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.

Tamia Brinson

i used to wish that i was white

i wished to scrape the melanin off my skin

Investigations that expose, influence and inform. Emailed directly to you.


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.