What This Afro-Latina Poet Has ‘Learned To Be True’ Since Election Day

By | May 20, 2016

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It’s been nearly six week since Election Day but, for some Americans, it may feel like a lifetime. 

With reports citing an outbreak of hate incidents and allegations of an election hack in favor of President-elect Donald Trump by Russia, many in the United States are feeling confused and anxious about the future. But Afro-Latina poet Elizabeth Acevedo has managed to put into words what she learned to be true the day after the 2016 presidential election. 

In a video by Mitu, posted Dec. 16 on Facebook, Acevedo performs her riveting poem, “What I Learned To Be True” on location from Washington D.C. She delivers her verses with force from the Lincoln Memorial, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the National Mall. 

Acevedo discusses both her feelings right after the Nov. 8 results and what she’s realized since. 

“That day I wept openly on a flight to Texas,” she says in the video. “The map in my head is covered in red and I was ashamed white people were seeing me cry. Then I remembered: White people don’t see me it all.”

She also masterfully interweaves a comparison between the biblical story of Noah’s Ark and what occurred this election year. Acevedo eventually concludes that marginalized groups are the flood.

“But an ark is not a country and we, we were never the sheep,” she says. “We were always the flood. The black and brown and undocumented and Muslim and queer and trans and woman, and we are rising and we are rising and we are rising. Don’t you see? We will cover this whole damn country before we ever recede.” 

Listen to the entire poem in the video above. 

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