Being on a campus with over fourty-thousand other students, it gets easy to feel lost in the crowd. It gets really difficult at times trying to balance your personal, social and academic life, especially when issues like race are often overlooked and rarely addressed. It wasn’t until I was able to hear Dr. Cornell West speak during the Making Race Heard Summit in 2011, that I was able to adequately understand race relations.
Dr. West spoke about how institutional racism still exists in today’s social and political climate, and offered his vantage point on how we should address race; he discussed his belief that we should build community while also recognizing our differences. After this speech I thought about who I am, how I am the only Black female in the Performing Arts Technology, Sound Engineering Major in the School of Music. This reflection helped me to develop my perspective on what I feel many of us lack the ability to do: genuinely love.
I believe in the power of love and what it represents: peace, acceptance, freedom. I dared to love others, as a way to build the bridge and open lines of communication that many may feel are a lost cause. This spoken word piece allowed me the opportunity to convey my message about the power of love, while also competing in and winning the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Tribute to MLK Poetry Slam & Art Expression for a cash prize. While this event was my first slam competition, it is not the only place where I express this message. In my daily interactions, it is this love I speak of that I encourage others to find within themselves. Listen and enjoy.
Thought filled for a moment questions provoke conversation
Pervasive commercialization that needs to have cultivation
We live in a nation that plays ketch-up to trivial things they all say we musta'[hea]rd
Creating yellow lines that say caution
Creating an outcry of war to convince you that your mind is dangerous
Blood on concrete but never to reach the roots of our existence
yet we constantly forget the roots of our existence
For instance, we are well adjusted to injustice
People can’t take real love, because there’s just not enough of it
and I’ve personally had enough of it
When do we grow up?
Or is it we refuse to question ourselves and can’t stand the site to throw up our ignorance
Well I gotta mop for misguidance and I’m looking to ring out pride
’cause on the inside truth lies that will only arise when you wake up
and stop crying to curb the perforated pain
I laugh at myself first to be able to cry with you later
And by cry I mean
C.reate R.eality for Y.OU
Because I love you!
I fight for the change in self
More than I fight for the change in you
‘Cause Im fearful that you forgot your past
Afraid to live in the present
And might not make it to the future
But we all just want to be ourselves
Sonic supervision of depressed and discontented emotion
Sea shores with no oceans rendering people hopeless
But I challenge chaos with content courage
Will you hear me?
As I make love a threat
Can you handle the depths of a soul willing to die for you?
Yes, you who I have yet to meet
You who I already know but can’t quite remember your name,
You who I’m not ashamed to love because of what you look like
You who struggles with disable control searching for a light to remove the shadow
Hear me: I’d die for you
You that takes each day by force
you who doesn’t seem to mind that a child can make a choice
you that secretly despises the very being of my existential existence
HEAR ME: I love you
You that didn’t care enough to ever question and was settled in to accepting maybes never exchanging them for the yeses that you deserve
HEAR ME: I’d die for you
Give you my lungs to breathe out all the corruption you’ve inhaled
Just to heal you
I’d take a bullet for you
which I may never experience
but in the moments of each of life’s experiments
I un-house you, so that we can create a better outcome
HEAR ME when I say I’d die for you I mean that for all of you
I want to create voices that outlast the echoes
Because I know that Im only what I’m willing to give up
and that’s my life
I know that I may not always say, act or be perfectly right but
I know what it means to be a human being
and by dying i just hope you one day
Michigan in Color is the Daily’s opinion section designated as a space for and by students of color at the University of Michigan. To contribute your voice or find out more about MiC, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.