Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind

Black Love Oracle Day #5: open poem to those who rather we not read…or breathe #whateverwhenever #blacklivesmatter

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“All I want to know
for my own protection
is are we capable
of whatever
whenever.”

Essex Hemphill “For My Own Protection”

The #whateverwhenever oracle is Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind‘s offering to the #blacklivesmatter ride, a national movement in solidarity with young black people in Ferguson, Missouri with a vision towards a just society within which black life is cherished.   Today’s poem is Suheir Hammad’s “open poem to those who rather we not read…or breathe” from her collection Born Palestinian, Born Black. To activate the oracle, choose a letter of the alphabet (your initials? the initials of a loved one? a letter that is speaking to you..) and read the poem for that letter aloud to yourself.  If you happen to choose a letter that has no words in the original poem you get to make your own poem using only words that begin with that letter of the alphabet. 

open poem to those who rather we not read…or breathe

by suheir hammad

(concordance)

 

A

 

and

arawak

and

and

amsterdam

ave

and

a

act

as

as

as

a

and

an

and

and

a

a

and

and

and

a

analyze

and

and

 

B

 

breathe

be

bodies

bloom

backs

blood

brutality

brooklyn

be

blood

bold

behind

bars

blood

blind

braid

breasts

bluesy

brown

blood

bluer

black

back

be

billy

bend

be

breath

back

be

beings

 

C

 

children

children

carry

continents

concrete

cracks

cells

civilizations

cops

cold

clash

cops

contracts

cash

clubs

cost

 

D

 

dressed

danced

descendants

denied

demand

dogs

dogs

did

demand

down

dangling

death

 

E

 

exiled

eyes

education

earth

entire

ears

eyed

eternal

evil

everlasting

 

F

 

facism

fashion

from

for

feed

flowers

for

fruit

facism

fashion

freedom

fight

fashion

 

G

 

girls

governments

guns

 

H

 

homelands

humanity

her

heads

hungry

humanity

hair

hands

human

human

 

I

 

is

in

in

immigrants

in

in

in

in

is

in

imperial

in

in

itself

it’s

it’s

is

is

is

 

J

 

jobs

jazzy

jewels

juice

just

 

K

 

kiss

keep

 

L

 

love

long

love

laws

lips

 

M

 

middle

music

men

mothers

mace

mercenaries

mission

marks

 

N

 

not

nation

nation

not

not

 

O

 

open

or

off

of

of

our

of

of

our

on

of

our

on

of

of

our

our

of

of

of

old

our

our

onto

our

of

on

of

of

on

our

off

out

our

our

out

 

P

 

poem

passage

people

pissed

pink

passion

police

poetry

prison

police

pigs

pierce

pale

power

power

price

pay

political

prisoners

passing

 

Q

 

R

 

rather

read

recognition

rich

recite

running

right

return

resistance

rouges

round

refuse

round

rather

read

 

S

 

style

sweat

survivors

stand

starving

stained

she

style

slashed

silence

sport

skin

state

souls

sent

set

strength

style

strained

see

semi-free

style

 

T

 

to

those

taino

toilets

the

the

through

through

the

tracing

tears

taste

the

trees

tongues

to

the

treat

the

the

through

through

tattoo

the

the

think

they’re

than

they

to

thin

tightens

that

the

tag

the

to

threat

to

those

think

the

 

U

 

V

 

vans

velvet

very

 

W

 

who

we

we

we

we

we

we

we

walls

willow

weeps

we

we

wear

wrapped

whores

we

witness

we

with

war

we

while

wears

with

with

won’t

we

we

we

walking

who

we

watch

way

we

we

wear

warrior

well

we

 

X

 

Y

 

you

youth

youth

 

Z

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