“We Will Not Stop” by Ashley Renee Causey-Golden

I close my eyes and tell myself that what I feel is not real.

It is weakness
and I cannot be weak.
Not in front of you.

I am peaceful.
I am strong.
That’s what I tell myself.

But there is an emotional hurricane brewing:
with every news story about police brutality.
with every gun shot heard at night that takes a life far too soon.
with every side glance questioning why my black body
is present in your space/your privileged space?

An emotional hurricane is brewing.
I am not peaceful.
I… am… tired.

My body has been burned/scratched/bruised/beaten/stripped/raped/shot/abandoned.
I… am… tired.

My body has been used to build the very land you call free.
a word that sounds foreign to my own mouth/ my own ears.

A word that used to be a silent prayer of deliverance for my ancestors.
An idea that led many to their deaths is now what the state gives me like a handout.

For me to deal with,
to cope with,
the new reality that I am faced with.
In a land that my body was force to build
to only be crushed under the oppressive weight of a capitalistic state
who said I ain’t even worthy enough to protect.

I have been taught that my body does not matter,
whether it is taken by the state or by my lover.

What am I to you now?
Have I no value?

I can give life but I don’t deserve to have life.
My body is no longer a need.
Have you found more bodies to do the work I used to do?
You no longer need me to build your houses, buildings and roads.
You no longer need me to harvest your fields.
You no longer need me.

But I am still in need of you:
for health care/education/housing
for my daily bread.
Government believes they freed me from the physical chains of slavery.
But instead I have shackles:
seen by me
invisible to you
to your American dream.
But they are the iron wrought gates that prevent me from My American Dream.

A system imbedded to have an “us” and a “them” will be the very system that we
the tired/beaten/shot at/abandoned
will crush the very establishment that is crushing us.
With our overworked hands
and our breaking voices bursting with an unyielding strength to be heard.

We will win this fight.

If not today,

If not tomorrow,
the next day,
and the next day,
and the next day.


Let the children of our children speak of us as heroes and heroines.
Let our memories forever be upon their mouths
For our victory,
has already been purchased in blood.













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(Credits: Original artwork provided by the author/writer. Audio read and recorded by author/writer).

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