We Are Still Here

WE ARE STILL HERE
by Mary A. Canty Merrill, PhD

(excerpted from my anthology: Why Black Lives Matter (Too): A Revolutionary Call to Action)

Black people have been through many traumatic experiences. Our hearts have been cut deeply. Our minds have been twisted. Our bodies have been abused. Yet, despite all that we have been through, and though we may be weary at times, we are still here.

We were kidnapped from our native land—Mother Africa, yet we are still here.

We were shackled in chains, and crammed into the bowels of ships headed for the New World, yet we are still here.

We were forced to sail for weeks, months—and sometimes a year—amid inhumane and diseased conditions, yet we are still here.

We were torn from our families and loved ones, yet we are still here.

We were sold into slavery as property, yet we are still here.

We were raped and sexually abused by slaveholders, yet we are still here.

We were hung and brutally whipped, yet we are still here.

We were branded and mutilated, yet we are still here.

We were hunted down like wild animals, yet we are still here.

We were imprisoned for minor infractions—or no infractions at all—without legal defense or recourse, yet we are still here.

We were spat on, tormented and insulted, yet we are still here.

We were forced into hard labor from sunup to sundown, yet we are still here.

We were devalued as human beings, yet we are still here.

We were used as prizes in lotteries, yet we are still here.

We were used as wagers in card games and horse races, yet we are still here.

We were allotted the bare minimum of food, yet we are still here.

We were given the cast-off clothing of whites, yet we are still here.

We were abused and exploited through medical experimentation, yet we are still here.

We were provided no care for our health, yet we are still here.

We were placed in situations that jeopardized our well-being, yet we are still here.

We were forbidden to buy or sell goods without a permit, yet we are still here.

We were forbidden to own livestock, yet we are still here.

We were subject to nightly curfews, yet we are still here.

We were forced to live in meager shelter with leaky roofs, thin walls and dirt floors, yet we are still here.

We were forbidden to read and write, yet we are still here.

We were forbidden to marry outside of our race, and sometimes forbidden to marry at all, yet we are still here.

We were coerced into nursing white babies, yet we are still here.

We were treated harshly by cruel overseers and made an example to others, yet we are still here.

We were stripped of our freedom, yet we are still here.

We were in physical bondage for 300 years, yet we are still here.

We were subjected to a hard, miserable life that is now difficult to imagine, yet we are still here.

We possessed nothing except our dignity, yet we are still here.

We were forced into segregation, yet we are still here.

We were bitten by vicious dogs, attacked with tear gas and sprayed with fire hoses, yet we are still here.

We were searched at any time and for any reason, yet we are still here.

We were sharecroppers who were cheated and denied land ownership, yet we are still here.

We were robbed of our heritage, history and resources, yet we are still here.

We were denied our constitutional rights, yet we are still here.

We are subject to racial profiling, yet we are still here.

We have been forced into mass incarceration, yet we are still here.

We are still considered an inferior race, yet we are still here.

We have endured modern day genocide, yet we are still here.

We built this country called America with our blood, sweat, and tears, yet we are still here.

We have endured hundreds of years of racism, discrimination and oppression, yet despite everything that we have been through, we are still here.

WE ARE A STRONG, RESILIENT AND NOBLE PEOPLE… AND WE ARE STILL HERE!

She!

I am humbled and deeply appreciative of being the muse for Tarlvin Randall’s latest creative piece, entitled SHE!

SHE!
SHE RESISTED!
SHE PERSISTED!
SHE WAS DETERMINED!
SHE OPPOSED!
SHE STOOD HER GROUND!
SHE KNEW HER RIGHTS!
SHE IS A SHERO!
SHE IS A CHAMPION!
SHE IS A VICTOR!
SHE!
SHE SHOWS HER LOVE!
SHE SHOWS HER SUPPORT!
SHE SHOWS HER SINCERITY!
SHE SHOWS HER STRONG WILL!
SHE SHOWS HER STRENGTH!
SHE SHOWS HER LEADERSHIP!
SHE SHOWS HER DEDICATION!
SHE SHOWS HER WORDS!
SHE SHOWS HER UNDERSTANDING!
SHE SHOWS HER FIGHT BACK SPIRIT!
SHE!
SHE PREVENTED!
SHE BLOCKED!
SHE SURROUNDED!
SHE HINDERED!
SHE DEFIED!
SHE OPPOSED!
SHE OBSTRUCTED!
SHE SABOTAGED!
SHE REFUSED!
SHE CONFRONTED!
SHE!
SHE SPOKE FOR THE MUTE!
SHE STOOD FOR THE AMPUTEE!
SHE HEARD FOR THE DEAF!
SHE SIMPLIFIED JUSTICE!
SHE EDUCATED THE IGNORANT!
SHE KNEW THAT HER LIFE AND HER CHILDREN’S ALONG WITH OUR LIVES AND OUR CHILDREN’S LIVES MATTERED!
SHE IS OUR MODERN DAY HARRIET!
SHE IS A LIBERATOR!
SHE IS A LOCKSMITH!
SHE IS!

 

© Copyright 2017 Tarlvin Randall