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Mourning in America: A Black Mother’s Blues Song

December 10, 2016

Karsonya Wise Whitehead, #blackmommyactivist

For the mothers of Tamir Rice & Tyre King


 it’s mourning (again) in america

and i am at the edge of singing and crying and mourning out

a black woman’s blues song

so i – i take the day off

standing still to find myself

as these are not just my nightmares

or shadows only appearing to me as real

these are shared

these are ours

morning time takes us all in

i’ve been up crying all night,

writing all night,

ranting all night,

meditating all night

running back and forth checking on my sons all night.

the broken down souls of Black women

rarely get a chance to mourn

we rise again and again

thinking that if we don’t

that if we stopped

that if we just stood still

then the world would stop moving

simply because we did

there are too many bodies

too many memories

too many bullets

too many marches

too many hash tags

to properly mourn

to fully engage

to disconnect

so we bury these feelings

of fear of pain of mourning of emptiness

somewhere inside of ourselves

and then we rise, again

we who have been taught to follow the rules

learning early how to submit

how to swallow our pain

how to lower our chins

shield our eyes/and be still

                                          very very still

we raise our hands

we walk slowly toward the police

we kneel down at the feet of our oppressor

we lay on the ground with our eyes closed

holding our breath

screaming as loud as we can

that we. are. not. armed.

knowing full well that in this country, we are

because black and brown skin is seen as a weapon

and they-they react in fear

but for us…it is not america at war that scare us

but, america as war, that keeps us up at night

and as the morning comes

bringing light into the dark spaces

we realize that in this country with this skin

we are always armed and locked and loaded

and at the dawn of this new day

as we face the wind instead of running away

where we choose to stand and hold this ground

we reach out to our sisters

of the yam and of shared pain

none of us chose this path

but we find ourselves at this place

where we share and shoulder our pain

sisterhood is a verb

and requires us to be present

if not for ourselves/then for others

in the face of incredible pain

we greet the dawn

exhale and dry our tears

rejecting the silence and choosing to speak

we will bring the morning back to America

without our tears without our blood without our sacrifice

this is why we are still here

as survivors who have chosen to survive

and we will stretch forward toward the morning

and go forth to meet ourselves, again.


©2016, Meridians, feminism, race, transnationalism v15, (1), 1-4.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 11, 2016 4:18 pm


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