Poetry and Posters by Youth, in Memory of Trayvon Martin

The other day, a bunch of us went to a “thousand hoodie” rally in downtown Seattle to honor the memory of Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old Black teenager murdered by George Zimmerman, part of the neighborhood watch in a gated community in Florida.  May he rest in power.

Several comrades spoke at the rally, including Jomo from Black Orchid.  My former student Carlos Ganz read this moving poem.  He is an outstanding spoken word artist whose poems are about to be published.  You can find more of his work here.  The energy in the crowd escalated at the end of the poem when he called for the kind of actions that folks are hoping will happen on May 1st here in Seattle and around the country.

I wrote this for my people,
The white
The black,
The brown,
The equals.
I wrote this for all
My brothers and sisters
Lost to these concrete streets
And for all my mothers and fathers
Who barried them there.
I wrote this for the guilty,
And the innocent,
For all the Trayvons
And George Zimmermans.
I wrote this for you,
In hope that some day we
As human beings
Will Demand equality,
In hopes that
We will Demand respect,
In hopes that one day
As human beings
We will demand justice
And we will receive it.
In hopes that
We will demand justice
And not just in
Our Court rooms
Or jail cells,
But on these same
Concrete graves
We every day
Lose black hooded
Faces on.
I write begging and pleading
That my black and brown
Come together in unison
Demanding that same justice
We haven’t been given.
How many young souls must die,
How many Young hooded heroes
Go on by
Without dignity or closure.
How more lives will we take?
How long until we break?
How many murderers will go free?
How many judges walk away clean?
I dream of world where suspicion
Is just suspicion,
Where protests are civil
And pepper spray
Skittle and iced tea
Tear gas seized Free.
I dream of a world where we
Watch eachothers’ back
Instead watching if he’s black
Or if he’s brown,
Or if he’s white
Or if it’s the flashing lights
Coming around.
The time is now,
We are here
So let’s get loud,
Let’s block the streets
And declare our way
Let’s block the tunnels
And highways,
Your way
My way,
Let’s come together
And do it trayvons way,
Put your hoodies up
And march the other way,
Chant the injustices of the modern day,
2012 Zimmerman,
No one more will get a way,
Let’s link up
Let freedom reign,

I like Carlos’ reference to “2012 Zimmerman”.   The “Kony 2012” video went viral on youtube, calling for U.S. military intervention in Uganda to stop Kony, leader of the Lords’ Resistance Army, because of his exploitation and murder of children.  Supporters of U.S. imperialism portray Africa as a backwards continent where this kind of violence occurs, neglecting to mention that Black youth are killed because of racism here in America everyday.  So many Americans are calling for Kony’s arrest by the end of 2012, suggesting it’s something “we can all agree on”.  Yet judging from the right-wing backlash against the thousand hoodie marches in honor of Trayvon’s murder, “we” cannot all agree on stopping racist violence against youth here at home.  Considering that there is a New Jim Crow system in place incarcerating an entire generation of working class youth of color, the US is in no position to talk about saving youth abroad.  How can a country baptized in violence and white supremacy claim to bring justice to people of color anywhere in the world?

Here are some posters that high school students here in Seattle made for the rally; some of them also express this point:

About mamos206

Mamos is my pen name. My writings can be found at these sites, along with the thoughts of friends I collaborate with: https://blackorchidcollective.wordpress.com http://creativitynotcontrol.wordpress.com http://overthrowingilluminati.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in Africa, Colonialism, Race, What's up in Seattle, Youth and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Poetry and Posters by Youth, in Memory of Trayvon Martin

  1. RJ says:

    Good shit. The “Zimmerman 2012” ones reminded me of election posters though. Thought for a minute y’all were supporting Zimmerman for president as the right wing of the Republican Party. Small thing, though. Love the work y’all are doing.

  2. In Sanford, Florida a young life was snuffed out by the captain of a neighborhood watch,

    Local authorities wouldn’t make an arrest so the investigation had to be taken up a notch–

    To the Fed’s and now the world has been made aware of a child’s last words and screams,

    As he walked down the street clad in a hoodie with a bag of skittles, cell phone and tea,

    The overwhelming sentiment is that he was killed simply because of the color of his skin

    His assailant called the police and said his kind always gets away time and time again

    President Obama took a moment and reflected on the situation and said if he had a son

    He’d look like Trayvon,

    Television Personality Geraldo Rivera urged black and hispanic teens not to go outside

    with their hoodies on.

    Illinois State Representative Bobby Rush got thrown off the house floor for concealing a

    hoodie under his suit in protest of the teens murder and he said ‘just because you wear a

    hoodie it doesn’t make you a hoodlum!’

    Day after day, we are hearing that sentiment across the United States and it started from:

    Hearing the FBI play the 911 calls from the assailant as it was amped up a

    Thousand watts,

    Thousands upon thousands have marched across the country and await

    the grand jury investigation on April 10th a day that won’t soon be forgot—ten.

    George Zimmerman the killer called and left an apology on an answering machine,

    The bland message sounded as if he was apologizing for not keeping his walkway clean.

    In the interim Trayvon’s parents have to cope with living without their child,

    Friends and supporters search to find ways to honor him but things got wild.

    After the grand jury convenes in April the world may begin to heal Zimmerman might be

    brought to justice and learn that a(ny) life he has no right to


    Then perhaps the ‘stand your ground’ law will be repealed.

  3. Wess says:

    well said………

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s