#AltonSterling

These are my friends.

Breathtaking, brown skinned beauties whose melanin glows beneath the sun,

bringing forth smiles that crack the cold in my heart,

provoking endless laughter that tickles my spirit.

This is my family.

Adorned in their different shades of Black worn proudly in many ways,

fists balled up and held high in the air,

complemented by Japanese tattoos here and there.

This is me.

The lil’ lightskinned Black girl that greets struggle in the morning,

and does brunch with burdens,

who cries when lives turn into hashtags

and bodies transition from ashes to dust.

This is us.

A body of people scarred from a past we weren’t alive for,

yet we live it still,

because then is now.

Our artillery cannot compare to the systematic oppression our society built specifically for us.

We scream “Black Lives Matter”

not to take away from other lives,

but because our lives are taken from us.

We are doctors and lawyers.

We are teachers and mentors.

We are athletes and artists.

We are preachers and pioneers.

We are everything you’ve never heard of,

because our stories go untold.

We are people, just like you.

Human.

Harmed.

Hurting.

Prejudged.

Misunderstood.

Mocked.

Appropriated.

Infuriated.

Infiltrated.

Longing.

Lost.

Left for dead if not there already.

Mourners.

Because it’s always a beautiful day to be Black,

yet being Black is what gets you killed.

These are my friends.

This is my family.

This is my community.

This is me.

One race,

different lives,

same fight,

each morning, noon and night.

It’s always a beautiful day to be Black.

It’s always a beautiful day to believe.

But right now,

in these moments,

all we can do is grieve.

Poet: Stefanie Parrott

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