Unixis Hedwig

United States

She/her

Please remember how insanely beautiful you are.

When the Black Kids Go Missing

October 20, 2020

Link to audio recording: https://voca.ro/1cSdNXXm2VZ7

The speech:

They tell us to put our hands up. Then, they ask us why we moved. Sister, that is why they shoot. Because we move.
They tell us to work harder if we wish to succeed. Then, they protest because we’ve stolen their spots. We’ve ripped them from their roots and stuffed them deep in our pockets. Then, we ran. Brother, that is why they run behind us. Because we work.


They laugh at us when we hurt, when we bruise and when we bleed. Then, when they hurt, when they bleed and bruise, their fingers tremble as they ask for us. They want help they do not have to give. They seek comfort we cannot show as we have never received it ourselves. Mother, is this why you remind me we bleed the same, but we cannot cry the same?

I still have questions, buckets and trenches and sacs I carry on my back and let slither in my veins and helplessly carry in my hands. 

I am scared.

One day, I may open my door and find wreckage at my feet, waiting for my weeping and sorrow. But so far, they’ve approached me in crumbs. They tread on the padded feet of a father’s son.

As a child, it came to me when I first arrived here, an immigrant in the U.S. My classmates asked me if I ate cheetahs back home. They formed triangles with their hands and talked of tiki huts and murderous tribes. I was desperate for friendship, and so I became that child. I ate cheetahs and lived in tiki huts and took part in a murderous tribe.

It knocked on my door once more when I turned 10. But this time, it left me an envelope. And in this envelope was a single word stamped on a sheet of paper. 

Look.

This is when I began to notice how few Black students there were in my accelerated classes. This is when I realized there were two types of kids in the lunchroom. The Black ones at the left or the others at the right. This is when I realized I couldn’t seem to find any Black Barbies in the store, and the only princess who looked like me was a frog for half of the movie, slimy and green and short and chubby and living in the swamps. That must mean I’m slimy and green and short and chubby and living in the swamps. This is when I realized the store clerks followed me in the corner store because I looked like a small thief, not because they wanted to help me find my sour, Trolli gummy worms. This is when I realized why Black boys don’t wear hoodies, and Black girls who go missing are never found.

I was old enough to realize all of this when I was ten. But apparently, no matter the age, the rest of the world is not prepared to look at me.

I don’t even get knocks on the door anymore. We don’t even get knocks on the door anymore. They stretched us out early like roll-ups and told us to grow up. And then they shot Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice and Stephen Clark and Rayshard Brooks and Ahmed Arbury and George Floyd and Breonna Taylor so we would pay attention in class. Like they don’t already have guns pointed at our heads to make sure we’re listening. Like we can choose to look away from our live-action documentary. 

Like we can escape.

I say again; my back hurts, my hands are heavy, and my veins are filled with lead. I cannot lend you my eyes so you can see what I can see, but I can give you my words so you can play them on repeat. I can tell you my stories so you don’t choke on mere fiction. 

I’m only asking you to listen before my sister’s name shows up on CNN and my brother’s body is found by the monkey bars at the park I used to go to as a child. We cannot bring about this change on our own. 

I know my words are scattered and my thoughts run a mess. So, at least listen to my final plea.

Please, help us.

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31 Comments
  • ava09 (angels, auroras and sad prose #holidayvibes)

    this is really stunning and eye opening. it's simply incredible. <3


    about 2 months ago
  • lochnessie

    wow - i'm so sorry this is really late, but i just had to say how amazing and impactful this is. it gave me chills. when i finished reading i realised i was holding my breath.


    about 2 months ago
  • AbellePuppy34

    I don't have words--this is insanely beautiful.


    about 2 months ago
  • Ag.A

    I know this is quite late...possibly 30 days late but this piece is amazing. Congrats on the win!! It was well deserved.


    2 months ago
  • FantasyOtter12

    Congrats!! I have no idea how I didn't see this incredible piece before.. SO great!! :)


    2 months ago
  • Unixis Hedwig

    Thank you all so, so much for taking the time to listen to my words. The feedback/support I've received has been so unbelievably amazing. It gives me so much more hope for the future, and that's the best reward I could have ever received.


    3 months ago
  • BlueWolf

    Just made me shiver with the passion and truth. I feel like all the breath has been blown out of me at the power of this speech. I feel angry at how true this is. It is not fair and it makes me angry. But sad. It makes me sad that people draw lines, label people and can't see past their own classifications to see the person straining under the weight of their stereotypes. I was captivated by every line and made an impact on me. It is intense and masterful. Bravo!


