Pondering Future

Sasha Sapp art image
Image: “Grappling” by Sasha Sapp, .5 HB on Moleskine paper, 2019

PONDERING FUTURE


Is your life just as you imagined

20 years ago? Are you regretting
what you could’ve done,
what you could be doing

now?

You surf the crest
of this quarantine,
buying you time to think
of your future
when future itself
like breath and water and land

is select privilege.

Every morning feels Sisyphean
as you wake up, startled,
not sitting up in bed but remain nestled,
listening to the tired call of mourning doves

who coo for childhood memory—

when white forefathers in textbooks
sold you and everyone
the idea that punishment is for crime
when really, crime is simply the color

of one’s skin.

You wish this country
would abolish its police
when wishes won’t be granted overnight,
just like the epiphany of your life

won’t either.

***

Recommended Books

“The five books below deeply critique American history, society, and culture in a manner that evokes a desire for change. They also present actions on what can be done to advance our society. Overall, they represent a necessary starting point for allies to demonstrate that Black Lives Matter.” — Dr. Adriel A. Hilton, Dean of Students and Diversity Officer at Seton Hill University:

How To Be An AntiRacist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

Black Minds Matter: Realizing the Brilliance, Dignity, and Morality of Black Males in Education by Dr. J. Luke Wood

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele

No BS (Bad Stats): Black People Need People Who Believe in Black People Enough Not to Believe Every Bad Thing They Hear About Black People by Dr. Ivory A. Toldson

The New Jim Crow – Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

And one last recommendation: Survivor’s Guilt: Essays on Race and American Identity by Artress Bethany White

“In Survivor’s Guilt: Essays on Race and American Identity, Artress Bethany White offers her personal take on some of the most important issues facing the country today. But rather than tackle political policy or electoral politics, White opens a family album and reflects upon what the nation’s failure to reckon with its history has meant for her ancestors’ and her past, as well as her own, her husband’s, and their children’s present and future. If you have been looking for a heartfelt, well-informed, but gentle entry into contemporary thinking about racial concerns—from the legacy of lynching, to the challenges of interracial marriage, to the complexities of class within the black community—you have found your guide.” — Evie Shockley, author of Semiautomatic

Recommended Articles

The ‘Abolish The Police’ Movement, Explained By 7 Scholars and Activists by Sean Illing

Police Reform, Defunding, And Abolition, Explained by Aaron Ross Coleman

If We Abolish Police, What Happens to Rapists? by Cassandra Mensah

How I Became a Police Abolitionist by Derecka Purnell

Recommended Films

13th, directed by Ava DuVernay. “Ava DuVernay’s 13th is a documentary about how the Thirteenth Amendment led to mass incarceration in the United States. The film opens with an analysis of the eponymous amendment: ‘Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.’ 13th traces the path from the clause between those two commas to the 2.2 million prisoners in the American justice system.” — Juleyka Lantigua-Williams

I Am Not Your Negro, directed by Raoul Peck. “Repeatedly, the documentary demonstrates James Baldwin’s unique ability to expose the ways anti-black sentiment constituted not only American social and political life but also its cultural imagination.” — Dagmawi Woubshet

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