TO THE YOUNG PEOPLE I MET YESTERDAY (for my homies in Milwaukee)
1.) You are not victims.
2.) You are brilliant. Even if no one has ever told you. Even if you don’t think so.
3.) I can see you. Even when you try to dissappear. Even when they try to disappear you.
4.) I can hear you. There are screams in your eyes.
5.) You are brave. You got drum in your gut. You got sage on your tongue.
6.) You are the best story never told. Your life is a megaphone. Not a moment.
7.) You are not victims. Even if you have been victimized.
8.) You are brilliant. Be brave enough to accept that.
9.) I have known you. We used to Cotton Club. We used to jazz and blues. We used to hip-hop. We used to hopscotch. We used to ice cream truck. We used to Sunday dinner. We used to hide under the bed. We used to do each other’s hair. We used to try to dunk. We used to shush baby sister because mama needs to sleep. We used to crack jokes and slap box and all that. Don’t you remember? Don’t you recognize me?
10.) I recognize you.