I Wish to Live Alive, Not Just Survive

Editor’s note: This poem is part of our #SpreadTheWord poem of the week series, featuring work by Chicago artists based on Injustice Watch reporting. This poem was inspired by “In Plain View: Cops Around The Country Are Posting Racist And Violent Comments On Facebook.” For more poetry in this series, click here. i used to wish that i was white

i wished to scrape the melanin off my skin

the hate the world wielded against my people

forged its way within

 

those designed to protect us neglect us

they tie the anchors around our feet

our cries for help are silenced

they are the wolves, and we are the sheep

 

they have no mercy for our screams

in fact, they enjoy the taste of our demise

how blissful it must be to live in ignorance

while our bodies drop like flies

 

i no longer wish to be white

only to be seen

not defined by my color

just the merit of my being

(is that too much to ask?)

 

My name is Tamia Brinson and my greatest strength is my resiliency. I may fall, but never do I break.

superior To me

Do you feel superior when the dawn breaks/or is it only when you see me/seemingly broken by the loaded words “strip search” /an unearthing of women and our resilience

Like any good man

This poem was performed at Injustice Watch’s #SpreadTheWord poetry event on April 22. Artists were asked to write a poem inspired by one of Injustice Watch’s stories.

Hot Seat Questions for the Candidate

This poem was written for and performed at Injustice Watch’s #SpreadTheWord poetry event on April 22. Artists were asked to write a poem inspired by one of Injustice Watch’s stories. This piece was inspired by our ongoing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and its effect on the criminal justice system. What is the world you want to achieve? Can you show me the blueprint?