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Forgotten Humanity

Our humanity you forget
In your eyes we three-fifths
And you wonder why we rebellious
You wonder why we defy the law
You created a system that never saw us as human
but as property, as chattel to be sold
Modern day slavery, in the form of the New Jim Crow
Also known as population control

The past is never dead, it’s not even past
but the last shall be first and the first shall be last
You flood our community with drugs and guns
to create a second class,
which gives you political clout
to continuously subjugate a whole race
for generations.
Declare a war on drugs
Creating mass-incarceration
You limit my choice, to hush my voice
branding me with the scarlet F
Create a climate you think
gives you the right to take a man’s breath

When you forget my humanity
You violate human rights
disregard life
creating all kinds of strife
Now we have a New Civil Rights Fight

In these days of our lives
In these chaotic times
the paths we cross
In the midst of chaos
Humanity gets lost

They say oppression is worse than slaughter
Objectified through the eyes of the oppressor
Acts we measure
Uniforms draw lines,
As we search for a colorblind society.
Hearts divided
Creates a hostile environment
We stop and we stare
At the fruits we bear

Crushed between oppression
Misery and death
Have you forgotten my humanity?
By taking my breath.
Reality reflection, is life’s expression
Life is a lesson
Knowledge is tested
development, arrested
Either give me liberty or give me death.

My spirit is free
Is it that--that you fear?
Are you able to hear,
the echo of our cries
the shout of our tears?

Still standing, still alive, still we rise
Still reaching, steady breathin’
Beyond colored lines.
Our destiny is divine decree
but they too blind to see
We see you, but, can you see we?
Have you forgotten my humanity?

You forgot that you knew me
You forget that I’m human
I bleed and I cry
I cry but I bleed
I bow on bending knee
I bend but don’t break
I bow and prostrate
I sin and I pray
I even walk straight on crooked days.
I smile, I laugh
I’m only human
Only you can forget that you knew me.

I see victory, victory I taste
There’s strength through unity
Unity through faith
Time to wake up,
Color is a social construct.
What will it take, to never forget,
That which stares us straight in the face
An irrefutable fact
There’s only one human race.

To forget another’s humanity is to forget your own.
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Submitted on March 05, 2021

2:13 min read

Quick analysis:

Scheme axxxbxxx ccdxxedxbxxxf gxhhx xxxxx iiijgkxll bfGfbbkkf gxxmx mbjgggxG gbxxgxxxxxbg xgxxxaexe x
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 2,351
Words 443
Stanzas 11
Stanza Lengths 8, 13, 5, 5, 9, 9, 5, 8, 12, 9, 1

Michael Woody

Michael Woody was born and raised in Washington, DC. He lived and attended schools throughout the District and in Maryland. Woody was locked up when he was 20 years old. He has now been incarcerated for 24 years. In spite of having spent the majority of his life in prison, Woody has been able to accomplish a lot. Over the past 24 years, Woody has been interviewed on NPR, PBS, and NBC, and he has been featured in The Crime Report and The Washington Post. He has met Kim Kardashian, A.J. Calloway, the Prime Minister of Finland, the Deputy Mayor for DC, and several Judges and City Councilmen. Woody participated in an Inside/Out class in addition to a book club session that he co-facilitated with Nick Cannon. Woody co-founded the Young Men Emerging (YME) Mentor Program at the DC Jail which is an innovative approach to corrections that provides a therapeutic space with the goal of rehabilitation. Through YME, incarcerated men between the ages of 18 to 25 are mentored by men who have been incarcerated since their youth; the mentors have spent decades in prisons, and have successfully transformed and rehabilitated themselves. YME is pegged as the future of corrections with its humane approach that brings rehabilitation within its sights. To learn more about YME, watch the Arnold Ventures video, “Emerging: The story of YME,” https://youtu.be/kBUy7fBmiKc. Woody was also able to take college courses through the Georgetown University’s Prisons and Justice Initiative. The organization’s Prison Scholars Program is the only co-educational program in the country, and it allows all residents at the DC Central Treatment Facility to have the opportunity to pursue higher education. Woody is the CEO of his own company called TRi.A.D. Three Aspects of Development. He founded his own newsletter, TRi.A.D. Chronicles, which is named after his company, and he co-founded a second newsletter called “Inside Scoop,” which was featured in the Washington Post. Michael Woody has remained strong through the struggles of being incarcerated and he has refused to succumb to his environment. Buy Michael Woody's book, "Made Men Presents: Reflections of Reality" on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Made-Men-Presents-Reflections-Reality/dp/1937992144 Follow on Twitter @MichaelDWoody1 and on Instagram @michaelwoody167. For media inquiries, email mike.woody.poetry@gmail.com more…

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