Arts featured Racism

There is so much I could say today – a poem by Angela Bowden

There is so much I could say today like
How African Nova Scotians human rights continue in violation
Or the need to fight hard to ensure reparations
How physical and mental acts of hatred cause us to be ill
While there’s poverty for profit
And we take a pill
That’s too hard to swallow

Our voices get stuck in our throats
Beneath the chemicals of environmental racism
Water, air, land

Our prisons are full
But our pockets are empty
And we are taught in school how to hate ourselves

Systemic racism robs Afrocentric education
And there is NO mental health resources for our population
Not even when employ-ment
Employs torment
And mental illness becomes the libation
Of sacrifice poured into our souls

Under-employed or not employed at all
Our contributions distorted or made to look small
And we continue 
work twice as hard to rise
Still, we continue to fall
Into systemic inequality

Street Checks
Hate Crimes
Our perpetrators walk free
But we
Do double time
For crimes
In a 2 tiered justice system 
where justice remains blind
Or is it just us
That these systems are sooo unkind 
and who will fight for our lives so we don’t get left behind?

There’s so much I could say today
But is anyone even listening?
Angee Bowden. Photo contributed

Angela “Angee” Bowden is a poet , spoken word artist and story teller. There is so much I could say today is a spoken word piece she performed at yesterday’s rally against racism in downtown Halifax. 

See also: ‘It makes us sick, it affects our children, and it needs to stop’ – African Nova Scotians and allies rally against racism in Nova Scotia

Bowden writes largely in advocacy to educate and  tell the truth about today’s society and speak the stories long forgotten. She speaks so that through her voice she may unmute long silenced voices of others.

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