THE OUTRAGE PROJECT - Featuring Poet Darrel Alejandro Holnes

13 Ways to Keep Hope Alive in the Wake of The Grand Juries' Decisions

By Darrel Alejandro Holnes


1. Show love to a Black child, tell them that you think #BlackLivesMatter and mean it. 

2. Remember that justice is within reach for everyone, so even if you're not on a grand jury you can still distinguish right from wrong, speak your mind, your voice matters. 

3. Get and stay informed about state-sanctioned violence so future victims know to fight it because they are not the only ones who will hold the state accountable. Know your rights. 

4. Ask a Black elder what they'd never thought they'd live to see but did, then live to see a miracle.

5. Invest in yourself, take a class, learn something new, empower yourself to bring your dreams to life.

6. Celebrate that something has tried to kill you and failed. Those who are gone live on in each of us who move forward. We are all Trayvon Martin. We are all Mike Brown. We are all Eric Garner.

7. Remember dreaming is the root of all hope. You must dream of a better America for it to come true.

8. Find your courage. Know that to be afraid is to have already lost the battle for justice and for a better USA.

9. Remember you are a direct reflection of humanity and within your own actions is either love or fear. Vindicate the death of those killed by fear by choosing to act with love. 

10. Know that you are your own refuge; despite how others may occupy your life and your spaces, no one can occupy your happy place. Visit the place at least once a day through meditation, through prayer, through an activity that takes you there. 

11. Remember that dreams are the greatest act of resistance. 

12. Maya Angelou said "I am the hope and dream of a slave". If we were truly free would we still need to be hoping and dreaming of a world free of violence and institutionalized oppression? We must keep hope alive because we are still in desperate need of it. 

13. The world is limitless, dreaming is doing so get to work. The word is limitless, writing is prophetic, so get to work. Dream it, see it, be it.

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Darrel Alejandro Holnes is from Panama City and the former Canal Zone of Panamá. His poetry has been published in Poetry Magazine, The Best American Experimental Writing, Callaloo, The Caribbean Writer, The Potomac, MEADE, Lambda Literary, Assaracus, Weave Magazine, The Feminist Wire, The Paris American, Kweli, featured on The Best American Poetry blog, and elsewhere. He is the co-author of PRIME: Poetry & Conversations (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2014). He is a proud CantoMundo and Cave Canem fellow.


This is the 3rd post in the 8-part series featuring poets and writers on theme of OUTRAGE. Here is my brief intro to the project.