The Anthology 

Quarantine Soul

By Andrea Jenkins

“I only think of you on two occasions, and that’s day and night”

One Sunday morning, I listened to the entire discography of Luther Vandross—it made me smile.

I cleaned my entire house, one room at a time—I found a jar of Miracle Whip, dated “use by 6/20/2008.”

Little Richard, the Founding Father of Rock and Roll, passed on—“Oh Lucille, why can’t you be true?”

Our babies fell asleep at the breakfast table that doubles as their desks—homeschool Moms rule!

Mother’s Day came and went—socially distant days and nights, singularity, Solo—dinner for one.

Epic moments move things

Epic moments…

Make movements…

Epic movements start with moments

61 seconds was a moment

Jamar Clark was a movement

Ohhhhhh lord…

We miss Prince right now; he’d probably say something like, “Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life…”

Prince went to Baltimore

Wrote a song when Freddie Gray was killed, was murdered,

Throat crushed,

Back broke,

Yeah, Freddie got the knee choke, too.

There’s a deeper, darker side, nefarious forces

Operating just under the surface

It’s like watching the “Last Dance”

Make you wanna stand in line for 48 whole hours

To get dem new Jordan’s or Yezzy’s or dat

Popeyes fried chicken sandwich

Yeah, that’s my addiction

Love when mama frying up them wings in the kitchen

Yeah, but now “ We Can’t Breathe”

Because Ahmad Arbery was murdered in the streets

And Breonna Taylor was murdered in her sheets

It’s being

Treated without respect

It’s having to fight for everything

It’s not getting the same chances

It’s being left out

Like you don’t matter

              IT’S DEATH

I grew up listening to Public Enemy in real time

“I dialed 911 a long time ago

Don’t you see how late they reacting

They only come when they wanna

Then bring the morgue truck and” involve the coroner

Quarantine Blues

Sitting at home

Thinking of a master plan

Elizabeth Alexander asked,

“What if the mightiest word was Love?”

We sing songs

Dance dances

Paint pictures

Documenting our pain

For the world to witness—

But nothing changes—

Nothing ever changes.

Minneapolis Goddamn

We can’t Breathe

The EPA eased restrictions on polluting our communities

Coronavirus attacking our lungs

America’s got its knee on our necks

“Mama, it hurts

My back hurts

My stomach hurts, everything hurts, they going to kill me…”

White Supremacy is a Public Health Crisis, and we got the cure

“So what do you wanna talk about next beauties?

Revolution? You wouldn’t use that word if you knew what it meant,

It ain’t pretty, it’s bloody, it overturns things”

Somewhere in America tonight, somebody is saying, “Make America Great Again”

We say emphatically,


Somewhere in America tonight, somebody is saying, “Why don’t they just go home?”

We say defiantly,


Somewhere in America tonight, somebody is asking “What do they want?”

We say demandingly,


  • Change the way we educate
  • Change the way we employ our communities
  • Change the way we live and treat each other
  • Change the way we keep our communities safe

There is a new breeze blowing in,

Young voices are taking over

When you put your knee on George Floyd’s neck, you woke up a sleeping giant, young voices said NO

They said, when we know justice

You will know peace

No Justice, No Peace!



Andrea Jenkins © 2020

References included: “Two Occasions” (Kenneth “Babyface” Edmunds), “Praise Song For The Day” (Elizabeth Alexander), “Dropping Revolution” (Sekou Sundiata), “911 is a Joke” (Public Enemy)