OutPower

Focus – Jahad Carter

OUT ON THE HILL is the official blog of the Victory Congressional Interns. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of LGBTQ Victory Institute. Learn more about the internship at victoryinstitute.org/vci

The experience I have had this summer has been the most inspiring, gut wrenching and impactful eight weeks of my entire life. I believe that the Jahad that landed in Washington D.C. on May 27th, is surely not the same person who will be leaving to go back to North Carolina.  

Over the course of these past eight weeks I have been engulfed in an ocean of knowledge. And I can say that I have learned how to swim better than ever.  

I have witnessed the beautiful passion for change within myself grow and form into something that I never could have imagined. Now I am ready to take all these lessons I have learned back with me to build up my community and make a seat for everyone at the table. 

I must say it is extremely difficult to put into words my feelings and thoughts of this experience. So, instead I present to you a few poems I have written over the summer that encapsulate my thoughts.  

Victory 12 

All together here we are. 

In the heart of our nation. 

Where my ancestors worked tirelessly. 

We are here to set a new wave. 

Something that hasn’t been done before. 

A trail blazing rainbow across the nation. 

Making way for the marginalized in this country. 

Taking our pain with us everywhere we go. 

Highlighting the things that should fall 

If we shall rise: 

Capitalism. 

Patriarchy. 

White Supremacy. 

And make room for the new. 

A place where hope is currency. 

A place where loving one another is required. 

A place that doesn’t memorialize our dark past. 

Where we remember who built this place. 

I believe in the Victory 12. 

For they will be the ones to change the world. 

Our norms, culture, and values. 

This must happen If we are to have any hope. 

-Jahad Chris Carter   

Been Here Before  

Accomplished Accomplishments lead you here. 

To the same place. 

At a cross road. 

Where the signs say. 

“You can’t do this Ave”  

and 

“Why try again Ln” 

No matter what you do, it leads you here. 

At least it seems  

But that is not the case. 

It’s those thoughts that linger from the past. 

Those feelings that want to regain control over your sanity. 

But we aren’t there anymore. 

Haven’t we proved to ourselves that?  

I mean look where we are!  

We didn’t get here by accident.  

Unleash the beast if you have to! 

In fact, you need to!  

For the future’s sake.  

Remember who is rooting for you!  

Your family who can no longer forget you. 

Your Ancestors who built this country for you. 

That little boy who deep down just wanted to be loved. 

I promise you just cruse and you’ll get through.  

-Jahad Chris Carter  

The Voice  

You have the voice of a leader.
Use it to climb the ladder of success. 
Use it to carry others with you to the top.
You have the voice of a preacher. 
Use it to uplift the helpless. 
Use it to spew optimism around the globe.
You have the voice of a fighter. 
Use it to hit back at the oppressors. 
Use it to stand up for the oppressed. 
You have the voice of a victor. 
Use it to put an end to the wars that wage on. 
Use it to win for the ones that the system set up to fail.
The voice you have shouldn’t go to waste.
So, just use it! 

-Jahad Chris Carter  

Focus  

As I look to the west I feel the wind flow toward the pacific, just as the founding fathers searched for manifest destiny.  

As I look to the east I hear the negro spirituals my ancestors would sing, as they built a nation that was only free for some.  

I sit in class rooms where I am not expected to do well, even though my ancestors overturned separate but equal.  

I stand on pavements that have been cracked by the ones who came before me as they were driven to peacefully protest.  

I live and breathe in the societal scars that seem to heal. 

In regions that once was soaked by the blood of slaves.  

I have this chance and I may only get one.  

As I see the tossed baton. 

I need to focus and take it.  

-Jahad Chris Carter