Updated: Jun 5
This is more so a stream of consciousness.
I remember being young and wanting to see my name on Billboards. I would sit in my room or the bathroom and pretend to have an interview about some of my most famous work/involvements. I would dream of being in spaces with celebrities and being among them. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be loved. I still yearn for love, but not in this way.
A few nights ago, I dreamt about an older Black woman who I believe I was a caretaker for. She stayed in the room across from me and we were both getting ready for bed. She wasn't happy this night, in fact she was extremely upset. She yelled out to me, "Y'all were supposed to protect me from these demons." I was stunned. I felt scared, responsible and I felt heartbroken that I or whoever promised to be there, hadn't done our job of protecting her. I apologized multiple times before she went to lie down. I got into my bed and managed to drift off to sleep. I'm assuming it wasn't too long. I went to turn over and the woman was standing at the side of my bed looking down on me. She repeated, "demons," and went to grab my arm. I woke up right after she touched me, my heart beating fast while I still had the sensation on my arm like someone had just grabbed me for real. Now mind you, this dream could've been Lovecraft Country-induced, but regardless if it wasn't, something about the dream felt rather insidious. A Black woman demanding protection. Now the funny thing about my dream is I didn't recognize the woman, but the sad thing is I think the woman was me in the future. To possibly see a future me demanding to be protected, I couldn't help but think of Breonna Taylor and the protection we all wished she would have received. To see her on magazine covers, plastered over the news, people calling for the arrests of her murderers, and her face being used as someone's profile picture felt like the "stardom" I didn't want but had been preparing for as a child. To this day, I feel selfish even mentioning anything about Breonna. Something about her death feels unspeakable. The incessant death of Black people, in general, feels unspeakable.
I remember being young and wanting to see my name on Billboards. Instead, I saw Breonna Taylor's face on the cover of TIME Magazine. I would sit in my room or the bathroom and pretend to have an interview about some of my most famous work/involvements. Instead, I sat in my room responding to messages from people who had reached out to me because she and I share the same name. I would dream of being in spaces with celebrities and being among them. Instead, I dream of Black women demanding to be protected. I wanted to be known, and I wanted to be loved. I want her justice rather than her tragedy to be known, and I want Black women to be loved regardless of what we can offer others. I still yearn for love, but I don't know if I'll get it until I'm dead.
Protect Black women from these demons. Protect Black people from these demons.