When you have known only Blackness your whole life
As I have
When it has been written on your birth certificate
Celebrated in your home
Taught in your classrooms—
That long history
Marred by half a millennia of
Turmoil and trauma

When it is inked into your skin
Pressed into the faces of your kin
Wrapped around their backs and arms and legs

When it has never known to hide itself
Or shield its richness
Or quiet its voice
Or dim its steady flame,

White spaces become sites of rage

Constant frustration for your sisters and brothers
Whose bodies color these filthy streets like balloons in an empty, endless sky
For the ones displaced and dismembered

For your mothers and fathers
Fading into the cement of their cells
Dissolving into the sidewalks and streets
Crumbling from within their own homes

For your grandmothers and grandfathers
Who bled on these lands
Fed it their songs and dances
Then burrowed themselves
Beneath dry, hard earth to be conjured
By belting voices, big drums and heavy, thumping feet

In response to “Early Memory: The California Zephyr” in The Black Notebook by Toi Dericotte (25-27)

© Ama Akoto (2018)

Published by Sunshine

Sunny Scape is a safe space for Black women and queer folks. I am committed to eradicating intersecting systems of oppression that overwhelmingly affect people like myself, and doing so in a way that centers the most marginalized of us. That means that I am an activist on behalf of Black and brown queer and trans folks, children, sex workers, disabled folks, people of low socioeconomic status, currently and formerly imprisoned people, and countless others who are pushed to the back burners and relegated to second-class citizenship. This blog and everything within it is absolutely inseparable from the liberation efforts of all the aforementioned groups of people.

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