The Black Tale
Watch lyric video here:
I am more than just a colour
More than just a tone
I am a soul that lives within
Why can’t you simply understand
They tell me “put your hands out–
Put them up where we can see them”
I’m tryna explain but then they say I’m resisting
They grab me and force me,
push me down, they shove me
They place my hands at the back
Defeat me like a dead meat
You know the hatred’s so strong
You can feel it in their lungs
The hostility, venomous
But you gotta stay calm
Cause anything could go wrong
And it could be your last breath
The fact is your blackness seems to be a great threat
You’re the suspect
They pull you over cause
You look like the description from Karen’s frantic call
And it’s not even because you did anything wrong
It’s just that she was frightened by the colour of your skin
You can’t say shit as it’s against the law
The human privileges don’t apply to you at all
You’re a victim for being black, a colour that is being banned, a skin tone that seems best to be unknown
So whatcha gonna do
If not to play cool
You’ve got a family that you want to return to
Unfortunately, it is not a guarantee at all
You could still be shot dead, so then what are the odds?
Bridge (Siren and heartbeat):
You’re breathing rapidly
Your hands are up, they’re shaking
Your mind is blown, it’s racing
You know you’ve heard the stories
You’re nervous, fear’s producing
Your sweat drops drip profusely
Your memories start flashing
That’s for being black in a white land.
You stay home, on your own and they could still pull the trigger
You go out to a store, and they can still pull the trigger
You’re jogging, in a white street, and they could still pull the trigger
You’re pissed off, you express it, and boy they’re pulling the trigger
You stay calm, you’re not rough but they could still pull the trigger
You act tough, you’re not wrong and they could still pull the trigger
You stand still with your hands up and they might still pull the trigger
You lie flat, well it turns out, that they could still pull the trigger
Just when all has been said and done
The police who unleash this will still be free to roam
The white privileges protect the racists, they make more excuses, they’re busy still abusing
But they will never know what it means to be black in a white land
You wake up each morning hoping it won’t be your last
Because trouble awaits you at every nook and cranny
One wrong move could land you in tomorrow’s death news
And when it finally happens, you will long be gone
As others raise their voices but will still go ignored
If the white allies refuse to lend us their voices
Cause our skin tone alone is resistant to justice
It’s just us. It’s just what it is.
Written and Performed: Viano Dee
Instrumental: Bittersweet by SYBS
About The Black Tale
The Black Tale is a rap infused spoken word that talks about the challenges of being black in a white land. So much has happened in the past week and it has become very obvious just how scary it to just be any other colour other than white. It’s much more worse when that colour is black.
The stories are endless, the injustice is alarming. Many times black people are being framed for crimes they didn’t commit mainly because of the colour of their skin. An example is the Central Park five case. The teenage boys served time for a crime they didn’t commit.
Many have been maltreated and even killed simply because of the colour of their skins. George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland… the list goes on.
A more recent example is Amy Cooper’s attempt to frame a black man because he told her to put a leash on her dog. Had he not been recording the whole time, the story would have been entirely different. Perhaps, it might have ended just like Emmett Till. 65 years after his death justice is yet to be served– just like it is so in several cases.
It seems that the black skin is resistant to justice as the system hardly notices until a white man speaks up.
The ongoing situation served as an inspiration for this piece.
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Related article: When They See Us