The Boy Who Never Died
The author introduces the collection of poems with an essay that describes the structure, themes, and theological basis for the work: “In this piece, I thought it would be rather fascinating to grant Lucifer the opportunity to retell his story through a Black perspective especially during a time when Black struggle has been amplified. I chose to humanize Lucifer as it provided an explanation for his devilish behavior and anger. Like him, Black people have many things to be angry about when regarding racial injustices and I wanted my writing to be a safe space for this anger. Sometimes Black people do not have the luxury of questioning the state of our world due to fearfulness and the inability to be vulnerable. I wanted to reclaim this power. In my work, I did not want to tell people what to think; instead, I utilized Lucifer's voice and emotions as a means for not only grappling with our world, but also our history. …In this piece, I became interested in playing with how the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Lives Matter Movement both immortalize Black boys as a means for creating and advertising their movements. Throughout my life, I would notice how activists would romanticize the murders of these children in a way that almost mimicked the crucifixion of Christ, so I chose to do the same in my writing and illustrations. Every selection has Messiah imagery and Black boys are referred to as Messiahs to signify, like him, they are only born to die on behalf of a community. Additionally, I thought it was equally important to reeducate individuals about the history of racial injustice and racism in this country through telling these stories in an unconventional way. …Structurally, I organized my writing as if it was bible scripture with the usage of the layout and verses. As for intentionally, this mini-book represents the imprisonment journal Lucifer keeps beside him as he writes from Hell. Because of all the deaths he witnesses, he uses this journal as a way of purging his grief. This concept originally came from the history of both Apostle Paul writing letters in house arrest from Rome and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. writing his letter from Birmingham Jail. Additionally, due to losing two family members late last year, I chose to make his relationship to grief similar to mine. I wanted him to reflect the questions I have about life and death.”
Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College
U.S. copyright laws protect this material. Commercial use or distribution of this material is not permitted without prior written permission of the copyright holder.