I Dare Thee America


ago
5 min
149
readings
44
Finalist
Jury

Quinn Hayes has been writing since she was five and I Dare Thee America is the first piece she’s wrote in fifteen years! She writes poetry, prose, and more. When she’s not writing or speaking  [+]

Image of Summer 2020
This is not the America that I know nor is it the one that I dreamed for me
It began when you forged my name and wrote slave across my birth certificate that read King & Queen
We bore from generations of our ancestry an America that they still want us to fear
How long must I wait to see Martin’s dream be an actuality for me or my babies or will they have to wait yet again for their children’s, children’s children?
What cry for peace, liberty, or freedom must a nation birth in order to be truly free of your hate, animosity and utter demise for my equity?
I DARE THEE AMERICA not to see me or hear my affliction
I’ve curdled your cotton from thick lashes as deep as vegetation rows and watched as the flaps of my people’s torn flesh swung as the wind would blow
Why can’t you just let us be? To sleep in our homes, to be in a park, on the streets, be at a corner store, at school, walking or running in my own dang neighborhood, or even while at bible study
Why must I continue to suffer or die by your hand or knee all the while as I consume institutional bullets of dismissal from places that vowed to protect, watch, supervise, or even teach me
Hear me AMERICA: I am wonderfully made and far from afraid of what you think you can do to me
You see I was born a queen and stand rightfully beside my king
My children are golden and were born into a noble birth no matter what you may see
My culture so worthy of emulation that’s why you have continued to be baffled marveling at the depths of our creativity
Go ahead and dance to the beat of our drums and steal by any means dreams already deferred
That’s why they call it the secret sauce, because it was always our original recipe
You could never replicate our credibility, be schooled, or groomed to be me
Therefore, you can’t suppress what was already deemed blessed
Our steps have been ordained in self-discovery to ensure my silence never equals consent
So build your jail cells to celebrate my birth, because no bars can ever hold the beast that you’ve now unleashed
I will have a say in my own fate as my crown is now positioned in its rightful place
No gentrification can underestimate the value found in our streets, our people are our worth, do you hear me?
So I DARE THEE AMERICA for ever thinking that you ever had the right to subdue me
For my last breath will forever go down in history and my legacies live in the great grandchildren of the slaves that got away
The permanent blood on your hands & your affliction on those who are already overwhelmed and otherwise oppressed still, I can promise you that they will never forget
Since we’ve awakened greatness, no longer will I settle with being seen and not heard as if I am supposed to fade to black in the background as you try to get the accolades or credit for my work
No longer will I set up your success as if my hands didn’t create the masterpiece and for this very reason your so-called privilege will have to now acknowledge me
So then, how are we to harvest hope when there is none exactly?
You see, I’ve broken out of your prison and now I own the keys
Our black magic isn’t voodoo, it’s monumentally real community
We’ve thrived in our magnificence even when you tried to deprive our light
So watch at what rises in the wake of your miseducation of me, all the while as are orchestrating historic history, then you will have no choice but to digest our beauty, brilliance and black excellence
So AMERICA, take a long hard look as you marvel at me
I was born a miracle that was destined to surpass the heights of your so-called ceilings; even your initial projections of my trajectory failed seeing that this black baby, fatherless girl, raised by a single mom, that didn’t have Michel’s name on my birth certificate, as you can see, didn’t hold any restraints on what I could be
I am not to be pitied while I wear a crown with illuminating jewels such as these
I know it’s a lot to take in and many of you are still puzzled as to how Obama and his family broke through twice, so continue to sleep on greatness while you recognize the illusions about your ceiling actually never having heights
Let’s be woke and have “the talk” as we examine your atrocities, because it’s unbearably offensive to think that you’re all of a sudden uncomfortable now
