August 27, 2020 Courtney Napier

“Just To Live” by Nina Minona

Nina Minona is dear friend, a writer, a poet, a Black womxn and a showcaser of evolution – particularly the evolution of what it means to create, what it means to do work, and what it means to show up in community. As she and I reflected in horror and exhaustion at the shooting of Jacob Blake, I remarked at how much energy we as Black people exert every day – every hour – for the sole purpose of staying alive. Afterwards, Nina wrote this poem. She wraps together visions of the Ancestors and visions of generations unborn – past and future, together now.


Just To Live

Another day
Feel that sun
On our Black face
On that skin
So bold so bright
Away from violence
Away from white
Just to live
In this here and now
Without trauma
Without tomorrows doubt
Just to live in a state of
Without the threat of
Deaths lingering plunder
Out of control yet surrendering to
Finding connection
Trying to hear it
The voice of Love
The voice of Ancestor
The voice of Vision
The voice of the Future
No more shots fired
In the backs of my siblings
No more apathy from those
Who go to without hearing
The cries of the travelers
Of time and space
We are eternal
We cannot be replaced
I believe in a Future that
I cannot see
I believe in a Future
That won’t be stolen from me
We are not forgotten
By our soul that lives on
We are not given away
Anywhere unsafe
I want full Black lives
Of love and joy
I want full Black lives
Of excitement and dreaming
I want all of these things
For my heart is teeming
Just to live
Just to live
Just us live

Just to live

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