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TREPIDATIOUS: VOX Investigates Race through Poetry, Journalism, Art

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You’d shoot me dead on my living room floor before you admit you could’ve did more.

You’d push that bullet in the final fatal inch before you’d tell them you wasn’t sure.

To be black in America is like committing a crime that’s federal, rest assured you’ll never see a day in court.

You’d see a son lose his mother, a girlfriend lose her lover, and a baby lose his brother before you’d even think to knock.

You’d rather dismiss my case, give the jury my test to grade, then throw away the lock.

My thoughts ain’t even my thoughts.

So every time I’m in the streets, I can barely feel my feet, mind run rampant, trepidatious.

If I take another step, might be my final destination.

Tell me, how long will it be ‘fore I fall? How many days until I’m summoned to answer the Lord’s call?

How many more days till my race go extinct?

‘Cause this ain’t a hunting season if it go from summer to spring.

How many days will I be plagued and terrorized?

But the feds don’t care unless I’m sporting blue eyes.

Unless I’m sporting white skin, blond hair, or maybe red.

Black kids were the future, now we all bordering death.

Our moms scared to let us go out, our dads won’t let us drive.

Curfew for us don’t end at midnight.

‘Cause that makes it too easy, haven’t you heard ‘bout the police?

Only things that creep at dark can be found out in the streets.

The modern day Boogeyman, synonymous with threat.

Got my hands up while you got a bulletproof vest.

From the way you were shooting, I’d think I’d had an X on my chest.

America the free, land of the brave.

Built up and carried by the legions of slaves.

These streets we conquer, the roads we have paved.

Slaughtered yet standing, the last hopeful ray.

Billaé, is a member of the VOX Investigates team this semester and a sophomore at Tucker High School. 

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Join VOX in speaking up about race in Atlanta and America today.

Our teen dialogue about race and the upcoming election — Friday, Sept. 30, 5-8 p.m. — is free and open to preregistered guests (and includes dinner). For details please contact Susan@VOXAtl.org, or click here to register

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