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We’re not supposed to be here

We don’t look like we belong here

 

You’re absolutely right.

 

We were never supposed to be here

 

We were once where we were 

Where we were maybe not always safe

But home

Where we were not always together 

But we were known to ourselves

Our tongues true and wrapping 

Around the cadences of our mothers 

blessings our fathers

We knew the faces of our spirits

How familiar the roads and roots

winding waters and winds 

Shadows shiny but known

 

No. You don’t know me.

And I am not supposed to be here

Because we were never supposed to be here

 

We were people then

As we are now

But then we were home and free

Minding the business of our selves 

 

When they came

Snatching souls for scratch

Scrapping flesh for profit

Dropping dead weight 

Anchoring generations

To heart disease, poverty despair

 

Trauma supplanting excellence in our DNA

 

Tears flowing through veins of ancestors

Hardening to the kind of salt that gives

Everything US of A its flavor

 

Police cut their teeth on our chains

Judges balanced scales on our books

Schools and doctors and robber barons

Combing our vaults and brains for treasure they have no idea how to measure

 

Once stolen

We have reclaimed 

Once taken

We have given

Once home

We are now in a place 

Where wherever we are

We are not supposed to be 

 

And so we are policed

Slave catching has never ceased

 

Whether it’s coffee

AirBnB

Studying

BBQing

Dreaming

Singing

Reading

Walking

Driving

Breathing 

Being 

 

We are never supposed to be

We were never supposed to be

 

Here

 

We cannot belong where 

We never chose to be

 

However

Even with no choosing

Even with blood diluted by terrors and tears

 

Inventing innovating advocating

Creating pioneering 

The very definition of the

American dream

 

Burning bright

To offset the nightmare

Of this country

 

That has always patted itself on the back

While bodies swing

Babies scream

Trees bleed with history 

Treachery

Villainy

 

They could have let us be

Decided to build their own country

 

Instead of pilfering humanity

 

400 years of torture and tyranny

After we fight, sweat and bleed 

To be free

 

We assimilate, acclimate, adjust

 

Only to continue to be told

We’re not where we’re supposed to be 

 

You’re goddamned right.

 

We are not supposed to be here.

 

We were NEVER supposed to be here.

 

You brought us here. We built your dreams.

 

We’ve asked for nothing in return

 

Just liberty...

 

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March for Black Women Urges 10,000 Letters to Black Leaders