#All this for changing a lane

(I don’t EVEN want to be m.c.-ing another elegy here or rappin out these death similes or samplin these tried and tired tropes, or spittin these beat rhythms, rhymes, and repetitions.)

a fly black girl brown skin and open brown face was anything but bland — even in that mug shot and orange jumpsuit: on her way to life by way of Prairie View, (now joining the long list the most infamous) where unarmed black death thrives in cop custody if you’re changing lanes and smoking a cigarette at the same time but check it out: you’re a fly black girl, smoking a cigarette, brown skin and open brown face—even when ‘irritated’— being told by a smokey to dump your smoke brags ‘I will light you up’ and drags you from your car— sorta like lynching, except Sandy was in custody, though not convinced of its lawfulness. Black people get lynched over cigars, cigarettes, cigarillos, whistling, loud music, loud talk, back talk, praying, running, defective tail lights, toy guns, hoodies, and their own wallets. (Mamie Till knew all about lynching. She crowbarred Emmet’s casket open, and after spying the tell-tale signet ring, touched every part of what was left of ‘little man’s’ bloated body dredged up from Money, Mississippi. ) Don’t be black, coming from Chicago, and traveling South, you won’t stand the storm, if you are a sassy black teenager or a fly black girl, brown skin and open brown face smoking a cigarette, changing lanes and unused to taking low to nonsense —even fatal nonsense. Better to stay with the extreme temperatures of your Midwest Metropole than to cross the median in a Texas prairie or a Mississippi delta town. (America, don’t blame it all on your ‘Stars and Bars.’ Start with your ‘Stars and Stripes.’)

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