Their Names Were Chosen

Their Names Were Chosen



Him: Is it Silver? Stiller?

Me: Sterling. Alton Sterling.

Him: Oh yeah.. I guess I shouldn’t travel because people die otherwise.


You forced me to breath his name as you pretended not to remember it. You wanted me to validate your ability to call attention to the eulogy of another slain black body but also forgive your incompetence as you struggled to remember his name.

Alton Sterling, Jerry Williams, Anthony Nunez, Philando Castile, Melissa Ventura, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Emmett Till and so many more.

A deep seated rage continues to erupt from the pit of hell that also houses my stomach, abdomen, and barren womb. I will not take on the role of Martha or Mary and resurrect you from your chosen slumber. I will not let one more tongue slander the dead.

I carry each person’s name like shackles around my feet. Draped around my neck hang rusted chains, dragging across the cement floor, scratching my breasts, and clinging to my ribcage. My heart is blackened with the residue from your privileged ignorance & well meaning but misinformed bullshit. I am resisting the urge to dig through my skin to stop your masked hate from oozing through my veins as it searches for my internalized hate to finish crippling my body.

I scream and nobody hears me. I wail and people continue to exclaim that all lives matter. There is blood on your hands, a gun in your sling, and you look at me as if I am responsible for these murders.

Wake Up. Wake Up. Wake Up.

I will not give you sanctuary. You are not welcome here. I will not adorn your head with myrrh and frankincense. You can not continue to be carried by the mothers of the slain and eat heartily from their table.  How dare you look for anymore from us.

There names were chosen. There fate was death but that does not mean they are not forgotten.

Your memory will continue to rest in the arms of the living.

Am I?

Am I?

‘Am I depending on J (my loving partner) to more easily navigate white spaces?’ If the answer is yes and I do lean on her to help get through awkward spaces engrossed with huge glaring blue sometimes green  eyes; does this detract from my work as an activist in the world and in my own life. Does this mean I am less confident than I rise to be each and everyday as a Afro/African/Creole-French BLACK woman? I have recently encountered a similar debate on many different social media platforms. The question is usually something along the lines of  “is the act of a black person dating a white person a form of internalized racism” or “can you be a ‘woke’ black person (socially and racially conscious) and share your life with a white person or is this a juxtaposition.”

I need to.

I need to.

​I need to embark on a journey to fully love myself. My weight goes up and down and with each pound, whether gianed or lost the question  “can we still love this” bubbles to the surface. My most faithful relationship is with racism. I battle microagressions and racist acts against my person every fucking day. Each time I go for an interview,  grocery shopping, or to the doctors office it feels like I’m trudging through quicksand as I  fight to prove my worth to people in the world and most importantly myself. I’m tired of y’all. I’m tired of trying to prove anything to anyone. I need to take each pound of this body and learn how to make love to it better than any man or woman could claim too. I need to bask in this melanin until my soul rattles in celebration of the very skin it gets to wear proudly everyday. I need to call out my name and proclaim that she is more than loved, she is chosen for love. Worthy of goodness and mercy. Unconditionally treasured and beloved. I need to, today. Today is a new beginning.