Abigail – “Promise Land” @WANPOETRY (TGS 2018)

– I saw Black Moses today walking down the street, do-rag on, wearing his favorite Biggie Smalls shirt. He runs this hood. Keep it black. Watch as kids hopscotch the pavement. Black boys circle him in unison, worship him, say he be their papa. The man that loved them even when they forgot to love themselves. Black Moses waves at his people who are sitting on the porch rolling dice on a wet floor, the smell of mac and cheese
and collard greens cooking. Black Moses shuffles his
way through the streets. Dab the boys, twirls the girls, kiss the foreheads of babies
who have yet to understand this man is a man of God. I wonder how he does it, stays light in a world
that only sees him as dark, stays alive in a world that has
already pronounced him dead. I saw Black Moses today walking down the street, the ground carrying the blood of those who last said I can’t breathe. It’s not real, you shot me, you shot me. A blood of red covering the ghetto, call it the Red Sea. The hood is no longer our sanctuary. Another god has taken over. Call it gentrification. Black Moses say, come, my people, let me take you to a new land, one that does not require our deaths. Pharaoh is coming. Suddenly, the ground begins to rattle, Pharaoh’s army behind. Call it whiteness, call
it blue lives matter, face stained with the blood of their prey. The people shout, Black Moses! Black Moses, what are we to do? He says nothing, silence. He is listening to
something bigger than us, I can feel it. Suddenly, he reaches into his back pocket, grabs the locket his grandmother gave him, placed it into the Red Sea and a body of blood begins to rise. Part, stand, watch the
glory of his wonder. I wondered how God and man could make something out of nothing, make hope out of hopelessness, make a resurrection out of the dead. The voices of our ancestors
call out to us saying, come, my children. They have not killed you yet. Come, let me take you home. We begin to walk the streets, a wall of our brother’s
blood leading our path. Moses ahead, looking forward and never back, leading us to a land we can call our own. Do they ever reach the
promised land, you ask? We are still walking. (audience cheers) – Yeah.
– That’s Abigail!

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