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41 Steps for Amadou Diallo

Monifa Love Asante


February 4, 1999, 23-year old Guinean son Amadou Diallo is shot to death in a hail of bullets. He is reaching for his wallet to show his papers as a police officer stumbles backwards. He dies at 1157 Wheeler Avenue in the Bronx.

I have a son in New York. He is a musician and plays late into the night. I see him reaching for his wallet to prove he is more than his black body. I see myself falling backwards with the news that his beautiful body has been opened by 41 bullets. I can see his wife and children falling backwards from the hail of news.

February 12, 1999, I wake suddenly. My body is jarred before my soul can return to it properly. I am not myself.

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ProudFlesh: New Afrikan Journal of Culture, Politics and Consciousness. ISSN: 1543-0855 (online).
Editor: Dr. Sonjah Nadine Stanley-Niaah.

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