When Fight Gives Way to Flight

Ashley Strahm
5 min readJan 1, 2022

Considering my escape from a country that no longer serves me

Photo by Julia Joppien on Unsplash

“It’s morning in America, but I just can’t see the dawn;

I’m mourning in America. I just can’t see the dawn.”

—American Love Call, Durand Jones and the Indications

I’m tired of fighting. It’s time for flight.

Living in the U.S. is an assault on my mind, body, and spirit.

Durand Jones and the Indications knew what they were doing titling their sophomore album American Love Call. Somehow, it feels like despite our tenuous, violent past — and present — we’ve been conditioned to beckon to the more beautiful parts of our country. But increasingly, being a U.S.-born citizen feels like enduring the throes of an abusive relationship where I’m gaslit about my lived experiences. Black communities are disproportionately experiencing subpar care, education, and support, but should I complain? I have a college degree. Black men are disproportionately incarcerated, but should I complain? No man in my family has been subjected to an arrest record or prison time. Black women disproportionately die in childbirth and don’t have access to appropriate maternal healthcare, but should I complain? I was born healthy and I don’t even plan on having kids.



Ashley Strahm

Jersey roots, Durham fruit. Committed to justice, enthralled by stories, and inspired by an equitable future for us all.