Excerpt from Adisa Ajamu II’s The New Lynchings

About the poet

Adisa Ajamu II, born in 1987 at Langley Hospital in Hampton, Virginia. He showed a love for creativity at a young age, by the age of 9, he was diving into poetry. Growing up in a household where music also impacted him, he dabbled in music production for a few years, though never straying away from his first love, the art of spoken word. From 2015 to now, he has published six books of poetry varying in content from love, heartbreak, the uplifting of the black community, depression and many others.

About the book, The New Lynchings (2017)

In the words of the poet, “we are living in times that have never left: The black community versus the police. No matter how much we protest, no matter how much we want our lives to matter our words seem to fall on deaf ears. Too many of us are dying by the hands of those who are supposed to be protecting us, and this is my way of expressing my pain and disgust for the way we are treated while paying my respects to all of those that have been taken before their time. Lynching, by any other name, remains the same as there is no true justice for the families who have to mourn.” 

Excerpt

Introduction

It seems as if the times of the lynchings
in the era of my parents and grandparents
have returned, or rather it never left
|just no longer coming from under the
wings of Jim Crow and segregation.

1

Throats bloody from tight ropes tied in trees
as they watched us swing like pendulums

2

We are in blinders like horses
Treated like jackasses
Slaughtered like chicken cattle and pigs   

3

My body is now charred remains
swinging from a tree
I heard you laughing as you
called me out of my name
Listening to me scream in agony as my
flesh burned and only stopping because
I inhaled the smoke and flames
The last thing I see are devils dancing
beneath my feet that no longer exist
I am no longer human
I am no longer identifiable
Just a smoldering piece of meat blowing
in the breeze filling noses with the
the stench of another senseless lynching

4

Officers standing over us like exhibitionist
vultures that live to watch us die at their feet
The only freedom we get is when
our soul leaves our bodies

5

Water hoses hitting our bodies
Dogs biting the flesh like cut meat
dropped  to the ground
…. Battered bodies
Broken bones
….The lynching continues…

6

When will black children be safe?
When will cops truly do their
jobs as intended?
When will we stop being profiled
and harassed?
When will the hashtag end?
When will black lives truly matter?
When will our people gathered in one place
not cause the cops to militarize themselves?
When will the police escorted
Klan rallies be stopped?
When will confederate flags finally fall?
When will white supremacy end?

7

Laying down
Face scraped on the ground
Arms behind my back
Knee on my neck….
Handcuffs cutting into my wrists
I’m in pain….
Why am I being detained?
My skin makes them nervous

8

Where is our unity?
We are a people divided by lines
of our own creation
Letters from Lynch being read like
bedtime stories as we scatter like roaches
when the light shines upon us
….Our dollars are important and we can
take down big business investing in
self and keeping their wares on the
shelf instead of indulging in companies
that only care how much you pay….
We will never rise giving them our money

9

In southern sunlight through trees I see
the shadows of swinging citizens
Their screams before death are
the songs of the leaves

Swinging like wind chimes on white porches
Cold hearts like lemonade as they
drink in the beautiful afternoon

skin are like new asphalt
The cops are contractors laying
them down one by one…
In death, the only time we
Aren’t second class…

10

Too many murders
Too many killings
Too many crooked cops taking
out black civilians
Too much blood
On the evening news

11

Why do we always fit the description?
Why are we born with targets on our backs
getting shot at like deer in hunting season?
….Institutional racism thrives like it did in the
times of our ancestors and will not stop

…. We are those that stand up for
ourselves and get
Beat up
Pushed down
Pepper sprayed
Tear gassed
Shot
Arrested
Kidnapped
Attacked by dogs
Sprayed with hoses

12

The lies of Fox News sickens me
Our president is a clown
The flood gates are about to break
How much of us will drown?
We die just in time for evening news
Our girls are missing too….
They label me a terrorist if I speak out of turn
On Amerikkka and all her flaws

13

Pigs wallowing in filth
Ghetto birds flying over
Orcas swimming through our neighborhoods
Your bullets cannot stop our voices
We are louder than your firearms

14

My people being victimized for merely
being black and in the way
… The war is against us
It seems we are not allowed to be
black in Amerikkka unless we become
Another dead body to add to all the others
Slaughtered for no real reason….
We are no longer slaves but they want to
still keep us in constant fear of our lives

15

We will not run and we will not be quiet
as your only way to silence us is death
Times are changing
These new lynching tactics will stop and
we will have all that we deserve in time.

References
1. Ajamu II, Adisa. The New Lynchings. 2017. Kindle Edition.

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I write because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, said George Orwell. As a writer, I never kowtow to the whims and dictates of the sacred godmen or godwomen, the political bigots and hypocrites, dealers of laymen, the dishonest and self-serving intellectuals, traders of religions, the betrayers of ‘other’ Indians who eke out a living by their sweat, who are living in fear for being lynched for this and that.

Articles: 117