Poetic JuXtice: Resilience
By: Kay Tracey
I am not property.
I have autonomy.
I am not smart for a Black girl.
I am just smart.
I am not a slave.
Because I was born free
My ancestors ran away, so I could be set free.
While your life is filled with opportunities, emancipation, deregulation, and social integration.
Mine is filled with segregation, institutionalization, disengagement, and other forms of barriers
that threatens my existence and yet I have more barriers, but you still fight to silence my voice
when I have made the right choice. So, do not blame me when I steal the chips that I was going
to pay for, but you treated me like a criminal for simply being, so now screw you because now I
have seen that no matter how hard I fight, I will always be iligitimized.
They say that I am pushy, lazy, noisy, shitless, crazy, servile.
But why must you treat me differently? because I am dark, is it my skin or is it from within.
The door is a place, real, imaginary and imagined, but no not a door of opportunities.
It is more a door of pain and sorrow that is filled with deep dark sadness that plagues the lives of
people like me.
Think it is fun to go through the door of no return.
Where you feel captive as you clutch to the false sense of security of that which might exist, but
not for me but exists for another.
We talk of surveillance, but what is being surveilled?
We talk about discipline but what does that entail?
We talk about power and mobility but where are we going?
Do all these plans include me?
Do all these plans include me?
Or will the decision as to my autonomy, be in your hands.
What is this social contract and who signed it?
Should my ancestors' decision be on my shoulders?
Black lives matter but in what context?
Is it the Black lives that has to make sure they wear the white mask of conformity according to
Fanon or is it the power structure that places me in a box, or is it the power that has the
responsibility of change, but rather they put me in imaginary slavery boxes and asks me to
conform, assimilate but not create or equate?
Am I a rebel because I think and want equality?
Or should I be seeking equity?
But does that dark matter prohibit me from ever transitioning?
Am I scared to cross that line that stop me from shaking a white person's hand, the same I would
a Black and is that trauma and how should I deal?
Criminalized rather than victimized.
Tolerated rather than accepted.
Situated and oh no! do not forget perpetuated.
Dehumanized and radicalized.
But why? Did they ever ask or was it just assumed?
That it might be because this system was never built for me.
It was built for the cleanliness but not for the darkness.
It was built for the pure, but not for those who endure.
So why box me in when I create a voice?
If not for all but just because I have found power, discipline and created sousveillance as a form
of protection, protection from what you might ask and my response.
From the system not built for me but acknowledged for the institution that we have formed
inside, the one that keeps us separate yet safe and until then that’s where I shall reside.
Kay Tracey is a poet, aspiring philanthropist, and Ph.D. Student at York University studying Social and Political Thought with a focus on Black Studies. Her research interests include anti-Black racism in Canada, Black diasporic identity, and the human. As a developing intersectional scholar, her educational background and interests range from social justice, criminology, education, policy, human rights, and political thought.
Her research interests stem from the fact that often Black folks find themselves in precarious situations that require them to change their identity or wear some form of mask of conformity, depending on the space they are entering. Kay’s research interests explore why this is still an occurrence while aiming to deconstruct the harmful narratives that continue to perpetuate anti-Black racism in Canada and other spaces.
Kay works closely in the community as an advocate for disadvantaged youths and refugees, by providing/sourcing different resources including but not limited to educational, mental health, legal/human rights, accessibility, and housing.
Kay intends to use her research, platforms, and knowledge learned as a vehicle to continue the change, while disseminating research findings and information through varying formats, such as the arts, to create more accessibility for all folks and not just those who can understand the academic jargon.