The List

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I’m intentional in not providing any pictures. This is for healing.

I woke up angry. I noticed that the thing many people have done is compile a list of all of the latest atrocities and murders showing what we “can’t do” as Black people in America.

Those lists frustrate me because while true in terms of an account of what happened, I worry about the children that read them believing that this skin we’re in is a handicap. So my prayer is that these words counteract that feeling.


Many start the list with Trayvon Martin, but I’m from Cincinnati so it goes further back than that.
My family is from Georgia and Alabama so it goes much further back than anything that happened in Cincinnati.
The family from Alabama preached across a county or two in the middle of a time where our churches were being bombed…
Earlier than that, the family from Georgia had a key point of new beginning from a lynching behind a dispute about a mule…but that’s just on my Grandmother’s mom’s side.
On her dad’s side the key point was a kidnapping.
But before the kidnapping, three sisters landed in the Carolinas on a slave ship from Ghana.
Ghana was just where they started writing stuff down.

In the middle of all of that, we survived. Not all of us and not at the level of the ones that oppress us but we did it… Together.
Not giving a damn about who likes us.
Not bowing our heads.
Not on thoughts and prayers alone either.

There was a fight at every turn. Every single time, one of the ancestors said HELL NAW in one way or another and gave up to as much as their last breath so that the rest of us could make it.

It’s those last breaths and battles that ignite my soul. My descendants will not live in fear of other human beings.  I will not live in fear and most of all, I won’t disrespect my list by putting my head down for a second.

Black Children, remember just how much it took for you to be here in the first place. Honor them and hold your head up today no matter what. I know it hurts, it always does… They only hate us because no matter how many of us they kill, it’ll never be enough to erase our story. Ask your family about your personal list (including the triumphs) and commit it to memory.

We are so much more than the things that happen to us…. AND THE MORE THEY DO US WRONG, THE MORE THEY PROVE US RIGHT.

WE ARE BIGGER even as a national minority. Our story stretches beyond borders, oceans, time and civilizations. Do not let what’s happening around us distract us from who we really are.

Protect your Spirit at all times. That’s the only part they really want to die anyway…

Hell Naw!

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