Just Put Your Hands Up Son

Being black has no age limits, because in the eyes of others being black at any age is a threat. So while other children your age, Kannen, may have the luxury to tell the police officer “it’s just a toy” or “let me reach in my pocket” you do not son.

When approached by a white cop or a white person who feels threatened by your presence just put your hands up.
Do not retaliate in anger because you are being treated less than what you deserve, just put your hands up.
Do not talk back as if you have rights, just put your hands up.
You may want to try and reason with them since you are a human being like everyone else, but please son just put your hands up.
You feel the urge to run as a deadly weapon is pointed at you when you know you’ve done nothing wrong, don’t run son because that just gives them an excuse to kill you, so even though you are terrified please just put your hands up.
We can be outraged tomorrow but tonight I need you to survive and come back home to me, so please son just put your hands up.

What a sad world we live in where these are the type of talks we have to sit down and give our black children. I am outraged that our black men, our black boys, our black people continue to be treated as if we are worth absolutely nothing.

Seriously, take a minute and think to yourself about someone you love dearly and picture them in their last moments crying out for help, screaming for air that is being stolen from them as the weight of a cop is pressing down on their neck. Picture your loved one wanting nothing more than to just survive so that they could hug you tighter but instead because of their color, their life wasn’t given a second thought. I mean can you imagine?

Mistakes In Minnesota

Where do I start

More importantly what do I say

How do I communicate things that have been said over and over

How do I make my words hold enough weight so that the corrupt will finally crumble

I cannot be my brothers keeper when I am continuously robbed of the chance to keep him

What is it in my melanin that threatens you

Am I only shade that wakes your sleeping fears

Because it seems Mistakes In Minnesota only come in Black

And as much as I fear that speaking on these attacks

Will put a big target on my back

I refuse to remain angry in silence

Killing our Black people for simply being Black People

And yet we are deemed the ones who are violent

Not everyone will grasp the concept of my anger

Just know that when you question why you haven’t

drawn blood from your body even though

you keep tripping over the reality of Black people

It is because your privilege continues to catch and protect you

Know that the exact same reason you are allowed

To walk in any direction you desire without your body taking on fire

Is the same reason I must walk a straight line

Does no one see the problem in freedom being their right

But being labeled Black and dangerous is mine

And if the only time you think to say my name

Is after my blood has been shed among the streets

I rather you not say it at all

My rise to fame will not be the way I died

My skin color will never be my downfall

I keep a sticky note close to my door

And it reads, “we will return home”

Its more of a request rather than a statement

And every time I state those words

I hope it falls onto the compass of the angel

Chosen to guide us back home that day…

girl back then.

When I was younger I stood in the mirror and wondered who the girl was staring back at me

I questioned the color of my skin and if it was the reason I didn’t fit in

I told myself that I’d tell those who deemed me undeserving that I hate my skin too

And maybe then I’d be cool enough to be picked first

Or at least getting picked last wouldn’t hurt as much

And maybe if I drew straight lines on my skin I’d appear to be straight too

Because being black and bisexual is a death sentence I can’t complete

Do they make keys strong enough to keep the part of me that wanders locked away

What do I say when they question my silence

What shade of eyeshadow would hide my crying

There isn’t a dictionary big enough to help me find a phrase to accessorize my uncertainties

And quite frankly I’m done trying

If I could talk to that girl back then

I’d tell her to love the color of her skin

To hell with the judgements of those who’ve never stood trial

And never to hide from who she is within


my worst enemy lives in the shadow box on the wall
i show her who i am and no sooner is she showing me who i want to be
never good enough for the shadow box

i use her for guidance on how to dress my wounds
only to watch her undress them
she finds humility in leaving them open
reminds her that pain is real
unlike a shadow, when the lights are turned off, pain does not disappear

Undivided Attention, Divided Comprehension

In August 2020 my friend, Kayla, reached out to me asking if I wanted to collaborate with her on a poem she really wanted to create. It was a poem that would serve in memory of a dear friend of hers. After listening to her and hearing how passionate she was, I of course couldn’t wait to bring this poem to life. Kayla, knows that I absolutely love to write and I do so passionately. However, she also knows that most of what I write stays behind the doors of my many designed notebooks and journals.

I’m thankful that she approached me with this and made sure that not only did I write piece for the poem but she also wanted me to RECORD myself reciting it. If you know me at all, you know that recording my poetry is so out of my comfort zone. I’m glad I was pushed out of it though because I found something on the outside of where I am comfortable. I found many doors, yet to be unopened. I can’t say what is beyond the doors, but I know I’ll never find out settling on comfort.

