“I Am that”

by Leonard L. Hoston

I am Black.
That rich and full of life Black.
Resilient to the bone, generationally strong Black.

That love with my spirit, so confident others find fear in my walk kind of Black.

That beautiful Black.

That Trayvon Martin, Charleena Lyles Black. That justice for Breoana Taylor, George Floyd Black. That Rayshard Brookes, Tamir Wrice Black.

I am that bar-b-que on a summer breeze and warmth on a winter solstice Black.

Beautifully I stand, blemished free and corrected because my fore brothers burden the yoke.

And so I am.

I am the resistance of racism, that “March on Washington” Black.
That “Pan-Africa Movement” Marcus Garvey revolutionary inspired Black.

I am the Blackness of Tomorrow.

The seed of Angela Davis and spirit of Malcolm Black.


Innovative hidden figure bursting from the shadows Black.
That “who gives a fuck” Black.

I am the Black many wish they could be, and the Black many hate simply because they could never be.

At peace I live free displaying the soul of my Black

And so I am.

I am the generational inheritance of racial discrimination, social injustice and deliberate miseducation.
The survivor of false hopes and hypocritic oaths Black.
And yet, that Maya Angelou “Still I Rise” Black.

Embedded in me are the stories of great Men, Women and those who gender do not conform.
An oral history of road warriors who stood Black strong when being Being Black was wrong.

And it is with that that I say “My Black Is Beautiful”, a timeless pearl in the fingers of unmolded prestige.

Learn about me and that because I am Black, despite my struggles, my soul’s free.

Updates from the University of Washington Bothell's Project on Mass Incarceration in Washington State