I believe we are all inextricably linked to each other. No matter how much physical or psychological distance we put between us, no matter how much misunderstanding, insecurity and hate fills the chasm that seems to take up our relational space, we need each other. Today, on Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for a lot of things but what stands out in my reflections this week is, I’m grateful for that sliver of hope I still have. That sliver of hope says that maybe, just maybe, things will one day be different. And not just on the other side. I’m not talking about some pie in the sky, when we all get to heaven by and by type of hope. I mean, right here, in this moment, as daunting as some things seem, I still have hope that change is still possible. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But maybe one day. For all our sakes.

Trust me, having that kind of hope is hard. Like have-you-watched-the-news-or-checked-the-comments-section-of-most-websites-lately hard. Especially in years like this one. Years when I’m acutely aware that when I kiss my sugarplum on the cheek today and listen to her precious self say grace over our meal, there will be mothers in Ferguson and Sanford and Detroit and Cleveland and…who won’t get to do the same.

And that hurts something awful.

My hope is built on nothing less…

So I share this poem as a kind of hopeful manifesto rooted in what I feel I am called to do. I will never stop writing my protest. I will never stop sounding the alarm on injustice. I will never stop demanding that those in my faith—you know, the one where Jesus stood on His truth in the face of government or religious opposition–STAND UP for what’s right; to align our actions with our prayers because BOTH are needed. Blame me and other bloggers/writers like me for allegedly “stirring the pot” all you want, Mr. Prosecutor. That’s quite alright. Just know this: As long as we are writing our protests and discussing our pain, it means that we still have hope. It’s when we stop writing, stop talking that you should be deeply concerned.

Happy Thanksgiving!


By Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts


we shall overcome…

we shall overcome…

we shall overcome…




I can’t stand before audiences

with loud words and sound bites;


on the state of the darker nation.

Nor will I attempt to intellectualize our plight

in an effort to evade the realities

of our community


I will simply write my protest.


In the traditions of Baldwin and Hughes.

In the vein of Lorde and Angelou.


penning the struggle,

offering spiritual translation,

of ancestral significance.


Examining our lives

and the lies,


Sounding the alarm on injustice

with every single keystroke.

Pouring out love and courage and sacrifice

to make room for more.


I write my vision

in every poem,

in every story,

into every metaphor

and allegory.



and that’s true.

I also say power to the pen

for in the end,

it is my privilege and duty to…


address discrimination,

prevent emotional castration,

head off the attempted bastardization

of God’s melanation.


it is my privilege and duty to…


encourage authentic soul excavation

with every dictation,

denounce the political constipation

that exists in this nation,

and uplift future generations

through consistent education.


it is my privilege and duty to…


ponder a revelation

so we all avoid damnation.

defy undercover segregation

and support reparations.

reconcile our own obligations

to a community transformation.


I must write innovation.

I must write inspiration.

I must write motivation.


It is my privilege.

It is my duty.


While the enemy of our souls does his to and fro thing,

I walk in the understanding

that my words are power.

It is my gift to speak truth to them.


So yes, I write my protests.

It is penned with a sincere eye toward freedom.

Freedom for the oppressed

and the oppressor.


For surely the binding of evil on the soul

must take its toll.

Surely there is love and joy and peace

on the other side of hate and ignorance.

On the other side of



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Tracey Michae'l

Tracey Michae'l is a writer and educator based out of the Philadelphia area. She is a wife to William and a mother to a beautiful two-year old little girl. You can find her on the web at www.traceymlewis.com.


  1. Thanks Tracey for being so right-on; for being such a magnificent wordsmith.

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