(Police, Army, Militias)
There were less blatant ways to kill Marielle Franco.
Foremost being before her African ancestors made their captured voyage to shore,
they could have simply jumped ship into the depths of the Atlantic as seaweed carcasses,
and her seed would have never settled in your soil.
Or her forebears could have been the first to rebel like Haiti and world capital and
empire could have slowly sanctioned her off, starved her and blamed her for her own
In our times you might have choked her father for trespassing on any public street and
left her whirling to organize protest against his murder only to die breathless with no
You might have given her child a plastic gun to play with in a park and rushed in
annihilating both her and her offspring.
Finally, you could have stopped her car for a traffic violation, hauled her to jail to accuse
the accused of hanging herself.
Instead Marielle Franco was shot while driving Black, assassinated along with her driver
Anderson Pedro Gomes.
Her only defense the votes that made her a Council Member. Her voice that rallied
against racism, oppression, and injustice. Her mind that analyzed and made
(Police, Army, Militias)
“Black Women Won’t Save the World”
For: Erica Garner
Despite pronouncements to the contrary, Black Women won’t save the world. Notwithstanding the circumference of the Cradle of Civilization in South Africa nestled in a locale from which all human beings originate; regardless of the excavations in Ethiopia of both Lucy and Ardi marking the evolution of homo erectus and what that signifies to the world in the evolutionary flowering of life, the act of waiting 27 years in a Mandela-like manner is far beyond the dexterity of even the most steadfast amongst us. So, please do not expect it, since what a girl really wants is to be a first in Africa as President of the former American Colonization Society (aka, Liberia) to show the world how it’s really done following the commendable lead of Brooklyn-and the-Caribbean’s Chisholm who made her bid as leader of the entire Empire after the sea having been parted by that group of women who were so good at either whispering or shouting:
“Come along with me.”
(You know the ones.)
Those who say: “Come on now.”
“Don’t give up.”
Those that question: “Why can’t you do that, too?”
But they can’t do it all. They can’t continue to clean up the mess of Western Civilization epitomized in the world’s largest economy that works overtime like an oversized fan both amassing resources and throwing out products. They can’t continue to wipe the mouths of temperamental children. Black women will not save the world with a sweeping lift of the train of their gowns as they walk on stage and, with a Hattie McDaniel smile, accept their award. Even though the world expects that they listen Oprah-style to its dilemmas and then offer pats on the back; even though society would have them sweeten reality like Aunt Jemima; even though segments of American politics cross their fingers waiting for Black Women to show up at the polls to circumvent the country’s tendency to worship totalitarian totems, it goes against the grain. When all a girl wants is fresh food that can’t be bought at a liquor mart, healthcare that can’t be provided at a storefront, dignified employment that can’t be applied for amidst corporate outsourcing, ownership that can’t be acquired in economic inequality, safety that can’t be granted by the 2nd Amendment, and for her sons and daughters to live a freedom that can’t exist in a society of colored-only mass incarceration. So, no, Black Women (who have been my sustenance) will not save a world that reduced Lucy to an objectified Sara Baartman, Hottentot Venus to be paraded around European freak shows to exhibit her large buttocks. Regardless of their self-imposed exile to Paris and refashioning themselves to seduce á la Josephine Baker or using the both life-saving and self-effacing tools of Madame C. J. Walker to accommodate white middle-class patriarchy, they may still face a court case named the “The United States of America vs. Billie Holiday” in which their Blues cannot even be contained in a volume by Toni Morrison. If indeed “la vida es un carnaval,” I want Black Women to formulate it, but we can’t save a world that is not of our making, a world in which mothers were historically assigned double duty and fathers were denied last names. Fathers were depleted of even air to breathe. Fathers had to plead, “I can’t breathe.”