Numbers

It was september 15, 1963

It was august 24, 1955

March 24 1944

It was the evening of May 16, 2010

11/22/2014

5/31/2012

 

Addie Mae Collins 14, had her hair pressed and curled and her white dress starched for church that morning

Darius Simmons, 13 was taking out the trash

Cynthia Wesley, 14 left the house that day having been admonished by her mother to adjust her slip to be presentable in church

 

Emmet till, 14, nicknamed Bobo, is in a car with seven friends, pulls up in front of Bryant’s grocery and meat market in mony mississipi. Till is challenged by another young boy to try to get a date with the store’s pretty 21 year old clerk. Crammed with cocky courage he knows he cannot concede. Bobo, brimming with boastful young boy brilliance reaches forward and grabs the dainty porcelain skin of the young woman. He tells her he’s been with white women before and as his cousin drags him from the store, he puckers his lips as if already kissing the delicate alabaster lady and lets out a wolf whistle that would shame the classiest southern belle

 

Tamir rice, 12 goes to the recreation center with his 14 year old sister.

Aiyana Stanley-Jones lies on the couch sleeping peacefully near her grandmother.

Sunday school had just let out and Addie Mae, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson age 14 and Denise Mcnair age 11 and Sarah Collins age 12 were gathered in the bathroom in the basement before service began. Denise asked Addie Mae to tie her sash. Those would be the last words she uttered. For in seconds 15 sticks of dynamite would turn their beauty into blood, their dreams into death, and their girlhood into gore. I wonder if they mistook the brazen booming with Samson tearing down the temple in a blind vengeance. If they thought the marble penetrating their frail chests was from the walls of Jericho. Did they mistake the blood on the walls for the blood that Jesus had so carefully shed for them. They had to know that their number was up. Their town had garnered the name Bombingham. They were black girls. Had they not learned that Jesus could not forgive the sin of black skin.

 

August 31, 1955 Emmet Till's body was found in the Tallahatchie river.

Darius Simmons 13, 76 year old white man one shot to the chest, dead

Aiyana Stanley Jones, 7, 37 year old veteran cop, one shot to the head. 4055 lillibridge st, 6 six seconds 5/16/2010 Tamir rice, 12, 26 year old cop, 2 shots, 4 seconds.

March 24, 1944, George Stinney, 14, was arrested for the murder of two white girls. 2 hour trial, 10 mintutes to convict.

June 6, 16 1944 goerge stinney walked to the electric chair at 7:30pm with a bible under his arm which he used as a booster seat. 5 ft inch, 90 pounds he could barely reach the headset and when the first 2400 volt surge of electricity hit him his mask fell off revealing 2 eyes and one mouth gaping in fear

 

We are used to the numbers. We play them every day we wake up. Life is a gamble. Black kids learn to set standards low and get high on the thrill of chance. We are accused of playing the race card even after we have folded. The odds are stacked against us. The stakes are high. The dice is loaded and we are a bunch of sad ass suckers in deep debt with a gambling addiction. We were raised on statistics. We fight racism with 180 characters, drink 40's numbers are what we live by. From the slave register of numbers stamped on us to the 1876 black children aborted every day and the million aborted since 1973. The mathematics are flawless but we are only seeing subtraction and division. They will criticize my math but as the saying goes. Numbers don’t lie.

 
Poetry Slam: 
This poem is about: 
My community
My country

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