Home 9 Issue 9 Black Girl Broken by Milissa Sutton

Milissa Sutton, age 14

I wrote this after the killing of George Floyd because I felt so stuck and unable to do anything about it.

Black Girl Broken

Black girl broken by bruises
Wounded by bullets, shot by the blue-wearing bully
Branded by the past no one wants to talk about

I am broken
The system is broken
Are broken

We can’t feel good about ourselves
We can’t like being Black
When our dignity and Black pride are ripped from us
Along with our lives
They turn them into trophies and set them on their shelf

I am broken because
The police say we shouldn’t live
When his neck
Became the target
His knee
The weapon
Our skin
The threat

I am broken because
When I turn the pages of my history book
I don’t see the chapter on Black history
It wasn’t torn out
Just not important enough to be printed

This Black girl is broken because
February is only about Rosa and Martin
Not that they aren’t important
Because believe me, I couldn’t sit at the back of the bus
And Martin is my role model
But 400 years of slavery
Isn’t valued enough to even be discussed
In 28 days
29 If we’re lucky

Don’t want to make the
Students feel uncomfortable
But I
Am uncomfortable 365 days of the year

Walking down the street police get the wrong idea
Peaceful protesters tear-gassed
And killed
Just because our ideal
Calls for justice

I am broken because
The melanin in my skin
Is a weapon
The police see and feel is bigger than the batons on their waists
Deadlier than the guns on their hips
I can’t rip through flesh and blood like a bullet
But I’m still on the wrong side of the barrel

I am broken because
Segregation ended in 1964
But the world is still divided

I am broken because
The list of unarmed Black men, women and children dead
Is longer than the Emancipation Proclamation
Which actually
Did nothing
For my ancestors

This Black girl is broken because

She doesn’t have the same rights as others
She’s seen as less than a human
She’s seen as a weapon
A murderer
A criminal
A person who doesn’t deserve to live

When he pulled the trigger he didn’t care that she was going to high school
He didn’t care that she had a best friend
He didn’t care that she had loving parents
He didn’t care that she had three siblings
He didn’t care that she had a goal
A dream
A life worth saving
He only thought that it was his job
To add her name to the list

They say “Black don’t crack”
Then how come it’s always the first to be shattered