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The Rising

BY BREANNA BURKE (staff writer)

My grandmother sits at the table, squeezes the

blackberry, and teaches us about the strength

of our blood. It is Christmas and a cool breeze

rests between the spaces that our bodies leave


Do you know where the light comes from?

Her hands weave histories of revolutions, and

I am transported to a pitch black time. There

is no sun here. In this silence, she begins to

mould golden men and women from the dust.

Liberation brews beneath the darkness.

Is this finally our song?

There was a time when we were

hidden, shackled by the voices that

took away everything. They told us

to keep moving, moving, moving.

Does time also feel the weight of our pilgrimage?

Now, Grandma tells me about our sisters

and brothers, whose hands shook as they crafted

freedom. Sometimes, their songs echo in a room

beneath someone’s laughter (I’d like to think they’re

proud of us)

What is a man without his name?

I am always fighting now.

Fighting for the good life that glimmers

like newly gutted gold. My grandmother

tells me that it is in my blood to fight

battles. Flowing through my veins is

freedom in its purest form—handmade by my

ancestors, carefully crafted by the light that

they struggled to attain.

Is there anything we can’t do?

Sharing culturally diverse stories to educate, inspire, and empower others

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