Hannah L Drake is a blogger, activist, public speaker, poet, and author of 11 books. She writes commentary on politics, feminism, and race and her work has been featured online at Cosmopolitan, The Bitter Southerner, Harper’s Bazaar and Revolt TV. In 2019 during Super Bowl Sunday, Hannah’s poem, "All You Had To Do Was Play The Game, Boy," which addresses the protest by Colin Kaepernick, was shared by film writer, producer and director Ava DuVernay, and then shared by Kaepernick. The poem has been viewed more than two million times.
Hannah’s commentary on life and challenging others to dream bigger have been recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama. Hannah Drake was featured on the Tom Joyner Morning Show with Jacque Reid to discuss her international movement, Do Not Move Off the Sidewalk, which addresses the power of holding your space. Hannah was selected by the Muhammad Ali Center to be a Daughter of Greatness which features prominent women engaged in social philanthropy, activism, and pursuits of justice. Hannah was selected as one of the Best of the Best in Louisville, Kentucky for her poem Spaces and recently was honored as a Kentucky Colonel, the highest title of honor bestowed by the Kentucky Governor recognizing an individual’s noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to community, state, and nation. Labeled as a change agent, Hannah’s message is thought-provoking and at times challenging, but Hannah believes that it is in the uncomfortable spaces that change can take place. “My sole purpose in writing and speaking is not that I entertain you. I am trying to shake a nation.”
You do not get to demand that I respect my oppressor! You do not get to demand that I respect officers that have teargassed me for doing nothing but demanding justice! You do not get to demand that I respect the very people that are killing those that look like me! You do not have the luxury to sit in your ivory tower and write laws that demand that I respect people who have shown that they have absolutely no respect for Black people!
Understand that you do not get the next Maya or Amanda by silencing Black girls. You do not get the next Maya or Amanda or even Hannah by putting Black girls in a cage. There is something inside of Black girls that will always long to sing no matter how many cages you attempt to put them in. Try as you might, you cannot beat that song out of Black girls.
There is no middle ground when the color of my skin makes you send me death threats. I refuse to meet in the middle when my very life is at stake. I refuse to meet in the middle when the police are gunning down innocent Black people. I refuse to meet in the middle when people try to overthrow the government to keep a racist in office. I refuse to meet in the middle when there is no accountability!
Louisville is in a position to either start redesigning downtown so that it will be inviting for all people to come or watch it continue to fail. The nation is changing and it no longer trends towards whitewashing. If Louisville wants to change the economics of downtown, it can no longer lead with whitewashing downtown. It can no longer lead with allowing businesses to take up residence downtown with racist policies.
This month, while I appreciate you learning about Black people, I am challenging you to learn about White people. Take the time to learn the TRUE story of White history. Don’t take the time to believe the made up history but look at White people’s reality in America. Don’t take the “this isn’t me” route, but look at White history as a whole. And go into it knowing the history will not be pretty. It is not a history laced with lemonade and apple pie. It is not the history that you have been taught in high school textbooks. But it a history that is filled with murder, mayhem, and pain. It is a history filled with the unimaginable suffering of Black people at the hands of White people. If White people take the time to do that, everything you wanted to know about Black people will become evident. You can never know me and the truth of Black History in America until you are ready to face yourself.
I find it really rich but so on-brand for a group of people who have vilified Breonna Taylor and other Black women killed by police that as SOON as a White woman is shot, their first thought is to STEAL something Black women created for BLACK WOMEN. How very basic and typical of you. Your inherent nature is to steal from Black women. Not this time!
As I read their statements, their hypocrisy was like a weight sitting firmly on my chest. Do they actually believe what happened in DC is any different from what has been happening in Kentucky? Take off your blinders! Before any Kentucky politician speaks about Washington DC, you must first look at what happened right in my Old Kentucky Home.
Wednesday, January 6, I woke up celebrating that voters in Georgia snatched the coveted crown of leadership from Majority Leader (now Minority Leader) Mitch McConnell by voting Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff into the United States Senate. It was a glorious day as we also awaited Congress certifying […]
But for once, take yourself out of the center. Focus on the well-being of Kentucky and ask yourselves, is this the best use of our time to serve the people of this state? Ask yourself how will we use this session to impact the lives of Kentucky residents for good? How will us being in session make this state better for all people?
Maya Angelou said it best, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” What is it that we are not believing?
What more does this world need to show Black women for us to believe? How much more disrespect must we take, before we believe? How many more times do they have to steal our work, our creativity, before we believe? How many more Breonna Taylor’s, Sandra Bland’s, and Atatiana Jefferson’s do we need? This world has repeatedly shown us what they think of Black women.