i believe in living.
i believe in the spectrum
of Beta days and Gamma people.
i believe in sunshine.
In windmills and waterfalls,
tricycles and rocking chairs;
And i believe that seeds grow into sprouts.
And sprouts grow into trees.
i believe in the magic of the hands.
And in the wisdom of the eyes.
i believe in rain and tears.
And in the blood of infinity.
i believe in life.
And i have seen the death parade
march through the torso of the earth,
sculpting mud bodies in its path
i have seen the destruction of the daylight
and seen bloodthirsty maggots
prayed to and saluted
i have seen the kind become the blind
and the blind become the bind
in one easy lesson.
i have walked on cut grass.
i have eaten crow and blunder bread
and breathed the stench of indifference
i have been locked by the lawless.
Handcuffed by the haters.
Gagged by the greedy.
And, if i know anything at all,
it’s that a wall is just a wall
and nothing more at all.
It can be broken down.
i believe in living
i believe in birth.
i believe in the sweat of love
and in the fire of truth.
And i believe that a lost ship,
steered by tired, seasick sailors,
can still be guided home to port.
By Assata Shakur
You call yourself an activist
Fighting for injustices
You say you’re in touch with your feminist side
Behind closed doors you’re a lying, cheating, whore
You cruelly lie and pretend
You play games
You claim to be a hard core Xicano
Fighting for OUR cause
How is it then….you can bring a fellow comrade down
You deceive and lie about yourself
Pretending to be into me
Only to let me down
Lied about having a girl friend
Lied about being available
Lied about your calls and texts
You made me promises you didn’t keep
Then excused yourself behind a woman
You are fraud
You are a jerk
Disappointing in so many ways
You have fooled not only me
But many more too
I fail to fear the consequences of exclusion, for those who cannot
deal with the fact that I spit truth and fire with my tongue, were
never meant to be a part of my life
In the battlefield of narratives we can make a conscious effort to
tell truth from our perspective or alter it in our private interest.
The narrative is always in relation to the past and it continuously
reaffirms our identity no matter how tarnished it is. Meaning that in
order to survive, find strength, or safety, we modify the reality of
our past to fit our present needs. However, in modifying our narrative
we oppress and silence those who lived the same experience, never
getting to express their truth–reality as they lived it.
Therefore let us not prioritize the importance of individual memory
but that of a collective memory, preserving the voice of those who’ve
been forced into silence by those who fail to include and/or to listen
to their narratives. Narratives filled not simply by the conjunction
of words, but composed by lived experiences. And in the face of truth
and justice, if we rely on a single story we become more likely to
rely on those who alter narratives in their private interest to
reflect their present needs because their past in relation to truth
and reality at some point became unbearable enough in the necessity to
lie–a careful and intentional alteration to distort truth for their
The past holds an intangible sense of space that continuously
reaffirms our present identity, but always in relation to others;
therefore creating spaces that are nevertheless highly affective.
Spaces that are shaped by feelings in conjunction to those who once
shared and lived an experience with us, part of a collective truth,
but now choosing to exclude collectivity and asserting power by
In choosing to silence those who at some point shared a sense of space
in collective truth we transform the past from an intangible space to
one of a reality. The detriment in the pervasive power to exclude
narratives is one that relates to historical erasure based on a
hegemonic stance to maintain power by unmistakably avoiding discussing
truth in a collective manner. And those who are willing to inscribe
into a false consciousness and internalize what they hear as truth
without ever questioning its factuality become manipulated into a
false past and actively participate in the exclusionary visions of
truth for the sake of support, but rendering into false assumptions.
Such narratives might be met with support or resistance. And
resistance usually comes from those who have been silenced and framed
as antagonistic, while support will more than likely come from those
who assume an imaginary neutral position and fail to actively seek a
desire for collective truth.
In the act of unquestionably accepting someone else’s story we are
actively participating in the silencing of someone else’s lived
experience that becomes othered. And if we agree that silencing the
other is an act of violence, the act of failing to listen to a
collective truth is an act of violence itself. There is no neutrality
in the battlefield of narratives, just like there is no neutrality in
the battlefield of social justice–either we chose to oppress or fight
against it. Now ask yourself the following question, how do you
actively participate and perpetuate the cycle of silence?
I will battle anyone who tries to
take away my history;
those wanting to evaporate my stories into thin air
All because in truth’s narrative they are the oppressors
history taker of mine.
And your grave digging tools are a silence so thick
the darkness builds a second home around your
and the very sound of spoken words make you shake
Yes, I am speaking to you, Oh America, the beautiful-
stealer of my land and mother tongue-
calling it “Progress.”
Leaving memory of whips and chains, a ghost on my body
passed to me through generations-
and you calling it “Democracy.”
And I am speaking to you too,
dear teachers of mine fighting for cultural education-
raised high above all the rest of us
on isolating pillars
scrapping the sky.
Using your morals and values as stepping stones you
walked all over on your ascent up.
A magnificent death of Panche Be. A buscar la raiz de la verdad
To seek the root of the truth.
No more, no more.
For truth to you falls on deaf ears;
Evaporates into thin air.