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Devin Lawrence Aug 2020
The smell of something putrid
protrudes up through your nostrils
as you walk down these dimply lit streets.
You hear the fire crackling, you see the glow off the side of an abandoned building.

Is this one of those fires you see on the news -
set ablaze by anger and retaliation?

No.
It's the burning wounds along Jacob Blake's back.
It's the marks of oppression -
the scars we "distract" ourselves from.

There's a fire burning in America
and the source is plain to see:
while bodies line up along the streets,
people following along on their TV screens
say a prayer for broken windows.
They mourn items that are looted
as if it wasn't a life that was looted first.

There's a fire burning
and it melts the black skin right off their bones.
A skeleton has no color
yet they blame corpses for their own murders.

There's a fire burning
from Sanford to Staten Island,
from Louisville to Kenosha.
But those very flames were ignited
by the people designated to put them out.

Who watches the watchmen?
Who stands with the people?

The hammer has dropped.
The bullets have left the chamber.
As long as our brothers and sisters
have to fight for their right to live,
Red, White and Blue lives don't matter.
Gabriel Girault Jun 2020
Since I was Born, I was sick.
The World had tried to choke out my Light since before I had Life. Since before I could fully think, it never wanted me around.
So much loss and pain just for one child, so today I must use the Life I gained to throw everything I have back at The World.
I refuse to let my Life be choked out by A World that never wanted to see me Rise. I shall Stand and Fight to make The World better.
Ever since I was a little Black Boy I have watched myself die.
It started with Trayvon, my big brother who died trying to Live Life and buy a snack. I died again with Tamir Rice, my little brother died for being Youthful and for being a child. And I kept dying and watching brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, fathers, and mothers of mine all die. I was forced to watch my Family die. I have seen myself die in all of these people over and over again. Whether we Lived in the same era or not. I saw myself assassinated and silenced by the people who were supposed to help me bring Change over and over again. I saw myself beaten for sitting down in the wrong place, I saw myself marching to make a difference. I have seen myself choked out, shot in the streets, lynched, and more.
I see my face on all of these men who have died for no reason, I always believe I’m next. Ever since I was a young boy.
Even now as an “adult” I never know how much time I have left. There are days when I have fun and Live every single piece of Life and think, “Today could be my last day of Life”. There are other days where it’s not as great and I think the same thing.
My father turns 50 soon and knowing what I know about Black men, I am scared. I turn 20 soon and knowing what I know about Black men, I am beyond horrified.
On some days I can’t handle knowing all of this and on other days I know if I don’t handle this there won’t be enough people to step up who want to drastically change This World that has been choking me out.
I just wish that my Black Life Mattered so I could Live each day without fear.
The Calm Aug 2018
How am I supposed to explain...the pain
to someone that wouldn't lend an ear...to hear
my fear about towards people in blue....who to you
seem like heroes, people who do.....only what they have to
You admit that some are corrupt, some aren't right
but black people need to coop, you think we always fight
against people that carry guns? have all the might?
historically oppressing people of color, have been the plight
I have done nothing wrong, but still my hands I raise
heart beating out of my chest, eyes are glazed
I feel them filling up, and I'm amazed, that I feel total fear
I feel depraved, but I have done nothing wrong,
is being black, just enough to play the song, to take us back
to Jim crow and his friend, ancestors in a shack,
shackled up by their hands, feet and on their back
is the American dream, American promise,
It said I promise you can be free, I promise
but here I am 200 years later,
flashing red and blue lights behind me, light a light saber
I smile, I'm courteous, I'm kind, put on my best behavior
hoping I'm not sent to meet my maker
because I've done nothing wrong
A story of getting pulled over for a random traffic stop and feeling an irrational, heart pounding time of fear
laj Mar 2015
we met at the fringe of a watermelon-flavored sunset
bouyant, yet barred by systematized criminalization.
guided by the light of his luminescent black excellence,
he now walks to greet the other black boys --
the ones i'll meet at that same arizona sunset
tethered to, branded by a shadow of fabricated strife.
Jay Dec 2014
Don't shoot!
Can't you see my white palms
Not the black end of my black hands
Guilty until proven innocent
That's the predicament I was raised in
When I walk onto the subway, privilege holds for dear life the bag her daddy gave her, and yes by privilege I mean white.
Because based on my skin I'm automatically framed as a thief that lives too cheap to afford the Kors bag that she has.
Don't shoot!
I just found out my dog passed and decided I'd run fast and hold her tight before her last gasp.
But since I'm black and I'm running, the pigs start coming after me as if I created a catastrophe since the mask of me is black.
They corrupt the laws, use excessive force and pin me down to the ground when I was just trying to get to my hound.
Don't shoot!
Yes my windows are tinted and my skin is a shade the same but when you pull me over I'm not to blame for the drug ring that has your people suffering.
I sweat in fear for my life as I see red and blue lights wondering if I will live to see tomorrow's sunlight.
Because based on my tints and my rims and my skin I must be some criminal uncaught.
So as privilege approaches my door I must place my white palms on the wheel and plead to retrieve my license from the passengers seat.
Don't shoot!
Because if I was white I wouldn't need to fight for my right to life.
And I wouldn't have to fear the man that society told me would pull my hand if I raised it in a plea for help and welp,
That just isn't the case so based on my race I must remain on thin ice for the rest of my black life, yelling
Don't shoot!

— The End —