Hands Up Submit

It’s Our Time!

On December 6th, to culminate the afternoon’s peaceful march through downtown Portland, Don’t Shoot PDX protesters regrouped in front of the Justice Building to establish goals and discuss ongoing strategies. Afterwards, the protest organizers handed off their megaphones to anyone who wanted to share their thoughts. Isaiah Spriggs stepped forward to deliver this poem.

A Poem by Isaiah Spriggs, Video submitted by Jen Scholten in Portland, OR

Another poor black boy reciting another rhyme.
Another poor black boy killed committing no crime.
Another poor black boy suffocating in the system.
Another poor black boy relinquishing his vision.

 How many more poor black boys need to be an example
of the fact that us being black is an actual reason to live in fear?

Nah, fear is what we’ve lost
and our lives have been the cost!

No longer will we go on turning blind eyes to the oppressors.
No longer will we be kept in a state of frantic aggression.
No longer will we act as if one white man is the cause.
No longer will we be victims in a war we cannot put on pause.

You see, growing up in a home where my mother’s blackness is praised
does not deter the fact that my white father took the place
of a man raising his family in a society out to get us;
all the while teaching us that it takes a village.

Yes, to love and stand up for a brother in spirit
is to live a lifestyle which many do fear;
it’s true, to oppose the oppressors is a mightily just challenge
though the results in real unity often tip the balance.

But, how far?
How far?
How far can our words go?
We need to take action to impact just how far our verbs go!

Yes, it’s true we can only do what it is we can do
but this means that we must do what it is we can do!

To love and create change one interaction at a time
each day gets more tough as our people keep on dying.
I know.
I’m sorry, I’m sorry to those who have lost someone
and I’m trying to understand
why it is taking so long for us to comprehend
that the end has not come yet!
This is only the beginning and yes we may not be winning
but finishing strong is the motive.
And, right now we have more power than 17 locomotives!

If only we’d know it!
If only we’d know it!
If only violence wasn’t the only way that the media would show it!

We of all colors need to stand together
and yes this is a race thing!
And if you feel uncomfortable then you may as well be strings
pulling other puppets to the sound of their trumpets;
knowing not you’re luggage that will be dropped at the drop of a dime;
while you think you’re living sublime within the confines
of the lies that our society provides– be not that!

It’s time to stand up and brush these shackles off our shoulders!
It’s time to  create fixes, not just discussing how we’re broken!
It’s our time!
It’s our time!

The time is now, my friends.
The love revolution will be televised!
I promise you.

Let’s live love.
Let’s grow.

Hands Up Submit

By Hands Up Submit

The creative expression of various authors and artists in response to the new civil rights movement, drawing from the emotional, social, and political currents of the tragedy and protests ensuing from the night of August 9th, 2014. To be included in this collection, please visit

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