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Unforgivable Blackness (2016)

Unforgivable Blackness (2016)

In the third and final part of "Unforgivable Blackness," Yaz Lancaster uses the full force of their language: here, they reign in the anger, the fear, and the pride that comes with being Black in America in 2016. With a bittersweet, tremulous, powerful tone, they honor those dead, and rally together those still fighting so we need not extend the list. Black lives matter, and this poem is as much an ode as it is a eulogy. We present "Unforgivable Blackness (2016).


‘Unforgivable Blackness’ started out as a final assignment for an African American literature unit in my high school English class four years ago; I've since revised the work  in light of the recent events involving the struggles and deaths of Black people in America.

Unforgivable Blackness (2016)

i am
the (un)armed
(un)identified
black body shot up
one time five times ten times
in that one facebook video
yeah the one between the memes

on the streets of cleveland/newyork/baltimore/ferguson/batonrouge (and so on)
cause I wore a hood
‘stole’ something
smoked something
sold cds
sat in my car
moved too quick
walked away

or actually
it was because
I looked like a god
-damn demon

i am the big-lipped thicc nappy hair ratchet oreo #art hoe
whose culture is now
manufactured for u

(yes u, nigga!
find it in aisle 7

it’s the ethnic one
in the back corner).

yes i can twerk real good
want me to dance for u?
want me to teach u?
want me to cook for u?
want me to clean up for u?
want me to fix my hair for u?
want me to be more feminine for u? am i clean enough for u?

am i white enough for u?
want me to shut up for u?
want me to disappear for u?
am i white enough for u?

 

 

I AM DONTE HAMILTON
I AM ERIC GARNER
I AM AKIEL DENKINS
I AM JOHN CRAWFORD II

I AM MICHAEL BROWN JR
I AM JESSICA WILLIAMS

I AM ALTON STERLING
I AM TRAYVON MARTIN
I AM TANISHA ANDERSON
I AM AKAI GURLEY
I AM TAMIR RICE
I AM WALTER SCOTT
I AM BERNARD MOORE
I AM LAVALL HALL
I AM SANDRA BLAND
I AM GREG GUNN
I AM TERRY PRICE
I AM ANTHONY HILL
I AM PHILANDO CASTILE
I AM PHILLIP WATKINS
I AM FREDDIE GRAY
AND SO ON
AND SO ON

I’M HUMAN
I MATTER
I’M MATTER
I MATTER


Introduction by ER. Pulgar

Diana Mantis - Rodeo

Diana Mantis - Rodeo

Unforgivable Blackness ( 1926-1968)

Unforgivable Blackness ( 1926-1968)

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