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  • Hilton N. Webb, Jr.

Hilton N. Webb, Jr.

Hilton N. Webb, Jr. is a formerly incarcerated cis-genedered man who loves the speed and danger of Harley Davidson motorcycles, the smell of fragrant blossoms, and the laughter of small happy children. He is also a writer who believes poems are the sharpest arrows in literature and that love is the strongest force in the universe.


8 Minutes…46 Seconds

The man, under cover of authority and with supposed immunity has in daylight lynched another of my brothers.

I used to hate that word brother because I had none, because it was always just me and my mother at the dinner table.

But now, I see that we are all related and that George Floyd was my brother in every sense of the word.

My heart is broken at the waste of life for nothing more than a perceived slight,

either that day or from some incident at work … since they worked in the same bar together.

We will never know anything definitively but that there was a knee on a man’s neck.

That proverbial knee has been there since 1619 when the White Lion made landfall with twenty odd Africans.

We black men have been lynched while our women have been raped and lynched when the rape didn’t go well.

They ‘the powers that be’ only care about power followed closely by money.

While we are dragged behind pickup trucks in Texas, beaten unrecognizable for not even whistling at a white woman,

hung like strange fruit on trees from North to South and sea to shining sea simply because YOU cannot face your

banality of evil.

You killed a peacemaker as he talked about the moral arc of the universe bending toward justice

as he left room 406 one afternoon in April thinking of a spring evening, mortality, and what to eat for dinner.

I wonder if one day I could leave my home and not wonder if I’m going to make it back alive,

or not end up in prison. Nonetheless, I’ve learned how to be obsequious enough to stay alive,

but at what cost to my soul, still bleeding from the first time I was called a nigger as a child,

and asked mommy, “what’s a nigger?” And she said, “not you baby,” as tears rolled down her stricken face.

I watched America burn in 1968 except for Indianapolis where Bobby spoke knowingly, two months before you killed

him too. I am tired … so fucking tired of carrying this cross while waiting for the arc to bend toward justice

while my sisters and brothers are killed in their homes or in the streets in broad daylight under color of authority.

People say, “things have improved,” I say, “has it improved when the murders happen digitally in the daylight instead

of undercover of darkness in Money, Mississippi or in secret bombings in Birmingham, Alabama?”

I watch cities burn again and know that things will burn then return to the status quo with your foot still on my neck…

I have an answer, it is better to die standing on my feet than on my knees.

I don’t know when but I do know I am ready, willing, and able to bend that damn arc myself;

all I need is a little help… because by helping me we help each other arrive at a place where the misery

begun that hot August day in Virginia can be washed clean and buried in the past where it should be rather than in the


© 6/1/2020 Hilton N. Webb, Jr.


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