They treated them like The Black Plague.
This walking pestilence ravaging the Earth.
Walking all proud-like and powerful
all royalty-like and purposeful
infecting generations of people with its culture, music, dance, and cornrolls.
This was a virus that needed to be controlled.
They could not have this thing infecting people with all this hope.
COVID-19 is terrifying, but empowering the people was worse
so, the powers that be raised their glasses, smiled and solidified the oath.
The first phase was overt
strip them of their names, rape their wives, and remove their clothes.
Next, shackle them together and dismantle their dignity.
The vaccination was so far working.
They became Mammies instead of Mothers
and Negroes instead of Kings.
But the Black Plague continued to spread
continued to influence
and shift the direction of the Earth
there was no restraining the wind
out of its affliction grew the epidemic
of black excellence
building communities, gaining wealth, and reestablishing identity.
The so-called powers had to take their power back
and so, they infected their neighborhoods with crack.
Mass incarcerate them
“Jump Jim Crow” them
school-to-prison pipeline them
hide their history
hide their truth
miseducate them and kill the youth.
Put your knees on their necks
and stick your knives in their backs.
But none of it worked.
It was a secret deeper than White Supremacy
more in-depth than the witchcraft of stolen identity
deeper than unarmed black men bleeding in the streets
more frightening than charred bodies hanging from trees
more detailed than this apparent sickness was the truth
these people they called plagues were not plagues at all
they were Prophets
and healers of the Earth.
It was no wonder the more they were afflicted,
the more they grew.