Today my father was listing components of his life that could potentially see him not living past 65.He said things like he's over fifty and he has high blood pressure.But he also noted that he's black and there are bad cops. It's heart breaking, really.That I, my father, my uncle, my aunts, my brothers, sisters, and my cousins,have to fear for their lives because of physical features they cannot change.No one should live in fear because they're black.No one should have to avoid wearing certain clothing because they look suspicious.But the world is unfair. I was taught as a little kid that I should not be so unapologetically black.I was taught not to put my hands in my pockets in stores.I was taught to keep my head down and stay quiet in social settings so I didn't preach the stereotype of"loud, ghetto black woman."I was taught to not say anything about the mere twenty-eight days we get taught black history in school(actually from second to tenth grade we only learned about the four hundred or so years of black history in the week of Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday). Just a few years ago, America was doing great at acknowledging black and mixed raced black men and women.There has been makeup targeted at specifically black skin, nude lingerie for black women,as well as an increase of black actors and actresses in movies and media.But this year and last year, our brothers and sisters are being denied even the chance to live. It's sickening to watch my people fall and become something so little as a hashtag,or be only remembered by a half-assed police report.I don't want to become a hashtag.I don't want my fathers name or my uncles name or my friends namesto wind up trending on Twitter next to the words"police brutality". So please, please just let us have this.Let us have our hashtags and let us protest for our freedoms.Let us be noticed and let us expect respect.Because if there's anything I want people to see from the Black Lives Matter campaigns,it's that we have rights and we are people too. Respect our existence, or you can expect our resistance.

This poem is about: 
My family
My community
My country
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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