POETRY: Revolutionary Encounters

by Evelyn Chow

Free Write: “If the revolution will not be televised, where will it be seen?” (thank you Nikkita for the prompt) 

You will not find the revolution posted in the window of the fancy new coffee shop down the block 

Or at the ginger beer store run by the white lady with dreadlocks 

The revolution will not have private security or no-trespassing signs 

You will not simply put a #BlackLivesMatter banner in your driveway, window, or storefront because 

The revolution will not be gentrified 

The revolution will not be found on a banner at your nearest boarded-up Whole Foods 

The revolution will not be market rate or ready-made 

Black lives will not only begin to matter when you change your Facebook cover photo 

Corporations quoting Black revolutionaries while using prison labor is not radical 

You will not simply add a fist or a rainbow to your logo because The revolution will not be co-opted 

The revolution will not be seen on KIRO, KOMO, or KING5 news stations 

The revolution will not be brought to you by Sinclair media or featured on the latest events page of The Stranger 

You will not just tune in to city council hearings live on the Seattle Channel because 

The revolution will not be televised


The revolution will be livestreamed, TikTok’d, podcasted, and photographed 

There will be close calls in the streets and closed captioning for those who need 

The revolution will be accessible and engage our elders 

The revolution will be innovative and excite our youth 

The revolution will be intergenerational 

You will find the revolution in community centers, hospitals, and food banks 

The spirit of the revolution dances through your local red light district 

You will find the revolution on the playground at the public housing units in Yesler Terrace 

To all of the factories across the world where workers are rising up 

The revolution will be both hyper local and international 

You will be able to taste the revolution 

The revolution is stocked on the shelves of your local bodega 

And infused in the juices of freshly cut fruit 

The revolution will be dipped in honey, or agave for the vegans, and it will be irresistible 

Our revolution will be irresistible

Evelyn (any pronouns) is an abolitionist, organizer, writer, and sociologist based in Seattle/Coast Salish lands. Their community organizing work has focused on state and prison abolition, race + gender equity, immigrant rights, queer/trans liberation, sex worker’s rights, international worker solidarity, and transformative justice.

Feature image by Netsie Tjirongo.

Before you move on to the next story …
The South Seattle Emerald is brought to you by Rainmakers. Rainmakers give recurring gifts at any amount. With over 1,000 Rainmakers, the Emerald is truly community-driven local media. Help us keep BIPOC-led media free and accessible. 
If just half of our readers signed up to give $6 a month, we wouldn't have to fundraise for the rest of the year. Small amounts make a difference. 
We cannot do this work without you. Become a Rainmaker today!