The following was based on an assignment to re-create Margaret Walker's poem "For My People" based on a group we belong to.
For my people who show up for class on Thursday night, gently shaking from exhaustion and longing for their children.
For my people who made Cum Laude while working a day job and staying up all night rocking their babies. For my People who were passed up for the promotion anyway to the young and affluent white guy who spoke Middle Class much better.
For my people who took out the loans though they knew full-well that they'd be paying them back instead of saving up for their own children's college, but had to take them to keep a roof over their child's head right now. For my People whose parents are just so damn proud that you finished school and can stand on your own two feet- the hard won result of all of their sacrifices.
For my people who remember where they were the moment they first saw with clarity that Justice For All was just a dream. For the ones who've been illegally stopped and searched for the crime of living in a poor neighborhood. For my people who've watched gentrification move toward them like a tsunami. For my people adrift and afraid.
For my people who not only have no safety net, but who daily weigh out the vacuum of need around them. For the bills you wish you could cover and the family members you wish you could comfort. For my People who still say “When there is only one loaf of bread left, we split it”. My people who have nothing saved up, but donate whatever they can, in earnest- for the world they can still envision for their great-grandchildren.
For my people for whom “self-care” sounds amusing but keeping your head above water means no time to rest. For my people who skip the self-help section of the nonfiction titles on their way to the used copies of A People's History and How to Unionize.
For my people who see our interconnected struggle. For my people accused of being subversive for telling the truth. For my people who take a knee anyway.
For my People who've walked through fire and come out unafraid; for my People relentless and fierce in spirit, unimpressed by money and status. For my people who meet heavy pity with rebellious joy. For my people who would never trade our gritty, interwoven, beautiful lives for an easier journey.