For Colored Girls and Boys Tired of Masking Strength in Horror…
Original Poem written by Kristian Dudgeon
I will not watch that video,
I’ve seen the story play out far too many times.
I will not make the same speech I’ve made countless times before;
No one hears it.
No one cares.
And I am tired of my pleas falling on deaf ears.
No matter what I say,
How long I speak,
Or how violently I cry,
It’s just going to happen again.
It always happens again.
What is it like to be heard?
To be seen as human first?
To not worry about “fitting the profile” for cruel sport,
Or all three, at the worst? To walk through one’s days without worry of external judgement Turning your life into a memory? How serene that must be.
James Baldwin once asked, “When is it time?”
Thirty years later, we still wonder.
Thundering past the intersections of King Cotton and Jim Crow,
Time rolls on. It turns down
Avenues paved by our ancestors,
Roads burning with our flesh, and
Boulevards drenched in our blood.
Yet change remains slow to follow.
Slow and steady wins the race, Except with Race,
So the plague continues to rage through a million tomorrows. Until stillness replaces shock and Numbness smothers sorrow.
I’m all out of fuss and
Running out of fight.
Why does life only matter in this country
When it’s white?
Dedicated to the memory of Ahmaud Arbery, Atatiana Jefferson, Botham Jean, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Martin Luther King, Jr., Medger Evers, Emmett Till…
…And the innumerable souls whose names have been lost, but whose wails remain prominent in America’s song.