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Black Brother (a poem)

Black Brother (a poem)

Michael Brown

Black Brother,

there’s a lot that I want to say to you today…

I want to tell you that you are safe, that you are seen, that you are valued.

I want to tell you that your presence, your very essence, is always welcomed.

I want to tell you that all the luxuries and opportunities afforded me are also afforded you.

 

But I can’t.

 

Black Brother,

there’s a lot that I want to say to you today…

I want to tell you to listen to the police, even when you have done nothing wrong.

I want to tell you to obey their words, even if they are wrong.

I want to tell you to lay aside your pride, and yes, even your rights

 

But I can’t.

‘cause I will never know what’s it like to be a black man in Amerikkka.  I will never experience what it’s like for my very presence to breed fear.  I will never feel what it’s like to cause women to clutch their purses and draw their children near.

Black Brother,

there’s a lot that I want to say to you today…

I want to tell you that you are loved, and seen, and valued.

I want to tell you that you will make it, despite all odds.

I want to tell you that you can beat the system, and yes, even change it

So I will.

 

Black Brother,

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there’s a lot that I want to say to you today…

I want to tell you that I will understand if you don’t heed the warnings of your mama and aunties, trying desperately to keep your black body safe.

I want to tell you that I will get it if you choose to stand up for your rights and choose instead to fight.

I want to tell you that I will not blame you if you choose to die by the sword of principal rather than live with the degradation found in keeping a false peace.

 

Black Brothers,

there’s a lot that I want to say to you today…

So I will.

I want to tell you that if you continue to die,

So will I.

 

Chanté Griffin is a writer, speaker, TV personality, and proud code-switcher.  She is also the Director of Education for Junior Achievement, an educational non-profit. 

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