Credit: Dale Cummings, Canada,

I was snatched from the sweet earth of my motherland-home, Africa.
The smell of the moist dirt from my country is still wedged between my toes with bits of dark brown mud still cemented to the bottom of my soles.

I wailed from the hull of the slave ship with innocuous names such as Isabella, White Lion, and Jesus of Lubeck in shackles placed tightly around my ankles. My cries went unheard in the darkness of madness.

The ocean took many souls back home beneath the sea when thrown overboard dead or alive. My babies; my mother; my father; my nanie; my uncles; my aunts; cousins all tortured, beaten; whipped; raped; sodomized; starved and sick thrown into the sea.

I am property.
I can’t breathe!

A hatch door opens; I see sunlight; I squint; I see land. We are collectively a collective of brown brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins all shackled together at our wrists and ankles, naked.
We are sold and traded for raw materials that are shipped to foreign soils across the sea.

We are enslaved.
I can’t breathe!

We are now the property of Virginia and the southern states.
We stand naked, proud and frightened in hotel rooms in a magnificent, luxurious hotel called St. Louis, and in the center of towns and fields on auction blocks.
My brothers and sisters are violated. Babies are given to alligators and
thrown into the Mississippi River. The whacking sound of the whip leaves scars smeared with salt as deep and long as the Donga River in my motherland, Africa. They treat us as animals. We are kings and queens.
On land we are murdered, tortured and our women and men and children are raped. Babies are snatched from their mothers’ arms and sold never to be seen again. Dogs are weapons used to threaten us with fear and help in the pursuit and capture of runaway enslaved men and women. Now branded from heated irons with the letter R (runaway) on our palms, shoulders, buttocks, cheeks and breasts.
Lynchings produce strange fruits in the trees.

307 enslaved men and women and children worked, staffed and built the White House and were never compensated or acknowledged.

We are enslaved.
We are property.
We can’t breathe!

I hear gunshots, men screaming and running. There is fire and smoke everywhere. Death is all around us; it is dead white soldiers. We run and never stop; it is so cold in the morning and night that we need new clothes. The fires and gunshots stop. We are given land. From men on horses and whips. Land we work, never own or profit from the fruits of our labor.

We can’t breathe!

We continue to fear for our life but pursue the American Dream of conspicuous consumption. We continue to dream, hope but always seem to be treading water up to our necks. New laws are created to keep the whip to our backs. Lynchings, stealing, and the burning down of our communities. Jim Crow laws were enacted from 1876-1965. As a people we are denied the right to vote, to live and work where we want without intimidation. We are not valued, we are invisible, and have no power.

I can’t breathe!

Sirens blare continuously in our neighborhoods. We are disenfranchised. We are policed and brutalized by police, by the court system, and fill the prisons due to unfair drug and criminal charges, corrupt police and a corrupt court system.

I can’t breathe!

He said he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and not lose any voters.
The police commit murder in plain sight and say that they are afraid for their life; and the body of the person is already dead, guns still locked and loaded.

I can’t breathe!

•  Murdered
•  Raped
•  Lynched
•  Burning our churches
•  Killing innocent children
•  Corrupt Criminal Justice system
•  BOP
•  Police brutality and corruption
•  Redlining
•  Systematic racism
•  The list of the killing of non-violent black ( all ages) people by police is interminable.

We can’t breathe!

300 years of oppression under slavery as property to whites

We can’t breathe!

We are no longer your property. As your property we endured your inhumanity to us. No one cared. As your brick and mortar properties are burning to the ground we are burning down your body of properties.



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