Photos of honeycomb and bees have been layered into a rectangular repeating background.

Alana Gracey “Joints Roots Revolution” and “Survival Quiz”

Joints Roots Revolution

Joints Roots Revolution in its original format:

To unlock the movement in my knees 

To march to stand 

To prove this crippling pain does not make me less worthy 

To know that the revolution won’t be televised 

              without editing 

                                                                                so that only beautiful ones shine in glorious death 

              but my death due to my inability to run will go rival my friends gasp when I remind

              them I will not survive an able man’s uprising they agree in their hearts weep for my


              and mourn my life’s end held in chains of immobility 

              I want to free them of obligation 

Free myself of life where Black femme lacking sufficient mobility and access to spaces I’ve dreamed of touching 

              create a hollow my joints can’t pull me out of 

But if I perish if these broken knees disintegrate somehow fertilize soil mixed with a 

                                              drip of my blood and the wash of my tears 

if the salt of exclusion nourishes the dirt 

              if I stop breath but germinate seeds of what should be possible and 

              there is no need for knees as new life bursts through earth and roots

              plummet further than any legs could ever reach 

              and I am a part of something that will stand against wind and rain and

              freedom is leaves that constantly reach for sun 

Then I experience freedom for the first time grounded with the earth while touching the sky

              Then I can still be revolution

Survival Quiz 

1) What do you do when you can’t walk? 

a) Avoid steps at all costs. 
b) Cry when they keep telling you that you’re too young (and too fat) for surgery.
c) Climb to the 3rd floor every other week to receive the love you’ve dreamed of your whole life. 

2) What do you do when you drop out of college? 

a) Never get paid your worth no matter how hard you work. 
b) Feel uncomfortable whenever you have an opportunity to be in a room full of college graduates–even though you are their intellectual equal. 
c) Keep showing up, even when you feel out-of-place. 

3) What do you do when you are usually the largest person in a room? 

a) Try to do the impossible and shrink yourself, no matter how physically, emotionally, and mentally painful it is. 
b) Try to understand the duality of being invisible and too visible at the same time.
c) Stunt. (Because fat and fly are not mutually exclusive.) 

4) What do you do when you want to give in to every voice that ever told you why you don’t matter–especially the ones fighting in your head? 

a) Cry at any random moment, remembering how worthless you’ve felt. 
b) Fight internally, sometimes believing every word and sometimes not believing them at all.
c) Never give up because voices don’t have the power to shout down your purpose. 

Answer Key: All of the above.