Trauma Encoded: Breathing While Black by Trista Daniell

Generations crying.

Generations dying.

Systematic suffering in place.


We break.

Our souls filled with tribulation

Our hearts


Police batons against the flesh of colored skin

We live in fear.

Hands that should protect
grip our necks
and fingers grip triggers fired with neglect

Choke-holds and bullet wounds become the new lynching. 

And we can’t breath….


Breathing While Black is enough to warrant homicide

against Black lives

That are then vilified

So murder becomes “justified”


Our tears evaporate before they hit the ground.

Because to you, our tears don’t matter.

How can they, when our lives don’t matter?

And our struggles don’t matter….

And our poverty don’t matter…

And our pain don’t matter…

Even our unjustified deaths don’t matter…




Get over it,” they say.

But, it’s hard to get over hate that haunts and taunts us every day

Hard to turn away the pain encoded in our DNA

Hard to ignore the fact

that simply being born Black
puts a unfair target on our back.

And some won’t even acknowledge their privilege.

The blood of our ancestors fertilized your “amber waves of grain”

Their bodies hung among your “fruited planes”

Your freedom at our ancestor’s expense.

Our inheritance – tribulation

Our legacy – consistent grief.

Our futures – under attack

Our hope –  damn near deplete. 


They tried.

We became dispensable the moment we became “free”.

Trauma Encoded.

…but we shall overcome.

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