It's Been a Year

A prose poem reflecting on 12 months of a reckoning with racism

Hello friends, a year ago George Floyd was murdered by the police. Nothing will bring him back. In this piece, I reflect on the past year.

IT’S BEEN A YEAR

It’s been a year

Since George Floyd’s murder shook the world

Nine minutes and 29 seconds of videoed trauma

Making Black Lives Matter, but only for a moment

It’s been a year


It’s been a year

Of thousands more Black deaths

Of Karens and Amys and others

Putting Black lives in danger

It’s been a year


It’s been a year

Since the black squares covered social media

Promising much but delivering little

Then quietly returning to business as usual

It’s been a year


It’s been a year

Since diversity in companies hit the spotlight

Revealing just how white the world is

Do you suddenly believe the Black people who said it before?

It’s been a year


It’s been a year

Since more Black people spoke out

About how white supremacy had ruined their lives

Yet Black people were also silenced and suppressed

It’s been a year


It’s been a year

Of education and re-education

Relearning and unlearning

Unlocking the true keys to our Black History (which is history)

It’s been a year


It’s been a year

Since more of us joined the fray

Supporting those who’d been doing the work for decades

Learning the impossibility of educating the wilfully ignorant

It’s been a year


It’s been a year

Of testing the commitment of would-be allies

Of seeing how far they would unpack

The white supremacy within them

It’s been a year


It’s been a year

Of realizing how long the fight will be

Who will stay the course

And who will be suddenly silent

It’s been a year


It’s been a year

Of realizing that nations built on our Black backs

Won’t willingly give us our due

Not equity, not reparations, nothing

It’s been a year

Whew, chile! It’s been a year!


What thoughts are going through your head on this awful anniversary?

Leave a comment

Thanks for reading

Sharon

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© Sharon Hurley Hall, 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Cover photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

I am an anti-racism writer, a professional B2B writer and blogger, and co-host of The Introvert Sisters podcast. If you value my perspective, please consider upgrading to a paid subscription.