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Sunday Morning Service (for Sandra Bland)

July 11, 2016

(arrested July 20, 2015)


We say your name

because we know they want you to be erased

to be just a memory

to be just a fragment

to be just a fragrance caught in their wind.

We chant your name

because we could not stop your arrest.

We saw it but could not act

as throwing stones at our computers never changes anything.

We whisper your name, over and over again,

because we still strive to find the normal

to give voice to our pain

to reclaim what we love

to remember who we are.

We whisper it, over and over again,

because there is a sore—

festering raw infested real—called racism

that has always been there

covered up for years by enslavement by reconstruction

by the nadir

covered up for years by segregation by voting rights

by amendments

uncovered finally by the stench that is post-racial.

We sing your name

because we have come to the place where we must be held accountable.

We didn’t want you to just be a hash tag, a name thrown around by politicians

who want our vote but not our voices but we let it happen, we couldn’t stop it.

We will stand on your name

because we have learned how to sit quietly and meditatively

at the feet of your memory

but we will not set up a tent and remain there

for there is no time for rest, not just yet.


© RaceBrave, Karsonya Wise Whitehead, 2016

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