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Davis, California

Wednesday, May 29, 2024


In loving memory of the inclusivity and resilience of Maya Angelou








by Tanya Azari


when sitting down to take a piss, the last thing i expect to see is this:

the phrase Black Lives Matter written on the bathroom stall

with “Black” crossed out and replaced with the word “All.”


and if that wasn’t appalling enough, what really gets to me

is that this hasn’t happened just once

or twice,

it has happened so many times

that this door is covered in scratch marks,

almost looking like lash marks,


trying to beat the message into an audience

like their ancestors tried to

beat black bodies once,


see here’s the thing about



Matter —

we have always known that




that white lives matter,

because the fact of the matter

is that you, faceless defacer,

are probably white.

because these are the people that seem to think it’s their right

to co-opt other groups’ movements to

try and make themselves more included but

between you and me,

i seem to be the only one that’s concluded

that the color of my skin makes me less likely to be wounded —


being full or half or even looking white

means you and i are safer in this country, see in


the NYPD reported that

6.67 black people were killed annually by police

whereas only 1.58 of fallen bodies

were people that looked like you and me


and since then we have seen

far too many unarmed black men and women

shot down by heat —

body left for four hours on a Ferguson street,

body left for two hours outside a gas station before

being dragged into an SUV,

bodies bleeding the same red that’s

present under white skin,

only they are bleeding out

while we still get to bleed in.


so to the mystery vandalist:

what will it take for you to understand this?


to realize

that the evidence is right

between their eyes —

black people are being murdered by white police

and all you can say in this bathroom stall is

“hey, but what what about me?”


OK, let’s talk about you.


you ought to be ashamed,

trying to claim this movement as your own

and i want to make sure you know

that when you scratch out this

slogan of resistance

you systematically undermine the existence

of black people

and their struggle

and your rebuttal smuggles a

white supremacist agenda

into this gendered bathroom stall.


you are trying to

stop conversations on race like how

policemen’s bullets have stopped

beating black hearts,

you are reaffirming that you are a part

of the unchecked prejudice and racism of our nation,

what i am saying

is that if Black Lives don’t matter

then nobody else’s do.

and yes,

that includes you.


so choose:

you can sit in this stall, scratching out writings on the wall,

creating falsified statements to

try and take up more space, or

you can face reality,

not be complacent with these fatalities

erase your placated mentality

and rewrite your moralities


then when confronted with what you thought

and what you’ve learned,

choose the latter.


raise your pen in solidarity, and write

Black Lives Matter.



“An Ode to the Sistahs”

by Theodore Mitchell

My mama told me from birth you be the proud heir to the throne so always keep this in your dome wherever you roam know that you my prince.

So with extreme confidence know that your greatness is based IN providence cause the power of God be in you.

And for me that always rang true. See at my granny house the home work was to learn the way love work to heal any woe.  And I always wondered but never questioned how she know what she no’s.

Our elder sistah Dr. Welsing teaches that. When in a system based on an ideal of white supremacy; Based on a fear of genetic annihilation; The Black man and his seed be the greatest weapon. And if it was anything for me to learn the greatest lesson would be to love. To love ourselves enough to do whatever it takes for liberation and protection of the seed the sun.

Our elder sistah Dr. Mariamba Ani teaches that the asili the cultural seed of the oppressor seeks to grow in our garden and suffocate our potential. We must root out the foreign concepts so that our genetic memory may be able to flourish in this physicality because when we be the garden thrives.

Our elder sister now in the realm of the ancestors sistah Dr. Maya Angelou told us why a caged bird sings and of the power that a phenomenal woman brings, be enough to know that regardless of the heartless yet and still like a phoenix we rise.


And so the sistahs be my muses

Cause through all the confusion

The business they sticks to it

Like raising generations

While we be licking our bruises

Preparing a way for us to always take lead in the movement

See these sistahs be our muses

Inspiring us to go higher

Even though the situation be dire

She be right there beside us

See her smile keep the struggle from being worthless

Her happiness gives the long days and night purpose

To lay down my life for her would be worth it

To live for her, would be to enhance her perfection

In her I see the Creators reflection

A mirror to the divinity in me

See in we, lies the keys to the liberation of we

See these sistah be my muses

Cause through all the confusion

The business they stick to it

Like Isis and Nephtys breathing life into Osiris with a kiss

See she be the real high scientist

In her lies the purpose of him

She give birth to the universe

One word to describe her


It be in every beat of her hip

She put a pound in every dish

So for her on the brightest star I wish

I could ever be so Sirius

See theses sistahs be muses

Cause through all the confusion the business she stick to it

Like Harriet she be carrying us to freedom land

Like Sojourner hollering ‘Aint I a Woman

Like Biddy Mason securing places

Laying the foundation so that we could be

Like Phyllis Wheatley speaking verses to the creative spirit in me

Like Assata & Afeni

Best believe she be the reason that we be

Madea making sure that we knew the family history

Weaving quilts so we would remember even in the cold of the winter

The protection and the splendor

But we like Bed Bath & Beyond so much so much

We done developed amnesia

See the sistahs be the muses cause the all the confusion the business she stick to it

Teaching we that in this world we must be wise as the serpent and as harmless as the dove

Translation speak to me be as crafty as you need

But do all things in love





by Tanya Azari

Tanya Azari is two fists and a bloody nose. It is her third year here. In the University, she studies Spanish and English. Outside of the University, she studies what people are really saying when they don’t speak, the way they walk through rooms, how sometimes they slowly disappear without anyone noticing. She runs the SickSpits Spoken Word Collective on campus and wants YOU to come to their Open Mics and Writers’ Workshops (find more info at facebook.com/SickSpits). You can see more of Tanya’s work at facebook.com/TanyaAzariPoetry.


“An Ode to the Sistahs”

by Theodore Mitchell

Theodore Mitchell is a second-year transfer student from Los Angeles. He is currently majoring in clinical nutrition with a minor in Neuroscience. He is also currently serving as one of the Black Family Day/Black Family Week co-coordinators, with active roles in many campus groups. Theodore’s life goal is help in the complete liberation of peoples of African Descent (i.e. all of humanity but Black people first and foremost) through the combination of scientific knowledge with ancient thought for use in the healing arts and community building.

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Graphics by CA Aggie Graphic Design Team.

Photo Courtesy Tanya Azari.


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