A poem for 'Black Bois' Apr 27, 2018

by Daemond Arrindell

 Naomi Ishisaka)

A response to Dani Tirrell: Black Bois (Apr 26–29 at On the Boards) (Photo: Naomi Ishisaka)


Dear Black Bois
I see you
You who are he and 
you who are she 
and you who are they
I see you slay
I see you slain in the street on the corner
Police tape mummifying your bodies
On video on video online
We look away
But cannot turn deaf ears to your hollas
Your holy screams echoing off the project tenement walls
Echoing off the shackles and the burning crosses 

Black Bois, you still walk, Still strut 
carrying the spirit shadows in your horizons
But you cannot roam free
Your Mamas stay crying
Your daddies stay tripping
Better be No fag, No sissy, No punk here
Boy, handle your business, boy dribble the ball boy

Humans were never meant to witness gods in person
Black Bois you be what we fear, 
what we are afraid to be

Here, Black Boi —
you no pickaninny, no savage
You Zulu, you buffalo soldier
You are nobody's Nigga but your own
Bark it back at us, 
bark it back with no apology

Stomp and step and nae nae and mean mug  your name
Honor and rise your name
Laugh til they think you crazy
Laugh til cackle
Laugh til animal
Laugh til totem
Laugh til free

Live and love and sing your name
Our names
So beautiful, so Black Kalief
So beautiful, so Black Sandra
So beautiful, so Black Trayvon
Hold and be held, dear sweet Black Bois
You do not fit the description
You cannot be contained
You cannot be broken
No more   No more   No more



Daemond Arrindell is a poet, playwright,  performer, and teaching artist who is moved most by art that challenges the status quo.


On the Boards Ambassadors are cultural and civic leaders who bring new voices and perspectives and share our programs with new communities. 

The Ambassador Writers Corps is a team of experienced writers and artists who develop responsive and critical content around On the Boards performances or write about specific issues in our creative and civic community.