“So Many Things Have Changed” by Margaret A. Blair

And here we are again.
Why do we have to say Black Lives Matter?
We do
because so many things have happened –

so many things have changed,
and yet so many things
seem to remain the same.

We can understand
a pregnant twenty year old
Mary Turner
in the twentieth century
had something to say.
Why the outrage? Why the anger?
And what a price to pay!
The forcibly widowed black woman
who loudly stood and cried
protesting against the “Strange Fruit” hanging
when her husband died,
forced to look at two children, with fear in their eyes –
so many things would change,
and so many things would happen
to turn their future world
forever to sighs

and silence.

Can one be silent knowing that true victims do exist,
with little or nothing ever done to acknowledge this?

No justice….?

We can understand
South Africa after apartheid,
could have her officials stand and declare
their wrongs,
and what they would soon ratify,
But what about us
in this powerfully great nation?
Should we be silent,
ignoring our issues, rights, differences,

Should they be denied?

So many things have happened –
so many things seem to remain the same.
Like slavery,
we need to publicly acknowledge,
and discuss events
that has affected our communities –
still affecting our lives,
or else race relations
will continue to be strained,
with good Police Officers
silenced by bad policing,
the innocent –
who are fearful of being stopped…
while others will not say her name.
In spite of all that has happened,
in spite of all that has changed,
We are here..
many faces from many places
Read between our lines
of passion and pain
Hear our message
Understand our words
protesting loudly in the streets,
Remember the victims,
that black men, women, boys and girls
have voices.
And nothing
will remain the same.
The writer suggests reading the poem above alongside this track, “Do it Today” by Jus Mic
Credits and notes about the images, provided by author/writer:
1. These people were persecuted by the media and the police as they worked to raise the consciousness of the black community, but still found a way to  celebrate their culture (Photographer: Natural Langdon in Bahia)
2. Kids trying to have fun on the streets. (Photographer: Natural Langdon)
3. Words of Nelson Mandela at the Center for Civil and Human Rights. (Photographer: Author/writer)

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