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Crystal C. Mercer

An Afternoon Run

I’m trying to fill myself up with happy,

Because the world keeps pulling at me,

Pain pours out of my mouth,

A little nappy headed Black girl from the South,

My glass won’t stay full,

It’s a struggle to get a refill,

When my lips are a gape,

From my teenage rape,

From the oppressive hate,

And the old “pull yourself up by your bootstraps”,

Well, my feet are bare,

I like the dust on my ankles,

And the grass in between my toes,

And the wrinkle in my nose,

That doesn’t have time to smell the roses,

When there’s blood on the leaves,

So I try so tenderly,

To fill myself up with happy, 

I spin in circles until I’m dizzy,

To see if that brings a smile,

Remembering running wild with my cousins at my granny’s house,

I’m trying so hard to fill my cup,

Until it runneth over,

Like the tattoo on my shoulder,

I’ve got a chip,

Sick of this bullshit,

Pain keeps pouring out,

Why is it so hard to be Black the South,

From the South to the North to the East to West,

The target on my chest they’re aiming for is my heart,

A bomb bursting in air,

She tired,

She’s sick of fussing and cussing about the same old things,

Which becomes new things,

Broken dreams,

Bleeding out on concrete streets,

A Black man can’t even take a run,

Without being shot in the stomach,

And I’m empty from this,

I’m trying to fill myself with happy,

But how can I be happy when another Black man is dead,

The sleepless nights of all the names that run through my head,

And we have to carry their names,

Carry this pain that pours,

When it rains,

A monsoon done washed over America,

This bitch is wet with regret,

But a flag doesn’t fret,

So I moan for my people,

My tears pull out the words from the headlines,

And try to make sense,

Outta madness,

But no sense can be made,

From a senseless death,

Without consequences,

Why do I have to keep explaining that Black Lives Matter,

When these folks gladly splatter our blood on concrete,

Two feet planted,

Become unrooted,


He’s dead,

Another Black man dead,

There’s video of that shit,

His murder,

For all the world to see,

Through racist colored glasses,

Colored only,

Against the masses,

Weapons of mass distraction,

I’m trying to fill myself up with happy,

But I’m choking on the blood of my people, 

Spilled because we’re not seen as equals,

There’s not enough cats on the internet to fix this mess,

No pretty songs about how my heart will go on,

I’m struck in the beautiful rut of being Black, 

That’s why I’m so upset, 

I want to be,

Without the fear of dying,

Why is it so easy to exterminate my existence, 

I’m trying to fill myself up with happy,

But in this world,

Ain’t enough happy to fill that. 

Black create(her), Artist, and Activist, Crystal C. Mercer is a keep(her) of Black Culture utilizing theatre, poetry, and textiles to communicate ancestral messages and tell social justice narratives.

Crystal C. Mercer

Crystal C. Mercer

The create(her)

A Black Create(her), businesswoman and conduit for culture and community, CrystalC.Mercer is a celebrated artist, activist, and public servant.She utilizes theatre, poetry, and textiles to communicate ancestral messages and tell social justice narratives.

Crystal C. Mercer

The create(her)

is just a little girl from Little Rock , Arkansas. An all-around AfroCreative, Mercer is a Textile Artist, Actor, Activist, Poet, Playwright, Author, Founder and Creative Director of Columbus Creative Arts + Activism ,and Lead Designer and Merchant of Mercer Textile Mercantile.  Mercer is the recipient of grants from PEN America and the Dramatist Guild Foundation, which help her continue her charge as a storyteller and a keeper of the culture. She is a graduate of the Clinton School of Public Service (MPS).

Mercer’s past credits include a number of plays, musicals, and performances in Arkansas, off-Broadway in NewYork ,and internationally in Canterbury, England and Accra,Ghana. She fuses arts and activism by using theatre, poetry, and textiles to tell social justice narratives, through merchandising artifacts of the culture and storytelling, with an emphasis of uplifting voices of color and making marginalized populations visible.

A dedicated public servant, a woman of many creative talents, and the daughter of legendary late civil rights lawyer, Attorney Christopher C. Mercer,Jr., she honors the legacy of her father by using artistic mediums as a tool for empowerment ,education ,and social justice.  From Little Rock, Arkansas to Accra, Ghana, Mercer has made an international impact as an artist and an activist.

A gem from The Natural State , Mercer is always looking for the next adventure that will unearth her poetic, textile, and dramatic magic.

Activated by arts and activism…She knows, shows, and cares about what’s going on in the hood.

Watch Black Glow Matters, a short film (May 17, 2020)

Download Black Glow Matters, EP

Buy From Cotton to Silk: The Magic of Black Hair (Et Alia Press, Spring 2021)

Crystal C. Mercer is represented by The Rhonna-Rose Agency!