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Crystal C. Mercer

Stop Demonizing The Dead

Stop demonizing the dead,

Bullets holes in our stomachs,

In our heads,

Bullets shoot through walls,

Kill our babies in their beds,

Choking us,

To our death,

Hanging us,

In holding cells,

Hunting us,

With our hoods over our ears,

To keep out the cold,

Blood mixed with the skittles that fall out of our pockets,

I didn’t know,

That the rainbow,

Tasted like Black bodies,

America consumes our flesh,

Then imitates our funky fresh,

Turns Bantu knots,

Into messy buns,

Turns cornrows,

Into boxer braids,

Turns Black life,

Into Black Death,

Like we’re the plague,

Then smudges our names,

On a smear campaign,

When our graves are still open,

Stop demonizing the dead,

I don’t care,

If there,

Was weed in Botham’s apartment,

I don’t care,

If there,

Was a knife on Freddie,

I don’t care,

If there,

Was a gun in Philando’s car,

When he had a right to carry,

I don’t care,

If there,

Was a video of Sandra,

Filming a routine traffic stop,

On a crooked cop,

I don’t care…

When her body hung,

They called it a suicide,

When we don’t want to die,

I know they fucking lying,

Some petty theft,

Or curiosity on construction sites,

Doesn’t not give America permission to end our lives,

Twist our stories,

Daggers in our legacies,

Post our mug shots,

Instead of our smiles,

Post our indiscretions,

Instead of our growth,

Report on our troubled youth,

Or our single households,

Or just make up something,

Because it’s so sensational,

When these killers,

Are vacation’l,

On leave from their police departments,

On the beach,

With their taxidermy deer,

On their porch with a beer,

But never on the lamb,

They don’t have to run,

They don’t have to bury their sons,

They don’t have to answer to their sins,

When we go to trail,

And we don’t win,

And then the reports,


Our being,

It’s the two killings of Sam Cooke,

It’s the bullet in our bones,

And the assassination of our character,

It’s the trauma of speaking names,

Instead of speaking to the person,

Our tears fall,

Following the hearse,


We fall apart,

Our memories stained,

Our past to be the blame,

Stop demonizing the dead, 

The bounty on our head,


The good in our deeds,


The glow of our souls,


Our survival,

In my Khalid voice,

We the best,


So let’s review,

Boxer braids don’t belong to you,

Those messy buns are Bantu knots,

And on any day,

Try me not,

Let our Black bodies,

Rest In Peace,

Just let us be,

“Get yo hand outta my pocket”,

“Stop it,

If you think you gonna make a profit”,

And hunting for our heads,

Stop killing us,

And stop demonizing our dead. 

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!