Joshua Crandall Lee was born to one Shaunel Lee in June of 1977. In February of this year he shared this poem to the Nashville Skyline tribe and asked if we would publish it …

They never said his name… And even though they were the people that loved me most…more than anything in the entire world……They didn’t realize they were killing me slowly by never saying his name…

    If ever it was spoken at all… It was in hushed tones… And quiet looks…only a handful of times in my childhood, Who could’ve known that I could feel that…..I could sense that vibration resonating with who I was… and it was a feeling associated with vacant shame…it was a feeling of pity that later turned to rage…

All because they never spoke his name….. 

    They couldn’t dare to imagine the greatness from which I came…Because as the word man left their mouths,  there were only memories, ghosts of abandonment and pain..

    His name was not the only name left unspoken…I was not the only child who by this, was left changed…by this time we were multiple generations of fatherless children…. households ran by tribes of women but where were the men? Mother and grandmothers and aunties loved me, to the best of their ability, but they could not show me my full truth… They could only share with me half of my roots… Where were the men…

      If even you were lucky enough to have one in your house… they were but a shadow of what they could truly be… Even if their body was present… They had not been shown the power of their presence… they had not been given the eyes to witness their family with reverence…no one ever re-minded them that they were a treasure…if they could only re-member their name