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Friday, May 04, 2018


by Akua Lezli Hope

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice . . .  is dedicated to the victims of American white supremacy. And it demands a reckoning with one of the nation’s least recognized atrocities: the lynching of thousands of black people in a decades-long campaign of racist terror. —The New York Times, April 25, 2018

We are constrained by the smog
created by this history
between slavery and civil rights
something obscures understanding
death, maintaining status quo
pain of the unrequited
failed promises, justice denied
no explanation for why
assassinated aspirations
the tumult and terror of
long enduring enslavement
large jars of soil from profane sites
of murder, disinter witless tragedy
to forget is to disable
to forget is to cripple
steel pillars are mute towers
piercing witness, carved remembrances
aligned, mass incarceration now
wrongfully convicted prisoners
presumptions of guilt for those
summarily dispatched unarmed,
whose names are known and multiply in
bleak countings of perpetuated loss
to forget is to repeat

Akua Lezli Hope is a creator who uses sound, words, fiber, glass, handmade paper and wire to create poems, patterns, stories, music, adornments, sculpture and peace whenever possible. She has published 125 crochet designs. Her poetry collection THEM GONE will be published by The Word Works Publishing in June, 2018.