    3 months ago
  • Deleted User

    Wow! I agree with everyone... This is brilliantly put together, and you really kept my attention the whole way through, which is very hard to do. XD This is awesome!!


    3 months ago
  • Rachaelgrace

    This is gorgeous and heartrenching and extremely extremely sad. I am amazed by your work to convey emotion through words. Thank you for writing this.


    3 months ago
  • Nathaniel G. Williams

    This is astounding. It really expresses how you are feeling and shows the truth about what life is like for you.


    3 months ago
  • Nathaniel G. Williams

    This is incredible. You deserve first prize!


    3 months ago
  • Currently Unavailable

    Wow. You are right, and you definitely deserve the win! I hope your message gets spread far and wide because more people need to hear this!


    3 months ago
  • midnight.summerrose

    This is absolutely astounding! You write so passionately and with so many emotions!! You are such a talented writer and you should be very proud of yourself! Well done! :)


    3 months ago
  • Mina_77

    Oh my goodness. You deserve this win. . . I can't describe how touching this speech is. I myself am lucky enough to grow up in a diverse and more respectful community, and it's much to easy to ignore what's going on in other area's and the way most people of colour aren't treated with the respect every human should have the right to. good on you, keep using your words to change the world.


    3 months ago
  • Tula.S

    This is phenomenal. It is packed with vivid scenes, strong vocabulary, and incredible purpose and relevance without seeming forced or unnatural. The part about the black barbies and the frog princess was my favorite, because it was just so alive in my head. I also love how you tell a story through the speech -- you kept me interested until the very end and I completely lost track of time. The way you pronounce every word is calm, collected, and yet passionate and powerful. Finally, I am fascinated by how you take a topic that is so recurring and talked about in contemporary times, but you defending it with a completely new approach. There are just so many amazing things to say about this piece, I could write a novel about it! Fantastic work, and congratulations. You deserved the win 100%.


    3 months ago
  • Writing4Life

    Congratulations btw, I hope this gets played on repeat many, many times.


    3 months ago
  • Writing4Life

    Oh my goodness. I-I can't describe what you made me feel, I have tears in my eyes, because you have described the hardship you have felt so....so explicitly. I was aware of Black lives, and slavery, and the horrible things you went through, but I never thought what it would be like, to be you. When you wrote about the CNN and the monkey bars, I-I can't even describe it; being fearful for your life, I've never experienced that, being a white teenage girl. I respect you so, so much. This is such a deserved win, and I'm so glad people get to hear this. Thank you so much for writing this <3


    3 months ago
  • NaiadIna

    So beautiful, and such a well deserved win!


    3 months ago
  • Wisp

    You truly deserved that win. (Congratulations by the way!)
    The diction, the rawness, the tie ins to reality. It's all so clear, and it's all so real. There is this ache within this piece and it's heavenly, because it's human. You captured the #blacklivesmatter movement in this piece, incorporating real world events, incorporating real world feelings, incorporating your soul. With each word, I felt the pain, I felt the sorrow, I felt the helplessness that dripped. And yet, despite all of that, I felt the hope lightened in the in between. There is sorrow, but there is a hope for change here. There is a hope that we, as a community, can change the world. And you embodied that perfectly.
    I know I said it, but it needs to be said again; You truly deserve that win.
    Thank you for this, and congratulations.


    3 months ago
  • sherry171

    What an incredible message, presented through such emotional language... thank you for sharing your words with the world.


    3 months ago
  • barelybear

    This is so mind-blowingly powerful and amazing! Congrats on the win - I couldn’t imagine any other piece as deserving. I just... wow...


    3 months ago
  • Anlee

    woahhh congrats on winning! <33


    3 months ago
  • rwong

    congratulations!!


    3 months ago
  • that one rat from ratatouille

    This was a fully deserved win! I hate that I didn’t see this earlier. Thank you for writing this <3


    3 months ago
  • mindfruit (hiatus)

    Congrats on the win!


    3 months ago
  • doodleninja

    Congrats on the win!! This speech is just...astounding. I am blown away. Amazing, amazing work! :D


    3 months ago
  • sci-Fi

    This is... wow, this is incredible. I can't believe I didn't see this earlier. Congrats on the extremely well-deserved win.


    3 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Congrats!!


    3 months ago
  • SunV

    This is so stunning. I can't believe I didn't come across it earlier. Congrats on the win!


    3 months ago
  • Paisley Blue

    wow, this is stunning. breathtaking. wow. i knew but i never.... KNEW. wow.


    3 months ago
  • dream02

    Amazing. Just absolutely amazing.


    3 months ago