I feel the pain of my ancestors,
sewn deep within my roots.
finely tied, like cornrows.
a warrior’s hairdo. you call it fashion.
I keep rubbing my eyes,
thinking I can wake up
From this nightmare,
a tale of generational trauma
My American horror story,
Filled with villains on smartphones
No cut scenes, no Hollywood studios
Death on camera, murderers, badges.
Black lives, vanishing in flashes
These struggles are pre technology
Pre industry, pre American equality
They go all the way back to the Middle Passage
Where we would soon be greeted
by owners, thieves, and assassins
Then upon freedom they incarcerated us
by the masses, herding us with a fiery passion
Across the nation, from Philly to Calabasas
Complete devastation, helicopter crashes
Next up was a pandemic to match it.
with America’s glass ceiling cracking the fastest
The heat is turned up, don’t you feel it blastin’?
In other words we can’t let this moment pass us
Cuz society may revert to the ways of the ruthless
So when it comes to the movement, it’s like music
I’ll be a metronome, I’ll stay in tune with it
Listen to the melody of our cries,
Feel our treble, from the harmony of our spirit
we built America from ashes to brilliance
On cotton fields, from bread crumbs to billions
Listen up, We are the progeny of the resilient.
C.L. Butler is an African American and Dutch writer, historian, and entrepreneur from Philadelphia, based in Houston, TX. In 2017, his poem Laissez Faire was published by The Bayou Review. He has spent most of his career working in sports and art administration but now has fully dedicated himself to writing full time.
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