In a world where too many people
have their fingers on the triggers

of guns aimed directly at black people,
we have borne witness, time

and time again, to executions
filmed on tiny cameras—

which allow us to see too much
which allow us to see not enough.

Judge, jury, executioner—
it’s due process in the suburbs

and the city streets, on winding
country roads and highways, sidewalks

in front of the convenience store,
where the streetlights don’t shine

in the back corner of a parking lot,
on the playground, behind the fence

in a field near your children’s school
on the street in front of your house.

This interminable spectacle
of black death playing on a loop

over and over again until
we become numb to something

that is now a permanent part
of the American memory.

How could these grainy videos
not translate into justice?

I just don’t know how to believe
change is possible

when there is so much
evidence to the contrary.

I am so out of words
in the face of such brutality.

Black lives matter, and then
in an instant, they don’t.

Read the Full Article

​You've reached the end of our free magazine preview. For full digital access to Sojourners articles for as little as $2.95, please subscribe now. Your subscription allows us to pay authors fairly for their terrific work!
Subscribe Now!

Subscribe