Playing games

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 8:14pm

Somedays

Being Black in America feels like a never-ending game of musical chairs

The DJ’s favorite song is “meritocracy”

You only see yourself and other Black people dancing

Like modern-day minstrels around

Chairs like 

Graduate programs

White-collar jobs

A living wage

Chairs that were never made for you

Chairs that were made to keep you dancing

 

Somedays

Being Black in America feels like a rigged game of monopoly

You and your brother and your cousin and your best friend 

Keep landing on the space marked “Go to Jail”

Keep drawing cards marked “Go to Jail”

Keep seeing whole neighborhoods marked “Go to Jail”

And sometimes, even that is a privilege because,

 

Somedays

Being Black in America feels like a bad game of charades

You comply

You put your hands up

You sit in your house

They guess “threat”

They guess “violent”

They guess “weapon”

 

Somedays

Being Black in America feels like chess, not checkers

Grandma tells your brother “never fuck a white woman”

Momma cuts off your sister’s dreads so she can “look professional enough to get a job”

And you are tired of navigating a PWI

Tired of knowing that everything you say and do is seen as a representation of all Black people

 

You are tired of the DJ playing “meritocracy”

You are tired of monopoly boards filled with “Go to Jail” spaces

You are tired of the police guessing incorrectly

You are tired of playing chess with white people

 

But most of all 

You are tired of being played