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This article is part of the More Than a Moment issue, online now.

My life ain't cheap

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BSA: Faces of Those That Matter 3

Faces of Those That Matter series by Caroline Alpert.

My life ain’t cheap

It’s no Coca-Cola can on the street

It’s rich like rivers of chocolate Willy Wonka could never fathom

A melanated song

The melody they love to sing off tune

Till it is unrecognizable

Copy Righted

Till it is taken and named their own

You stripped us of our identity

In exchange for


Business as usual

You couldn’t adopt our strength, our dedication, our resilience

Our immeasurable compassion, our brilliance


Lighten my roots

Balayage my traditions

Trim my culture

For it to be more appealing to your eyes

Did you forget we are people

No name branded us to forget our heritage

Did you forget that too?

You stole my mother tongue

So we were forced to learn yours

The kink and coarseness of my syllables

The sting of my words

Like a whip on virgin flesh

The arson of my diction

Set ablaze to your reign and dominance

But your language is violence, murder, cruelty


So our melody of emancipation was lost in translation

Like bodies of slaves lost at sea 

We are a problem before we are individuals

An obsidian canvas they stroke their hate through

So all too often does your “service” end in

Bang !

Bang !


But you can cheer when the black boy is making a basket

The system soaked in devout stinginess and glorified hypocrisy

A thread that holds together the oppressive hand-me-down rag

Each time it wipes away the blood from your hands

Have you realized darling, it is clearly due for a wash

The bank of justice has loaned you centuries

Your debt to equality and truth are overdue

You cannot buy more time

I’m sorry the systems card has been declined

So we stand

We march

We demand

An assassination of your privilege

Let the catalyst of this condition colonize the souls

A metastasis of pure morality

Of Hope

Of Equity

Of Revolution

It will flow through the arteries of our society

Arouse the minds of our nation

Until both the body and the mind are

Overcome by the infectious disease of

True Freedom

My life ain’t cheap

So let this be a reminder that if you try steal it

Know that you


Pay the


BSA: Cover crop

This article is part of the More Than a Moment issue, made in collaboration with the UWO Black Students' Association. Read the full issue here.


The Black Students' Association wrote and curated pieces from campus for the Black History Month issue; Angie Antonio was this year's Guest Editor.

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