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An Imago Dei for Colored People

A poem

Published on:
September 11, 2017
Read time:
1 min.
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you have the right to remain silent
anything you say can and will be used against you in this sanctuary

you have the right to an attorney
but if you can’t afford one, we will tell you to work hard
to work hard and pass you the tract of this gospel, this american dream

if you so choose to invoke your right to silence we will wonder
we will wonder why you spoke out,
why you questioned the arresting officer,
where you were going and what you were doing in that neighborhood
but we will ask aloud if you want to join us on sunday morning
do you understand these rights?

do you understand these rights?
that my value and dignity is not prescribed but inherited
you claim imago dei but want to keep me voiceless in these pews, complacent and on display
a trophy of a supposed triumph and lies of victorious equality

this imago dei you have allotted to me
constructed with an enthroned blue eyed divine with the train of his star spangled banner filling the temple
you tack Jesus onto bullets and stand by while they crucify me
you claim heresy while i reclaim my god-given identity

an imago dei for colored people

Christian Williams
Christian Williams is a grad student at Dallas Theological Seminary. She likes being barefoot in the grass, taking naps, and exploring her creativity.

Cover image by Sam Burriss.

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