#BlackLivesmatter: a movement in verse


August 3, 2020


I Must Not Breathe

If I am stopped by the cops I must be quiet. I must not breathe.
I must not ask questions.
I must not breathe.

I must not move.
I must not breathe.
I must not talk back.
I must be compliant.
I must not breathe.
I must not film the cop.
I must not call family or friends.
I must not breathe.
I must not put my hands up or down.
I must not breathe.
I must cooperate.
I must be docile.
I must stay in the car or get out, depending on the mood of the cop.

I must not breathe too loudly or too quietly.
I must only do what I am told even if what I am told to do goes against my basic civil rights.
I must not breathe.

Presented By: The Author

Angela Jackson-Brown

Angela5 (002).jpg


Angela Jackson-Brown is an award-winning writer, poet, and playwright who teaches Creative Writing and English at Ball State University in Muncie, IN. She is the author of the novel Drinking From a Bitter Cup, the book of poems House Repairs, and the soon to be released novel, When Stars Rain Down. Angela’s short play, “Flossie Bailey Takes” was part of Indiana’s Bicentennial Celebration at the Indiana Repertory Theatre in Indianapolis, IN in 2016. Recently the play she co-wrote with BSU graduate, Ashya Thomas, debuted at OnyxFest and the IndyFringe Festival in Indianapolis, IN. In 2018, her musical, “Dear Bobby” will be spotlighted at OnyxFest in Indianapolis.



Of Kith and Kin
(After Audre Lorde)

Dear Kith and Kin,
Let us remember
Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley,
Carole Robertson, Denise McNair.
Our ears blasted with the explosion
In the 16 th Baptist Church in Birmingham—
four little girls bombed to bits,
the shite supreme terrorism more fierce
than pit bulls taught to fight,
prejudice sharp in the dogs’s decaying teeth.
In my aging heart, I dare to dream
presages of perpetual peace.

Presented By: The Author

Sue brannan walker

5db32cf5aeb83.image (1).jpg


Sue Walker is an award-winning author and Professor Emerita from the University of South Alabama where she taught literature and creative writing for 35 years. She served as a Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing and Chair of the English Department. She was Poet Laureate of Alabama from 2003-2012 and is the Publisher / Editor of Negative Capability Press. She has published ten books, a mix of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and literary criticism and has read and lectured at Universities throughout the U.S. and abroad-- in England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, and Spain.