Month: January 2014

The Grammy Heist: Leveraging Gay Marriage to Erase Black Narratives

Seven months ago, the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, securing a historical keystone in the fight for marriage equality. Within 24 hours of that historic moment, the voting rights act—a landmark victory of the civil rights era that enfranchised Black voters throughout the country—had been gutted under the watch of the country’s first Black President. At the time I had to ask myself: How does this moment sound off, or re-affirm, America’s disinterest in Black struggle? More specifically, how is marriage equality being used to eclipse Black inequality? I asked myself the same question last night, as Macklemore cleaned up four grammies including Best Rap song for Thrift Shop and Best Album for The Heist while Kendrick Lamar walked away without one award. (more…)

Spelling Bee

Johnson

Tomorrow is the last day of class.
They will run into the room,
Leather belts round their books,
knocking their knees in a rush to their desks.
I will smile to them and whisper
“I have nothing left to teach you.” (more…)

Fossil Dreams

I dream of fossils
.
I dream of earth toned children born archeologists,
their rights of passage in a wilderness,
where they’ll dig,
brush the dust off handcuffs
rusted and tarnished
buried in layers of sediment
along with the times where
our blocks,
front yards, and neighborhoods,
were patrolled like settlements. (more…)

Ink Stains

With what ink do your write
your name in freedom’s ledger?
How legible is the debt you
cleared with a noose
or plumes of smoke over watts in 65,
how legible are the bruises written under
orange jumpsuits and booking
numbers, authored by the sheriff that
tazed him in his cell.
Corcoran or Chino,
He beats brail into the walls of
his 8 by 10 with hopes to
splinter the dissonant fingers of lady justice. (more…)

Yellow Line

Yellow Line

Visiting hours at the Van Nuys jail.
I am another brown face
in a hallway of earth tone
bodies weighing like
heavy mud sliding towards the edge.
I find my place on the wall,
retrace our steps
workshops, interventions, conversations
that still
led me here,
visiting you so we could strategize freedom
with a pane of glass between us. (more…)