Sunday, May 31, 2020

Unarmed. (rough draft)

I often think back to a poem I wrote the summer of my 12th birthday, one I'm pretty sure I've shared on this blog. To this day its simple lyrics resonates with me and makes me really grateful that I learned about how to forge my own identity in a world full of labels, and that at such an early age, my parents taught me how to be proud of who I am.

As the poem comes to me kind of unexpectedly, I must've written a sequel to that poem back in February (2.22.2020, to be exact); they had a similar rhythm. Or maybe this is just me with a more clear understanding of my own voice. Either way it goes, I wrote a poem that has been a sort of love letter to myself, but I've been afraid to share it and I'm not quite sure why. If I'm being honest, I've been afraid to share a lot of things out of fear that the words wouldn't be good enough. By the way, I'm coming to this realization as I'm typing, attempting to create content during a time when our voices matter the most. 

I'm trying to pinpoint when exactly I became so hesitant to shake the table, to rattle feathers, to speak out no matter who took offense to the truth. When did I become so damn timid? I'm actually not even sure how important the chronological order is in this matter, but maybe retracing steps will help me solve the current issue I'm having (?) Still unsure how to answer. I guess what I'm saying is...I'm trying. Considering everything happening in the world and the tragedies that continue to plague this country, anything happening in my personal life seems so small in comparison. While dealing with  and trying to maneuver through both the external and the internal, I. Am. much so that finding the proper words to say during a time such as this is overwhelming within itself. 

But I'm a "writer" and I have created a platform to be able to speak, so I have to say something. 

One of the lines in the poem is: "...your natural beliefs and desires have been tainted, because you've never actually experienced true freedom/never have you ever seen sunrises be as beautiful as you dreamed them..." and it shocks me every single time how prolific that stanza is, even as the person who wrote it on the same day I wrote the blog post, Bigger Than Me.

Because it is. 

That line was an ode to the Black community. Historically, we have been stripped down to the point where we barely recognize the power within us; the power that the oppressive party works so hard to dismantle, time and time again. Even in knowing this, we still hold on to dreams that imagine kind of freedom most of us have never  experienced, and will never experience, in this lifetime. We fail to see what we are actually made of, what we are capable of, the capacity we have within us to evoke change, all that jazz.

All of the arguing back and forth about who is doing what, none of it really matters. All that matters is that we are all doing something. The people who make a difference are the ones who take a stand for what is right, despite what that looks like for the individual. I may not be on the front lines, letting my rage loose, I may not be on the streets of stomping atop police cars, but given the reality of the shit that keeps happening to the innocent and the unruly, the expression is justified. Whatever we are each called to do matters to the entire collective; I've seen this shared thought process being circulated on my social media feeds. Whenever people in the black community instigates mindless battles amongst ourselves during all of this, we establish more gateways for unnecessary conflict inside the black community, therefore, making ourselves more vulnerable and playing right into the wicked game of systematic racism. This is a gentle reminder to my people that the war is not within.

However, when I look at the myriad youth organizers, all the young Black men in hoods across the nation boldly standing up for what is right in the face of the same people inflicting damage, all the uprisings, revolts, and rebellions on the very soil that killed yet another unarmed Black man for a PETTY AF crime, a part of me knows - even in the midst of a modern day massacre - we gon' be alright, like Brotha Kendrick said. And there's a part that we all [as human beings with the capacity to accept other human beings and treat them as such] have to play in what happens next, because BLACK LIVES MATTER is not just a "Black" issue; it's a human issue. No, I don't have all the answers, I don't think any of us do, but I will continue to find ways to ensure that I am a part of the movement that chooses to take action on the right side of justice. 

-Signing off- 
Chymere A. ♡


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