By Lucky Easterwood and Anita Easterwood
Location; 18th and Quindaro
Kansas City, KS
Artist Statement: A Poem by Justice Davis
I hear your prayers at night to God, asking that my skin is not a death sentence written by a world who doesn’t know the purity behind my story line.
Momma, I hear the story lines, the broadcast, I see the protest signs and hashtags.
I know people like me be Black dots on blank page, like targets at a gun range.
I know if I move too quickly at my age, my story could be over, period, like Black dots on blank page.
Momma, I know my melanin be mistaken for sin.
Is that why you ask God for forgiveness for my innocence like I already match a suspect’s description?
Momma, I know one day everything I say can and will be used against me like “please, I can’t breathe,” “my stomach hurts” my neck hurts, everything hurts” right before they kill me.
Momma, I promise not to let my smile fade, like the middle of my khakis when my knees play too hard at recess.
I know play grounds and monkey bars make for easy transition to gated grounds and prisons bars after a court’s recess.
Momma, You don’t have to cry.
I will not let them steal my joy; I’ve hid it behind my fist raised to sky.
I will fly without limit, like my dreams are waiting for me on the other side of the horizon.
Momma, the sun is rising
Like your son is rising.
They will read about my being in history books and no, I won’t be a martyr. I will graduate. I will be a father. I will educate. I will dream. I will grow up. I will inspire. I will thrive. I will breathe.