June 26, 2020

BLK VOICES | Painful Reveries

Print More

Our voices should be heard no matter what we have to say.

This week, we begin a journey of acknowledgement. Blk Voices is a platform to uplift and give space to a full range of Black feeling and thought. We begin by acknowledging the emotional toll that recent national uprisings for racial justice have brought with the art pieces below.

A Bad Dream

by Toni’s Daughter


Sometimes being black feels like a bad dream

A piece of obscene fiction

Written with the wrong diction and tone

A tone blown way out of proportion

Melanin distorted. A distortion of beauty.


We always have this duty to protect and preserve.

I’m tired of those with the nerve to attack us

Like being us ain’t enough.

Like being tough ain’t a bluff.

Like being black ain’t rough

Like … this s*it kinda sucks.


I mean, sometimes I feel like being black feels like a bad dream

And let’s not take it to extremes.

No one reigns supreme.

But if we had to compare cultural influence on modern society,

We’d see black bodies defiantly and silently leading the wave.

To no credit of our own.


We show everyone what it means to be on a throne.

To go off the dome

To comb through adversity after adversity

Like celebrating anniversaries that don’t even apply to us

But we swallow it down with a million other tough pills

Including the state’s right to kill.

Through water or bullets, our wallets or lack of insurance


I mean, sometimes being black feels like a bad dream.

I can’t seem to shake it. Or wake up and break out.

All the time, I want to shout:

“To be black and relatively conscious in this country

is to be in a rage almost all the time.”

Mr. Baldwin, you read my mind.

I don’t want to be the kind of girl that recounts her blackness.

To renounce my blackness. I would never.

But, I just wish it were better.




by Raheel Yanful ’21