Supported by Dr Raselle Miller, Clinical Psychologist. GSTT.

Comments and reflections from the poet Sharon Lehman:

“I wrote this poem after the murder of George Floyd. I was really frustrated and sad, and I couldn’t get it out in my usual way. So I thought I’d try writing a poem about it, about how scared I am for my brother, about the privilege that I don’t and will never have. Just about being black in today’s society. I still don’t have a title for it because I wrote it for me and to this day I can’t ‘summarise’ my feelings in a title”.

Untitled | 23/06/20
A poem by Sharon Lehman, age 21.

“You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say or do at this point will not really matter cause’
Your skin colour has already confessed to the crime.”
— Kale Nelson, poem – ‘War on Black Boys’.

I woke up this morning and to you it means nothing
But I woke up this morning and I thanked god for breathing
I figured I’d explain what all of this means
The history, the hashtags but not those black screens
I hate it when you ask me if I’m okay
I hate it when you tell me that I’m so brave
I’m just hoping that I will never see the day
Where I stand next to my mum and visit my brother’s grave

So go ahead and say it
Promise, I won’t get mad
When you’ve heard it all before
It stops making you sad
Go ahead and say it
I know what you’re thinking
Because to you, this isn’t skin
It’s a crime or a sin

My hands are up officer I’m not saying anything
I’m just wondering if I told my dad I loved him
Before leaving
“You’re being dramatic, some people have it harder”
You’re right, you’re right I forgot about my ancestors
It’s 2020 and I’m sick and tired
Don’t you think I tried bleach to get the colour required?

Oh how I wish I was white, ignorant and privileged
I’d carry a gun and no one would feel threatened
Oh how I wish I was blond with big blue eyes
You’d say “she’s so cute, she wouldn’t even hurt flies”

Yeah we moved past slavery and we moved past segregation
Yet I can’t help myself but worry for the next generation
I need you to see the horror I need you to see the terror
Cause there’s nothing more stupid than saying “I don’t see colour”

Yeah I get it you told me
I should go back to my country
Because to you, I don’t matter
I’m just another one of those ni**ers.