My Black People
I hear the wails of my ancestors crying out to me through the ages saying…help me, save me, heal me, unchain me, free me, but don’t ever be me….Lawd chile, don’t eva’ be me.
I can’t ignore those pleas echoing through the wind when the color of my skin has me in the same shackles as theirs’, living in a world where my life is worth nothing, and the fear for my life and those I love, has consumed my every waking hour and that of all of my Black people…MY Black people.
My Black people, a once proud, noble and powerful people born of great men and women. My Black people who were taken from their lands, sold into unimaginable bondage; starved, beaten, raped, degraded, dehumanized and murdered; suffering has been imprinted in our DNA.
GOD have mercy on our worn-out souls: what kind of Hell on earth have you sent my people to suffer? But in defiance of our misery, we lifted our voices in song, singing our Negro spirituals that were echoed to the angels in the heavens, wrapped in the strength and determination of my Black people to keep death at bay.
But we are tired, we are bleeding, we are wounded, we are dying, we are dead. My Black people are weighed-down by the centuries’ long shattered spirits and mangled bodies of our elders. Please oh Lawd PLEASE, someone, anyone…hear our cries, hear our prayers, comfort us, protect us, but even in your saviorhood, we still know you’ll always despise us and thank your White Jesus every day of your life that you’ll never be us.
My Black people are trapped in the desolate landscape of our invisible existence, trying to find any light in the constant darkness of despair, hoping to survive the savage bonds and weapons of inhumanity.
Death is always hovering over our shoulder, and we can feel its constant presence drawing us to it, while we’re struggling to free ourselves from its grip; it’s our curse…the curse and danger of existing while Black in a Democracy ruled by White male fiat, which has been the default system of governance and cruelty for centuries.
We who are Black are always waiting to die. Not by our own hands, but by the brutal and wretched hands of those who feel that our lives don’t matter…and they don’t matter to those who have been taught from birth to feel superior.
This is the reality of my Black people, stuck in a cycle of death we aren’t able to escape. Our minds are consumed with it, our flesh is riddled with the scars of hatred and oppression, our minds are polluted with doubt, inferiority and the propaganda that we need White acceptance and validation, our children are under a cloud of uncertainty from birth and our very life’s blood is being drained slowly and agonizingly from our bodies, yet we fight on hoping one day to break free of our chains, and walk this earth once again as a free people.
Freedom for my Black people means that we will finally be whole, healed and our misery will dissipate, and ultimately be banished from our shared experience. Until then, death will be our shadow and pain our constant companion. In the words of the elders, Lord Chile my chillun’s, we gon’ be free…yes, we WILL be free someday, just not this day…not yet.
SYDNEY CHANDLER is a Los Angeles based freelance journalist, essayist, writer and producer. Sydney has written and produced documentaries, features, shorts, TV dramas and comedies. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.