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Photo by Ruel Calitis via Unsplash

Is Black a skin color or a status?
Does it describe my mind’s apparatus?
Can it describe my creativity’s atlas?
Who says to be Black is below average?
Am I still Black for having no car with hydraulics?
Am I still Black for having to learn Ebonics?
What is being Black, an idea or demographic,
or an ethnicity, or a denial of credit plastic?

Work hard and save up for what?
So people can tell me to go back to my hut?
So people can call my mother a slut?
So people can see me and clap their windows shut?

Why is it that all you who are kin to me
get assassinated by police entities?

On the other hand, why be a victim?
Why subject myself to someone else’s religion?
Who are you to insult my character and vision?
Where do you get off teaching racism to my children?
Why do these questions even come up?
How come no one reports when Black Lives are snuffed?
If Black Lives Matter so much,
how come Black lives don’t matter to us?

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Mesro Dhu Rafa'a

George Coles-El, better known as Mesro Dhu Rafa’a, is a poet, writer and graffiti artist. When Mesro is not tutoring GED students and writing, he enjoys role-playing games such as “Dungeons and Dragons” and “Magic, The Gathering,” and writing science fiction and fantasy stories. During this pandemic, Mesro has completed an anthology of writings called Unsung Hero. Mesro Dhu Rafa’a is a pseudonym, which means “stand with the sun, master of the ascendants.” He is incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison in California.