POEM: I AM SANDRA BLAND

I am Sandra Bland

It’s sadly unsurprising that another Black person has fallen once again while in police custody—having suffered unnecessary brutality during a traffic stop.  It screams the question: Since when did a routine traffic stop become a high risk assignment for Black women? It’s a question I now have to ponder every time I drive my vehicle.  As the tragic death of 28-year-old Sandra Bland is being investigated by state of Texas and played out in the media, I’ve realized that I am Sandra Bland.

I am Black and proud and speak too loudly

At the injustice I see all around me

My skin is darker than a berry, but not too sweetly

Am I acceptable to blind ignorance, you see

Because when the eyes of those who hate rest their gaze

Upon me, my humanness dissipates

into a misty haze and all that is left

Is rage, war, and violence-

against my body’s softness

Their need to destroy the femininity that is me

Because I…am Sandra Bland

My life is seen as an inconvenience to abusers of power

But I’m not popular to those blinded by the rays of my darkness

Shining a beacon upon my guilty countenance

Because justice precedes some but doesn’t proceed for me

Because, I… am Sandra Bland

Passing through this life is a struggle

Over my shoulder I shuffle

Looking into the night for the bright

Swirling lights that can remove me from this life

Driving, shopping, walking, and speaking I am guilty as charged

Black woman… at large

Red incites a bull to rage

But on this stage

Black puts us in a cage

Or a coffin

But I’m not balking because I’m free

And as long as I breathe

I will continue to be

Because Sandra Bland is me

Therefore boldly I’ll proclaim

to say her name

From every mountain top

And I will not stop

The thunderous roar

Until injustice is no more

In this land, we will continue to stand

Because I am… Sandra Bland

©2015 Kim R. Woods All Rights Reserved

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