Black Pride By Charlie Costict

BIRMINGHAM, AL - OCTOBER 12: Participants in the "Say So March" hold signs as they participate in an antiabortion march October 12, 2002 in downtown Birmingham Alabama. The march was held to bring attention to abortion issues in the African American community. (Photo by Gary Tramontina/Getty Images)

I understand your hate. My existence makes you uncomfortable. A lion out of its cage. Hungry, graceful…. powerful. You fear one day I will attack you. Fear I remember those days spent in hell. Restricted with my soul evaporating. My thirst for freedom fading into almost undetectable levels. My body and mind in one location and my crown in another. All I ever knew was nature but You have taught me much more. You have taught me hatred. Greed. You’ve shown me how to properly mark territory. How to mentally colonize others. I’ve watched you get bored with your prey and out of fear attack those unconcerned with your presence. You have no respect for this planet. I know this because You have no respect for yourself. As others like me are put on display for consumption, entertainment.

Am I wild to you? Exotic? Does my behavior fascinate you? Oh, how we love when the unamused lion bares his teeth! YOU LAUGH AT MY ANGER?! MY MISERY?! You’ve kept us in chains, you’ve kept us locked in pits. You wouldn’t dare invite me to your dinner table. You tell your kids we’re dangerous. You tell them we would hurt you instantly at moments chance if given the freedom. You scare your daughters away from us and teach your sons to hunt us. You have normalized our destitute captivity. We were brimming with anger when you kidnapped us. Cried when you punished us. Rejoiced when you gave us a break from our nightmare. Century after century. Decade after decade. We have only been zoo animals to you. Interesting to look at. Captivating to watch…as we entertained your circuses. You purposely try to squeeze the soul from us.

Maybe it’s the respect we demand. Maybe it’s our natural talent. Maybe it’s our quiet fierceness. As we shake our natural manes in the sun… you attempt to castrate us. That damn Black Pride. You tell people we come from terrible lands in foreign land. You tell them you are keeping us safe. You tell people we are being treated fairly. The day one of us bites back out of defense…You longer admit our majestic presence…better yet you call us “savages.” Who would care about a savage dying? Let’s just breed them to be agreeable and useable. Your propaganda numbs the tourists from our deaths. You, the tourists who visited inhabited land and treated the natives as tourists with expired passes. You have taught us so much about human nature. Caught up with the money coming in…you ignore the decency that leaves you. If it was ever there.

Forced to raise my kids in captivity. I pray I can protect their souls from being crushed like mine. I pray they grow up free from bondage…physically and mentally. Suffering in my own oppression, I haven’t been able to teach them how to hunt for dinner. We both have been forced to take what is handed to us. Many of us won’t know the thrills of independence rather wait hand and foot on our handlers. Handlers who at best have weak resolve for my prison. Handlers who won’t use their privilege to speak out against my abuse.

I form bonds with individuals who have no intentions on freeing me. Smile in my face and forget about me as soon as they punch out. I understand your cautiousness with my kind. You undoubtedly have put us through the ringer. God forbid that cage gets loose. What if they attack? What if they roam our safe neighborhoods and congregate where our children play? Form coalitions…the nerve of them! You’ve crafted such powerful advertisement of my “savagery” that you yourself believe the hype. You hold onto your guns tightly and your rights to bear arms even tighter. Out of fear. Fear of those who aren’t You. You’ve treated the world as aliens would. You conquer and conquer and fear rebellion. You wrap yourself in privilege every night and sleep in the warmth of supremacy.

But deep down. You will always know. Each one of you will. Despite your cruelest intentions or your kindest implications. We are the original Kings and Queens. You know it in the way we carry ourselves. Our natural prowess and instincts. How we adapt to our surroundings through keen senses and assimilation. Our courage, our strength and our history of royalty. It is US who are in tune with nature. You saw our Pride and out of jealousy chose to become our natural predators. Your insecurities speak for themselves and you know that we see them. You embarrass yourself and lose credibility with your ignorance. Our chains grow rusty. Those bars wore down over time. We’ve started to refuse becoming characters in your show. We no longer want to entertain your publicity stunts. We let our hair grow long and we stretched our legs. We refuse status quo and its convenience to you. We will fight for our freedoms……our equality. With what we’ve been through? We have no choice. Don’t ever underestimate……Our Pride.