In Honor and Praise to Black Rage
Deep in the shadow of night, down near the crossroads and cemetery gates, with bitter liquor and cigar smoke wafting, I greet you.
Clad in white, upon the floor before shrines, following the names of the Ancestors being uttered, I greet you.
You are the sacred and righteous rage of my people. Echoing throughout time from the Lands of our Ancestors, from depths of the oceans, I hear you now.
You call out to us in the whirling winds, in the clamoring of lightning, in the crashing of waves, in the flow of rivers, in the rustling of forests, in clouds that move across the heavens, in the drum beat of the earth.
You are present in the cries of “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace.” You shimmer brightly in the flames of buildings crumbling to the ground as they are consumed in flame. In the calls for protests and direct action. In the stirring of pots, the laughter of children, in the tears and prayers of guardians.
You are Black Rage. Holy, and sacred. Unbound and unapologetic. You swell in the hips and breasts, in the of curves cheek bones and nostrils, and beats of hearts and pulsating thoughts. In exhaustion. In frustration. In numbness. In mobilization. In life. A you name yourself as good.
Holy, and sacred, Black Rage. Be ever present in our struggle for liberation, in our work to be, to love, to exist.
Guide our movements, in all their forms, as we strive to be Good Ancestors, ensuring that our descendants might look upon our memory with favor. For you, for them, invite us to live without fear.
Dear Holy, and sacred, Black Rage. Give life to this valley of dry bones. Move like fire upon our spirits. Stir within us. Now and forever more.
Ase. So be it. Amen.
Tyler Coles (they/he) is a Southern-raised native of Roanoke, VA who currently lives just outside of the nation’s capital. Inspired by the good news of Unitarian Universalism, Tyler is a Candidate for the Ministry with interests in community worship and justice-making. This work includes interfaith organizing, supporting young adults, the facilitation of LGBTQ+ spirituality communities and continuous efforts toward “creating the Beloved Kingdom on earth.”
Tyler also serves as the communications co-chair of Diverse & Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM). DRUUMM is a People of Color ministry and anti-racist collective bringing lay and religious professionals together to overcome racism through resistance and transform Unitarian Universalism through multicultural wisdom.