Hello APC community! My name is Sydney Balan. I am an 18-year-old, black, lesbian woman from Atlanta, Georgia. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had a passion for writing. I wrote poems to help me express my feelings. I wrote stories with the diverse, nuanced characters I wished to see on bookshelves in Barnes and Noble. My hope is to one day write Black stories where we are the protagonists.
When the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor hit the world, I couldn’t sleep. I was feeling a range of different, heavy emotions – just like many of us did. But there was also this very strange, very weird feeling that I struggled with. I felt like covered in “blood”. It was all in my head, but I could still feel it as if it was real. It was a haunting feeling. However, when I started protesting, the “blood” began to disappear. I could still feel it, but it wasn’t all over me. It was like fighting back made the “blood” retract. This poem talks about the “blood” I felt and how I believe that every black person may have this “blood” stain on them.
Sometimes I feel like there’s blood on me Even though my hand is clean And there’s nothing there But I still feel the old knife wound That Uncle Sam plunged in my ancestor’s stomach saying “We are equal, we are one” And Even though we cried and cried for the knife to come out Uncle Sam just looked keeping the knife in So the wound passed from My Ancestors To My Great grandparents To My Grandparents To My Parents To Me But that wound doesn’t stop at my family As Uncle Sam stabbed All Black People Black Man Black Woman Black Children Black LGBT Black Veterans Rich Black Poor Blacks Incarcerated BlacksHomeless Blacks Every type of Black Person But instead of letting Uncle Sam With His Stupid Smile Keep that big butcher knife in OUR GUT We Say “We are Goddamn Equal, So you better take this Knife out Or I’m gonna get my own Knife”