For June Jordan – in thanks for the reminder that ‘Wrong is not my name’

11 04 2007

I am the history of rape
I am the history of unspeakable truths – spoken and disbelieved
I am the history of unrapable women – raped and surviving

I am the history of a Justice whose blindfold never concealed the brownness of my skin

who always seemed to see that I could not afford a lawyer

and never missed the fact I am lacking a dick

and thus the ability to say anything that matters

I am the history of a body whose services pay for pampers and formula

a body whose services kept roof overhead

and the lights on at night and shoes on baby’s feet

a body whose services you confused with permission to act on the perverse fantasies of your bigoted imagination

and your will to re-call how it felt when your forefathers violated my foremothers

as my forefathers picked the cotton for your t-shirt

the history of a body whose services still cost me far too much

I am the history of a changing account
I am the history of an inconsistent story
I am the history of insufficient evidence

insufficient evidence of my humanity

of my value – my right to exist and give my consent or not give it

I am the ‘lying whore’ you mark your respectability against
I am the DNA-dripping slut who makes you a ‘lady’ by contrast

I am the history of thunderous testimony to my own worthlessness and insufficiency and tangle of pathology

I am the canon of expert knowledge proclaiming my limitations and disabilities and mental deficiency and moral poverty

I am the science of mongrels and abominations

I am the history of a world that would rather forget I am someone’s mother, someone’s sister, someone’s daughter, someone’s beloved

I am the history of a world that would rather if I just shut up and stop being so angry all the damn time while they go about their business of keeping me in my place and bending the backs of my daughters and locking up my son – while they kill and rape and torture and silence people in every direction who coincidentally are brown just like me.

I am the history of your shackles and the future of my creation

I am a person of note

My eyes have borne witness to the history you will into oblivion and my body holds secrets I cannot forget

In my ears there are whispers of transformation and from my heart I’m unearthing my truths

I stand as a Survivor among millions

…and we are remembering our names.

– Serena




2 responses

25 04 2007

This is powerful. So powerful. It will be the cadence and soundtrack for me between now and Saturday. Thanks for calling the name of the fearless and beloved June Jordan.


25 04 2007

Thank you Ajamu! Thanks for this and for adding your powerful voice to this struggle!

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