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A self-portrait that addresses the continued disenfranchisement of Black Americans. The photo also communicates how justice, equity, and equality are issues that Black individuals in the United States fight and advocate for.  Griffin, GA. March 31, 2021.

A’Reise: Justice is the right of individuals to live without the fear

by share

Artist’s Statement: I am an individual who is tired. I want people to be able to be who they are, do what they love, be able without fear of being persecuted for simply living. The stories I tell and the art I create are a reflection of that.

[Justice is] the right of individuals to live without the fear of being persecuted for something they either have no control over or love to do, when they do nothing that poses harm or threat to another individual. The unbiased persecution of individuals who violate that right.

A’Reise, 17. Covington, GA.


Bang!

Round after round.
Oh, that deafening sound!
Blood on the ground
Like the flood gates had broken down

Whispers linger in the air:
“How can a person do this!”
“It hardly seems fair”
Only to be silenced
And shut down by the tyrant

Pain.

Oh, the pain we share.
It is too much for one person,
for one community to bear!
So we march,
Because we can no longer be compliant.

Used like an appliance.
Locked in a confinement of standards and stereotypes.
Want us to stay within the lines?
Well guess what? We are Defiant.

We will continue until our bones are weary.
We will move relentlessly,
Until we end this cycle that is oh so dreary.

Rain.

We are sick and we are tired.
When will the storm end?
When will we finally be able to gaze upon that beautiful rainbow that we have, for so long, admired?
When will we obtain our beacon of hope and peace?

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When will all the strife be washed away and make us feel welcomed?
Will the fire and violence cease?
Will we be able to begin again,
This time with our history being taught?
Will we finally have transparent conversations about all of the lives that we’ve lost, about all the people who have fought?

Insane.

One would think we shouldn’t have these problems, right?
One would propose that we have moved past all of this.
But as we take one step towards the light, towards empathy and understanding,
We take two steps backwards towards the ominous abyss of the dark, where all of the demons of society lurk dreadfully.

But, having been in the darkness for so long, a multitude of underlying issues have been exposed:
The systemic institutions that adversely affect us,
The racism,
The misogyny.
The intersectionality of them all is one of the most dangerous.

We need to truthfully and receptively address these aspects that endanger us.
We need to properly address our pandemic pain.

 

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