Derrick Weston Brown's Blog

Can’t Have Nothing— By Derrick Weston Brown

“Can’t Shop, Can’t Swim, Can’t Walk Home” – Being Black in America
Al Jazeera
July 15th, 2020

After the Charleston Massacre in 2015, Derrick Weston Brown wrote a poem describing the ways in which Black people’s lives are destroyed by racism and brutality. In 2020 its meaning remains painfully relevant. His poem, “We Can’t Have Nothing,” describes with devastating simplicity, the ways in which Black people’s lives are continually upended by racism and police brutality in America. “This is about the Black experience, which is not monolithic, but for which many of these experiences ring true,” Derrick says. “It’s also about protest and what people are doing in the streets now: which is demanding a new lived experience for Black Americans.”