By Malaika Jabali
We scream Black Lives Matter like they don’t know.
But they know we full of life. Which is why they lust for our blood.
We’ve got the shape-shifting imposters. The ones who want to be us. But we’ve got vampires too.
The ones who prey on the living
Who know our blood is fresh
Our dab is enviable
Our skin is sweet
With every two-step and every pop of our melanin and every scream for black life
The lust grows deeper
It trips the power of Sandra Bland’s instigator sooner
It makes the rounds of Laquan’s bullets extend longer
It unholsters the gun ending Tamir's life.
And Trayvon's life.
And John Crawford’s life.
And Alton Sterling’s life.
We advertise our lives, and they giggle with the glee at the opportunity to snuff it out.
We can see the culture vultures, prancing and dancing and performing their way to blackness. But we cannot lose sight of the ones camouflaged in alleys and uniforms, behind judges’ benches and cop cars. Klan robes in the attic. Ropes behind their backs.
Plotting, waiting, getting off on getting us.
With every repeated video loop of a twitching dead brown body. Of a man or woman on the verge of breathing their last breath. The pornography of black suffering. A new release every 28 hours.
The picnic gatherings around our hanging bodies
The family convening, celebrating, burning an enemy who never was
Sending postcards of their conquests. Distributing our trauma. The original viral vine.
The joy of black life gone.
With every state-sponsored bomb over Tulsa
With every drop of blood shed in Rosewood
With every head on a stake in New York City
So-called riots that are buffets to consume our blackness
The teeth get sharper
The jaws get wider
The lips get wetter
But we must remember vampires don’t live forever
A long fucking time maybe but not forever
Morning soon come and we thrive in the day light. Vampires do not.
For Fannie and Kwame and DuBois
For Angela and Bobby and Huey
For Assata and Kathleen and Rekia and Walter and Delrawn
we must remember morning comes.
But the sun don’t shine without a revolution
Malaika Jabali is an attorney, writer, and activist from Atlanta who, being from Atlanta, always has to talk about it. The Columbia Law School graduate is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of media platform freshphiles.com, which is like the love child of Afropunk and the Village Voice if that child read too much Malcolm X growing up and always tried to get you to sign a petition. She doesn't "do" Twitter like that, but you can find her sharing words and pics on IG @freshphiles