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July 8, 2016

Photo courtesy of BM (Black Matters) Shared with author by J Cameron Bayne

And this I believe, “To be black in America is to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Karsonya Wise Whitehead, 2016



06.05.16 (my life in real time)

What to this Negro is the Fourth of July?
–Every July 4th, I celebrate the fact that I am the descendant of people who chose to survive. In 1776, my ancestors (on both sides of my family) were living and surviving as enslaved people on somebody’s plantation. They chose to go forward every single day instead of backward. On that day, when most white folks and some black folks, celebrated America’s independence, they got up and worked and dreamed of freedom –the kind that wouldn’t come until 1865, only to be replaced shortly thereafter with Jim Crow; the kind that their descendants would continue to fight and struggle to achieve…even 150 years later. I am the descendant of people who chose to survive. Today: I celebrate their tenacity; I celebrate their survival instinct; I celebrate their choices; I celebrate their prayers and their tears and their sense of community; and, I celebrate that independent spirit that even in the face of incredible odds could not be broken. Today, I celebrated them, again.


06.06.16 (black wife/mommy blues)

  1. My husband states that he is going out for the run and I react –with fear with concern– like he is going to war.

    2. My son puts on a red t-shirt and red Converse shoes to go to camp and me and my husband both stop him and say Not Today. No red. No blue. No hoodie. Not. Today.

    The stinking Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, indeed. This is what it looks like Every Single Day when you are the wife and mother of a black man and teenage black boys.


06.07.16 (for Alton Sterling)

I must brace myself. I must steel myself. I must ready myself because the cycle has begun, again:
1. A black man has been shot and killed by the police.
2. We will cry and shout ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter and march and hold press conferences and demand justice.
3. The cops will be placed on Paid leave as the “investigation” takes place.
4. The media will put the victim on trial searching out every parking ticket and bad grade.
5. Folks will question the victim’s motives (even though there is video) as if he wanted to be shot and killed.
6. No charges will be filed.
7. No indictment will be had.
8. The cops will be acquitted.
9. America will move on.

–This is what the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave looks like from my perspective.




07.07.16 (for Philando Castile)

Another black man dead at the hands of the police.
Another hashtag memorial.
Another day of me being angry and scared. Another day when I feel like I could Burn this country to the ground.
Another day when we are reminded that we may not be enslaved but we are definitely Not free.
Another day of me struggling to figure out how to mother and save and protect my two big black boys.
Another day to wake up and find Black Death hanging out at my door.
Another day when I understand that to “to be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.” (James Baldwin)

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