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Purposeful Histrionics

Today I went to a rally
For a young black man murdered
In his own home.

I also attended
Some small group meetings
For tenants to get out
Of apartments that have been decaying around them.

In our own homes
We are aggressors
Or we are invisible

It is our fault
If we react
Violently.

I watched his mother cry
For the umpteenth time
“Why? Why? Why does a black man
Have to die?”

No one came out to meet us.
It was business as usual
Except with temperature checks at the door.

We scream at closed buildings
And to white men’s closed ears.

Tears streaming down our faces
Babies in our arms
The ghosts of our beloved dead babies
Crawling around with the rats.

“Ma’am, if you do not lower your volume,
You will be escorted out.”


As I write this, he’s sharing
A funny story about his father.
A Leo.

I guess I am respectable enough
To know his father’s sign.
He affectionately calls him
A pig.

Of course, a lot of our pigs are black.
So are our DAs.

“Look into my eyes.
I’m tired.”

By Monica Johnson

About Community Movement Builders (123 Articles)
Community Movement Builders (CMB) is a member-based collective of black people dedicated to being a force for creating sustainable self-determining communities through cooperative economic advancement and collective community organizing. Our mission is rooted in Black love and equity. Grassroots Thinking is our newsletter/community blog about our work and movement activity

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