before george floyd, breonna taylor and millions of Black “others”
was emmett till. i, a yellow-black boy of 13 was slapped into
our Black reality upon reading and selling out of my jet magazines
of 9/15/55 that horrified a world with the images of the teenager
emmett till who had been crucified by white supremacist christian
cowards in money, mississippi.
his slaughter was not just a killing,
it was ritual, a lesson and an open message to Black people,
this was a repositioning of boundaries,
the putting of butchering hands on a Black boy
by white men who came in numbers;
as sterling a. brown writes, “not by ones,
not by twos, but by tens” high on their
racial righteousness and numbers took a
radiant possibility – emmett – in the dark of
a mississippi night and brutally lynched him,
on a lie told by a white jane crow woman to her jim crow men.
his body returned to chicago unrecognizable.
not just the bullet in the face or
the hatchet splitting his head,
separating eyeball from eyeball, or the forced
ejection of thirty teeth from his mouth,
leaving only his two front teeth partially holding
his tongue hanging loosely from his face like a
child screaming for mercy before the
final death blow and drowning.
this was a “nigger stay in your place” statement
from a psychopathic, racist, disturbed, frightened people,
of a state, in a nation, that has never respected or
acknowledged Black people as human and sacred souls.
this national killing, this execution, this ritual murder of our native son,
a developing young Black spirit touched hearts across the nation.
it is not just an awakening, it was a
national unignorance-ing of a traumatized people.
we, products of a native-Black culture,
less than a century removed from chattel enslavement
now confronted our enemies 20th century end-game:
white supremacy, nationalism, rage, fear,
economic annihilation, violence, hatred, and terminal ignorance
imprisoning us in its murderous confederate directives.
apartheid America was public news,
state news, national and world news.
the Black community nationwide
put on muscle, shoes and resistance.
earth shaking was beginning,
Black volcanoes and hurricanes erupted across the nation.
mamie till took the memory of her son –
refusing to let his death become history’s
there is a 400-year herstory / history of people of African ancestry,
Black people, now also native to this land the only land we know
whose labor, intelligence and ingenuity built this nation and it
has never been acknowledged or compensated.
our story in its most poetic, scholarly and musical telling
needs to be preached, loudly told, noted, sung, recorded
and proclaimed in all Black churches, taught in all
our early educational institutions, HBCUs, as a topic
of conversation in beauty and barber shops, at breakfast and
dinner tables making connection between Black Lives Matter
to Black her/history and future. proactive self-knowledge.
always remember, if our struggles and battles reveal anything,
it will be the contradictions and treachery of the nation’s
leaderships and actions: the non-lethal response and minimal
arrest during white peoples’ insurrection on January 6, 2021 against
the nation’s capital; the 30,000 lies told; half million coronavirus deaths
and the homicidal incompetence of the 45th president/commander-in-chief.
if george floyd was white and a Black officer was on his neck,
hard to ever imagine, that Black officer, in this culture would be dead.
in the western world yes, Black Lives Matter, however white lives
matter more. If we ever forget that western world fact –
we are in trouble, deep, deep trouble.
look in the mirror. say your last name.
if you do not know who you are
anybody can name you and in america, they will.
it is difficult to love a country, in all of its complexities and possibilities
that doesn’t love you.
we must become whirlwinds against their evil.
fighting, demanding and securing fresh water, clean air and
Yeses for tomorrow’s children of the world.