Born to Be Heard

from the moment we were born we knew we belonged on this earth
we breathed the air though nobody showed us how,
filled our lungs with it and raised our clenched fists into the sky above us,
knowing we can reach for more, screaming like we were born to be heard,

and we may have been shaken, we may have been bruised but
from the moment we got here we knew we couldn’t be silenced,
not by the powers in big white buildings or by anyone else,
not when we’re the ones who put their hunger on our shoulders and carry on

and from the moment we found each other we knew we were solid,
solid like the earth we stand on, solid like the colors we create
when black and brown come together and we know we are unbreakable
know we can’t be broken down by our bodies, by our wombs, by our fingerprints

these are our bodies, not pieces they can own and auction off for profit, so
from this moment forward, let’s keep on fighting, let’s keep on screaming,
screaming like we were born to be heard, to say
yes, we are human, and yes, we are here to stay.

— Maisha Z. Johnson