When My Blood Flows in the Street by Sonia Okereke

When My Blood Flows in the Street by Sonia Okereke

When my blood flows in the street                                                                                                              will you listen then?

When my brothers die on the way home from school                                                                         is it then that you will listen?

 

I have wept for too long!

 

I have been silenced by the teachers                                                                                                    in charge of my education.                                                   

I have been failed by those who call themselves my friends. 

 

How many of us most die?

 

How much blood do you want on your hands?

The murderers, the oppressors, the perpetrators of violence                                                      will sleep soundly at night with the blood-stained sheets of their victims.

 

Yet, you will tell me everything is not about race.

 

Must my blood flow in the street?

 

My ancestors did not create the oppressive systems in place throughout this world.

 

It was your forefathers.

 

And it is your governments that copy and paste the evil of other nations                                         and embed it into the very fibres of your land that you call free.

 

Must my blood flow in the street?

 

You tell me everyone is welcome in Ireland 

 

Yet It is your mothers and fathers, your grandparents, aunties, and uncles                            that will glare at me as walk down street. 

 

It is their children that will call me nigger in school. 

 

Must my blood flow in the streets?

 

it does not end with those who see themselves as fare.

 

The South Asian boy who deemed it funny enough                                                                         to call me gorilla. 

The group of black boys who mocked                                                                                                 my dark complexion and laughed at my nappy braids.

 

And I stayed silent                                                                                                                                      in shock                                                                                                                                                   what was I to say                                                                                                                                       they will call me “angry black girl”.

 

They will call me loud, aggressive, bitter.

 

And you will tell me get over it. 

 

Must my blood flow in the street?

 

Not only has the hatred for the black people poisoned                                                                     the children of its creator 

It has leached into the minds of the black child                                                                                we were led to believe that our blackness was a hinderance                                                            that we were not worthy                                                                                                                           that we were not human 

Enough!

The trauma is embedded into the fibres of our muscles.

 

MUST OUR BLOOD FLOW IN THE STREET

 

If you will not do better get out of the way.

 

And if you are calling me a friend 

yet continuing to support the racist systems that want me

dead.

 

We are not friends. 

 

And it does not end here.

 

There is so much to be done. 

Reparations to be paid. 

Wounds to be healed.

 

I will not be made silent. 

I have grown past the silence. 

Have you?

 

About the Author


My name is Sonia Okereke. My pronouns are they/them. I am a Black Queer writer & poet from Ireland but I am of Biafran decent.

I was asked to send in a submission of my new piece ” When My Blood Flows in the street”. This piece explores my thoughts and emotions surrounding the Black Lives Movement in light of the surge of murders on Black people in the US. But also, my experience of racism growing up in Ireland.

You can find me on Medium and Instagram.


 

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