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Anesia Franklin, 17, she/her/hers

There is prejudice still living in the veins of this country
It seeps in and taints, like poisoned blood, manifesting into senseless body bags from killers corrupted by ignorance

Your hatred is a disease
You say you stand for God and this country,
but I know He would not be pleased

Our founding fathers a different story,
a country based in exploitation
starting anew in stolen nation

We built this place on the backs of others; on the backs of brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers
So don’t say you were putting your family first, when other families live every day fearing the worst

They say that love is blind so maybe hatred is too
Because I can’t see another way to rationalize the people who make victims out of him, her, me, and you

I matter you matter we all matter you’ll say
But mama is still burying her baby in a casket at the end of the day
True equality matters but the broken can’t find their way
My blackness is the only weapon that should be here to stay

“We Will Not be Silenced”

Visual Art by: Annika Crawford, 16, she/her/hers

This current Black Lives Matter movement in light of George Floyd’s murder has been eye-opening for me. Eye-opening to America’s persisting antiblack racism; its attempts to silence blacks through poverty, incarceration, terror, voter suppression, among other factors. What is beautiful about the BLM movement, is that when a black American is unjustly killed, their voice is not lost but amplified. I wanted to show the power and solidarity of protestors throughout the country through raised fists. No matter if another fist is cut down, it’s tragedy will propel new fists back up. We march with the strength of all our lost civil rights leaders, enslaved, radicals, children, mothers, fathers, future generations. And we march alongside their names. Further killing cannot silence the movement, rather it proves its necessity, and that’s what makes black lives matter so alarming to the status quo.
My Instagram handle is @craw_draws.