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