On the Street Corner

I’ve seen a dead man

Not at the hands of a corner thug’s glock

But at the end of a white man’s shotgun

Justified by self defense

When a fence separated them

But what’s one life in order to protect a lifelong privilege?

Remember Chicago, they say

Black on black

Remember Martin, we reply

Remember the brothers and sisters who built your legacy, whose blood is mingled with your success

Have you forgotten?

I haven’t, we can’t

If you forget your history

Anything can be passed for it

So while my history might just be slavery and Civil Rights (that I haven’t yet acheived) to you

My history is flourishing kingdoms with wealth marked and tainted by the greed and disobedience of a few, that we have been paying the price for since

My history is not just what I’m told it is by a teacher told by a professor told by a system not built with my interest in mind

I will not be told that being proud of who I am is a crime

I will not be silenced by those who would rather I stay quiet about my history

Why talk about slavery if it is the backbone of your success? Why talk about rape, lynchings, Jim Crow, mass incarceration? Why talk about my history when it doesn’t shed yours in a positive light?

Because talking is the first step to redemption


This poem is about: 
My country
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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