2018 Women of the World Poetry Slam – FreeQuency "Say Her Name"

in honor of Sandra bland and all of our sisters who've been murdered by police I keep trying to figure out how I got myself here see the last thing I remember I was driving down a bland Texas Highway I admit I switched lanes with no notice I was smoking a cigarette which I knew of course would kill me eventually I just never imagined for the life of me or at least the life that used to be inside of me that it would lead to my death like this I asked him why I was being arrested I asked him why I was being arrested I asked him why I was being arrested and then I asked him 11 more times last year they told me a man in Staten Island killed himself with a noose that was made of police officers arms they said he died after saying I can't breathe 13 times I guess I should have known better I should have known not to go all broken record not to repeat myself like history I should have known now quick they beat to Victor white me and they would stop search and arrest me they'd still have the nerve to claim that I killed myself was something I smuggled in for him a gun but for me a large pile of weed they said they said I smoked my way into an early grave inside of one of their jail cells that I got so high I mistook myself for a ceiling fan fixed myself back into place and swung from the top of the same caged casket kalief Browder 's body was in but I guess somehow I was made to believe that blackness in this woman body would be different I didn't realize the difference was in the silence about what happens to it I got so used to hearing the premature eulogies of black men playing across CNN that I've forgotten about the family trees missing limbs that looked like me see we seldom hear the funeral tears black mothers cry over the kid they birth in their own image and I'll admit I did not expect a single one of you to hear a sound that came from mama the stroke yet somehow somehow in my death she was given a megaphone mouth to mourn with people spoke my story the moment I stopped being able to speak for myself they marched in the streets with banners bearing my name even though they had to Google other dead black women to hashtag beside it and this is the place I keep trying to figure out how I got myself to have found a seat with my name at the tip of so many of your tongues a seat so many of my sisters were denied when in death they were forced into the same margins they knew too well in life I mean there had to be something maybe maybe I sang the Grim Reaper's tune in a pitch you could all hear maybe my voice had more baritone II mistook it for another one of the boys and decided to care I mean there had to be something different about my dying something that would make a black woman poet finally write a poem about a black woman's death even though she had to use my voice to do it you see I can't help but think if I could just figure out what it is I did to make you all remember me even though I died in this black hole we know as a black woman's body then maybe maybe there's something I could tell my sisters to do that would make you all remember them [Applause]

3 thoughts on “2018 Women of the World Poetry Slam – FreeQuency "Say Her Name"

  1. 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

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