Does a rose by any other name not smell as sweet?
Does a person that goes by another name cease to be a child of Mother Earth?
What do the words “serve” and “protect” mean?
serve: to be a servant, a person who is devoted to or guided by something
protect: to keep (someone or something) from being harmed, lost, etc.
If you’re charged with serving and protecting the people,
you put your own life on the line every day for them.
You’re devoted to the people.
You’re guided by your commitment to their well-being.
Your mission is to keep them from harm.
All of them. Period.
Yet, so many fall at the hands of the police.
So many served nothing more than a volley of bullets.
So many robbed of protection, and life.
So many stripped of their humanity.
Brother Africa was a fellow human being.
He’ll never be replaced.
He’ll never see his chance to shine on the silver screen.
He’ll never set foot back in his native Cameroon,
feel the African sun on his hopeful face.
Never again will friends and loved ones
bask in the majesty of his humanity.
Some of us never knew you,
but we won’t forget you.
And those who did will carry
those indelible marks,
only you could leave.
Farewell, Brother Africa!
p.s. — This was my humble attempt to speak poetically to this tragedy. Countless others have done so much more effectively and beautifully than I can muster. Here’s a link to a magnificently damning collection of poems I found at the Black & Blue blog:
And just to whet the appetite, here are a couple pieces I’ve cut and pasted from the collection:
By Sterling Brown
Let us forgive Ty Kendricks.
The place was Darktown. He was young.
His nerves were jittery. The day was hot.
The Negro ran out of the alley.
And so Ty shot.
Let us understand Ty Kendricks.
The Negro must have been dangerous.
Because he ran;
And here was a rookie with a chance
To prove himself a man.
Let us condone Ty Kendricks
If we cannot decorate.
When he found what the Negro was running for,
It was too late;
And all we can say for the Negro is
It was unfortunate.
Let us pity Ty Kendricks.
He has been through enough,
Standing there, his big gun smoking,
Having to hear the wenches wail
And the dying Negro moan.
(For All the Beautiful Black Panthers East)
By Nikki Giovanni
But the whole thing is a miracle – See?
We were just standing there
talking – not touching or smoking
When this cop told
Move along buddy – take your whores
And this tremendous growl
From out of nowhere
Pounced on him
Nobody to this very day
How it happened
And none of the zoos or circuses
Within fifty miles