Written and illustrated by Claudia Knight
“The murder of George Floyd ignited a fire in millions of people around the world. To be killed because of the colour of your skin is a reality lived by Black people on a daily basis – but we refuse to let this happen again. My poem, Familiar Fruit, allowed me to express my feelings towards being Black, and the force of the Black Lives Matter movement. I hope you find solace in my words and feel the need to do and be better. Black lives matter, now and forever.”
They say the blacker the berry,
The sweeter the juice.
But tell me what that tastes like when it’s soaked into the threads of a noose.
You say there’s no need for violence. Don’t riot. Don’t loot.
But tell me why not when my last words could be “don’t shoot”.
To be Black is to move as a political statement with your views on full display.
The hue of your skin can’t be covered up or choose not to show up today.
The fullness of your lips speaks directly to your hips as they heave flat feet along a path known by millions — but not all.
It’s the heaviness in your heart and the choking in your throat as your bones rise and fall.
To be Black is to know beauty with no bounds and strength beyond comparison.
It’s to finally say your name with pride and to know your history without embarrassment.
To know you are so much more than slurs and toughened glass ceilings.
And to stop apologising for someone else when they hurt your feelings.
Fighting for what is right and tearing down
What is wrong would, in the eyes of most,
Be what makes us so strong.
But maybe we’ve just had enough of this hell we’ve had to live in for so long.
No longer will we stand to lose our sisters and brothers, or be the generation that evaded the freedom prayed for us by our mothers.
Kissing shea buttered layers of melanin,
The sun is set to shine on this skin.
The sight of our blood will cease to be commonplace as you realise that we all belong to one race.
Black lives matter is a fact, not an opinion.
Walk with me and see how we all can win.
Claudia is a London based model, illustrator and poet. She fights for social justice and encourages body positivity on her Instagram which can be found here.