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Digital Subscriptions > Boston Review > Winter 2017 > Lake Michigan, Scene 22

Lake Michigan, Scene 22

The dead man asks me where I want to fly

And I say I don’t want to fly anywhere

I want to stay here and defend my people

And the dead man says who are your people

And I point to the list of the names of the missing people and I am clubbed over the head with a wooden oar and dragged away by the police to the overstuffed prison camp on the beach and I think that survival must be vulgar and I am taken to a coroner’s office and there are tools on the cold metal table they lay me on and there are men in lab coats and there are attorneys and there is paperwork and they lay the paperwork over my body and someone comes to sign something and they sign the paper then a bureaucrat signs my leg and a nurse signs my leg and an attorney signs my leg and I come to understand that my leg is a legal document that will be filed in accordance with the necessary procedures needed to classify the remains of the dead

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About Boston Review

Walter Johnson, Harvard historian and author of the acclaimed River of Dark Dreams, urges us to embrace a vision of justice attentive to the history of slavery—not through the lens of human rights, but instead through an honest accounting of how slavery was the foundation of capitalism, a legacy that continues to afflict people of color and the poor. Inspired by Cedric J. Robinson’s work on racial capitalism, as well as Black Lives Matter and its forebears—including the black radical tradition, the Black Panthers, South African anti-apartheid struggles, and organized labor—contributors to this volume offer a critical handbook to racial justice in the age of Trump.