In late May, as Pittsburgh activists were planning the first of many protests following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, rapper and poet Shyheim Banks received a text from local organizers. Their request: Could he speak or recite a poem at an upcoming demonstration?
Banks, who performs under the name Treble NLS and is the head teaching artist for 1Hood Media, wrote a poem called “Don’t Clip Our Tails.” The piece stems from a conversation he had recently had with a white woman on the topic of race in America, specifically how she felt young Black men should act in the presence of authority figures.
PublicSource visual storyteller Ryan Loew, who met Banks at a demonstration this summer, collaborated with him to visualize the poem. This video is the result of that collaboration.
Ryan Loew is a visual storyteller/producer for PublicSource. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @RyanLoew.