Justice for my little brothers

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I have 4 little brothers

Well 5 if you count my pain-in-the-butt little cousin

And every year I watch these boys grow

From diapers to Hanes

From Pokémon to Family Guy

From Breast Milk to those cute little pancakes with the smiley faces on them

From laying up under me

To towering over me.

And every year I watch the world

And the people in it

And I see all the dangers that await my little brothers

That await all little black brothers

That will become young black boys

And God-willing

Some day

Become black men.

And every year I dread

Them coming up to me to say

Their dreams, goals and ambitions

Rambling on about what they want to grow up to be some day

Because how am I

Their lovely older sister to say

That the world does not work that way

That even though slavery was over a hundred years ago

And the Emancipation Proclamation “set” us free

We are not as free as those of less melanin than we

I have a brother that is three

Barely remembers to go to the toilet to pee

Hates to wear pants, even when it’s below 30 degrees

Yet I am supposed to teach him

To be all he can be

When society only sees him

As a future detainee.

I have two little brothers that are 9

Xander and Malachi

And how can I look them in their naive, innocent brown eyes

And lie…

Telling them that America gives them endless possibilities

All they have to do is work twice as hard

Do twice as much

And they will be equal to their whiter counterparts

But the reality is

That whether they are wearing a suit or a white tee

America sees them as a threat to society

Because they were kissed by the sun

I have a brother that is 16

And it pisses me off and makes me feel ashamed

When I have to explain

Why he cannot wear his hood up in the rain

Why it is not safe for him to buy certain things

Why he cannot go outside at night

Even though the police will be out

Because serving and protecting him is not what they all are about

So please little brother when don’t blast your music

While riding your bike at night

And if someone is following you

Run like hell

Especially if he is white

And if the police pull you over

Don’t speak

Don’t fight

Have your hands already up

I only tell you this because I want to see you grow up

I have a pain-in-the-butt little brother that is 18 years old

He is technically a man, but he is still a boy

A black boy

I send him more “be safe”’ texts

Then “I love you” texts

Because I don’t want to see his face

His smiling face and bright red hair

On any signs

On any news channels

On the front page of any newspaper

On ANY social media sites

With the words “Justice for”

Because by then

It will be too late

Too late for Justice

Too late for Justice

Rest Easy to all my brothers, cousins, fathers, uncles, and friends

Who did nothing more to be killed

But have a huge amount of melanin in this skin

In the Land of the Free

But I want justice for all those brothers that have yet to be born

Justice for those black boys and men still living and breathing

Justice for Carmello

Justice for Xander

Justice for Malachi

Justice for Cassius

Justice for Stevie

Justice for those

That are around for it to actually matter…

Poetry Slam: 

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