United States
37° 39' 22.0212" N, 122° 1' 57.3672" W

Our voice has been stolen from us.
We once sounded beautiful to foreign ears,
but in this moment we cannot be heard.
Now my spoken word stutters,
ladened with the lack of coherence.
I am speaking in a language only I understand.
I'll mouth my troubles and pray that you know how to read lips.

My vocal cords pulsate with the arousal of syllables.
Today I am broken.
Too scattered to be understood.
So I choose to sit down and become silent.

I am the mother that works her hands and feet to the bone,
serving an optimistic future for her family on an unpolished golden platter.
I am the father who roulettes his life everyday,
only to come home to an unfurnished house and a missing son.
I am that son that no one ever cared about but is too determined not to have another person end up like himself.
I am that ten year old daughter that sits in her room all day because she's already learned that going outside will be at her own risk.
She knows that bullets don't have a name, but all she wants to do is play the games that her parents remember.
I am a society who is too afraid to speak up for what is right
in a world where racism is still the default outlet when one is uncertain.
Oscar Grant was caught in the crossfire of being black and happy just long enough to be murdered.
We are standing victim with imaginary weapons.
We've learned that if you fit the stereotype well enough, killing becomes justified.
Like the deadly skittles that Trayvon Martin carried.
It's unfortunate that Zimmerman couldn't hold his trigger finger long enough to see the rainbow.
Then we wonder why we don't see our "people of color" as much as we used to.

I am finding my voice again.
I am decoding and remembering myself through the intricate telling of these stories.
I am an heirloom passed to the future from these current events;
too new to be legendary, but I'm trying anyways.

I have never been just a concept.
I am the 99 percent.
We are the 99 percent.
Our voice is necessary.

We all have a story to tell,
whether they give us the right to tell it or not.
Our voices are valuable enough to fight for.
The mouth proves, comforts, rebels, liberates.
It transforms thoughts into actions.

If we are voiceless, we are only books:
open to false interpretation,
our prefaces written by them—
the one percent who take pride in silencing us.

Only our voices know how to narrate the true story.
Never stop speaking the truth.
It is better to bear witness to your story than have them make false allegations.
Exercise your right to speak before it is taken away.


Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741