American Black by Lulu Moyo

Every 28 hours a young black man dies in America
Due to white on black crime.
Every 28 hours a black man loses his time on Earth;
The result of a curse
Some say by Canaan,
Some don’t want to lay name or acknowledgement
To the unchanging accomplishments of racism in America.
That that’s just the way life is.
That that is just the way life is.
Some ask, “Isn’t racism dead?”
I heard a fed in a news broadcast once say that
It is all in the heads of blacks.
That the fact of the matter is we are begging for attention;
Retention of ill feelings for things that happened in “ancient history”.

They say the last recorded lynching happened in 1981,
But one lynching happened every 28 hours.
For 4 hours, the blazing afternoon sun towered
Over Michael Brown’s body.
His blood baked into the asphalt
While people sipped their coffee and went about their day.
He laid there with bullets inside him as passersby came for hour hours,
Craned their necks over their white picket fences,
Just to get a piece of him.

Eric Garner;
The last things he tasted were blood and cement
As his face was smashed against the ground.
He found himself being choked lifeless over cigarettes
John Crawford was murdered for
Picking up a toy gun in a store.
Need more?
Ezell Ford, Dante Parker, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, Timothy Thomas, Amadou Diallo.

Need more?
Does this not sound like the history of America?
Strange fruit hanging with their mouths agape
Eyes bulging out of their skulls
As passersby came to get a look.
Racism in not dead
It took their lives
And instead of strange fruit swinging from trees these thieves
Leave bodies in parking lots, ditches, suburban neighborhoods,
And back yards

The cards of black men in this country have been dealt
And they aren’t looking good.
These deaths continue due to
Slandered images of niggas in the hood
Selling drugs doing what thugs do
These deaths continue to be justified
By claims of self-defense and laws like Stand Your Ground.
How many rounds of violence,
How many slain people will it take for change to come?
Why aren’t more people coming together as one to make something happen?
Hashtags don’t quite cut it for social activism
#justice isn’t doing enough to fight this ‘ism’
That plagues the black community
Instead of using those four lines
Let’s form lines in the DC streets.
Let’s riot until laws are made to meet the needs
Of protecting our young black men and women.
Because at this point black lives are expendable
Black lives are disposable and it’s acceptable
For institutions to protect murderers and to degrade victims
It’s a system, a cycle.
It’s too painful to hear about more inexplicable deaths of unarmed blacks
And still adhere to the claim that human kind is equal.

I fear accepting that in the next 28 hours there’ll be another Michael.

by Lulu Moyo


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