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The Trees that Sprout Black Bodies (By: @MelanieCoMcCoy)

The Trees that Sprout Black Bodies (By: @MelanieCoMcCoy)
Nina Simone
Their history is my future. Will they be jaded from our history or will history repeat?
All that we could do was cut him down. This was an American crucifixion. The ultimate sacrifice of black blood for white bodies. His brother, his uncle, my friend and his wife- we were all there. The weight of his body, the wind pushing him lightly from left to right, and the sound of the creaking branch made me believe that the branch was going to snap him down. Is the sound of a snapping branch reminiscent of the sound of his snapping neck?
White faces burned his body the way that you would set fire and burn trees. This black body is a reflection of all of us. His swinging body just merely a mirror of what could happen to us. What did he do? Do they ever need a reason? They want blood and there will be blood. They won’t stop until we we take a knife and peel our brown skin back like apples grown on apple trees. They won’t stop until their isn’t a single stain of black skin left on our bodies. They know that with a cut like that none of us could survive it. They want us to scrape our skin until we are black, no more. Walk around like living corpses, that’s who we are. We are beginning to understand our fate.
He was like my brother and as children we used to climb this poplar tree and swing from this tree’s branches, but never did we ever foresee that he would be swinging on it like this. And now I’ve never hated a tree so much- These white folk. I mean this tree.
These white folk pick niggas like they are picking strange fruit.
Think I’m naive because trees sprouting black bodies overnight? Since when did trees grow black bodies? Forrest green covers the area, along with a glistening lake, but here stands this Poplar tree dragging this black body from its arm. This is the type of strange fruit that isn’t made for eating. This strange fruit has created a seed- the one that his woman plans on sprouting in about two months. She’s hysterical and she won’t breath. She’s being wild like a dog that needs to be shot down, but can I blame her? How will she explain to her child that the moment that they are born they might as well crawl right back into that birth canal. The world isn’t this pretty image of hope and blessings when you are born a nigga. If she continues to scream like this these white folks will… How do I say this? Um Mary Turner’s husband was lynched and she screamed bloody murder. She was going to have a baby too. They say that she was cut open by a mob. That baby that she was carrying cried. Babies aren’t meant to come into the world like this. They pulled it from her stomach and crushed it to death. I don’t know if it’s true but the story gets worse. The thought paralyzes me so I must stop telling now. My stomach is spinning and I have the feeling that I will vomit, but I haven’t eaten a damn thing so that’s very unlikely.
I look over to my right and I see an all too familiar face of the North riding past. She stopped a moment and leaned her face out of the window; her body frozen. Her presence was beautiful and came in such a timely fashion. I needed to see such a grace to be in the setting of this ugliness. It’s Billie Holiday and she’s in town this weekend. We all intended to to see her perform tonight, but it looks like that won’t be happening. She looks like she wants to say something, but instead the vehicle rides away. Northerners aren’t too used to seeing stuff like this. I will say this though, they know what it’s like to be hated because of your skin color.
When we cut him down his body came crashes down, which caused her moans to grow louder. His twisted mouth caused her to go limp in the knees. This is queer and I can’t believe that this is our reality. This is strange. I wonder if in the future they will even know his name? I don’t know. Is this the same future that awaits?
We didn’t want the white folks to see us taking his body but it is our right. The stench of his rotting body could hit the noses of folks at least a mile down. We need to get the hell out of here before we give them another reason to… Just being here gives them a reason.
My uncle keeps mumbling that this is just the way that things are, saying that we should all be used to it by now.
“What if I don’t want to get used to it!” the wife cried. Everyone covered her mouth, but I was feeling the same way.
We put the body in the back of his uncle’s truck.
Their history is my future. Will they be jaded from our history or will history repeat?


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