CLEVELAND — Chris Webb is a spoken-word artist, filmmaker and 3News contributor. Tonight, he shares an original poem reacting to the latest news surrounding the death of George Floyd and the trial of Derek Chauvin.
Race and oppression bend down on me like dry weights that bruise my back,
My heart pops under strain of seeing folks like me under attack.
My mind breaks and my bones feel weak with every news story I see
Because each black man plastered out on cold sidewalks could’ve been me.
I see potential for a full life on display like butchered meat,
I see a soul, heart, mind, and spirit viral flattened on a street.
I see myself, my wife, my son, my friends, church family broken down.
We watched a rose that grew from concrete being returned to the ground.
I’m glad that cameras were around, but hate that Black torture went viral,
Hate we had to hear a grown man plead for his life like a child,
Glad the world saw hate so vile, but can’t stand what all it took
To make these companies, and law creators take that second look.
I hope this trial leads to more than Instagram posts and black squares.
Don’t need no coverage until laws are passed that bring some real repair.
Can’t stomach another race talk, or think piece of some change to come.
Everything’s been said that can be said, yet and still, what should be done.
I’m fatigued from still standing still, I’m tired of the misery,
I’m hated from my skin, and disenfranchised down through history.
My wish list is a new day where tied hearts find a fresh direction,
Day where media will seek a space for honest introspection,
Day where politics won’t fuel race, and men won’t fan flames for votes.
A day where activism won’t be just social media quotes,
A day where preconceptions challenge on all sides and dissipate,
A day where justice isn’t trendy, isn’t vengeful, isn’t fake.
A day where common sense returns and and soulless shells regain their heart,
A day where trials don’t feel concluded before they even start.
I want this day, I crave this day, I need a prayer’s chance of a change.
I need shattered cycles from crying mothers and neighborhood pains,
I need opportunities for young poor kids to do more than die,
I need broken families to repair, tears of joy that we cry.
I need that to be on our news screens, not our suffering and doubt.
Our hopes and passions, our advancement, what we HAVE to be about.
This mantle’s still ours to carry, let’s uphold it, like we should.
Although our legs are weak, still stand, please don’t get tired, of doing good.