Inspired by the words of Luis Antonio Pichardo, Founder &

Executive Director of DSTL Arts

In this time of pandemic protest &

rebellion many have declared

that they believe in fighting for

Social Justice &

Equity for all. But many

have not reflected a history

of doing precisely that. Have not


acknowledged our Diaspora.

As a boy

as a teen & as a Black man

I have been profiled.

I have been followed.

I have been stopped

for no reason &


because I fit the description.

I have been harassed &

detained & manhandled by police.

I don't believe all cops

are racist thugs. Some

really want to protect & Serve. Think

of trying to empty

a vast ocean of racism brutality &

murder with a teaspoon. Or

if one cop is a racist murdering thug

& ten thousand cops stand by &

do nothing

then ten thousand

& one cops

are racist murdering thugs. Period.

To do nothing

is just as bad as

doing the wrong something. As bad as

white supremacy's

fear of dark bodies as bad as stereotyped

into a fear of me. I cannot forget that

I am not equal that we

are not equal.

But I have learned

to live with that damaging fact


our voices have immense worth

accumulated through

centuries of being


We are not a footnote. Are not a trend.

We are as many

as you can think of plus one more.

I will no longer lightly walk behind

a one of you who fear me:

Be afraid.

Note/: Italicized quote by June Jordan from

I Must Become a Menace to My Enemies.