TOWARD A GENEALOGY OF ANGER…
1. Usually when people are sad, they don’t do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change.
— Malcolm X (1965)
2. My response to racism is anger. I have lived with that anger, on that anger, beneath that anger, on top of that anger, ignoring that anger, feeding upon that anger, learning to use that anger before it laid my visions to waste, for most of my life.
— Audre Lorde, “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism” (1981)
3. excuse me, if I get angry
watching my parents wither in work day cycles
while you steam roll over their dreams
THEY drown in blood and sweat
for 15 minute breaks and overtime meals
the factory whistle blows an awful stink
that stains my father’s blue collared shirt
steel toe shoes cover callous feet
that stand proud to be the backbones of this America
for jobs ‘real Americans’ never wanted
my father’s skin sweats stories
my mother’s hands hold up hope
I AM ANGRY FOR THEIR SACRIFICE.
I AM ANGRY FOR THEIR PAIN
I AM ANGRY for the lost stories and forgotten faces
drowning in this land of immigrant pool
I AM ANGRY for the violence that bleeds onto your streets.
— Anida Yoeu Ali, “excuse me, ameriKa” (2002)
4. I am not angry; I am anger.
I am not dangerous; I am danger.
— Amir Sulaiman, “Danger” (2005)