“Now Hear This”

This is a page dedicated to addressing current issues in our society through the medium of poetry. Periodically we will feature a poem from ‘FigTree Books’ that we believe engages in a critical way, the ongoing dialogue on formative issues in our lives as a society.

The Killing of Trayvon Martin

Recently we experienced the tragic shooting of a male African American teenager by a 28 year-old man whose father is white and whose mother is ‘Hispanic’. This happened in Sanford, Florida; a community with a history of racial tensions highlighted by the treatment of persons of color by local law enforcement officials.

The shooter, a neighborhood watch volunteer who was specifically forbidden to confront the young black man by the 911 operator whom he called to report a ‘suspicious… black male’, has so far faced no charges. What we have seen instead is an attempt to make the dead victim of this unfortunate encounter, look like the racist stereo-typical ‘black criminal aggressor’. Turns out Trayvon was returning to the home of his father and step-mother in this community, after he had visited a local convenience store where he had gone to buy snacks.

The exposure of the circumstances surrounding this tragic event in local and national media has led to mass outrage throughout the country, and for good reason. Every black male in this society shares the horrible angst brought about by this killing. We are angered by the peril our sons face just by virtue of being black.

This poem speaks to the perpetuators of all kinds of hate; but it is especially relevant as we approach the Jewish/Christian holy days that many in this society take time off for. It is from my book ‘In My Element… Inspiration For Empowerment’.



So… you want to live vicariously…
Eliminate your pain… by killing me
Flaunting your rage
By putting me in your cage
And throwing away the key

So you… want to live vicariously…
Eliminate your shame… by upstaging me
Pointing your fingers
While I sit through the wringers
As you expiate… through me

So you want to live vicariously
Throwing stones from the heaps
Of your hypocrisy…
And after my death… you being hungry yet
Will tear my flesh… and eat me

(From the book  ‘In My Element’ by Roy Alexander Graham,  Copyright 1995, 2005)

R. A. G.
Roy Alexander Graham

Copyright 2012 Figtree Enterprises, Inc.

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