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Drifting in and out of the corridors of the old Lorraine Motel

I saw myself standing on the balcony

Where Dr King drew his last breath

Looking in the distance

Searching for what hates us

For what fears our light so much

It resolves to extinguish us

Before we set it all on fire

The motel is no longer but its facade still remains

Its memory preserved

With a museum that rises to tell the stories

Of tired and broken beautiful bodies of color

And a miraculous spirit that refuses to surrender

I saw myself when I recognized

That ships from Africa carried Muslims too

I saw myself when I recognized

That queer and trans people of color have been here since the beginning

Showing up for my liberation

That despite being a child of immigrants

That I have ancestors here too

Freedom is a constant struggle

I’ve heard people say

From Palestine to Ferguson

From Kashmir to Kabul

To Charlottesville and Standing Rock

To every piece of Earth

That crumbles under the poison of colonization

To every false borderland

Where papers and pipelines dictate who belongs

Wherever their livelihoods are being crushed out of their bodies

People of color still gather and sing and mourn and march to be free

I saw myself in Memphis

Drifting in and out of the corridors of the old Lorraine Motel

I heard a freedom song playing

And it sounded so familiar:

I ain’t gonna let nobody

Turn me around

Turn me around

Turn me around

I ain’t gonna let nobody

Turn me around

I’m gonna keep on walking

Keep on talking

Marching onto freedom land…

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