Abria Franklin is a junior at Hope College studying communication with an emphasis on broadcast journalism and a minor in business. Franklin hopes to work as a news anchor and to travel around the world writing journalistic pieces. Eventually, she wants to create a talk show to shed light on underrepresented issues. Franklin’s goal is to give people who don’t have a voice a stage to magnify the issues that society tends to overlook or diminish. She has a deep passion for advocating for the lives of minorities in all realms. She hopes to promote, empower and transform the lives of black people who have been consistently hurt and broken due to a systemic imbalance that begins at birth. It is time for a change, and through Franklin’s artistic talents of photography, writing and speaking, she utilizes God’s gifts to make a difference in the world.
A note from Franklin: “This piece is a response to the cruel brutality that has been placed upon African Americans at the hands of the police. More importantly, it expounds our weariness. We are tired of fighting a battle that never has the strength to reach the finish line. Deaths of African Americans are beginning to become normalized, something we bitterly accept and move on from. The value of our lives have been reduced by the standards of white people. This piece expresses the worthiness I see in my black brothers and sisters and the assertion that this battle will never be won until everyone initiates change.”
I’m Sorry They Didn’t Tell You, Your Life Matters
A beautiful Black Queen
She shines like the stars in the light
Has somebody ever told you that your future soars so bright
You are light
You are love bathed in every inch of beauty
Our ancestors died for the roots that construe
Me and you
Those are some words
You don’t hear every day
Tell me have you heard your hair doesn’t move the right way
Your hips shouldn’t move to that sway
Or here my favorite,
You speak so well who taught you how to articulate that way
My Mother. My father.
The same people that have fought so hard for us to stay being their daughter
I’m sorry they don’t see you the same way I do
Has your light ever dimmed so low
You only have one constant mood
The same one they use as a weapon against us
Why are you mad?
We wouldn’t be if you didn’t forget us, dismiss us
From every thought, every seat at the table,
Every word from within.
I didn’t know that there’d be times I’d hate my own skin.
To my Black Kings in the house
You shine like Hades fire
Dragons breathe out your mouth
And please don’t tell me you doubt
Your melanin existence
And when there’s something on my chest you’re always there to listen
You preserve and protect the beautiful Black lady that’s been fed so much neglect
I give you my utmost respect.
And I know your upset
Of being mistreated, misleaded to poison waters on set
Better hold your breath
It only takes one shot, and you’re left
On the broken pavement face down
Not a sound
Hands up don’t shoot!
Are those really the words I have to say to stay alive these days?
Because I said I couldn’t breathe for 9 minutes
And you still managed to misbehave
My temple, as God said
Something so worthy only to lie in a bed.
So I said it before and I’ll say it again
These beautiful Black Kings and Queens built the soles of this land
And I stand with my Brothers and Sisters
I pour ashes to the fallen ones who’ve know no other
Except for one where we have to fight
Everyday to receive the same rights
That so many white people have taken away
So many white people who have led us astray
Politicians and teachers who don’t know the way
To admit they made a mistake.
Is it really that hard to count us as one?
There’s room for everybody underneath God’s sun.
We shouldn’t fight for a seat
I shouldn’t fight for my life
We shouldn’t pick up any blood that lingers on your knife.
To all of my white people
Look me in the eyes
Do you believe Black Lives Matter?
Do you feel the pain we feel inside?
To my Black Brothers and Sisters
Listen to me when I speak
Your Lives Matter
No Justice No Peace.