Sisters for Brothers

Protesters marching on Shaw Blvd. in St. Louis. Photo credit: Alex Scott

Protesters marching on Shaw Blvd. in St. Louis. Photo credit: Alex Scott

There's a little brown boy silent in a black cell Jailed in his mind with purple bruises on his nervous system He wonders what they mean when they say "America, Land of the Free"

His heart is pounding like they were pounding daddy’s face into the gravel
On a Jersey sidewalk until he couldn’t breathe anymore
Daddy, he can’t breathe
Don’t you hear him, he can’t breathe
They’ll hurt us until we stop breathing

Pounding like gunshots piercing through his flesh
Brother, where is daddy
Brother, they killed him
Brother, they’ll kill us too
Pounding like a clock
Are we running out of time
But how can being black be a crime
In his mind he yells out

Mommy hold me
I miss daddy
Why did they kill him
Why do they hate us
Pounding like questions he’ll never ask
Silence.

His heart beats like America’s beeping radar
Quick around the corner
There he is
Shoot now
So he runs

Trapped in a world that tells him his body is disposable
He’s running circles in his mind
Thinking this is what will free him
But little boy don’t be foolish
Don’t you know running won’t get you freedom

Well if he stays
Pleading “don’t shoot, don’t shoot”
With his hands up to the sky, well if he stays
He’ll only be singing his last words to God
Because America can’t hear him
He’s going to need to be a little more louder than that
He’s going to need a little more blackness than that
He’s going to need a whole town, no a whole country
In arms to fight back, fight back
But no amount of protesting in the world can bring Michael Brown back
This is for all the black ghosts we forgot to fight for

This is for my nephew who plays in the middle of the street sometimes
He is only a boy, you don’t need to shoot him to get him to move to the sidewalk, sir
You don’t need to shoot him six times
I am afraid for him
I wonder if my sister has sat him down yet
I wonder if he knows that there’s rioting going on just a street away from where he lives
I wonder if he knows that we love him
And that he is worthy
That his heart beats like African drums
That his blood runs from Kings
That his mind and body are a living revolution
That he has a power in his soul to bring an entire community together
Even when he’s gone
I pray, that is not for another 60 years, Lord

There are little brown girls, like me, weeping inside for little brown boys like you
We are your sisters, mothers, aunties, and cousins
We are your flesh
I know that you are hurting underneath that silence
Don’t you see this brown skin, I feel that too
Baby boy, you can come cry with me tonight
But tomorrow we’ll be through

Our hearts will beat like African drums
Our minds will build a revolution
And we’ll sing to God with our fists up
Black Ghost, we fight for you

By Taylor Vinson, The Black Bear

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