Not when they dumped our bodies off the side of slave ships
Not when they hung our people, beat, bombed, or executed our children
Not when they assassinated our leaders or took God given liberties and made it a crime to just be
Not when they stole us from our soil or stripped us of our dignity
Not when they sold us on auction blocks, ripping our families from our grasps so that we could be violated to bare and raise their children
Isn’t it ironic that my thighs or my skin wasn’t detestable then
I DARE THEE AMERICA to give yourself such rights in the name of white supremacy
Process that and while you’re doing so look back through your family line and you will find me sitting beneath your plantation’s oak tree
So, you had the nerve to be disturbed recently, because you had to watch it live on TV?
I’m sorry, pardon me, but what exactly do you call our history?
Was it not time to be deeply moved, mournful, and disgusted back then or throughout the centuries?
He said that he would blind the minds of the unbelievers, but exactly how much more do you need to see?
How many more names or tragedies must there be for us to speak in their behalf in order for you to truly believe that this is still your AMERICA
It’s so sad that I have to write, riot, fight, preach, speak, die and for families to scream just to be seen
So...let the realization be televised. It’s time to bury your excuses.
Stop claiming you never knew or took notice of the countless brown bodies that can fill oceans
I shouldn’t have to walk around with my credentials or credibility on my back for you to see a fellow human being
Did you forget whose backs you built wealth and America off of for free? It’s me! This is our land too.
Take your blind folds off and acknowledge me. I am the face of the culminating fight to democracy
It’s not inappropriate gesture, accidental participation in white privilege, hateful acts, or racial biases start replacing it with deliberate acts of humanity
We are people who are tired of dying, being passed over, not protected and ignored
We are someone’s mother, sister, uncle, father, brother, grandmother, aunt, husband, daughter, and grandfather too
We are essential to someone too, who’s also loved, missed, prayed over yet continually underrepresented and dismissed
We’re not trying to remove your history or say that your lives don’t matter
We’re simply amplifying the fact that YOURS has never been in jeopardy
Every day, all day we live in fear of our loved ones never coming home, being traumatized over yet more senselessness
Animosity is the company you’ve decided to keep
You don’t get to define my experience of when I am fine or free
Your interpretation has nothing to do with what I feel is the recipe for my recovery
I will decide how I color myself into America
Your hate will not dictate my response to your lack of empathy let alone my humanity
Our greatness never needed your validation. We will rise in the reawakening of unrest
We will bring in the harvest of all the words, deeds, and actions of your inequities we’ve yet to speak
It’s business as usual for you, but another dreaded day for me
So no, I AM NOT OK and this is not my AMERICA nor the home of the free
It’s still the deep seated roots of injustices that won’t let us BREATHE
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Image of Keith Simmonds
Keith Simmonds · ago
My congratulations, Quinn, for this well -deserved, Honorable Mention!
Image of Quinn Hayes
Quinn Hayes · ago
Thank you!!!! I am truly honored.
Image of Houda Belabd
Houda Belabd · ago
Congratulations !
Image of Mary Tabor
Mary Tabor · ago
Wonderful and congratulations: Well-earned!
Image of Quinn Hayes
Quinn Hayes · ago
All of you are too kind. Your loving comments and kindness mean the word to me. Thank you for supporting!
Image of Whitnee Spry
Whitnee Spry · ago
OH MY GOSH!!!!! Girl you got me over here shaking that thing was FIRE 🔥 🔥 🔥!!!!!

I read it out loud to Faith and Rico and they both are saying WOW!!!!

Thank you for this BEST SELLER! I can’t wait to read more.

Image of Michael Hayes
Michael Hayes · ago
Daring piece of literature! Her best work has yet to come. Look out for this name, She's fire!
Image of Marie Michael
Marie Michael · ago
A powerful piece. Thank you, Quinn!
Image of Kim Reynolds
Kim Reynolds · ago
Honored to be your friend.
Image of Ranell Lewis Williams
Ranell Lewis Williams · ago
Quinn,beautifully written! This piece of artistry speaks to and echos the sentiments of so many!