Is This Not Our Country Now?

We were dragged from our homeland and packed, like wares, to be sold.

Some died on the journey.  Some live hearts grew cold.

We were stripped of humanity and made a disgrace.

On our bare backs you built the wealth of this place.

Is this not our country, now?


We were granted our “freedoms” unless we wandered too far.

Then? We were beaten and hung, our naked bodies marred.

Our settlements were bombed. Our children dead in the streets.

Yet we found success in the face of heart-wrenching defeat.

Is this not our country, now?


We rose, like ash, from every fire you lit.

In stature, in wisdom, in knowledge, in wit.

We strengthened your schools, your cities, your nation.

We looked for our day of belonging with great anticipation.

Is this not our country, now?


When enemies arose, we begged to stand and fight.

We begged to be counted. We begged for the right

to defend our people, our children, our home.

We begged for the right to be seen as whole.

Is this not our country, now?


We fought and we bled and we died for this nation.

Is this not our country, NOW?


Can we not say we’re heartbroken?

Can we not take a knee?

Can we not ask for change quietly? Peacefully?

Can we not ask our nation: Why can you not see that this,

this too, is our country?


This. This America. Where we die unarmed in the streets.

This. This America. Where our peaceful protests meet critique.

This, land of the free, America, where we still aren’t free at all.

Can we not scream for aid?


Can you see us at all?


Can you see us as equals?

Do you see us as worthy?

Do you see us as humans?

Feel the pulse of our story?


Do you feel the rhythm of our daily lives?

Do you hear our despair or drown out our cries?


We fight and we bleed and we cry for this nation.

We take a knee and beg change because we believe in this nation.

We rise and we hope and we endure FOR this nation.

Is this not our country, now?

Is this not our country? Now?


By Latrice Ingram

August 25, 2018


















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