PLEASE TELL MY STORY IF I DIE…
Please everybody listen…
If they ever get their hands on me..
I will sit silently until it’s over. But if they kill me..
Please bear witness that I was not “one bad dude.”
Please fight for my character.
Remind them I loved to read and I loved to create community
Tell them that I was never arrested or detained for a crime, never owned a firearm, and that I never hated this country we call the “United States of America”.
Tell them I did not do drugs, abuse alcohol, and that I was a father to two beautiful children, baby daddy to none, teacher of music and the digital arts.
Remind them I was a teddy bear and not a beast to shoot.
Remind them I worked to do good things and that I wrote a hit record when I was 20 years old and that I was nominated for an Emmy Award and that I changed the lives of disadvantaged youth, got to travel to Europe 6 times, finally learned to conquer my fear of swimming at 47 and wrote an off-Broadway musical in NYC.
Tell them I wasn’t “one bad dude,”
Tell them I was a strong, Black man.
(revised poem from Michael Twitty)