By: Olivia J. Williams

I will never call a Latino “papi”
sino héroe, soldado, sobreviviente
Brother in bondage, sibling in survival
The chains of the Hispanic clink with those of his Black cellmate
We languish under the same white gall
Asian men rattle wire fences in
1930s internment camps
White supremacists live
On Black-tilled land
One day the bank
Of social justice will
Reclaim ownership
Til then
We languish

Like the pain
Filling up a four-year-old boy’s gaze at the colorful toy store
“Niggers not served here”
“Chinese go home”
“Jews have no place”
Like the swastika carved into the plastic tabletop
In my school
Filled with kids who cheered
When a white supremacist won the highest office in the nation

Like the time I learned my melanin somehow
Brought down the property value
Three girls
In a line
On the curb
Chins in hand
Their various brown-shaded skins
Under the weight
Of White beauty standards

We tried
We will build a land
Already watered by
The blood of black, brown bodies
By the tears of our great-grandmothers
And the screams of our sisters
As our bodies swung from the trees
And were lost forever in the river

We are bonded in struggle
Woven together by oppression
It is a grim unity
And yet
We rise in it
We are made bold by it
We fight
In spite
Of “progress”
Because the knife driven into our backs
Has not even been pulled out six inches yet

We will move past the red, white, blue
Dye our emblem red, yellow, green
Black, brown, purple
A heritage to be proud of
One unified
In struggle