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  • Dana Hayes

No Explanation Given


Everyday, but especially recently, it’s been hard not to shed tear after tear, from story after story of blatant and not so blatant racism against people who look like me. I’ve been uncharacteristically quiet because there is really no explanation that does it justice. I feel it’s not our duty anymore to keep explaining why we matter. Why saying that doesn’t take away from others mattering. Why one sided statistics won’t take away the fear me and my family face anytime we leave home, and then to think even our home, our suppose to be safe space is anything but that.


This is why I’ve struggled to document how the recent events have affected me.


No black person can effectively describe how it feels to be black in this country. The intricacies of how we have to conduct ourselves, the fears we can’t erase, the feeling of not ever being enough that seems to be a birthmark we can’t remove.


And then to watch in 2020 someone die in front of the world because to the police he wasn’t worth more than the supposed $20 bill he was arrested for.


But they say trust the system! Where is the due process that all “Americans” are owed?!

The constant denial that all people who live in this nation aren’t treated equally is the problem. Denial of an issue doesn’t fix it, it creates a rage in those who are oppressed that can’t be put out with a few dollars. We want our basic civil rights that are owed to us. We want to be treated as human, and not seen as a threat just by our presence. These things shouldn’t have to be written, or lobbied for. I mean how ridiculous is it that people who have built and contributed to the rise of this nation just as much as the majority, has to pass laws to be treated with basic human dignity. And even then it does nothing to change the hundreds of years of fear of us in their hearts. It does nothing for the ingrained bias they possess. It does nothing to erase the idea of superiority that they see as their birthright.


The fact that this is something I have to discuss with my kids is appalling but a reality. It’s like there are people who aim to take the light out of our eyes as soon as possible. The hope that wells up in us as children is quickly dimmed by unexplainable violence towards us. How do I tell my kids that no matter how hard they work, it won’t ever be good enough to be seen as anything other than black?!


Do you have to tell your kids this?


So you question Is the magic real?


Somehow this poem has a new meaning! It was originally meant for black women, but it definitely depicts the mental strain felt by black people as a whole.


It’s hard being black in America. I don’t expect people who aren’t black to get it, but I do expect you to seek to understand. It’s like we are fighting a constant battle to be ourselves and exist in a system not meant to protect us or love us.


So here’s a throwback to a poem I wrote giving not even a glimpse, no words could explain, of what it feels like internally.




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