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Wednesday, January 20, 2021


by Ethan Thayumanavan

Born November 20, 1942.

Inaugurated on January 20, 2021.


Born June 14, 1946.

Inaugurated on January 20, 2017.


Ruby Bridges: Born September 8, 1954.

First day in a white classroom on November 14, 1960.


Angela Davis: Born January 26, 1944.

Became the third Woman on the fbi’s most wanted list on August 18, 1970.

Released on bail after 16 months of incarceration on February 23, 1972.

Acquitted of all charges by an all-white jury on June 4, 1972.


Marsha P. Johnson: Born August 24, 1945.

Stonewalled the nypd on June 28, 1969.

The nypd ruled Marsha’s death a suicide on July 6, 1992.


Martin Luther King Jr: Born January 15, 1929.

Had a dream on August 28, 1963.

Went to the mountaintop on April 3, 1968.

Assassinated by white supremacists on April 4, 1968.


Emmett Till: Born July 25, 1941.

Whistled at a white girl on August 28, 1955.

He was two years older than


Tamir Rice: Born June 25, 2002.

Murdered by a white man with a badge on November 22, 2014.


jim crow: Born Juneteenth, 1865.

just won’t fucking



I imagine that mista past president has sat

underneath palms in the Middle East

but has never tasted the warm sweetness

of a date


can’t bring himself to put his lips on

Worn Leather and Scar Tissue and Age Lines

and Exhaustion and Folk Music and Survival


classrooms shove dates down my throat

put their hands over my mouth

so I have to swallow

don’t even prepare ‘em right


leave pits in my stomach

forget the date came from the tree

came from the seed

came from the pit

came from the date


which is to say that linearity and

history are both constructed.

what is a date

without person and place?

time does not march forward

unless we do


I hold a date in the palm of my hand

sink my teeth into it

bite down into the gooey, sticky sweetness

savor the moment

write my own History

write my own poem

call this a radical act

Ethan Thayumanavan is an aspiring poet of Indian descent, from Amherst, Massachusetts. He is a full-time student at Columbia University. His exploration of poetry began when he joined a collegiate spoken word poetry team, but his love for the written word has influenced his transition from performance to writing.