a full color magazine; a collection of photos/essays/poems centered around the consumption of black trauma and black love.
includes a collection of songs.
Ahmaud was murdered. The day I heard the news is the same day I took up running. Something about his death in particular sat with me. Ahmaud’s death. It’s funny how when people die they use our full names. Unfamiliarity. He will never actually be just ‘Ahmaud’. As much as George Floyd will never get to be ‘George’.
Not to me anyway.
Instead, they will be consumed. Turned into video clips, streamed. Made into martyrs, used as political talking points. Cautionary tales. A reason for my white friends to check in on me.
Breonna Taylor will never be ‘breonna’ again. At least not to me. Sandra bland will never be ‘Sandra’. Unfamiliarity. We address people by their full names to express unfamiliarity. Let me ask it as a question;
Do we address people by their full names to express unfamiliarity?
Yet, we get to know these people in the most intimate, most perverse of ways. These people die and we devour them. We dissect their lives, streak their deaths, and even worse, then maybe determine if they deserved it. ‘It’ meaning, murder.
Black people are killed on camera and turned into celebrities. Let me ask this as a question;
Are black people killed on camera considered celebrities? Brad Pitt, Sandra Bland, David Bowie, Michael Brown, and Timothee Chalamet. It doesn’t fit.
When I hear people use these names I wonder if it’s out of reverence, or more so, out of fascination.
When you share these videos, is it with awe?
Ahmaud will never be Ahmaud again. Not to us anyway. Unfamiliarity.
America is more familiar with Black Death than it is with black life. This is a statement.
Black Death gets views. Retweets. For every couple, white people may actually care. If we’re lucky there may even be an apology.
But we never get what we want.
What do I want?
they don't want us here I hear
let's go to the moon
they don't want us here my dear
let's go to the moon
they say we cannot breathe up there
that sounds a lot like earth
they say we can't survive in space
can we survive out hurr?
they say the moon is made of cheese
and earth is made of rock
i think our planet's made from niggas
buried on my block
i wanna be in space with waves
durags and my thoughts (thots?)
louis bags and gucci slides
for nigga astronauts
they don't want us here i hear
and here is never safe
let's go to the moon someday
and try our luck in space
my list of regrets:
eating a caterpillar's cocoon in 4th grade
not helping my uncle pass his piss test
not writing to my uncle when he was locked up
not writing to my father when he was locked up
not sleeping with you
not getting a rent controlled spot in fillmore for $900/month
letting people mispronounce my name
leaving too early
staying out too late
letting this white boy say nigga to me in 11th grade
thinking i looked good in a goatee
thinking 'inception' was a good film
anytime i've gone to the 'after hours' spot
i didn't know i was supposed to stay after, i really would've cause it was crackin
not listening to 'voodoo' by D'angelo til 2013
not buying that gucci sweater
before my uncle died he asked me for a cigarette. we were in the hostpital and a nurse was watching and i was young and i was scared and didn't give him one and i think about it all the time he stole diapers for me when i was a child
regretting making a list of regrets im sure im missing a lot more