I’m forced to digest the strange fruit you have made of our black bodies.
These tree branches smell of genocide,
They have seen unjust killings.
As often as changing seasons.
These are my family members.
Drawn in chalk on dead pavements,
before they can even learn to color in the lines.
Where do I go?
When home is choking life from my people.
Forced to become soil, because we look more like it than sky.
If I don’t live long enough to tell these stories to my grandchildren,
I pray my name will be imprinted on the air they breathe.
I will remind them that their skin is the shade of courage.
They will know that this war was no place for a coward,
and we will not be silent to please the masses.
You dare us to burn down the system,
to reveal blood roots of oppression,
and I say “yes”.
If that is the only way you will hear our ancestors scream for justice,
How dare Black be beautiful?
How dare Black be safe?
How dare Black be worthy of living?
How dare Black be alive?
If I’m next, say my name.
Remember that I was not born to hang from trees.
I am more than Strange Fruit.
God has made me present.
And I was here.
We are here.
Director: Anjola Coker
Anjola Coker is a spoken word poet, illustrator, writer and director who uses different mediums to bring to light uncomfortable truths and connect with others through the fabric of arts. Born in Nigeria and immigrated to America at the age of 9, her experiences grant her opportunity and perspective to create in a distinct way. She has written and directed two short films. Driven by her faith, She has a passion for social justice, Africans in the diaspora, truth telling and representation of children and women.