Heather Heyer

By KW

Your mother put it best,
“They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well, guess what?
You just magnified her”
You can rest assured, Heather, I will never forget you
My expression when speaking of you will always show
How much I respect the stance you took against divisiveness
How you truly are a Hero and Champion of the people,
How you are representing real American Values, Morals, and Creed.
Trust me Big Sis, I’ll keep marching on your behalf.
I’ll keep standing against inequality and injustice.
Using whatever tools I have to ensure champions like you?
Will live on
Thank you for your service, courage, and commitment
At ease, Soldier. At ease.

“She was murdered by the BRUTALITY OF EVERY SHERIFF who practiced LAWLESSNESS in the name of the LAW. She was murdered by the IRRESPONSIBILITY of EVERY politician from Governors on down to who FED his constituents the stale BREAD of HATRED and the SPOILED MEAT OF RACISM. She was murdered by the COWARDICE of EVERY NEGRO who passively accepts the EVILS of segregation, and who STAND on the SIDELINES in the struggle for JUSTICE.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King

(Speech originally given March 3, 1965 at Jimmie Lee Jackson’s funeral service. I replaced the “he” with “she” to fulfill my point)

WOKE

By HF

What is WOKE in this day and age
Is it simply activism only from a social media page?
Is it an afro and a pick?
An Olympic stage raised clinched fist
Consciously eating organic kale salad
While digesting an Erykah Badu ballad
Is it Nat Turner’s unspoken rage?
An Angela Davis gaze
Is it a national anthem knee?
What is WOKE in the 21st Century?

What does it mean to be WOKE?
Is it the audacity to have hope?
The subtle militancy of Malcolm X’s ghost
Political satire at an extreme right wing roast
Pledging allegiance to a black body swinging from a tree
Being WOKE is strange fruit in the 21st Century

Is being WOKE something confined to the tongue,
Or the manacles of the miseducation of the Negro becoming undone?
The souls of black folk arising from a collective slumber
A raisin in the sun transcending the shade of the summer
Is it something we can taste, touch, see, hear, or feel?
Or is it only a vision our united third eye makes real?
What is the price we pay for being sound asleep?
Is it gentrification cultural misappropriation of being WOKE in this 21 Century?

New Life

By RF

I’m a changed man, with this New Life
AIM for success
I finally got it right
All the drugs and stuff
Those are old habits
Negative people, you can have it
Healthy living, that’s all me
I’m shining bright like a diamond
Can’t you see?
I feel like a newborn baby
It feels lovely to breathe New Life
My REENTRY into the outside world won’t be much of a fight
Living Life
I’m just living life
Come join me in this New Life
My changed ways was for the better
AIMING for success
I won’t rest until I reach it
I know my new way of living
Will make my loved ones proud
It’s my new certificate of completion
My New Life
I’ll just sit back
And SMILE.

Thoughts

By MP

Late nights and early morning
Is what it’s becoming
Same thing, different day
Trying to figure out life as I know it
Scared to give a little because
People are taking more than what’s given
I’m trying to play this game like chess
But everyone else is moving like checkers
Help raising my daughter is a hard thing to do in my situation
I feel like it’s time for change
I feel like the old ways ain’t working no more
So, it’s time for new ways
In life, if something breaks you fix it
If not for me, my daughter deserves it
My generation is lost
They have no moral value, loyalty or respect
Shaken dudes that was once a friend
And killing them is now getting everyone paid
And all I want to do is change this game

Late nights and early mornings
Is what it’s becoming
Getting on my knees and praying asking Allah to take this pain
My little brother just got more time than his age
I’m on this path and I don’t know where it’s going
All I know is that I have to figure out something
Drifting through life hoping that I be smart for me and my daughter
Just my thoughts!!!

Reborn

By DJ

I’ve walked down many roads
But this one has to be the longest
The mellow cool breeze and the beautiful sky
With the peaceful sound of birds chirping is the calmest
Feeling at an all time high
Relaxed and relieved of stress
Now that I’m renewed and clear
I can truly say I’m blessed
Now I feel bold and confident
Because I overcame my fears
I used to feel expectant and challenged
Because of the pressure of my peers
I no longer feel like that lost little boy
I was scared and so alone
Now I am a man
Brave and anxious to right my wrongs
The road used to be a million miles long
Now it’s a joyful walk
On my short journey home
I hated myself for a long time
Feeling bitter and scorn
Now I’m open-hearted
And my insides are cozy and warm
I love feeling empowered and satisfied
Now that I’m reborn