It's Not Just Me

Sat, 03/02/2019 - 22:07 -- gdlowe

Someone once asked me “What do you hear that makes you fight every day? What does that sound like?”

I said it’s the sound of 9 months, the birth of a new life, a soft whisper over a cradle, like a sweet melody over a tight beat

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing

It sounds like Ella like jazz, even when they were beaten black and bruised, backs bent back, barely breathing it still sounds like the blues.

Like Harlem 

Like Marcus

W.E.B. Du Bois 


Mami smith

Like survival 

Like hums, bungles, like the clicking of railroad track

It sounds like old negro spirituals, celebrations in safe houses

It sounds like Harriet and underground maps 

Freedom land where freedom ain’t so free

It’s the song of equality, but separate and less than isn’t equality.

We raised our fists to send a message 

Not one that flaunts how we can be aggressive 

One that reaches the oppressive

Showing them what it means to have real courage 

Sounds like Red, white and blue

Waving high through the sky

And we all had to carry it.

Why did we hold it up even when we didn’t belong?

None of those stars were for us, but we still held strong. 

Flag colors and skin colors,

They caused the divide

Laughing when they told us to have pride.

But we did it anyway

That is the song.

It is the song of perseverance.

Of continuing on with rigor

Because we knew that there are things that are bigger

Even when they say….

We kept on.

It sounds like 1913 and everything in between

The beats of women marching 

The banging of a glass ceiling we walk with shards in our knuckles and in between our fists so keep your glass slipper, a woman not supposed to do no heavy lifting.

We belong in the kitchen, in the house, in the senate, in the oval office

It sounds a lot like Michelle, like Shirley, unbiased and unbought

Sometimes it sounds like a silent moving powerhouse it sounds like the clipping of jim crows wings

It sounds like Dr. martin Luther king

Like Booker T. Washington

Like the unsung heroes we don’t hear much about

Sounds like Baker, Smalls, Colvin,

These figures are still under calculated

It sounds like Miriam Makeba, like Martin Delany.

Like the start of new homes, new things,

Like a fresh crunch

Like George Crum 

Sounds like a white man killing a black teen and the jury setting him free

Like a group of New York police officers don’t know what it means when a black man says “I can’t breathe”

Like artificial equality


Sometimes we forget that that we are singing its song

Days we don’t listen to the song within us

Days where little black boys and girls don’t listen to the magic pumping through their veins 

Hear Yara.

Hear Amandla.

Hear Simone.

Sounds like being placed behind bars just so we couldn’t raise them

Let me be clear that we started from the bottom

They can always kill the dreamer but they can never kill the dream. 

A black man in the white house, listen to the new chorus that’s begun 

Look what we have done with our fists raised in unison.


That is what I hear. That is what I say back. That is why I’m here.

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