Root Work Journal - Convening in the Ark - Volume 1, Issue 1
University of North Carolina at Asheville
In this poem I struggle to balance God’s goodness with the injustices happening to the black community.
It’s me. I know that you are holy. I know that you are righteous. I know that you are good. But if I may, I have some things I would like to contend with you.
Lord your Word says to forgive. You tell us to love our enemies. You tell us to pray for those who persecute us. But what good will that do?
When the wicked continue to prosper and the treacherous continue to thrive?
When there are people that look at my skin and they think to themselves they’d rather see me dead than alive?
Lord, how do you expect me to feel comfortable with the body I’m in when out of all the representation that is presented none of them are a representation of me?
How do you expect me not to perpetuate the stereotype of an angry black woman when angry is all I know how to be?
Lord how do you expect me to love my neighbor unconditionally
When my neighbors are the angry white mobs that somehow always manage to escape their guilty plea.
When they accuse, murder and abuse yet walk-off Scott free.
Lord, how do you expect me to turn the other cheek when they capitalize cruelty and in their corruption use their manipulation to profit from our oppression.
When they steal our culture, steal our credit, steal our confidence, and yet refuse to be snatched by our struggle.
Ney, they refuse to even acknowledge the struggle. They close their eyes and clog their ears to our struggle. They tell us that we imagine the struggle.
They ain’t never even met real struggle.
Lord, they’re wearing our faces but when it comes time to face the jeering faces they hide away in their luxurious places while they leave us in the empty spaces where discrimination meets oppression meets depression meets hopelessness meets defeat.
Lord, how do you expect me to pray for these jackals who “free” us from our shackles only for us to realize that these visible shackles have turned into invisible chains that bind us is in the graveyards of poverty and lack of prosperity so they can look into the eyes of our posterity just to cackle at the anguish that they feel from the pain that has been passed down from generation to degeneration.
Lord, how do you expect me to not make the white man my enemy when all he does is comes at my people with hatred and animosity?
How do you expect me to stand strong in the face of opposition when my mind is telling me to just break down and give in?
To just let the white man dig into the last bit of my dignity?
How is it possible that I should look at all the pain but yet walk away uttering “Father forgive them because they know not what they do?”
Dear God! What in the world do you want me to do? Because from where I’m standing they know exactly what they do!
They know exactly what they do They. Know. Exactly.What.They.Do.
I can no longer hide my tears
I can no longer stand against the fear
That one day I may wake up without my sisters, or my mother
Or have them lose me.
But I’m worried sick about my brothers.
Because the white powers that be have deemed them dangerous
They akin young beautiful brave black boys to monsters merely because of the color of their skin.
Merely because of the color of his skin.
Lord, are you listening? Did you let that sink in?
Young men are being shot, murdered, and dehumanized merely because of the color of their skin.
Lord. If there was ever a time to make your promises ring true
I’m not commanding you. But I would like to remind you that your promises still ring true. You promised to overcome. You promised to avenge. You promised to destroy the wicked. You.
You promised they would lie in their own despicable bed! Every day I lie in bed waiting for the day that WE would be the ones to have THEIR heads!
I know you are good. I know you are righteous.
I know you are good. I KNOW you are righteous.
But Lord why?
All this time I’ve been asking how but what I really want to know is why?
I’m sorry Lord, help my unbelief
All I have left is my wrung-out heart filled with utter grief and disbelief
Honestly I’m still reeling from the news
That another young black king has been shot right out his running shoes.