On being Black in America | Frederick Joseph
Late last week a friend sent me the quote below from Frederick Joseph. She found it at Blavity, which she describes as “an excellent source to learn what is newsworthy to the black community.”
Here’s what Frederick Joseph had to say:
As a Black person in America, I’m tired.
Tired of waking up and not knowing
what new trauma will seep into my bones.
What new video of injustice will be etched into my memory.
What new name will become a hashtag.
Whether I will become a hashtag.
I don’t know what it’s like to live in black or brown skin. Nonetheless, here’s a first attempt to imagine how it might feel if the new “black or brown” were now “white.”
Feeling my White way along
this unfamiliar path I stop
to consider what it would
take to live for just one day
and one long night in the skin
of a Black person in the USA
Trapped with nowhere else to go
I’m caught in the glare of unsought
publicity turning uglier while the
latest news bulletin breeds fear
in the hearts of women and men
caught on camera in White skins
Newsy chats with experts and officials
don’t calm my racing heart already
sinking beneath words doled out about
future solutions while I want only
the honor of being recognized
today as the Full Citizen I already am
As a white citizen, I know the tug of wanting to keep going based on myths, hopes, dreams and a heavy dose of addiction to sham. We would rather live on tomorrow’s promises that yesterday and today’s reality. So where do we go from here?
I don’t know. However, I’m going to start checking out Blavity. Otherwise, I might miss what’s most important to the very citizens whose lives are routinely in jeopardy.
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 14 June 2021
Photo found at alphanewsmn.com