I AM A BLACK MAN IN AMERICA

I am a Black man in America.

You don’t know what it’s like to be a Black man in America until

you’ve seen another Black man with his hands up, posing no sort of threat

shot down in the street and left there without any medical treatment for minutes

and felt his pain miles away.

You don’t know what it’s like to be a Black man in America until

you see Black men shot in the street and think you could be next.

You don’t know what it’s like to be a Black man in America until

you’ve felt anger in your body, because there goes another one. Innocently!

or that you’re trying to love, but there’s so much to hate

You don’t know what it’s like to be a Black man in America until

you’ve left your desk in the middle of the day and locked yourself in the bathroom

to cry and try to hold back the tears from the years of conversations about

you are a Black man in america, you have to work harder than everyone else and

when approached by the police you can’t pose any threat, you can’t ask any questions,

in that scenario you’ll goal is to just make it out alive.

I have a Black Mother

You don’t know what it’s like to be a Black mother of a Black man

until you’ve felt that fear that he could be shot down in the middle of the street

You don’t know what it’s like to be a Black mother of a Black man

until you’ve stayed up late at night waiting for him to get home. Safely!

You don’t know what it’s like to be a Black mother of a Black man

until you’ve had to view the video of your black son being slaughtered in the streets

over and over and over again

I have a Black Father

You don’t know what it’s like to be a Black father of a Black man

until you’ve had to struggle to find the words to tell your son he is a Black man

that has a target on his back because he’s a Black man

You don’t know what it’s like to be a Black father of a Black man

until you’ve felt the fear that your Black son may not live to see the age of maturity

because he is a Black man

You don’t know what it’s like to be a Black father of a Black man

until you’ve wanted nothing but success for your young son but not sure

how the world will treat your Black child.

I have Black Parents

You don’t know what it’s like to be Black parents of a Black man

until you had to bury your Black son, after being murder for being a Black man

but somehow finding the strength to carry on, carry on and ask for peace

I have Black brothers

You don’t know what it’s like to be the Black brother of two younger Black brothers

until you’ve feared they could be next

You don’t know what it’s like to be the Black brother of two younger Black brothers

until you’ve realized that they are in the same position as you as a Black man and you

as the older brother don’t have one answer on how to keep them safe

You don’t know what it’s like to be the Black brother of two younger Black brothers

until you have hope that they’ll somehow experience better

but you don’t know how true that may be.

I have Black woman friends

You don’t know what it’s like to be a Black woman of other Black men and women

until you’ve watched, cried, and felt the pain of seeing another shot down in the streets

You don’t know what it’s like to be a Black woman of other Black men and women

until you’ve feared that you will be held back in life not only because you’re a woman

but a black woman in America.

You don’t know what it’s like to be a Black woman of other Black men and women

until you’ve heard the news of another Black person shot and killed by the police and

wondered if it was your friend

I am a Black man in America

You don’t know what it’s like to be Black in America until

they tell you not to protest and the ones that tell you not to protest are silent

when the reasons you’re protesting are evident on national T.V. but

somehow they still don’t get it

You don’t know what it’s like to be a Black in america

I am a Black man in America.

 

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