BLACK VOICES

This Poet Made A Police Brutality Mad Lib, And It's Devastating

Trayvon Martin. Mike Brown. Freddie Gray. Just fill in the blanks.
 
In just two minutes, a slam poet has summed up the emotionally exhausting deja vu of police brutality, and she did it all through Mad Libs. 
 
Performing a poem called "Mad Libs: Black Death Edition" at the 2016 Women of the World Poetry Slam, poet Charlotte Abotsi emphasizes how tragically frequent black deaths at the hands of police are by reciting hypothetical police reports, news articles, and Facebook statuses that sound all too familiar -- all you need to do is fill in the blanks. 
 
"Fill in the blanks for the police report," Abotsi says, in a video posted by Button Poetry on Monday.
 
"At approximately 'time,' on 'date', officer 'Proper Noun' of the 'Proper Noun' Police Department, 'verb,' and killed 'Proper Noun,' an unarmed black 'noun.' Officer 'Proper Noun' stated self-defense. Said he was frightened, fear overtook him, and he thought he saw a 'noun,' or a 'noun,' or a 'noun'." 
Charlotte Abotsi
Charlotte Abotsi
 
 
The poem goes on the break down the tragic inevitabilities of these stories that we've seen time time and time again: the announcement that the officer will not be indicted, the victim's name becoming a hashtag, the protestors and their critics, who say "they're acting like animals." And, most heartbreaking of all: the mothers and fathers who, amidst all of the unrest, still have to cope with the loss of a child: 
 
"God, you took my baby. You made a hashtag of that name. They feared my baby. Why?"
 
Watch the poem in its entirety above. 
 
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