If You’re Waiting for Me to Speak Out Because I am a Black Woman….

May 28-29, 2020

You can keep waiting
Until the 12th of Never.

I’m tired.

Tired of writing about my life
as a Black Woman from Baltimore.

For 6 years
(Because President Barack Obama
pleaded for us to have a
Conversation on Race),

I’ve tried to tell you,
I’ve tried to show you—

Black Lives Matter. The Black Experience IS the Human Experience.

What made me think

I could make a difference, when
my little life is a drop
in the ocean of humanity?

So, what
If I had to stand up to racist
Bullies in junior high,
Senior high,
College,
My workplace?

 

So, what
If I had to bite lip

Or shout my anger

When well-meaning white
Friends,
Colleagues,
Acquaintances,
Strangers

Said something
Seemingly innocently

Racist

to my face,
behind my back,
about my Black self?

Or when my black
Friends,
Colleagues,
Acquaintances,
Strangers

Told me
to my face,
behind my back,

You’re not black enough—

You think you’re
Better,
More educated,
More this, that,
And the other
than we are?

I learned

To hold my head high,
Reach for the sky,

Within “reason.”

For what?

When on the same day that
Christian Cooper was accosted
by a privileged law-breaking
white woman
who made false claims against
a law-abiding
black man who

was simply following his
passion, watching birds
in the sky, among the trees
of Central Park?

And the National Audubon Society

felt it necessary to defend
Mr. Cooper as
a board member of the
New York City Audubon Society,
where he
promotes conservation of New York
City’s outdoor spaces

and inclusion
of all people.”1

[Translation: He’s a good n….”]

Remember Emmitt Till’s unfortunate
encounter

with a
privileged lying
white woman?

He was just a young boy!

On that same day,
In Minneapolis,
George Floyd
Was choked to death
by a privileged white bully cop
who knelt on Floyd’s neck
for 8 minutes
while witnesses pleaded
for him to stop.

Was it really necessary for MSNBC to
Ask both of Floyd’s siblings,
“How did you feel when you learned
About your brother’s death?

What was your brother like?”

For me,
Watching them struggle
To maintain composure,
To say just the right things
on TV,
to display their BEST
Black selves
For the cameras….
 
Was as painful
As watching
Their brother’s
Last 8 minutes
on this Earth.

And while trying to process
these latest assaults
on black people,

I had to look up the articles
on Ahmaud Arbery
because his
horrendous murder
by two white male vigilantes

was forgotten
so soon.

So, NO.

I don’t want to
Talk about,
Write about,
Race-splain,
Or Be anyone’s Negro
Ever again.

You look it up
In the History Books—

The drawings of slaves
In chains
On ships.

The raw flesh
Of black people’s backs
After being

Whipped by Massah.
Tortured, lynched,
and burned
to a crisp
while crowds of
Your people
ate picnic lunches
and collected
body parts
and exchanged postcards
with pictures
of what they did.

And ask yourself,

How would I feel
If this was how the world
Treated me and mine?

 

If, after all this,
you’re still waiting for Me
to Speak Out
Because I am a Black Woman….

You can keep waiting
Until the 12th of Never.

 

I’m tired.

 


1Audobon Statement on incident in Central Park’s Ramble, by National Audobon Society, AUDOBON.ORG, posted May 26, 2020.


3 thoughts on “If You’re Waiting for Me to Speak Out Because I am a Black Woman….

  1. I am tired, for you.
    I feel pain in my heart, for you.
    I feel pain for the world that so easily abuses…without looking back.
    I feel pain for how I might feel if this was how the world treated me and mine.*
    I feel pain for George Floyd’s family as their emotions were broken by callius questions.
    I feel pain that justice might be limited to a face on a shirt.
    I feel pain that your freedom may be increasingly limited by prejudices.

    *I have experienced a level of this kind of pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. On Fri, May 29, 2020 at 11:42 PM baltimoreblackwoman wrote:

    > Jackie Oldham posted: ” May 28-29, 2020 You can keep waitingUntil the 12th > of Never.I’m tired.Tired of writing about my life as a Black Woman from > Baltimore.For 6 years(Because President Barack Obamapleaded for us to have > aConversation on Race),I’ve tried to tell you, I’ve tr” >

    Like

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