“Digital Anthropologists Find Our Hashtags” by Nordette N. Adams

Nordette N. Adams


Dear #AltonSterling,             Your face reminds me of
my brother. My son. My older cousin, Van. My first boyfriend,
the only one whoever asked me to a dance. No golden grill,
but he was kind. Still. #ThisAgain.
@POTUS facebooked today, “These fatal shootings are not isolated.”

Retweet #BatonRouge Retweet #FalconHeights             Dear #PhilandoCastile,
After four gun shots, your girlfriend asked, “Where is my daughter?”
“Where is my daughter?” while recording, “Keep your hands up!”
#ForABustedTailLight like #WalterLScott.

#ThisAgain. AdamsEmojis

Facebook: I wish Obama was a Magic Negro.
In his last six months he could wave his wand and #MakeItStop.

@BlackTwitterGuru: “Drake is awake. He is ‘concerned’ now
about his own family, even. #WeSeeYouBro”             Dear #AltonSterling,
I am sorry that I haven’t done enough, don’t want to hear
more stories, can’t remember all
the names.

Twitter: Advice for allies, if you want to help, do,
and do not ask a black person how to fix
white supremacists or these murders.

Dear #TravonMartin, @BBC is tweeting Beyoncé today,
“WE ARE SICK AND TIRED …” They report that
a black woman protesting at the mic in Baton Rouge asked,
“How many of you really wish you were white?” They said, “Remarkable!”

@RandomlyComfortable: Say NO to trial by media! NO! to black paranoia.
#BeColorBlind Wait for the facts. For. The. Facts.

Dear #JordanDavis, Today is like—Dear #JonathanFerrell, I have a qu—
Dear #MichaelBrown, What happ—Dear #TamirRice, You were so young and …
Dear #SandraBland, If only the cop … Dear #MotherEmmanuelAME, I will rememb—
Dear #NimaliHenry and #FreddieGray, I believe that it …
Dear #ICantBreathe aka #EricGarner, I—We—I am sorry because … more names.

Poets Respond
July 12, 2016

[download audio]


Nordette N. Adams: “I live in New Orleans, Louisiana. The recent fatal shooting of Alton Sterling by Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police officers, followed shortly by that of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and response to the shootings inspired this poem. Many of these lines are found poetry or evolved from friends’ and strangers’ Facebook and Twitter posts as well as journalists’ news reports. I have used fake handles/screen names, however, for everyone but the POTUS.” (website)

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