it,
These just black boys dreams,
We Alabama blooded,
We gold studded halos on folks
that owned nothing
Nothing but a right
to be remembered in history
… now, just imagine ...

Imagine what our kids can be

You can follow on Bashard on Twitter here.

And if you missed anything from our series of Black History Month stories, check them out in the box inset at right..

Send feedback on our
new story page