Black Man Floating

Dreamscape II, Meagan Dwyer

[Trigger Warning: Depiction of death]

“if a man cannot drown in his struggles, at least he can float for a while”

black folk be boat be shipwrecked be sinking be [w]hole in bottom be covered in water  be sinking

black folk be  swallowing sorrow today and tomorrow be dreaming of days they’ve drowned waking up wishing they’ve drowned

be swimming for days been drowning forever   black folk –

be far from shore be far from home be homeless because black folk always swimming too busy sinking

be adrift  lost in that black skin be all alone be last man swimming

black folk floating heart-life-boat-floatie

black folk be a sea in another sea in another sea so people act like they don’t see them

see that black

man woman human body


About the Author

Nataja Flood · Wheaton College

Nataja Flood is an artist and educator for Harlem New York. As a Black woman, her work is centered around the experiences of marginalized people, historically and currently. The intersectionality of love, struggle, past, present, progress and protest are what inspire her most. Nataja graduated from Wheaton College (MA) in 2016, where she studied English. She is currently completing her Fulbright English Teaching Fellowship in Athens, Greece. “Black Man Floating” first appeared in Rushlight. 

About the Artist

Meagan Dwyer · Rice Univerisity

Meagan Dwyer is a recent graduate of Rice University. Her artwork focuses on abstracting landscapes and environmental issues. “Dreamscape III” first appeared in R2: The Rice Review. 

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