Being black has no age limits, because in the eyes of others being black at any age is a threat. So while other children your age, Kannen, may have the luxury to tell the police officer “it’s just a toy” or “let me reach in my pocket” you do not son.
When approached by a white cop or a white person who feels threatened by your presence just put your hands up. Do not retaliate in anger because you are being treated less than what you deserve, just put your hands up. Do not talk back as if you have rights, just put your hands up. You may want to try and reason with them since you are a human being like everyone else, but please son just put your hands up. You feel the urge to run as a deadly weapon is pointed at you when you know you’ve done nothing wrong, don’t run son because that just gives them an excuse to kill you, so even though you are terrified please just put your hands up. We can be outraged tomorrow but tonight I need you to survive and come back home to me, so please son just put your hands up.
What a sad world we live in where these are the type of talks we have to sit down and give our black children. I am outraged that our black men, our black boys, our black people continue to be treated as if we are worth absolutely nothing.
Seriously, take a minute and think to yourself about someone you love dearly and picture them in their last moments crying out for help, screaming for air that is being stolen from them as the weight of a cop is pressing down on their neck. Picture your loved one wanting nothing more than to just survive so that they could hug you tighter but instead because of their color, their life wasn’t given a second thought. I mean can you imagine?
In August 2020 my friend, Kayla, reached out to me asking if I wanted to collaborate with her on a poem she really wanted to create. It was a poem that would serve in memory of a dear friend of hers. After listening to her and hearing how passionate she was, I of course couldn’t wait to bring this poem to life. Kayla, knows that I absolutely love to write and I do so passionately. However, she also knows that most of what I write stays behind the doors of my many designed notebooks and journals.
I’m thankful that she approached me with this and made sure that not only did I write piece for the poem but she also wanted me to RECORD myself reciting it. If you know me at all, you know that recording my poetry is so out of my comfort zone. I’m glad I was pushed out of it though because I found something on the outside of where I am comfortable. I found many doors, yet to be unopened. I can’t say what is beyond the doors, but I know I’ll never find out settling on comfort.
Here it is, my first ever recording piece of work along with a dear friend of mine, Kayla Mabry. Our poem, Undivided Attention, Divided Comprehension, in memory of Quamaine.
Undivided Attention, Divided Comprehension
(Kayla) Excuse me while I stand on my soap box for what I believe I’ll SHOUT from the roof tops “NO JUSTICE-NO PEACE” The media’s made sure this has our Undivided attention We’ve all read, seen, and heard it – the problem comes from divided comprehension This isn’t patatoe/patatoe this is human life “I hear what you saying!” BUT YOU’RE NOT READING IT RIGHT If your skin looks like mine, you have no first hand experience If you’re ONLY listening to reply, you’re not really hearing it Now close your mouth, Open your mind put away the twitter fingers this don’t even need a reply Do I have your undivided attention? Because as you continue to listen – The world needs you to comprehend There’s no hidden meaning – IT WAS NEVER SUPPOSED TO BE US AGAINST THEM
(Candice) I hope my words are heard just as clear as the ones spoken before me A black woman speaking her mind, Lord I hope they don’t ignore me Checking my watch cause time is crucial, and I got a lot of shit to say Watching another black brother getting shot in the street is now considered “Just another day” While you’re on THE FENCE, I’m on DEFENSE and I promise it is not the same thing It should not be the norm to read in headlines about the death of another Black King And yes, crime is crime and a wrong is wrong and in that aspect you are right But you mean to tell me if my Black brother has a criminal record the price to pay has to be HIS LIFE And for the mentally unstable who are not able to communicate what is on the mind Should they really be silenced with bullets because they could not comprehend a command when it was given the first time Two men with guns, but only one is killed and not because the other was tougher Two men with guns, only one is killed, simply cause one was a brother You focusing on my anger makes you blind to my pain and in result you’ll never hear my message Why when a white person is passionate it’s deemed okay, but a black person is labeled aggressive There can’t be unity in you and me because we aren’t treated the same You can’t blame the media for racial issues when behind closed doors your hatred remains Listen, I mean really listen. Can you hear the pain dragging on the heels of these words Countless Black brothers, sisters, and even CHILDREN are dead. Don’t you think a little justice is what we deserve? People weighing in on black tragedy, telling us how we should feel when you haven’t a clue on what we’ve endured When all we’ve been trying to say is that black lives matter just as much as yours