To My People

I just got back from a long and fruitful retreat I had with PEP (Pin@y Educational Partnerships), a service learning collaborative teaching pipeline, in which I’m one of the teachers at City College of San Francisco. I won’t go into much detail about what we did at the retreat, but there was one ontological moment for me. We did an exercise in which we had to come up with vision and mission statements for the respective classes we teach, but to do it in the form of poetry. Every word that is in this poem I’m about to share came straight from the vulnerability of my soul, and carries on in my life beyond teaching, in my art and in my community organizing.

To My People

The earth, our lifeline, held the roots
So we could rise to the sky
And bask in the golden rays of the sun

Our lifeline, cut away with the strokes of cultural genocide
Because our destinies didn’t fit the mold
500 years of blindness
Only allowed to see the history and destiny
Force fed into our being
Not being able to see beyond
The crimson blood of our ancestors that blindfolds us

Red for the stoplight to our progress
Red for the blood spilt in the genocide of our ancestors
Red for the red flag whenever we engage outside of the norm
Red for the red light districts to satisfy the sexual hunger of the oppressors

It is not until we wipe away the blood that blinds our eyes
That we begin to see the truth about the color red

Red is for the blood spilt of our ancestors
Who died to give rise to our existence
Red is for that same blood that fertilizes our land
Making it that much more precious and sacred to defend
Red is for the warning sign that change needs to happen
Red is for the red pill we must take
To unplug our minds from the matrix of hegemony

Because red is the prominent color of every revolution
Because red is the color that flows through our bodies
Because red the color that allows us
To make the images we make together as a community…

…Love.

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