Our Lives Matter

New Orleans, Louisiana: August 23rd, 2005
A mother loses her child to Katrina
Then spends days without water in a “super dome”
She wonders what she will do
now that her home in the Ninth Ward has washed away
People wonder why the levees broke

Port au Prince, Haiti: January 12th, 2010
A mother unburies her child from the rubble
After she watched her home fall to dust
She wonders if he will make it to the hospital,
hundreds of miles away
People wonder why there was no infrastructure in the first place

Sanford, Florida: February 26th, 2012
A mother mourns the death of her son
Who was shot and killed by a police officer
From that moment, wearing a hoodie becomes a crime
And the killer walks free
People wonder about the safety of their children,
their children of color

Ferguson, Missouri: August 9th, 2014
A mother watches her son get murdered in the street
By the very police who were supposed to protect them
Stories of police brutality unfold
And people start to wonder
Why people of color are constantly targets of the legal system

Nigeria, West Africa: October 17th, 2014
A mother buries her child
After disease ravaged her body and six others in the community
She wonders why no one sent help two months earlier
Then hopes she is not sick as well
People wonder why the U.S. is sending SWAT teams, but Cuba is sending doctors

Here, and now: Today
The thoughts turn into words, whispers turn into riots
People of color wonder why they have been oppressed
for hundreds of years
They are demanding justice, we are crying for a living wage
Our lives matter, our lives matter

Image: Justice for Trayvon, ellabakercenter.org

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