BLACK LIVES MATTER: ADRENALINE RUSH
Updated: Oct 22, 2020
This image presents an excerpt from Rudy Francisco’s “Adrenaline Rush”, a poem that addresses Francisco’s anxieties of being a black man in America.
Francisco compares the adrenaline-fueled exhilaration experienced when one is voluntarily participating in extreme sports, with the blood pumping rush of a Black person who, against their will, must face the life-and-death choices produced by systemic racism, in their daily lives.
He notes how extreme sports have been invented for people who have the privilege of thrill seeking while just surviving each day is a nerve-wracking ordeal for a black person who just seeks to be accepted as human, and maybe, American.
This poem tackles the dangers of a so-called 'civilized' society that fails to provide basic human rights for everyone and how invisible that fact is to a majority of its citizens who do not have to confront each day as if it might be their last.
An ally of the Black Lives Matter movement is responsible for amplifying the voices and experiences of black people, so I urge you to read the complete poem or watch Francisco’s incredible performance of this work on YouTube. I recommend listening to and engaging with the work of a variety of black artists to support and uplift to their voices. This particular work and countless others have given me the opportunity to relearn and reshape the ways in which I think and act in regards to racial justice and reform.
~~ Kelsey Anderson (Class of '23; Allegheny Women's Field Hockey)
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