A Refutation

I come from a long line of women who fight as hard as they love Who have been ostracized for standing up to abusers
Who were fired for speaking up against the use of God as punishment
Who believed that every single person has a voice and that every single person is entitled to respect just for living
Who have taught me not to stay silent in the face of injustice

I come from a resilient community
Who had to fight so that they could be safe as they are
Who threw bricks so they could love the way all humans deserve to love
Who parade through cities and towns every year to remind themselves of the struggle and how far we've come
Who continuously inspire me to stay proud of who I am and where I've been

I come from a family that refused to be broken
Who lived in a basement when there was nowhere else to go 
Who loved through knives and baseball bats and visits from the police Who survived heartbreak and alcohol and divorce
Who summit every mountain to stare at the view around them and marvel at what we can achieve when we give ourselves grace

I come from a village of refugees
Who escaped their homeland and moved to a new one without knowing anything about it Who continue to be marginalized and live with few resources, but found it in their hearts to welcome me in and name me Nangari
Who taught me how to make fish stew, but never understood my strange affinity for dogs Who could have waited for the world to change, but instead stood up and forced it to

I come from a generation that has been discarded
Who have been labeled entitled for expecting the same dignity and respect as generations before them
Who inherited a planet in shambles and do not have the power to fix it for those after them
Who rise above the constant criticisms and disrespect to try to create a better society than the one they were born into
Who have no reason to have faith in humanity after what has been done to them, but still find it within themselves to hope

I am a culmination of everything that has led to my existence
I speak with the depths of history on my tongue and step with the weight of the world on my feet Every person has universes within them*
How dare you assume you know mine

*inspired by Elie Wiesel: “We must see in every person a universe with its own secrets, with its own treasures, with its own sources of anguish, and with some measure of triumph.”

Bobbie Szabo

Bobbie is an educator, activist, and storyteller. She dances through life with vigor, collecting and embracing new experiences and adventures.

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