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No Justice, No Peace -- slam poetry by Liberty Guilmette

No justice, no peace.

Born a person of color in America equates to a disadvantage,

Systemic racism has been planted,

Creating a society that is perpetually slanted.

A society that makes sure people of color can barely manage,

Rich white men grip the status quo, iron-handed.

No justice, no peace.

Shoved down, oppressed,

Life non-white is life perpetually stressed,

Discriminated against,

Shoulders always tensed,

Always weary, never able to rest.

No justice, no peace.

Volume turned down,

This cacophony humming in the background,

Eyes turned away; ears closed off to the sound

No justice, no peace.

A silent struggle until someone turned the dial up,

Making the earth shake, suddenly the world is burning up,

People are standing up.

No justice, no peace.

Black woman shot by police,

32 gunshots released,

Didn’t stop until she was deceased.

No justice, no peace.

Black man sobbing “I can’t breathe”

His death changing the way law enforcement is perceived.

No justice, no peace.

Suddenly there are protests,

Marches for miles, no room for rest.

No one took for granted what was taken from him: breath.

No justice, no peace.

Cities on fire,

World watched as Minneapolis stoked the flames ignited by a live wire,

Everyone saw the situation as dire,

Protestors gathered, spoke, and inspired,

And leapt into the quagmire.

No justice, no peace.

Blood thirsty cops out for vengeance,

Violent and brutal towards demonstrators exercising the first amendment.

No justice, no peace.

Tasers, rubber bullets, batons, shields, guns, fists, mace,

Using these weapons, officers torture civilians, breaking legs, ribs, and face.

Police abusing the people they are sworn to protect is now commonplace.

No justice, no peace.

Across the nation people call out,

Grief, sorrow, rage, hope, all evident in the names we shout.

The unlawful slaughter of Black Americans by police is something to scream about.

No justice, no peace.

Champion the bullets and gas and tasers and fists,

This is the reason our freedom of speech exists,

To rise as a people and make our voices heard as we chant from dawn until night’s abyss.

History is kind to those who persist.

No justice, no peace.

Hundreds killed in darkness and in daylight,

Murderer’s charges dropped outright,

This is why we must fight.

No justice, no peace.

How many more deaths will it take?

How many more hearts must break?

How much more must be put at stake?

What must happen for this nation to see that our law enforcement system is ruled by prejudice and hate?

No justice, no peace.

We must be unrelenting and untamed,

Our voices must be worn out to the point of pain,

We must cry out for change.

Change starts by saying their names.

No justice, no peace.


Liberty Guilmette is an older sister to four younger siblings, daughter of a single-

mom-turned-entrepreneur, and YA romance novel devourer. Her hobbies include baking with her sisters, weaving friendship bracelets, learning American Sign Language, and trying to navigate being a high school student taking college courses at 17. So far, Liberty has been published in Kid’s Standard Magazine; her fingers are crossed for more as she sends her work into the world. Though she is unsure of her career choice, she knows she will continue writing.

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