I remember when Sandy was
They say she still speaks but
I wonder if we hear her.
I remember when Korryn was
They blamed her death on her mouth
Said she was unworthy of our protests.
I remember when Aiyanna was
Surely a child’s life deserved justice
Instead, we got a mistrial.
I remember when Natasha McKenna was
From her, I learned that my mental distress
Could get me tased to death.
I remember when Kathryn Johnston was
She reminded me of my nana
and I wondered what she had seen throughout life.
With each case,
Instead of saying less,
Black women said more
To prove we were
Worth the same traction as
Freddie, Trayvon, and Eric.
No, it ain’t a competition
But I would be remiss if
I ignored the not so subtle way
Black lives matter has become
Black men matter.
Taking it a step further,
Know that when I say “men,”
Know that man is not created equal.
So if you are Black and a woman
Your death is harder to remember -
Your name slips from their tongues less
Unless you check all the boxes.
You can’t be fat or too dark
Can’t be uneducated or too loud
Can’t be unmarried with children
Can’t be single without
Can’t be straight, can’t be trans
Can’t be thin, can’t be tan
Can’t be light, can’t be outspoken
Can’t be silent, can’t be a smoker.
Making this list, I find myself running out of things we can’t be -
Realizing what they are telling me is
To be remembered, a woman is what I can’t be.
But I remember.
We remember that while we took to the streets for George in May,
Breonna lay dead in March -
Less than two months apart...and yet
We can’t seem to remember
To say her name.
But I do...