Here it is, my first ever recording piece of work along with a dear friend of mine, Kayla Mabry. Our poem, Undivided Attention, Divided Comprehension, in memory of Quamaine.


Undivided Attention, Divided Comprehension

(Kayla) Excuse me while I stand on my soap box for what I believe I’ll SHOUT from the roof tops “NO JUSTICE-NO PEACE” The media’s made sure this has our Undivided attention We’ve all read, seen, and heard it – the problem comes from divided comprehension This isn’t patatoe/patatoe this is human life “I hear what you saying!” BUT YOU’RE NOT READING IT RIGHT If your skin looks like mine, you have no first hand experience If you’re ONLY listening to reply, you’re not really hearing it Now close your mouth, Open your mind put away the twitter fingers this don’t even need a reply Do I have your undivided attention? Because as you continue to listen – The world needs you to comprehend There’s no hidden meaning – IT WAS NEVER SUPPOSED TO BE US AGAINST THEM

(Candice) I hope my words are heard just as clear as the ones spoken before me A black woman speaking her mind, Lord I hope they don’t ignore me Checking my watch cause time is crucial, and I got a lot of shit to say Watching another black brother getting shot in the street is now considered “Just another day” While you’re on THE FENCE, I’m on DEFENSE and I promise it is not the same thing It should not be the norm to read in headlines about the death of another Black King And yes, crime is crime and a wrong is wrong and in that aspect you are right But you mean to tell me if my Black brother has a criminal record the price to pay has to be HIS LIFE And for the mentally unstable who are not able to communicate what is on the mind Should they really be silenced with bullets because they could not comprehend a command when it was given the first time Two men with guns, but only one is killed and not because the other was tougher Two men with guns, only one is killed, simply cause one was a brother You focusing on my anger makes you blind to my pain and in result you’ll never hear my message Why when a white person is passionate it’s deemed okay, but a black person is labeled aggressive There can’t be unity in you and me because we aren’t treated the same You can’t blame the media for racial issues when behind closed doors your hatred remains Listen, I mean really listen. Can you hear the pain dragging on the heels of these words Countless Black brothers, sisters, and even CHILDREN are dead. Don’t you think a little justice is what we deserve? People weighing in on black tragedy, telling us how we should feel when you haven’t a clue on what we’ve endured When all we’ve been trying to say is that black lives matter just as much as yours


I can think of everything i want to say to you

But come the time and i can not write it

Words unheard, thrown to the curb

Seems my soul has been silenced

Look in my eyes and you’ll see the signs

Promise they will guide you right in

Listen for the skipped beats of my heart

And no doubt you’ll find what I’ve been hiding

In a field full of red roses

I am black and wilted

I’ve been here a while so I hang low but still I try to get your attention

Pick me, I want to scream

But my pride won’t step aside

If you could just look past my missing petals

I swear I’m beautiful deep down inside

No hidden thorns

No buried secrets

Just longing to be grabbed by my roots

Hundreds of hands have touched them

But none of them were you

What do I do

Words have failed me

And words were all that I had left

A silenced soul nourishes nothing

But a love on its last breath

And in those final moments

Still I’ll say all is well

A love lost in words unspoken

Another story I’ll never tell

Can I Borrow Your Black

With every swallow of hated caviar your diversity grows

That is what my Black is to you

Will I ever be more than your accessory

The hand me down necklace you only wear when you need to feel better about yourself

I am the conversation you hesitate to bring up

The favor you hate to ask for

My Black is the beauty you hate to admire

Unless it is admiration you can take credit for

Can I borrow your Black, she asked

Can I make you feel important enough to feel included

So that when I show off your color as my own

People will think I am genuine when I preach about equality

She wants to borrow my Black

As if my Black is something I offered to sell to the highest bidder

As if my Black is something I hand out when I need to be loved a little harder

You want to borrow MY BLACK

Would you take it if it came stained with blood

Would it still be valuable to you on the days it didn’t shine as bright

Would you still wear me if it meant you may not survive being pulled over

Are you willing to wear ALL the shades that make me

My Black is not here for your entertainment

I am not a pawn you can put in play so that you’ll be voted as the most likely to succeed

My Black is not the answer to the sins committed by your mother and father

My Black is not your salvation

My Black and all that comes with it

The terror, the pride, the success, the beauty, the wrongful deaths, the inequality, the assumption that I am the criminal in most rooms, did I mention the bravery

Baby that is all me

And it is a privilege

So no

Hell no, you can not borrow my Black