Bold The Future with Elizabeth Acevedo (Transcript)

Elizabeth Acevedo for All* Above All

BOLD the Future

 I’m Elizabeth Acevedo, and I’m proud to be here to BOLD the future with you and with All* Above All.

This is a groundbreaking campaign led by young people and women of color.  Together we can create a future without abortion bans, obstacles or shame.

Today I’m excited to share with you a poem close to my heart.

It speaks to the legacies of reproductive oppression faced by women of color and low-income people. Today this is embodied in the Hyde Amendment, the longstanding ban on abortion coverage.

I use art to change the conversation.

I hope you’ll join me. Whether that’s through signing postcards, marching in the streets, or making your own art, let’s BOLD the Future together.

An Open Letter To The Protesters Outside the Abortion Clinic

Written and Performed by Elizabeth Acevedo

I’m not sure how I became the finger

to pull the trigger of your mouth.

That’s a lie. I know exactly what turned

my lunch break into a firing range

and why this clay pigeon of a body

attracted your aim—

Do you know how often I’ve walked by

your markers, megaphones, and mantras?

Your pickets signs, policies and prayers that you cock like pistols

as I clench half a millennium of horror between my teeth?

You stake our lives with the waving flag of Hyde,

but our hands will pluck that piercing from us.

You call abortion sin

But you don’t know my god.

You and mine ain’t on speaking terms.

My gods understands the choices brown and poor women

have needed to make in the face of actual genocide.

My gods understands how slave women plucked pearls

from between their legs rather than see them strung up by the neck.

My gods don’t condemn us women who when faced with taking claim of our bodies

do so with our chins unchained to the ground.

My gods understands how for generations bodies like mine

were the choice for someone like you to make.

Do you know how many years, women like me

lived equally afraid of both hangings and hangers?

Yet we’re still here every single day

carrying ourselves.