Sunday, May 31, 2020

Inconvenient Black bodies




Inconvenient Black bodies

by Eva Yaa Asantewaa


Our blood runs red through inconvenient bodies

that mattered when we were profitable chattel

sold, bought, traded like cattle.

We mattered when raped, forced to birth property.

We mattered when building the white man’s nation

from his soil to the skies.

We mattered when our blood ran red in southeast asia,

when it was our blood--not the white man’s,

back in his comfortable home.

We mattered when our brains, our creativity built industries.

We mattered when our own money built white wealth.

We mattered when our ballots built white power.

We build it still, which is how we manage to matter.

But we are inconvenient people,

troublesome bodies, bodies in the way of progress.

Mouths to feed.

Mouths crying, mouths questioning.

Mouths telling secrets.

We are

bodies taking up space,

holding down space desired by others.

Holding stories never meant to be heard.

Resisting names we did not and

do not choose.

Resisting definition by others.

Resisting obscurity.

Resisting obstruction.

So, we are

bodies in handcuffs.

in prisons, in the crosshairs,

at the crossroads,

under the knee

that snuffs out breath as we

make one last cry to ancestors:

gather us, please; please receive

our inconvenient spirits.

derek chauvin confidently pressed his knee

against george floyd's black neck

for nearly nine minutes, each second

precisely measured out with deadly power,

a procedure well-practiced, one might say,

meticulous in its execution,

effective in its dispatch

of one more Black

and inconvenient body.


(c)2020, Eva Yaa Asantewaa

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DISCLAIMER: In addition to my work on InfiniteBody, I serve, at Gibney, as Senior Director of Artist Development and Curation and Editorial Director. The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views, strategies or opinions of Gibney.

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2 comments:

Margaret Morrison said...

Thank you, always, for your words!

Christine- editor of The Dance Enthusiast said...

An absolutely heart-wrenching poem and thank you for it.

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