Here We Begin the Dialogue

Ieshia Evans – Baton Rouge

I study people

as you line up against me,

know I am a healer.

I wonder about who you might be,

in a quieter moment

without the riot gear, any agenda,

just your own life on a Saturday night.


Do you go to the movies, watch the news,

have you a particular network you would choose?


Have you ever heard of the things that I care about,

do you know I have a life that I believe in.


That’s the humanity part … I’m with you y’know.

I stand before you stolid yet terrified,

I know you can’t possibly hurt me in this visual arena,

I cannot speak the same in six months.

I stand before you with dignity,

I will not let you take that away from me.

I stand here before you a young black woman

I am your solution.


Embrace me and I will begin to lessen the hatred

with your help, not your control.

We can right now show the world,

in the gentle manner of your hands,

treat me with respect

I am not the animal.


I am beautiful, I am strong, I am elegant,


This is my first protest, so as you walk me away,

you can tell your kids tonight,

I escorted a woman of tremendous integrity,

you can tell your neighbors,

“I will begin to practice acceptance”

I will go home to my family and plead,

I will tell my partners, my co-workers, my world,

we still need to be patient.


We can teach the world to understand each other


together as we stand here

human to human,

person to person.

Can you understand the need to love …


  • photograph NewYorkDailyNews

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