They march today
Carry signs above their heads
Ignore burning arms
Tap into fury and shout
They march today
Carry signs above their heads
Ignore burning arms
Tap into fury and shout
a poem by Shaunteri Skinner
she fell into the burns of her past as they lay thick & thin
on her brain,
the emptiness was so full,
it was so well-rounded & welcoming.
kissed by growth’s pain in too many ways to describe how she
could bear to breathe,
ignoring the calms of eves or news of life’s chances in whatever direction.
she felt as if her waking was
misbehavior until she woke out of that dream of killers that she kept repeating At night,
those who laughed right next to her with blood all over their hands
causing blood to be her brain ever so often.
until all of the flesh fell back onto her
the rest of her left the world, never want-
ing to have gone,
but never wanting to come back either.
being trapped in her
life & the life that history
made for her caused all of
the pain that she would
ever need to grow,
to be Black, woman &
beautiful was the best that she
ever had to be,
But proving it to those
who mattered most
Seemed like new & old crushed dreams.
published in Genre: Urban Arts First Edition
my mouth is full of words
that wish to fall into someone’s lap
to burrow into a chest and root
they wish to coil and dig
into marrow and blood
so deeply that only god could
pull them from that someone
my mouth is full of wanting
of sweetness that wishes to
erase the bitterness from lips
that have searched too long
for an ocean of woman to drown in
my mouth is full of stars
awaiting a constellation
that will turn this love into
mythology to be mimed by
our children when they grow up
my mouth is full of forever
infinity tucked against my ribs
nestled against the curve of you
and our names are no longer
two separate worlds but one sound
(image by George Coletrain via unsplash)
a poem by Evany Martinez
How do you tell her she’s too
loud when you silenced her for
Too strong when she has to work light
years ahead of you just to catch up.
Too violent with your scars
etched Into her back.
Too dark when your spirit is
composed of ashes from her
That must be why you
can only rise if she falls.
the memories of him
cling to my skin
heavy & unwilling
full of something
wants a part of
and I find myself
ready to drown him out
with flood water tears
(photo by ahmed ashhaadh via unsplash)
( photo by graham hunt via unsplash )
more soil than flesh—
hips shaking in the juke joint woman.
sunday morning high notes with
pot liquor and cornbread woman.
chasing love in a field,
turning more scar than flower—
more, never less than woman.
yet, still seeing god woman.
you are here woman.
—you are holy, black woman
By Nyesha Stone
There aren’t many organizations that put Milwaukee’s youth at the front of their list. Yet, TRUE Skool, Inc. is a nonprofit that focuses on providing middle and high school youth with unique resources, outlets and much more to empower them to be the best they can be.
Through their programs, events and their many community initiatives, they’re providing a platform for the youth to voice their opinions and make a difference.
On March 24, starting at noon for four hours, TRUE Skool held a public free event “Fighting 4 Justice: The Next Generation,” to show the community how young people are making change in the cream city. There were live performances, a DJ, and two youth panels, along with refreshments, a raffle and lots of networking.
The event was held at Marquette University’s Haggerty Museum of Art to feature their “Resistance, Protest, Resilience” exhibit that has been modified and includes over 40 photos from the Collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) that showcases pictures from the twentieth-century movements and also events that lead to crucial social and political changes.
The Curator and Head of the Department of Photography and New Media at Mia organized this exhibit in 2016. Fast forwarding into 2018, this exhibit aligns with the 200 Nights of Freedom 50th anniversary of Milwaukee’s Fair Housing marches, according to TRUE Skool.
“This exhibit is dope,” said Creative Development and Outreach Director of TRUE Skool Fidel Verdin. “But, it’s not just about the history, it’s about what does that look like today.”
This event was a space for open dialogue about tough topics that allowed for all walks of life to share their opinions. Although there were panels, the audience had the chance throughout to stand up and share their voices with those around them.
There were many topics discussed such as why it’s important to vote, or why a lot of youth want alternatives from voting because they aren’t taught how to vote, how to know who to vote for, and plainly who they’re voting for.
Moderator and intern for TRUE Skool Tyrone Randle has been doing social justice work for around three years and he’s noticed there’s a lack of youth voice, which is the importance of the event.
“People don’t always look the youth as having an important voice,” said Randle. “I hope this gives them a sense of hope. It’s not always what you see on TV [because] there are youth out here doing positive things.”
This event was held on the same day as the youth-led powerful marches across the nation expressing their rights to be safe from guns in schools and anywhere they may go. March For Our Lives and organizations like TRUE Skool are showing the world that the youth are our future and we must listen to them because their voices matter.
Although this event was all about giving a voice to the voiceless, everyone agreed that conversations can only go so far and actions need to be taken now. We all know we want change, but for that change to happen we must all come together to plan that change and then that must be followed plan until real change happens.
TRUE Skool knows this is only one step to solving the many issues that not only the youth face but the Milwaukee community as a whole. True Skool won’t stop until real results are shown, which has already begun to happen.
This is where I live now
This is where I’ve lived the last 15 years
Carrying my oppressor by my side
Every night we share the same pillow
We walk hand in hand through the day
In the mornings I pray you won’t be there
But you never leave.
You can’t leave, while I stay.
(Photo by veeterzy on Unsplash)
redder than the blood
that spilled to make them.
glistening dark skin
rich, white cotton.
sunday picnic baskets.
the finest leisure day clothes,
black bodies drifting
in the summer breeze.
an orange rolled
by withered black hands.
a sweetness to cast off
the sour of sickness.
too many mouths;
not enough chicken
or eggs or vegetables.
only cents, instead of dollars.
the living not shared—only cropped.
anywhere but here.
pack up and head north.
where nigger is negro,
still bitter and stinging,
long car rides
to grandmother’s house.
ten kids to two rooms,
but we complain about six.
still dirt roads.
strange fruit has
rotted to the ground.
now bullets chase
along with the summer breeze.
The way things work,
the way they are now,
and society in general,
operate in an almost perversely, twisted
machine that is hell-bent
on our destruction.
Panic struck as I felt a slip back into old habits
Why is this path so easy to follow?
Don’t follow me
For I would only lead us into disarray
I can’t help but be his damsel in distress
Continue reading “Grey” by Alnaika
Read other work by Samihah at:
Warm tear drops kiss my hand on this cold night. The sky is tinged with a deep purple, a quiet purple. Even amongst the stars, there is only silence. I envy anyone who is able to find direction using them, to see a compass in darkness. I merely see what is before me. Three in a row, four on the outskirts forming a misshapen rectangle. Two more, faded, somewhere in the middle of it all. Orion’s belt. I could never forget constellations after my first time recognising them. Only, this time, I felt forgotten by them. Neglected. They are still. You feel silent to me today. This water is cold as well, in the deep end of it where I sit. Water is supposed to feel warmer on the skin after some time. I have been sitting here for a while, a long while. Waiting. I have been waiting. The moon is nowhere to be seen. Not a slither of its light shows for as far as I can see.
Tonight I am in darkness surviving off the somber glow of these stars alone. Tonight, I am small and the universe is too vast to consider this humbled being. This search for guidance has rendered me unnerved. Unheard. I am screaming, from my lungs through my eyes and I know I am not loud enough. I am gentle. I am excruciatingly soft. The wind will travel skies carrying my cry to the heavens and I will still be waiting for You to answer me, my Lord. I cannot hear You or see You or feel You in this moment, however long this moment may last but I believe, fiercely.
You are listening
and I will wait.
– Samihah Pargas
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black doesn’t crack
but black does crack
i saw blacks do crack
in the 80s
the sickness passed down
to their babies