Written for the Late Oscar Grant.
Author: Powell, Jeanne
Pub Date: 11/01/2010
Publication: Name: Journal of Pan African Studies Publisher: Journal of Pan African Studies Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Social sciences Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 Journal of Pan African Studies ISSN: 0888-6601
Issue: Date: Nov, 2010 Source Volume: 4 Source Issue: 1
Accession Number: 306754387
Full Text: [for Oscar Grant]

Jeanne Powell (http://jeanne-powell.com, http://redroom.com/author/jeanne-powell) is a poet and short story writer, who teaches in a summer program for teens. Her most recent books are "My Own Silence" and "Word Dancing," available online and through booksellers. She also hosts spoken word events in San Francisco, and covers cultural happenings for online media.
Written for the Late Oscar Grant

[Fruitvale BART station, Oakland CA, January 1, 2009]

   my country 'tis of thee
   sweet land of liberty
   of thee I sing

   did you know before today
   a bullet fired in disdain,
   callous indifference
   into a young father's back
   as he lies face down on harsh cement
   will power through, race through
   his body prone
   bounce off the pavement cold
   and splash back into vital organs
   like the heart and spirit and soul,
   leaving no room for compromise,
   explanation or forgiveness
   and no time to say goodbye
   to his beautiful baby daughter?

   but you know now ...

   of thee I sing
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