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












We are never supposed to be

We were never supposed to be




We cannot belong where 

We never chose to be



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 




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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