Autoethnography in her own song & lyrics

Egypt R. Dior //

With the news of the clusters of COVID-19 circulating, it became clear that it was a matter of time until New York City would be closed down. Walks in the park became imperative. And so started our observation of the flowering trees and bushes in the park. Here is a late-budding branch of magnolia with the last stem of the amaryllis.

For my project I requested to take a different approach. Due to limited time, I did not have the time needed to master my track for autoethnography. My approach entailed questions I asked myself, brief questions geared toward my life during my incarceration, during the current pandemic, about how my “existence” will forever be incarcerated because of how I identify. I questioned myself because within me is where I believe the answers lie. And, “truthfully” speaking, I have no acquaintances that I could ask questions during these trying times.     

AutoEthno track (wav) by Egypt R. Dior ❤️🙏🏿

Verse #1

 What ya name?
  My name is Egypt
  Where you from?
  From the land of the leashes
  What does that means?
  It means I been locked down
  fed like an animal
  Even beat to the ground
  And this been my whole life
  I been Quarantined
  so the only thing
  I got to show for
  “Is me”
  never really had friends
  so I had to stay strong
  Green Daysaid it best - “I walk alone”
  Dark dreams (from) behind bars
  ain’t far
  had to live in P.C.
  being transgender was hard
  When I tried to fit in
  the haters would pull my cards
  Recreation was a dub
  Every sport I liked was barred
  Punched in the face by peers
 and police
 kinda baffled
 how I made it
 loss tears instead of teeth
 First bid did eleven
 watch years turn to weeks
 Now I’m even more scared
 How will I make it in these streets? 
Verse #2

 20/20 now
 What do I do?
 Plus I live in a building
 where it's barely a roof
 Where the kids are told lies
 So they rarely know truth
 And the older generation
 don’t even care to leave clues
 What the Flu didn’t hit
 Coronavirus
  will do
  Don’t be scared
  and act a fool
  “Humans viruses Too”
   If there’s a God
  PLEASE show me the proof !
  I feel like a newborn
  (Hungry, Crying, Stranded)
  left in the nude
  What I really mean
  “Is I been stressed out”
  How many questions could I ask - when I’ve been left out?
  My Identity causes me to be X’d out
  Thought I took the best route
  Maybe I should have left town
  On my knees
  I pray I stay alive
  Would they care if I died?
  If I survive
  I then asked “WHY?”
  Nowadays we have a mask on
  when we been wore a mask
  Everyday CHANGING a sad song 
Outro

 “Now I lay me
  Down to Sleep
  And I pray” to the Universe
  My soul to keep
  And If I die
  I wish not to wake
  Now I’m stuck in a Realm
  Where I feel nice and safe 

Egypt R. Dior

JIE Scholars Program, Cohort 2020

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Author bio: Egypt R. Dior was born and raised in the slums of Brooklyn and the prison industrial complex. Egypt is a black trans woman and a true scholar of music, currently in the Justice-in- Education Initiative Scholars Program at Columbia University. She has goals of becoming a better individual and is currently working on projects to better humanity and open minds. Egypt lives in New York City.

Image note: Several essays are accompanied by photographs that Neni Panourgiá took of flowers at Riverside Park in spring 2020. They are meant as temporal transitional points during the time that the workshop took place, from the last day on campus in the fall semester of 2019 to the last day of class in June 2020.

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