A Protest Prayer

By April N. Baskin
black woman at protest

Beloved siblings striving for justice,
Shma!
Listen. Closely. At all times.
My prayer for you
is that you remember protest
is a sacred act.
Just as the Mourner’s Kaddish
helps souls ascend to God,
May our cries soothe those
whose lives were prematurely extinguished.
And rattle the bones and stones
of leaders and institutions.
Leaving no question about the fact
that things are never going back, only forward.
For more of us are clear
that “We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
We affirm we are a multiracial people,
and we will stand strong, humble, and proud
as we follow and work in partnership
with black leaders, taking steady strides
in the direction of collective liberation.

Prayer