#poetry, blog, DailyFix, poemoftheday, musings,, Projects

Keeping My Hands to Myself

All I think about is how much I want you to survive.

When you were fourteen, I told you:

You can be anything you want to be, just don’t be a statistic

I told you: “We live on the wrong side of town and I know, they know

Your name not because they want to but because they feel they have to”,

I told you can feel as angry as you like but

Never show it on the streets”

We live 62 miles from London, 78.5 miles from

Birmingham; but when the anger exploded

We made you a prisoner in your own home

Cause it doesn’t matter how far away it might be,

Every siren is an emergency in our house.

When you were nineteen,

You found the right things to say

So I wouldn’t be afraid.

Now, I take it for granted that all your words

Are to be read into –

I listen but look at the margins

to see what you’re omitting.

There are things I will not tell you.

Like what it feels like to stand in Templars

Square and have nothing to say when

The old lady you’ve just spent ten minutes

Talking to turns to the waiter and

Says, ‘this coloured girl’s looking for a job,’

No one knows what to say. So we say nothing.

You’re 21. I’m worried your hair is too long,

You’ve never shaved your beard and the way

Your coat hangs on you says things you shouldn’t

Want to say. I tell you, ‘You should cut your hair.

If you look all wrong, you can get in trouble’

Trouble can mean so many things.

April, 2015: ‘Two men have been charged in connection with an incident of

grievous bodily harm in South Park. They were charged today with one count of possessing

a blade in public and one count of wounding with intent…’

We go for dinner, and talk about how funny they both were.

We talk about what we know, the version of their story that will never make the papers

Because No one else will talk about what they could have been.

This we do for every name we recognise in the paper,

For the ones we don’t

for every knife and gun,

We gather and remember, drive and remember, eat and remember

every name, every story, the ones we’ve heard on the streets

the ones we know personally,

We’re the keepers of tales, we swap them

back and forth so that they rest between us;

We deliberately remember the good,

Because we must.

Because this isn’t London.

This isn’t Birmingham.

The only things visible here are the dreaming spires,

conversations at bus stops about the weather,

history soaking into the skin of our hands

so much so that we dare not touch

the stones lest they crumble;

there’s so much history to preserve here…

I’m 25. Now I only tell you, “Please, try and be home by ten.

Don’t get into trouble.”

*Listen to the poem in full!*

#poetry, blog, booknerd, DailyFix, poemoftheday, musings,, imreading, onmybedsidetable

What I’m Reading This Week…

The perfect read for your heart…Still Standing by Tola Doll Fisher is a memoir about what it is to get to your ‘thirty-somethings’ and feel like you actually do not have it all together. These are 100 lessons from an ‘un’successful life! You can grab this gorgeous book right here.
This week’s Read for the Mind! As someone who has grown up in the Pentecostal church and who is now finding the challenges of this upbringing as I grow up, this book has been a fantastic addition to my library. Highly recommended …grab it here, y’all!
What’s up Read for the Spirit! Equality is Biblical has been giving me liiiiife! Worth the work of just diving in and grabbing this for the next time someone points out the supposed ‘inequality’ of women in leadership especially in churches. You can grab this right here!
Your read for the inner child this week! I love this book so much. The illustrations are gorgeous, the story of the women in it are essential and this is a lovely addition to your kid’s library!
Check it out right here
#poetry, blog, DailyFix, poemoftheday, musings,

Protest, Race, and the conversation:

A must-have list of books for every bookshelf…

1.) Sulwe, Lupita Nyong’o (age: 3-7)
A beautiful and powerful celebration of blackness and black skin from the queen that is Lupita. Gorgeous illustrations accompany this book which I highly recommend as a perfect way to show your kids books where they are the central characters.

2.) The Hate You Give– Angie Thomas (teens, 13-up)
One of the last years’ New York Times bestsellers, Angie Thomas’ The Hate You Give tells the story of a young black girl who is present at the shooting of one of her friends, a young black boy at the hands of a police officer. This is powerful, harrowing and a necessary glimpse into what sparks the kind of anger we are seeing today. It’s a fiction and also has a movie to go with it!

3.) We Need to Talk About Race, Ben Lindsey
For the preachers and spiritual leaders in our communities working with majority black church members and communities, Ben Lindsey’s We Need to Talk About Race is an engaging look into this issue.

On police brutality and organisations that you can engage with in Kenya:

IMLU-ORG – IMLU is a non-governmental organization with a vision for ‘A World Free From Torture, Violence & Discrimination

MUHURI KENYA – An NGO audaciously non-partisan and a bold defender of human rights, the marginalized, and constitutionalism in Kenya.

UHAI WETU – Social Justice Centres Working Group Research team for in-depth research & information on campaigns against police killings & abuses in the ghettos.

A growing list that will be added to as we go!

Rehema.


#poetry, blog, DailyFix, poemoftheday, musings,

ALL THESE WALLS OPPRESSION BUILDS WILL HAVE TO GO!

In a time of such heartbreak, we say their names: George Floyd. Ahmaud Arbery. Tony McDade. Regis Korchinski. Breonna Taylor. David McAtee. Justin Howell.

Cr Black lives matter.

Sometimes we can feel something like compassion fatigue. There is so much going on at once and so many things wrong. But even when we are so tired, we still must carry on using our voices, our words, our funds where possible and our hands in peaceful protest so that we can build the world we want to see.

One where justice is real, safety for our black bodies is assured and one in which we are not afraid to live.

This article in the cut details a list of places that you can donate to for George Floyd and the #blacklivesmatter movement.