I have visited the majority of the civil rights museums in the southeastern states. The Center for Civil Human Rights in Atlanta, Ga. and the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN are two of my favorite. This past spring, in Montgomery, Al., a space opened that is the first of it’s kind in this country. “The National Memorial For Peace and Justice is the nation’s first comprehensive memorial dedicated to the human loss suffered during the era of racial terror lynchings, which swept across the south and beyond in the decades following the abolition of slavery.”
The memorial is a collection of work done by the Equal Justice Initiative, identifying more than 4,000 African American men, women, and children who were lynched between 1877 and 1950. This space was haunting. In the same breath, this space made me feel like another piece of me had been reconciled.
Until now, lynching had been painted in songs, danced about in novels. The impact of seeing 800 steel monuments inscribed with crimes of lynching, some detailing the reason why, presented a different sentiment. While this is a space that uses literature, sculpture, art and design to tell its’ story, there was no rhythm or pace to it. There were no perfectly fitted color patterns or designs, it just happened. There was no spell check, no correction of verb/noun agreement, the art at this memorial lends escape to no one. This space brings name to the thousands of men, women and children who were hideously and violently murdered for mere social transgressions and some from absolute innocence.
There is tons of history in Montgomery, Al to see. So planning a trip to this memorial is not the only thing you will be making time for. This is a must for anyone seeking reconciliation against violent crimes committed against African Americans in this country. This is a must see for anyone seeking retribution for human justice.
She in Texas / South Dakota
She in Alabama / South Carolina
Empty beds / abandoned hairbrushes
a forgotten body
It’s Tuesday so you know that means “Rebel” comes on BET tonight! Enjoy the last poem I wrote for the “Rebel Yell” series on BET.com entitled, “Reverse Opinions”. AND TUNE IN TONIGHT!
you can’t sleep until Friday night’s party upchucks out of your system
you have to get it out
when you understand the sunset songs of the locusts,
the patchwork of honeycombs
and the bend of grass blades point you to the direction
of Going Way, Wait No More Lane or Urgent Avenue
it’s natural for,
people to reach through fire
pray to moving clouds
wrestle with concrete
and climb flag poles
because this keeps the lights on
the corn liquor golden
the heart pumping
don’t put the fire out
for Bree Newsome
The media has moved on to something else. The murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. is now old news and the country is in an uproar over Nick and Mariah getting divorced and Ebola making its’ way into the states. Just like the country was in nation wide support and rallies for the “Bring Back Our Girls” distress from Nigeria, we have now obeyed the media and moved our emotions elsewhere. But this little town in Missouri has vowed NOT to be satisfied with being told, “justice will be served.” No, not this town! While we sleep, they take shifts and keep the city officials on their toes with protests and sustained organizing until they can speak in past tense, “justice has been served.”
Continue reading Ferguson: no longer important?; Still Very Potent