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I Could Be Trayvon

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Photo: @XLovePatricia

Shanelle Matthews: The devaluation of Black life


Rain Machine: Smiling Black Faces
(filmed at Bell House, Brooklyn)

(for Sean Bell)

I see slow genocide,
Bodies strung like tanning hides,
oh and the fly covered babys,

And in the mirror love
I see another sun,
I will try hard to smile back at me.

It’s no burnt cork affair,
It’s no undue despair,
I know a joy that’s mocked
and I know a grief.

I know a slave name
and I know a cold shame!!
and I know I cried in disbelief!

And I see a porno star
loaded on alcohol,
I see a rolling stone,
And I see a creep,

Coming to on my knees,
Empty hands full of all I will keep!

Smiling black faces,
Can anyone see?
Is anything radical in wantin’ to be?

And on his wedding day
they took Sean Bell away,
cops let their bullets spray
in the same city where I am a man.

And when the gavel fell
over that bloody hell
everyone walked away
no one even got canned!

This nation’s compromised
just shrugged and turned its eyes
Some maybe shook their heads and muttered
“What a shame…”

But his body’s
My body’s
Your bodies could die in pain!!!

Smiling black faces
Is anyone free?
Is anything radical in wantin’ to be?

But I see love breaking through,
Right through the face of cool.

Time to heed Nelson’s call,
Not to let self stay small,
Know we can conquor all of this bullshit if we know where we stand.

Square on the side of love,
Know how to arm a dove,
I know I want to sing, so I know I can.

And if there are joys to come,
If there is movin’ on,
If there is love abounding let it sustain

Oh coo coo brown babe,
Black baby with my last name!!

And I can see Smiling Black Faces!!
I can see Smiling Black Faces!!
I can see Shining Black Faces!!

Keepin their teeth,
Sayin fuck grief,
What a release!!

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